Country Roads of France

France, Belgium & The Netherlands

Country Roads

Country Roads of France (Summer 2018)

Duration: 16 days Visiting: France

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

Menu
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Dates & prices

Leafy vineyards, majestic mountains, Riviera sunshine, Roman remains and fortified towns, combined with great food and wine, make for an engaging ‘Tour de France'.

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Paris.

    Airport transfers depart from Charles de Gaulle Airport for your hotel at 08:30, 11:00 and 13:30. Relax and settle in, or start exploring this great capital, before joining your Travel Director and fellow guests at 17:30 for a Welcome Dinner at a cosy Left Bank bistro, with the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening.

  2. Day 2

    Troyes, Chablis and on to Dijon.

    Journey to Troyes, in the Champagne region, famous for its magnificent core of medieval buildings, appropriately shaped like a champagne cork. Continue to Burgundy, once a powerful duchy and synonymous with fine wine. Stop in the quiet village of Chablis which gives its name to one of the most famous French wines. Join an expert vintner for a taste and introduction to these refreshing, steely whites. Continue on to your hotel in Dijon.

  3. Day 3 - Relaxed Start

    Free Time in Dijon.

    (Relaxed Start) Enjoy the Burgundian capital of Dijon. Its many handsome buildings recall the time when the Dukes of Burgundy were more powerful than the Kings of France. Perhaps take the opportunity to visit the wine capital of Burgundy, Beaune? In the evening, don't miss the chance of an optional Burgundy wine tasting and traditional dinner in the Premier Cru village of Fixin.

  4. Day 4

    Chamonix.

    Travel towards the Maconnais and Beaujolais before turning east into the Alps. A scenic symphony awaits you as you ascend into the high Alps and climb towards Mont Blanc, Western Europe's highest mountain. Your destination is the fashionable ski resort of Chamonix. In the evening you may choose to join a traditional Savoyard-style dinner hosted at a local eatery that was once a farmer's lodge. This Optional Experience provides the chance to savour traditional Savoyard dishes such as melted Raclette cheese served with potatoes, pickles and bread, and enjoy a glass of wine.

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    Lakeside Annecy and Chambéry.

    (Relaxed Start) In the morning, embark on a beautiful journey to the lakeside town of Annecy, dramatically situated between lake and mountains, it's a medieval spectacle and a summer getaway for the French and the Swiss locals. Enjoy free time for lunch in Little Venice, aptly named for the network of canals criss-crossing through the Old Town. Explore the city's many lovely bridges at your leisure or perhaps embark on a boat trip on Lake Annecy? Continue on to Chambry, appreciating views of woodlands, traditional villages and mountain peaks along the way. Enjoy a delicious Farm-to-Table Dinner, prepared with locally-sourced ingredients, and served with wines from the local region.

  6. Day 6

    The French Riviera and Nice.

    Glorious mountain scenery will be yours to enjoy as you travel along a spectacular route, used by the Emperor Napoleon when he returned from his first exile to try to take the throne of France once more. Continue to the French Riviera and the elegant resort of Nice. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore as you wish. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to visit to the medieval village of Eze and its hill-top Botanical Gardens for a spectacular view of the coastline? In the evening, why not walk through old town Nice, ending in Cours Saleya where dinner is at your leisure at one of the many lovely bistros?

  7. Day 7

    Monaco and the Côte d’Azur.

    Wake up ready to rub shoulders with the jet-set on the glamorous Côte d’Azur. Unlock the secrets of the French perfume industry with a visit to a perfumery, where fragrance experts waft exclusive scents from stoppered bottles. Then enjoy a drive along part of the Grand Prix circuit in Monaco and walk with your Travel Director through the old town to see the Royal Palace, yacht-filled harbour and to visit the cathedral, housing the tomb of Princess Grace. The rest of the day is set aside for you to enjoy the French Riviera at your own pace.

  8. Day 8

    Picturesque Provence to Avignon.

    Visit the medieval village of Saint-Paul de Vence, perched high above the Riviera beaches. A walk through its winding streets reveals elegant fountains, vine-covered stone walls and views of mountains and sea. Continue to Aix-en-Provence to see the sumptuous mansions lining the Cours Mirabeau, before continuing to the pretty village of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Enjoy a wonderful introduction to the famous wine, tasting the difference for yourself as you learn about the various grape varieties that are allowed into the final blend of the prestigious Chateauneuf-du-Pape wine. Continue to Avignon, your home for the next three nights.

  9. Day 9 - Relaxed Start

    Arles and Avignon.

    (Relaxed Start) Head to the beautiful town of Arles, the ancient capital of Gaul, and follow in the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh during an orientation tour with your Travel Director. See the greatest of the Roman remains, the incredible three-tiered Pont du Gard. View the remaining arches of the 12th century Pont Saint-Benezet and the Pont d'Avignon of the famous song. Walk through the medieval battlements to the town centre, dominated by the fortified Papal Palace. The rest of your day is at your leisure.

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    Free Time in Avignon.

    (Relaxed Start) Enjoy a full day at leisure to relax and soak up the atmosphere of Avignon. Why not take the chance to visit Les Baux-de-Provence, one of the most picturesque villages in France, where you can visit an Olive Mill and sample some of the finest olive oil in France?

  11. Day 11

    Carcassonne and to Albi.

    Cross the fertile Languedoc region, before journeying inland to the fortified town of Carcassonne. Travellers are often amazed at their first sight of this medieval gem, known for its fortress - a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a complete set of ramparts and a medieval keep. Travel on to Albi, the birthplace of Toulouse Lautrec. During your orientation with your Travel Director, marvel at iconic sites including the Toulouse Lautrec Museum and the famous awe-inspiring cathedral, before spending the remainder of the evening at leisure.

  12. Day 12 - Relaxed Start

    Cahors, Rocamadour and Sarlat.

    (Relaxed Start) Stop in Cahors, famous for its Black Wine, and see the Pont Valentre. Travel to Rocamadour and enjoy free time to explore this medieval town perched on a cliff side above the Alzou River and known as a resting place for pilgrims on their way to Spain. Continue to the beautiful town of Sarlat-la-Canéda, its medieval core blessed with fine historic golden limestone houses.

  13. Day 13

    Exploring the Dordogne Valley.

    Start the day with a morning drive into the stunning Valley of the Dordogne to visit Lascaux II where the world-famous prehistoric cave paintings have been faithfully reproduced. On return to your hotel, sample some of the local Dordogne specialties when you visit a local farm.

  14. Day 14

    Paris, The City of Light.

    Travel onwards to immerse yourself in the beautiful city of Paris where on arrival you are free to explore this fascinating city as you wish. As evening descends, the City of Light lives up to its name as the monuments, buildings and bridges are lit up in all their glory. For that special touch of excitement and glamour don't miss the chance to join an Optional Experience to one of the world-famous cabaret shows.

  15. Day 15

    Romantic Capital on the Seine.

    During your time in Paris, see the impressive Eiffel Tower, the imposing facades of the Louvre, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and enjoy a drive along the Champs Elysses to Napoleon's Arc de Triomphe. In small groups, venture into areas where Parisians go about their daily lives, with your local foodie guide. Explore a patisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier, all tiny, but wondrous and a treat to all senses as you sample the delicacies along the way. You are in for a memorable evening starting with a delicious Celebration Dinner at a local French bistro, serving delicious French cuisine and wine.

  16. Day 16

    Au revoir Paris.

    Your departure transfer will arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 or 11:00.

Highlights

 

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Albi: This is the birthplace of artist, Toulouse Lautrec. Walk the town and marvel at the awe-inspiring cathedral.
  • Lascaux II Caves: These caves contain some of the oldest and finest prehistoric art in the world. For preservation reasons, they have been replicated in all their glory.
  • Paris: See the monuments, museums, buildings and bridges on a Seine River cruise through the heart of Paris.
  • Côte d’Azur: Visit a perfumery to learn about the French perfume industry and discover your signature scent.
  • Monaco: Enjoy a drive along part of the Grand Prix circuit. Wander the old town to see the Royal Palace, the yacht-filled harbour and visit the cathedral to see the Tomb of Princess Grace.
  • St-Paul de Vence: Discover the beauty of this hilltop town and why it became a refuge for artists.
  • Arles: See the ancient bridges of Pont du Gard, Pont Saint-Bénézet and Pont d'Avignon. Pass the medieval battlements to the town centre and see the Papal Palace.
  • Bastille Day: Celebrated across France on 14th July, Bastille Day commemorates the end of the French Monarchy. Witness the remarkable display of fireworks lighting up the warm summer sky and perhaps join in one of the traditional balls.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Dordogne Valley: Sample some of the delicacies of the area when you visit a local farm.
  • Paris: Rendezvous with your friends at a typical French bistro for a rousing Celebration Dinner with wine. Bon appétit!
  • Paris: Meet a local foodie for a behind-the-scenes look into Parisian life. Taste local delicacies in a patisserie, boulangerie, fromagerie and chocolatier off-the-beaten-track on a gourmet walking tour.
  • Chablis: Taste one of the most famous white wines in the world. Treasure the purity of flavour and rapier-like effect on the palate with an expert vintner.
  • Chambéry: Savour a delightful Farm-to-Table Dinner prepared with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and accompanied with local wine.
  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape: Embark on a Côtes du Rhone experience to a famous wine village, where you sample wine with an expert and gain a few tips about what to look for in a robust red - its colour, fragrance and legs are all as important as the taste!
  • Dining Summary: 15 Buffet Breakfasts (BB) and 7 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.

Accommodation

 

Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel

Paris (Contemporary) - France

Located on the Left Bank of the River Seine is the Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel. This modern, recently renovated, property offers luxurious accommodation and close proximity to the Latin Quarter and Saint-Germain-des-Pres.

Grand Hotel Dijon La Cloche

Dijon (Traditional) - France

The 5-star Grand Hotel Dijon La Cloche boasts a supreme view over the prestigious Place Darcy and has been welcoming prominent world figures since the 15th century. The luxurious refined decor and timeless interior garden offer guests every comfort and privacy.

Chalet Hotel Le Prieure

Chamonix (Traditional) - France

This chalet hotel is incredibly located for astonishing views.

Mercure Hotel Chambery

Chambéry (Contemporary) - France

Radisson Blu Hotel Nice

Nice (Traditional) - France

A hotel set on a stunning seafront location along the famous Promenade des Anglais.

Avignon Grand Hotel or Hotel Novotel Avignon Centre

Avignon (Traditional/Contemporary) - France

Avignon Grand Hotel: This hotel is sat at the foot of medieval ramparts close to the historical town centre.

Hotel Saint Antoine

Albi (Historic) - France

Hotel Saint Antoine is centrally located with landmarks at your doorstep such as the Albi Cathedral, Toulouse Lautrec Museum and the Tarn River.

La Hoirie Sarlat la Caneda Dordogne

Sarlat-la-Canéda, Dordogne (Traditional) - France

Le Meridien Etoile

Paris (Contemporary) - France

This hotel boasts an enviable position in Paris, just a stone’s throw away from the Arc de Triomphe.

*Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Note prices displayed reflect available discounted rates (i.e. Early Payment Discount, Last Minute Deals). All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.
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