Country Roads of France - Insight Vacations

Country Roads of France (Summer 2017)

Duration: 16 days Visiting: France

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

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  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
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  • 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'. This tour combines with Normandy, Brittany & the Loire Valley to form French Heritage

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Paris

    Airport transfers depart from Charles de Gaulle Airport for your hotel at 08:30, 11:00 & 13:30. Relax and settle in, or start exploring this great capital. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.

  2. Day 2

    Troyes, Chablis and on to Dijon

    Troyes, in the Champagne region - its magnificent core of medieval buildings is 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. Move 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

    The mountaineering Mecca of Chamonix

    Head towards the Mâconnais 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. Why not take a spectacular drive into the mountains in the evening for a traditional Savoyard style dinner?

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    Lakeside Annecy and on to Grenoble

    (Relaxed Start) In the morning, embark on a beautiful drive to the lakeside town of Annecy. Enjoy free time for lunch in the Little Venice area or perhaps take a boat trip? Then it's off to Grenoble, the ancient capital of the Dauphiné 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.

  7. Day 7

    Exploring Nice, 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 drive along part of the Grand Prix circuit in Monaco and walk with your Tour Director through the old town to see the Royal Palace, yacht-filled harbour and 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

    Journey through picturesque Provence to Avignon

    Visit the medieval village of St-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 Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Enjoy a wonderful introduction to the famous wine, taste the difference for yourself and learn about the various grape varieties that are allowed in the final blend of the prestigious Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine. Journey on to Avignon for the next three nights.

  9. Day 9 - Relaxed Start

    Arles and Avignon

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

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    Free Time in Avignon

    (Relaxed Start) This day is at leisure for you to relax and soak up the atmosphere of Avignon. Why not take an optional experience to Les Baux-de-Provence, one of the most picturesque villages in France, and visit an Olive Mill and sample some of the finest olive oil in France?

  11. Day 11

    Journey to the Citadel of Carcassonne and to Albi.

    Cross the fertile Languedoc region, before heading inland to the fortified town of Carcassonne. Travellers are often amazed at their first sight of this medieval gem. The city has a complete set of ramparts and a medieval keep. Enjoy an orientation of Albi, known for its amazing cathedral and the birthplace of Toulouse Lautrec.

  12. Day 12 - Relaxed Start

    Cahors, Rocamadour and Sarlat

    (Relaxed Start) Stop in Cahors, famous for its ‘Black Wine', and see the Pont Valentré before heading to Rocamadour. A resting place for pilgrims on their way to Spain, the medieval town is perched on a cliff side above the Alzou River. After some time to explore, make your way 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. Later, sample some of the local Dordogne specialties.

  14. Day 14

    Paris, The City of Lights

    Onwards to immerse yourself in the beautiful city of Paris. En route to your hotel, stop for a photo of the Eiffel Tower. At night, why not try a French cabaret show?

  15. Day 15

    Paris, Romantic Capital on the Seine.

    Sightseeing in the morning with a Local Expert shows you Notre Dame Cathedral and the façades of the Louvre. Drive from the Place de la Concorde along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. In the evening, enjoy a Celebration Dinner followed by a relaxing Seine cruise.

  16. Day 16

    Au revoir Paris

    Departure transfers arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 & 11:00.

Highlights

 

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Côte d’Azur: Walk through the old streets of Monaco to see the Palace and Tomb of Princess Grace.
  • St-Paul-de-Vence: Discover how this hilltop town became a refuge for artists.
  • Arles: See the ancient two-tiered amphitheatre built by the Romans in the 1st century AD and which is still used for plays and concerts today.
  • Lascaux II Caves: This 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.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Troyes: Explore the medieval heart of the Champagne capital.
  • Chamonix: Stay in France's mountaineering capital.
  • Annecy: Enjoy free time in the Little Venice area.
  • Monaco: Drive on part of the Grand Prix circuit.
  • Saint-Paul de Vence: Discover the village's artistic vocation.
  • Aix-en-Provence: See the mansions of the Cours Mirabeau.
  • Avignon: See the old Papal Palace and famous bridge.
  • Pont du Gard: See the famous Roman aqueduct.
  • Camargue: Visit Stes Maries-de-la-Mer.
  • Nîmes: See the Maison Carrée and Roman Arena.
  • Carcassonne: Enjoy a walking tour of this fortified town.
  • Albi: See the soaring brick cathedral.
  • Cahors: See the Pont Valentré.
  • Rocamadour: Visit this medieval cliff top town.
  • Dordogne: See the golden limestone buildings of Sarlat-la-Canéda.
  • Paris: See Notre Dame Cathedral, Louvre, Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower.
  • Scenic Drives: Burgundy, High Alps, Route Napoleon, Cote d'Azur, Camargue, Dordogne Valley.

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • 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.
  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape: Embark on a Côtes du Rhone experience to the 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!
  • Sarlat-la-Canéda: Sample some of the delicacies local to the area.
  • Paris: Rendezvous with your friends at a typical French bistro for a rousing Celebration Dinner with wine. Bon appétit!
  • 15 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 2 Restaurant Dinners (RD), 3 three-course table d'hôte Dinners (D) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Dijon: The 5-star Grand Hôtel La Cloche boasts a supreme view over Dijon's 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.
  • Chamonix: Comfortable Hotel Le Prieuré is in the Savoyard chalet style.
  • Albi: Hostellerie Saint Antoine is centrally located with features such as Albi Cathedral, Toulouse Lautrec Museum and the Tarn River at your doorstep.

ADDITIONAL FIVE STAR SERVICES

  • An expert Insight Tour Director, at the pinnacles of their careers, will smooth your way throughout your journey. They are your ‘travelling concierges', expert guides, consummate organisers and friends in a foreign land.
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It's business class comfort.
  • Personal radio headsets, gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights without missing any of your local expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
  • Baggage handling everywhere, with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel WiFi.
  • Insight Flourishes - from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Included airport transfers at scheduled times on arrival and departure days.
  • Standard class train journey by TGV from Poitiers to Paris.

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.

Visit to Villeneuve-les-Avignon with Dinner

Gazing at the majestic Rhone river, facing the Popes’ Palace and the world famous Pont d’Avignon, Villeneuve was a residence for Cardinals in the 14C. Many monasteries remain. This evening enjoy drinks and mouth-watering cuisine, served in stunning surroundings, a feast for all the senses.

Adult Price: EUR 68.00

Code: AVI0001

Les Baux & Olive Mill

Les Baux has a reputation as one of the most picturesque villages in France. The village is set atop a rocky outcrop in the Alpilles mountains, crowned with a ruined castle. After exploring the winding streets and taking in the panoramic views, continue to a small family-owned olive mill on the plains below. Meet the family, inspect the fruit and mechanised press and learn about the production process. Then it's back outside to the shade of a nearby fig tree for a well-deserved sample of the award winning olive oil.

Adult Price: EUR 34.00

Code: AVI0002

Alpine Drive & Savoyard Dinner

The varied seasonal conditions of the Alps has resulted in an honest, robust cuisine fashioned from local ingredients. A spectacular, scenic drive high into the mountains, takes you through the national reserve of the Aiguilles Rouges, (Red Peaks) to a former farmer's lodge, now lovingly converted into a restaurant. You are welcomed with an apéritif before enjoying a delicious dinner of traditional Savoyard specialties. Wine is included.

Adult Price: EUR 68.00

Code: CHA0001

Burgundy Wine Tasting & Dinner

The Premier Cru village of Fixin is your destination for this evening. Our visit begins at a winery, where a third-generation winemaker will take us to see some of his vines before he walks us through the elaboration process. Then he'll take us to a 16th-century cave to taste a selection of his wines. Later, we'll enjoy a wonderful dinner, sampling the rich flavours of Burgundy

Adult Price: EUR 76.00

Code: DIJ0001

Beaune & The Burgundy Wine Road

We take a scenic drive through the most prestigious vineyards of Burgundy - the Cote d’Or, where every village sign reads like a wine list. Arriving in Beaune we will discover this charming city on a walking tour, taking in the architectural jewel of the region - the Hospices.

Adult Price: EUR 31.00

Code: DIJ0002

Van Gogh's Arles

Vincent Van Gogh painted some of his most celebrated works whilst living in Arles. Follow in his footsteps as you take a guided tour through the beautiful old Provencal town.

Adult Price: EUR 27.00

Code: MON0005

Eze & Botanical Gardens

Follow the narrow winding cobbled alleys through Eze village; a medieval gem filled with old stone archways, flower decked houses, shady squares and gurgling fountains. Visit the hill-top Botanical Gardens, where an impressive collection of cacti, sculptures and other rare plants surround the remains of an ancient chateau. After resting your feet by the contemplation pool, make for the high point of your visit, literally, where there are fabulous panoramic views over the coast.

Adult Price: EUR 27.00

Code: NIC0004

Provencal Dinner And Petanque

Provence would not be Provence without the opportunity of a game of pétanque. With an aperitif in hand, gather beneath leafy trees to launch silvery orbs in the sand and see who can become the local pétanque champ. Afterwards, retire to the pleasant surrounds of a nearby restaurant for dinner. A nirvana of Niçoise specialties are spread before you, colourful salads and meat dishes are paraded from the kitchen, rich in olive oil, made with fresh seasonal produce. Wine, beer and soft drinks are included but just make sure you leave room for dessert!

Adult Price: EUR 71.00

Code: NIC0005

Nice Old Town at Night

Enjoy a walk with your Local Expert through the historic and colourful maze of alleyways and streets of the Old Town in Nice. See Piazza Rozzetti, stroll along Rue Droite and finish in Cours Saleya for dinner at leisure in one of the hundreds of bistros and outdoor restaurants. Coach transfers are included.

Adult Price: EUR 22.00

Code: NIC0007

Bonsoir Paris

Paris at night is a city transformed. Enjoy an evening introduction to this superb 'city of lights' as we take a leisurely drive admiring the gorgeous buildings that adorn the banks of the River Seine. We will stop to allow you to capture some of these fascinating sights on camera. In summer, this excursion may take place before sunset.

Adult Price: EUR 21.00

Code: PAR0001

Moulin Rouge

Why not enjoy an evening of excitement and glamour and a glass of champagne at a dazzling French cabaret show? Depending on availability it might be dinner with wine and cabaret at the world famous Moulin Rouge – the original Parisian cabaret – immortalized by the award winning film!

Adult Price: EUR 162.00

Code: PAR0002

Giverny Excursion

A lovely drive takes us along the Seine to the village of Giverny, where the impressionist artist Monet lived for the last 43 years of his life. With our Local Expert, we'll see the decor of his house, fascinating for its blend of colours. However, it's in the garden where the spirit of the artist is most revealed. A spectacular array of colour is created by poppies, delphiniums, lupins, peonies, irises and roses, while the water garden is a wistful dream of bamboo, willow and rustic bridges sweeping over the water lilies, one of Monet's favourite subjects.

Adult Price: EUR 49.00

Code: PAR0003

Nouvelle Eve Dinner and Cabaret

One of the oldest and most elegant revue theatres in Paris, Nouvelle Eve is a hidden gem where you’ll meet the Director and two of the cast members before enjoying a four-course dinner with wine. You will then experience unparalleled Parisian entertainment – including the world-famous Can-Can.

Adult Price: EUR 139.00

Code: PAR0013

An Evening on the Dordogne

Locally known as the “Grande Aygue”, the River Dordogne wends through the local countryside. For several centuries, the river was a commercial centre for the valley and river boats or Gabarres, passed by with captains at the helm. Join us for a cruise on a Gabarre replica and admire the magnificent view that the valley has to offer, including some of the most prestigious chateaux of Perigord. Later on, enjoy a drinks and cheese with your companions.

Adult Price: EUR 30.00

Code: SAR0004

Gardens of Eyrignac

The magnificent formal gardens of Eyrignac Manor House are the perfect place to have a wander as you admire the superb topiary and magnificent rose garden. They're undoubtedly among the most beautiful gardens in the Perigord region and have a unique collection of sculptures and plants. This beautiful garden has been the passion of the same family for 500 years

Adult Price: EUR 25.00

Code: SAR0005

Accommodation

 

Pullman Paris Montparnasse

Paris (Central) - France

Pullman Paris Montparnasse, Paris

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.

Le Prieure Chamonix

Chamonix (Central) - France

Mercure Grenoble President

Grenoble (Central) - France

Mercure Grenoble President

Radisson Blu Hotel Nice

Nice (Traditional) - France

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

Grand Hotel Avignon

Avignon (Central) - France

Grand Avignon Hotel

Hostellerie Saint Antoine Albi

Albi (Central) - France

Au Grand Hotel de Sarlat

Sarlat La Caneda (Central) - France

Au Grand Hotel de Sarlat

Pullman Paris Centre Bercy

Paris (Central) - France

The Pullman Paris Bercy Centre is conveniently located in Bercy village in the 12th arrondissement, amongst leafy patios. It offers a vibrant atmosphere and gastronomic-bistro inspired restaurants.

GUEST REVIEWS & EXPERIENCES

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on 7784 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 13 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: covered most of the beautiful old towns/cities around France.

    Service: good travel experience.

  • 12 November, 2017

    TRIP:
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    Trip: There was a great mix of a large city and small towns along with beautiful scenery on the country roads. The mountains in Chamonix are breathtaking.

    Service: We had a wonderful, knowledgeable tour director, terrific driver and spectacular sights. I would easily recommend Insight to anyone.

  • 04 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The itinerary was as stated in the brochure - it was exactly what we were looking for - country roads. It was a wonderful trip!

    Service: Everything was done well. We had an excellent and knowledgeable guide and a safe and careful driver. The trip was ad advertised - country roads. We saw some bigger towns but many small ones that we would never have found if traveling on our own. The hotels were in town so we could and did wander at night to discover little allies that opened up to courtyards with wonderful little restaurants. We had a wonderful time and our tour mates were the best. We have traveled with Insight before and we definitely will travel with them again.

  • 30 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Everything was great. The only complaint I have is that we waited three (3) times for one individual who was late for the bus. I thought that by the third time we should had left her behind. It was at Giverney and she was 20 minutes late, which put us behind in our Seine River cruise. There was no excuse and she should have been forced to take a taxi back to the hotel.

    Service: I had a great experience with your customer service.

  • 30 October, 2017

    TRIP:
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    Trip: The countryside was picture perfect and the coach ride from one town to another was relaxing and very comfortable.

    Service: Country Roads of France was our third tour with Insight and it did not disappoint us . It was an amazing tour with Laura as our Tour director and Gerard as our coach driver. Laura was an excellent Tour Director and was very knowledgeable and competent. Aside from her cheery disposition, Laura was also very organized and took care of everything we needed. All optional tours we took were also fantastic and highly recommended.

  • 29 October, 2017

    TRIP:
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    Trip: We love Insight's Country Roads tours and France was outstanding. We got to see a lot of the country in several areas of France. We got a very good understanding of the country, its history, its people, and its culture.

    Service: My travel agent at Vacations To go booked my tour with Insight. Everything went smoothly. My materials arrived on time. The representative at the airport got us on the shuttle coach and the tour director (Mark Marignac de Cote) met us at the hotel. He and our driver (Tex) did a wonderful job during the entire tour.

  • 29 October, 2017

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Great to travel the mountain roads and beautiful scenery of France, took us places we have never been, even though our daughter has lived in France for 17 years. The Dorgogne was great as she lived there when she first came to France.

    Service: Outstanding trip, tour guide and driver. Get fun, very enjoyable and learned a lot about the country my daughter and grand children live in. Yes we are already thinking about another insight for next year and would highly recommend Insight.

  • 29 October, 2017

    TRIP:
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    Trip: We took many interesting small roads through small villages with minimal highway. The pace was good and I loved every place we stopped. It was great to learn about each region, the culture and history.

    Service: Excellent help with my questions on the phone. The tour itself was better than I expected and was a wonderful experience. Frederick did everything to enhance our experience. Italy is next!!

  • 29 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: I thought some of the optional extras could have been included in the main itinerary. Most of it was very good.

    Service: Information and preparation prior to leaving was really good, although I was surprised at the number of optional extras as I thought some of them should have been included as part of the itinerary (e.g.: the tour of Old Nice and the night lights of Paris). The tour director was excellent as was the driver.

  • 29 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Well organized and properly paced.

    Service: Excellent

  • 29 October, 2017

    TRIP:
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    Trip: There was the option to be flat out or relaxed. Everything v well organised. Didn't feel as though we were being rushed.

    Service: Our guide Frederic and driver Ramzi were so professional and friendly. They ensured the entire trip ran smoothly. And how on earth they kept 38 adults happy! They are truly 6 stars. As a solo (as opposed to "single") traveller, I was apprehensive about taking a tour. This turned out to be the best holiday I have had.

  • 22 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Liked the variety of the itinerary

    Service: Good tour director and good hotels.

NB: 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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