|Type of Tour:||Self Drive|
|Guide Price:||From £3144 to £3937 per person|
|Number of Meals:||12 breakfasts + 6 lunches|
|Number of Winery Visits:||17 wineries|
|Number of Wines Tasted:||Approximately 64|
|Tour Transport:||4 Private full day guided and transported tours (in Champagne, Burgundy, the Southern Rhône and Provence), E-bikes for one full day (in Burgundy) as well as some visits on foot (in Alsace and the Northern Rhône).|
|Dates / Availability:||Available mid-week and weekends from May to October. Outside of these dates, slight amendments to the activities may be required.|
Eastern France self-drive holidays
In response to the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic and its effects on tourism, we have introduced a flexible range of self-drive breaks, with our clients’ maximum comfort and safety in mind. Our self-drive Eastern France offers the opportunity to drive through Eastern France and experience the famous wine regions, with accommodation at charming boutique hotels, located in peaceful settings, away from the busy towns and cities.
On day one of your tour, drive from the UK to Champagne, taking the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais. You have the complete freedom to choose your preferred crossing time, and then drive from Calais to Rilly-la-Montagne at your leisure. The driving time from Calais will be around 2 ¾ hours.
Upon arrival at Château de Rilly, check into your spacious room with its own private balcony or terrace, and spend a relaxing afternoon enjoying your pleasant surroundings.
This evening, you may wish to dine in the Château’s on-site gourmet restaurant or alternatively, we would be very pleased to reserve you a table at one of our partner restaurants in Epernay, which is a 20 minute drive from the Château. Please rest assured that all Grape Escapes restaurant partners will follow strict safety guidelines, respecting social distance and hygiene rules.
After breakfast on day two, you will be met at the Château by an English-speaking specialist driver/guide, who will accompany you throughout the day on a private basis. You will be transported in a spacious Mercedes Viano-style vehicle and your guide will follow the necessary safety procedures whilst regaling you with tales and anecdotes of the history of Champagne and its vineyards, introducing you to the particularities of the region. You will firstly stop in a vineyard to learn about the work undertaken here, and the tour is designed to be as hands-on as possible. Here, your guide will explain the grape varieties permitted in Champagne and the yearly cycle of the work carried out in the vineyards. You will also pass through Hautvillers, the famous hilltop village where Dom Pérignon himself lived and is buried.
You will then visit a small, family-run producer of Champagnes for a private tour of the fascinating Champagne-making process from press to bottle, and at least three tastings. An al fresco picnic lunch in a picturesque setting will then be served. In the cooler months, lunch will instead be served in a private dining room. After lunch, your guide will take you to another family-run estate, situated in another of the principle regions of Champagne. After a private tour of the House, you will taste Champagnes in contrasting style to those tasted during the morning.
Ending the day in true style, you will be welcomed as the VIP guests of Champagne Taittinger. Here, you will be taken on a private tour of the estate and cellars followed by tastings of three Taittinger Champagnes including their Prestige Cuvée, Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs. In the evening, we will reserve you a table for dinner in Château de Rilly’s restaurant. You will be able to order à la carte and payment can be made locally.
After breakfast on day three, check out of the hotel at your leisure and drive to Obernai in the Alsace, this will take approximately 3 ½ hours and we would be pleased to recommend a suitable place to stop en route for a lunch.
After settling in at the 4* Hotel A la Cour d’Alsace, why not explore the lovely town of Obernai, famous for its charming half-timbered houses each painted in the bright colours of the Alsace region? Take a stroll through the picturesque streets and perhaps stop to enjoy a glass of wine in one of the many Winstubs (literally meaning a wine lounge!). In the evening, head to the hotel’s restaurant for a three course dinner with drinks.
On the morning of day four after breakfast, set off on foot to your first visit of the day. This winery, just a ten-minute walk from your hotel, produces wines with the utmost respect to the traditional ways of their ancestors and have done so for generations. You will be taken on a very comprehensive private tour of the cellars, where you will see the beautiful old oak barrels and then taste four wines, accompanied by some pretzels.
At the end of the tasting, your next rendez-vous is at a winery, a ten-minute walk away. This small producer will provide a real contrast to your last visit; a very typical, authentic experience, where you will meet the wine-maker and taste your way through five wines, served with the region’s famous and uncompromising Munster cheese along with a slice of delicious kougelhopf, an Alsatian cake made with almonds and raisins. After a busy morning tasting, take a break for a spot of a lunch! There are plenty of charming restaurants and cafés to choose from in the town and we would be pleased to make some recommendations.
Time then to head for your last visit of the day, a producer with five generations of experience. Here you will learn about the unique wines of the region as well as gaining an insight into the local wine making. After a private tour of the cellar, the producer will talk you through a tasting of several different varietals, and you will also enjoy a glass of the region’s sparkling wine, Crémant d’Alsace.
After such an enlightening day, your hotel awaits, where your evening is free to do as you please. Again, we would be happy to recommend a restaurant for dinner.
After a breakfast on day five, check out of the hotel and drive to Burgundy. The drive to Vosne-Romanée is approximately 3 ¼ hours. Here, check into your Privilège room at the 4* Hotel le Richebourg, nestled in the heart of the Côte de Nuits. The remainder of the day and evening will then be free to do as you please. This evening, we would be very pleased to reserve you a table for dinner in the hotel’s gourmet restaurant.
Today e-bikes will be provided for the day (if you would prefer a private driver instead, just let us know and we will provide you with the relevant supplement). Take a 14km ride along the famous Route des Grand Crus to Aloxe-Corton, one of the only villages in Burgundy to boast both red and white Grand Cru wines. Here, you will be welcomed at the authentic family-owned Domaine Comte Sénard, where you will visit the vineyard, Les Clos des Meix, as well as the 13th Century cellars. The visit will conclude with a three course traditional lunch, during which you will have the unique opportunity to taste six Grand Cru wines, complemented further by comments from one the estate’s sommeliers. After lunch, head back to Vosne-Romanée to visit a premium winery in the village. As well as having a private tour of the historic cellars, you will taste five wines including a Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru. The evening will then be yours to relax and perhaps enjoy another glass of wine or two at the hotel.
On day seven, you will be met at the hotel by an English-speaking specialist driver/guide, for a full day private transported tour of the world-famous Côte de Beaune appellation, the true home of the Chardonnay grape. You will be transported in a spacious Mercedes Viano-style vehicle and your guide will follow the necessary safety procedures.
In Puligny-Montrachet, you will be welcomed as the guests of one of the biggest names in the village. The experience will include an hour spent learning about the work in the vineyard before returning to their winery in the centre of the village where you will enjoy a tour of their estate. Following the tour, you will be taken to their tasting rooms where a broad tasting of nine wines from the Côte de Beaune including Premier Cru wines will be offered alongside a delightful three course lunch. In the afternoon, you will be taken to the magnificent Château de Chassagne-Montrachet. Here you will enjoy a private tour of the estate, followed by a tasting session of the estate’s wines. You will be taken back to your hotel at the end of the day. As always, we would be pleased to reserve you a table for dinner if required.
After a leisurely breakfast on day eight, check out of the hotel and drive to the Northern Rhône. The drive to Tournon-sur-Rhône is approximately 2 ½ hour. Upon arrival at the 4* Hotel de la Villeon, check into your Romantic room. The remainder of the day will be free for you to settle in and explore your surroundings independently.
On day nine, all your visits will be within walking distance of your hotel. You will firstly enjoy a private guided tour of a prominent local winery, seeing first-hand the fascinating wine-making process, followed by extensive tastings of their wines. You will then be welcomed at the Paul Jaboulet Aîné boutique. One of the biggest names in the Northern Rhône and producer of the world-revered “La Chapelle,” this estate has been making highly sought-after wines for almost two Centuries and you will have the opportunity to taste six different wines; reds and whites from both the Southern and the Northern Rhône. A three course lunch with a further two Jaboulet wines will then be served.
After lunch, you will have plenty of time to admire the breathtaking views across the Valley from the iconic “La Chapelle,” a stone chapel which was allegedly built by a 13th Century knight who fell in love with the vineyards here. In the afternoon, enjoy a tutored tasting session of five wines at the prestigious Chapoutier. We would be delighted to recommend a restaurant for dinner if required.
After breakfast on day ten, check out of the hotel and drive to Mazan. The drive is approximately 1 ¾ hour. Upon arrival at the Château de Mazan, check into your Deluxe room. The remainder of the day will be free for you to do as you please.
On day eleven, you will be met at the Château by an English-speaking specialist driver/guide, for a full day private transported tour of the world-famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation. You will be transported in a spacious Mercedes Viano-style vehicle and your guide will follow the necessary safety procedures.
You will start by looking at the unusual terroir that is responsible for the ultra-ripe grapes that come from its vines and will then visit the cuverie of a wine maker, to understand their wine making philosophy. The private visit will conclude with tastings of their award-winning wines. Following the morning’s activities, you will be welcomed to dine in a quintessentially French bistrot for lunch. In the afternoon, you will then continue your tour, visiting a further two Châteauneuf-du-Pape wineries. You will be taken back to the Château de Mazan at the end of the day. The Château de Mazan has a charming restaurant on site and we would be pleased to reserve you a table for dinner if required.
After breakfast on day twelve, you will once again be met at the Château by an English-speaking specialist driver/guide, for a full day private transported tour, this time to discover the refreshing rosé wines of Aix-en-Provence and surroundings.
Today, you will experience the Provençal art de vivre! Private tours and tastings will be arranged at two wineries in the appellation and you will be given some free time for lunch in the picturesque Aix-en-Provence. You will be taken back to the Château de Mazan at the end of the day.
On your final day, after a leisurely breakfast, check out and drive back to the UK, taking the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais. If you would prefer to spend a night en route to break up the nine hour drive, we would be pleased to arrange this for you.
Day One of your Eastern France Self-drive Holidays
Day Two of your Eastern France Self-drive Holidays
Day Three of your Eastern France Self-drive Holidays
Day Four of your Eastern France Self-drive Holidays
Day Five of your Eastern France Self-drive Holidays
Day Six of your Eastern France Self-drive Holidays
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Day Eight of your Eastern France Self-drive Holidays
Day Nine of your Eastern France Self-drive Holidays
Day Ten of your Eastern France Self-drive Holidays
Day Eleven of your Eastern France Self-drive Holidays
Day Twelve of your Eastern France Self-drive Holidays
Final Day of your Eastern France Self-drive Holidays
(ii) The outline itinerary is indicative and is subject to minor changes depending on supplier availability. Availability cannot be guaranteed until we have received a confirmed booking, together with the deposit payment (or payment in full where the dates of travel are in less than 60 days). If the named accommodation / visits are not available, we will endeavour to find suitable alternatives of a similar grade; this may be subject to a supplement or a rebate depending on the price available.
Utterly fantastic. Great advice, superb hotels and wonderful people. A real immersive experience.
Richard - Essex, UK
BRING FRIENDS AND SPEND LESS!
A discount of £600 per person applies for groups of four people or more travelling together (and sharing a vehicle on the Eurotunnel).
If you would like to make your Grape Escapes holiday even more special, there are a number of additional activities that we can arrange for you. To complement the experience, these could be arranged to fit in/around your current itinerary or we can arrange additional nights and room upgrades at your hotel, as well as your travel arrangements, a stop-over en route and even a visit to another part of the country! See below for some of the most popular upgrades.
The price of this package includes Folkestone to Calais Eurotunnel crossings. Please contact us for other travel options and further information about travelling to our self-drive holidays France.
For more information on our Self-Drive breaks please see our Self-Drive page.
To secure your booking, a deposit of 20% of the price of your trip is due upon booking. Your remaining balance will then be due 60 days before travel. Please call us on +44 (0) 1920 46 86 66 or email email@example.com to request a booking form.
Really great trip with good vineyard choices and interesting wines.
Sarah - Cumbria, UK