Glasses glinting with bubbles and rich red wines; windows opening out on soaring mountain ranges and charming villages brimming with fragrant fields of flowers. Join us on a voyage through quintessential France – and discover the history, cuisine and landscapes that make this beautiful country unique.
After meeting the group amidst the vibrant capital of Paris, we’ll begin our journey with a sumptuous welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Cheers to the exciting adventure ahead! Accommodation: Hotel Ronceray Opéra (or similar)
After breakfast, we’ll leisurely make our way to Reims – where we’ll revel in the opportunity to tour the city’s impressive Gothic cathedral. Then: we’ll continue to the picturesque Champagne region, where we’ll be treated to a delicious champagne tasting at a local vineyard. This evening we’ll explore the romantic town of Troyes at our leisure – admiring the quaint cobbled streets and half-timbered houses as we seek out some delicious French cuisine for dinner. Accommodation: Hotel Le Royal (or similar)
On the agenda today: an orientation tour of Troyes with our expert Tour Leader. After taking the opportunity to visit the bustling market, we’ll move on to Bayel – where we’ve an appointment to keep at the Crystal Museum. Here, we’ll learn about the history of glass and crystal – from antiquity until the present day – as well as being treated to a glass blowing demonstration. Back in Troyes, the evening will be yours to spend as you please. Accommodation: Hotel Le Royal (or similar)
Day four of the trip will see us sampling more world-class local produce, as we swap fizz for the dry white wines of Chablis. After that, the afternoon will bring us to Beaune – where you’ll have plenty of time to explore the city’s famous Gothic architecture before we reconvene for a sumptuous included dinner. Accommodation: Hôtel de la Paix (or similar)
Today we’ll spend some more time in the beating heart of the Burgundy wine region, with a visit to the Hospices de Beaune. Originally founded as a hospital for the poor by the Chancellor of Burgundy back in 1443, this unique building is now a museum – and an exceptional example of fifteenth-century French architecture. And then? The afternoon is yours for the taking! We recommend strolling the medieval ramparts for an alternative view of the town or visiting the local Burgundy wine museum. Accommodation: Hôtel de la Paix (or similar)
After breakfast, we’ll leave Beaune behind and set our sights on Chambéry – but first, we’ll stop off at a local family-owned vineyard for a delicious picnic filled with local produce. After taking in the marvellous views of the surrounding vineyards over lunch, we’ll be lucky enough to take a closer look around on a guided tour – with an included wine tasting session to boot. This evening will be ours to uncover the centuries-old history and exquisite local cuisine of Chambéry at our leisure. Accommodation: Hôtel des Princes (or similar)
We’ll check off a tour highlight on day seven: the postcard-perfect alpine town of Annecy. Known for its Old Town, canals that rival those of Venice, the magnificent Lake Annecy, candy-coloured houses and cobbled streets – this lovely town is a must-visit while passing through southeastern France. Also on the cards today: a visit to a local fromagerie, where we’ll learn everything there is to know about the region’s cheese ripening process – a tradition that’s been passed down from generation to generation. After visiting the cheese cellars, we’ll have the chance to taste a sample or two. Back in Chambéry, we’ll have the evening free to seek out a local restaurant for dinner or relax at our hand-picked accommodation. Accommodation: Hôtel des Princes (or similar)
We’ll have the chance to sample more tasty local produce today at a Chartreuse cellar and distillery. Did you know? The famous French liqueur has been produced by Carthusian Monks since 1737, and is infused with an array of plants, herbs and flowers. Later, we’ll wind our way to the hilltop citadel of Briancon – a picturesque retreat surrounded by the towering mountain ranges of the French Alps. Tonight, we’ll clink glasses over another delectable group dinner and enjoy some free time to relax in the fresh Alpine air.
Today alpine slopes will give way to rugged hills and wildflower meadows as we travel to Sisteron – where we’ll stop to admire the extraordinary 12th century Citadel. Continuing our journey through the charming French countryside, we’ll end our day in the historic commune of Forcalquier. Later, we’ll round off the evening in style: with a farewell dinner to remember. Accommodation: Hotel Charembeau (or similar)
The last day of the tour will take us deeper into exquisite Provencal countryside as we press on to Entrevaux – one of the most beautiful villages in France. A picturesque medieval village along the river Var, we’ll enjoy some free time to stroll the fortified walkways to the ancient Citadel – where we’ll admire the panoramic views over the valley below. Then, it’s onwards to the elite resort and shining capital of the French Riviera: Nice. After all, there’s no better place to end our journey than alongside the clear waters of the Côte d’Azur!
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With more than 30 years’ experience in small group and tailor-made tours across the UK, Europe and Asia, Back-Roads Touring is truly the original Small Group Touring company.
With each tour capped at 18 passengers (14 for Asia tours), Back-Roads curates authentic, off-the-beaten-track travel experiences.
Catering for the mature traveller, Back-Roads has built up a brand rooted in expert local knowledge, sustainable tourism, culinary excellence and premium boutique accommodation.
Their award-winning tour leaders are committed to delivering the ‘Back-Roads difference’ whether that be dining with the group, offering the flexibility to change the itinerary, giving personal recommendations for lunch or bringing each destination to life with their insight and knowledge. Their Tour leaders are dedicated to delivering a truly authentic, personalised experience. The Back-Roads Difference inludes:
Back-Roads Touring was named Best Small Coach Holidays Company for 2015, 2016 and 2017 in the British Travel Awards and have been nominated for two awards in 2018.