Photo by: Nancy Ori
Location: France

France Normandy and Giverny Photo and Painting Tour

  • Eleven days of photographing and instruction with accomplished photographer and tour leader Nancy Ori.
  • Tour limited to 12 participants for extra attention.
  • The picturesque Mont St-Michel, a UNESCO world heritage site, is the focus of the region on its rocky island. Capture the mystical reflections at high tide and sandy beach with the gothic abbey towering above.
  • Enjoy days in the medieval center of Bayeux with the Cathedral Notre-Dame and the story of William the Conqueror wrapped in the 200 foot-long tapestry.
  • There will be a local historical guide and private vehicle for a half day tour of the D-Day Beaches and museum.
  • When you are in the City of Honfleur you may be painting or photographing in the footsteps of Monet or Boudin, or many other famous artists.
  • Etretat, what better place to stay for a sense of place, breathtaking white cliffs, quaint restaurants next to the English Channel.
  • End the journey with another highlight: Giverny speaks for itself especially at this time of year, Monet all the Way!!







May 11-22, 2022


11 days

$4795 2021 rates listed

per person, double occupancy*

*U.S. dollars based upon minimum of 8 participants. There is a small group surcharge of $400 if  5-7 participants. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested (subject to availability), or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, there is a single room surcharge of $945.

Tour Overview

LIVE IT, LOVE IT, SHOOT IT on a photographic and painting tour from Mont St-Michel, to the Normandy beaches, and the famous Giverny gardens of Monet. Nancy Ori is returning to France with another group of like-minded photographers and painters. We have expanded her previous itinerary to include other picturesque locations of Normandy. There will be daily photo-focused walking tours throughout the program.

Experienced painters are invited alongside photographers to join in the fun. Although...

LIVE IT, LOVE IT, SHOOT IT on a photographic and painting tour from Mont St-Michel, to the Normandy beaches, and the famous Giverny gardens of Monet. Nancy Ori is returning to France with another group of like-minded photographers and painters. We have expanded her previous itinerary to include other picturesque locations of Normandy. There will be daily photo-focused walking tours throughout the program.

Experienced painters are invited alongside photographers to join in the fun. Although there will be no formal instruction on painting, Ori enjoys the cross pollination that takes place during many of her workshops between painters and photographers. Both have much to learn from each other. Painters will be encouraged to sketch and photograph the compositions and colors so that they can express their vision when they return home. There will be plenty of time at each location for complete sketches, or vignettes for color swatches. Do not expect to do any studio-quality work that is large in size and scope. Instead, take full advantage of your reason for leaving home in the first place: to see many wonderful views that are new to you and open all your senses to the experience. Point and shoot cameras or cell phone cameras will be great for you to capture lots of images to work with when you return home.

Claude Monet was a painter recognized today around the world as one of the most famous French Impressionists. His work can be viewed in museums and art galleries throughout the four corners of the world. However, you may not be aware that most of Monet’s work was inspired and painted in Normandy. He grew up near the Norman Port of Le Havre and following the completion of his studies in Paris, he naturally returned to the place of his childhood.

During his time in Paris, he met Eugene Boudin, a native of Honfleur who was to become his mentor and lifelong friend. Following the example of Boudin, Monet experimented with a new technique of painting in the open-air at a time when most painters worked indoors. He was inspired to do so by the scenery and light conditions found on the Norman coast. He completed most of his coastal scenes around Honfleur and near-by beaches.

The paintings he did in Rouen contained a series of the Cathedral showing how different times of day and weather could affect the color of light on his majestic subject. Monet spent more than half of his life in the little village of Giverny surrounded by beautiful country scenes. It is possible today to visit the artist’s house to get an insight to the inspiration of this master painter. The gardens that he first landscaped, he then spent half of his life painting, notably of course… the Japanese bridge over the Water Lily Pond.

Photo Leader

Nancy Ori

I started working with Nancy Ori by happenstance in the fall of 2013. I’ve attended two of her group workshops in NJ and was fortunate enough to travel with Nancy to France for a 9-day workshop in the Normandy region. All of my experiences with Nancy to date have far exceeded my expectations on many levels. Nancy is a talented photographer who has the unique ability to translate her skills and passion for her craft to others. She has the patience and knowledge to answer any and all questions for students of varying skill levels and is eager to do so. Moreover, Nancy is still accessible to her students when they are in the field during workshops and well after the course has been completed for guidance and critique.
The main distinguishing factor between Nancy’s workshops and others, is her personal touch and pride in a job well done for every aspect of the workshop – the planning and organization of the locations, her teaching method and style as well as her ability to cultivate a sense of camaraderie and friendship among her students. You don’t realize the importance of all of these qualities until you experience them first hand.
I came home from our trip to France with a renewed focus and energy to take my passion to the next level. I attribute this not only to the workshops during the trip but also to the time spent with my traveling companions – strangers who I now consider friends. There is a marked difference in teaching people how to take pictures and inspiring people through the art of photography. If you want to be inspired and learn the art of photography, Nancy Ori is your instructor. You won’t be disappointed.
— Lisa C.

Tour Itinerary

May 11: Home

Your journey begins with an overnight flight from the home to Paris, France. The tour is concentrating on your time photographing in Normandy with Nancy, therefore if you would like to spend time in Paris visiting museums and other city sights, you may wish to add on days on your own pre or post trip.

May 12-13: CDG- Mont St. Michel

Departure time from the Paris airport (CDG) will be announced. Your driver for today, will pick up the group and transfer you to Mont St-Michel today. There will be a photography stop along the way in Caen along with time for lunch. Caen is the third largest city in Normandy, following Le Havre and Rouen. It was founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century. Please note the majority of your luggage will be left in Bayeux enroute to Mont St-Michel, therefore only your camera gear, personal items, and clothes for these two evenings will need to be in carry-on size luggage. Since group accommodations are on Mont St-Michel it is necessary from the car park to take a shuttle on to the island and walk to hotel, carrying your overnight luggage. Nancy will discuss the timing of your photography outings the next day, taking advantage of high and low tides.

An unforgettable sight ~ The Mont Saint-Michel is one of Europe’s most amazing sights. Normandy meets Brittany in the bay it emerges from, your eye is drawn to the island it is built on. You will have two chances for sunset and sunrise photography or painting.

If you wish you can take the same shuttle from the island to the mainland, where you can walk to various vantage points to capture this beautiful structure rising from the sea or with the waves of sand in the foreground. Grab lunch at one of the many restaurants in town or the winding streets of the island. Overnight Mont St Michel (13th: B, D)

*Hotels on Mont St-Michel do not have elevators due to their historical significance, therefore you will also need to be prepared to handle steps in the hotel as well as the island.

May 14-16: Bayeux

Your driver and bus will pick you up at the car park this morning and transfer you to Bayeux, where your left luggage will be at the hotel. Although it was the first large town liberated by the Allies in Normandy in 1944, Bayeux escaped serious damage during the Second World War, much to the delight of lovers of history. All different styles of architecture from antiquity through the Renaissance up to the modern day are represented in this town that was, until the 11th century, the capital of lower Normandy. The impressive cathedral which sits at the heart of this historic town was built between the 11th and 13th centuries. You can’t hear of Bayeux without mention of its famous tapestry, an embroidered cloth over 200 feet long which tells the story of William the Conqueror. All within walking distance of the hotel.

The next day you will take a day trip to the D Day Beaches, for a half day tour with the groups own personal guide. This will be a day of history and landscapes. Although this location is not about Monet, it is an important addition to your workshop. Your guide will be passionate about the history and this region of Normandy and take you to the landing beaches themselves, the inland battlefields, the cemeteries of all three principal armies, the museums, and explain the stories and history behind each.

Your last full day there will be a discussion meeting after breakfast. Shooting in historic center of Bayeux, visit the museum with famous tapestry, Cathedral and town. All within walking distance. Prepare for early departure tomorrow morning. Overnight Bayeux (B, D; B; B)

May 17-18: Honfleur-Etretat

Sitting on the estuary where the Siene River meets the English Channel, is the historic seaport of Honfleur. Photograph at the old harbor where there are 16th to 18th century townhouses, as well as picturesque fishing boats. Claude Monet and native son Eugene Boudin were regular artists painting along the Honfleur coastline and city. Enjoy lunch before re-boarding the bus to your final destination for the day Etretat beach area and town.
During the 1880’s, Monet made repeated visits to Etretat to draw by the sea. It had already been painted by Delacroix and Courbet. By the 1890’s Monet began producing his first series paintings here of the large rock arch on the beach. This series was done at different times of day and captured different kinds of light….his own form of white balance! There will be two opportunities for sunrise and sunset in this beautiful location, again Nancy will discuss daily outings at dinner, taking in to account low and high tides.

Optional Tour: An optional tour that participants can take part in is a 2 hour boat tour from Fécamp to Etretat. Impressing chalk cliffs, arches to pass underneath and rivers that run underground into the bay. The seas can be rough and may not be for everyone, which is why it is an optional suggestion. You can capture some beautiful photography from a different perspective, if the tides, seas and light align. Overnight Etretat (B, D; B)

May 19-21: Rouen-Giverny

Move on to Rouen this morning and photograph the lovely streets and the Cathedral where Monet did his famous series of paintings. Rouen was one of the greatest ports along the Siene becoming the capital of Normandy. If anyone has the interest there is a museum here in honor of Joan of Arc’s death in 1431, it is located in the Archbishop’s Palace next door the Cathedral

Continue on to Giverny, after getting settled in Nancy will announce what time to meet and go over the town map, and timing of your photography and painting outings. There will be a welcome dinner at the hotel with sunset being so late, those with energy can venture out on your own.
Begin early the next morning at the gardens working with Nancy amidst the Spring flowers. The bus tours from Paris will arrive late morning through early afternoon, which is when you will take a break in town for lunch once the gardens get a bit crowded. After lunch return to the gardens for additional photography and painting.

The next day enjoy photography in town and go to the Impressionism Museum in Giverny to see wonderful examples of Monet and other Impressionist artists and spend the balance of the afternoon there and walking in the area. If possible, before dinner Nancy will find a place to shoot along the river.

While viewing the famous gardens we will draw parallels between the work of Monet as the gardener and of the artist. In each roll, he studied, cultivated and modified nature to show us beauty and mystery. Standing in his historic garden, bathed in the magical light that he also worked in, we will be inspired quite possibly in a way we have not yet experienced as photographers and painters. Overnight Giverny (B, D; B; B)

May 22: CDG - Home

The flight time out from Paris will be announced as everyone will be transferred to the airport together. If you wish to extend your stay in Paris, you can take transportation from the airport to the city center. Depending on your flight time this morning enjoy breakfast at the hotel. (B)