|Type of Tour:||Self Drive|
|Guide Price:||From £1780 to £2234 per person|
|Number of Meals:||7 breakfasts + 4 lunches|
|Number of Winery Visits:||10 wineries|
|Number of Wines Tasted:||Approximately 25|
|Tour Transport:||1 Full day guided and transported tour in the Loire Valley, E-bikes for the day in Cognac and Bordeaux|
|Dates / Availability:||Available mid-week and weekends from May to October. Outside of these dates, slight amendments to the activities may be required.|
Western France driving holiday
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 Western France offers the opportunity to drive through the Western French 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 the Loire Valley, taking the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais. You have the complete freedom to choose your preferred crossing time, and then drive from Calais to the Loire Valley at your leisure. If you would prefer to spend a night en route to break up the five hour drive, we would be pleased to arrange this for you.
After checking into your Superior room at Château de Beaulieu, located around 15 minutes from Tours city centre, the remainder of the afternoon and evening will be free to settle in and enjoy your pleasant surroundings. This evening, we would be very pleased to reserve you a table for dinner in the hotel’s gourmet restaurant.
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.
The morning will be spent sampling the best wines from Vouvray appellation. You will be taken on a private tour of the estate and cellars of a highly-regarded producer, and your visit will conclude with tastings of a selection of the estate’s wines alongside local delicacies such as cheese and rillettes. Your journey of discovery will continue and take you to a 15th Century wine-making Château in the Chinon appellation, where you will be welcomed by the Count and Countess of the estate. Following a private visit to the Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc vineyards and a tour of the cellars, a tasting session will take place in the Château’s historic tasting room. A picnic lunch with a bottle of wine will then be served in the stunning grounds of the Château. Your day will conclude with a private tour at a second winery in the Chinon appellation.
After a leisurely breakfast on day three, check out of the hotel and drive to Cognac. The drive is just over 2 ½ hours. Upon arrival at the Hôtel l’Yeuse, check into your Superior room. The remainder of the afternoon and evening will be free to settle in and relax at your hotel. The hotel boasts an extensive Cognac library as well as on-site gastronomic restaurant. We would be delighted to reserve you a table for dinner if required.
On day four, 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). Cycle to the pretty riverside town of Cognac, and each of your Cognac tours will be a short ride. You will firstly enjoy a visit to the prestigious Rémy Martin Maison. Here, you will be taken on a tour of this world-famous House and the rest of the estate, learning about the secrets of the Rémy Martin heritage and expertise. Your visit will conclude with tastings of three Cognacs and gourmet appetisers.
A three course lunch will then be served as the guests of Meukow Cognac. Michel Coste and the architect Pascale de Redon completely refurbished the estate three years ago and after lunch, you will be taken on a tour of the Maison, with tastings of three Cognacs. Please note that drinks are not included as part of the lunch package and can be ordered and paid for locally on the day.
Before cycling back to the hotel, we will arrange an exclusive tour for you at the largest and grandest Cognac House, Hennessy. The visit entails a boat ride across the Charente River with a detailed explanation of Hennessy’s history, savoir-faire and international standing, an immersive 360o experience in the traditional ageing cellars, a visit to the revered Paradis Cellar and a tasting of Hennessy X.O and Paradis in a private tasting lounge.
After breakfast and check out on day five, make your way to the Médoc. The driving time will be around 2 ¼ hours, and we would be pleased to recommend a suitable place to stop en route for lunch. Upon arrival, check into a Superior room with its own private terrace at the 4* Château Cordeillan-Bages, located in the Médoc countryside. The afternoon and evening will be free for you to relax and enjoy your beautiful home for the next couple of days. The Château boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant as well as a more informal brasserie. We would be very pleased to reserve you a table at either of these for dinner this evening.
On day six, 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 scenic 10km ride along the pretty riverside to the famous village of Saint-Estèphe. Here, you will be welcomed at a Grand Cru Classé Château where following a tour of the estate, a grand three course lunch will be served in the opulent surroundings of the Château’s dining room. Your meal will be served alongside a selection of the Château’s vintages. After lunch, cycle back to the hotel and en route, stop at a second Château for a private tour and tastings.
After breakfast on day seven, check out of the hotel and drive to Saint-Emilion. The drive is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Upon arrival at the stunning Château Grand Barrail, you will find your e-bikes for the day waiting for you (if you would prefer a private driver instead, just let us know and we will provide you with the relevant supplement).
After a short cycle, you will be warmly welcomed at a Grand Cru Classé producer. Here, you will enjoy a private tour of the estate and cellars, where you will be presented with the history of the Château and explanations about the specific terroir and climate that makes Saint-Emilion so unique. The visit will conclude with tastings of three wines. You will then be welcomed as the guests of a family-run Château where following a tour of the estate, you will taste three wines. A fabulous picnic lunch accompanied by wine will be served in the picturesque setting of the Château’s grounds. In the afternoon, cycle to a third Château for a private tour of the estate and a tasting session of their wines. Cycle back to your hotel at the end of the day.
You will be able to check into your Deluxe room and settle in before dinner. The Château has an excellent gastronomic restaurant on site in some of the most impressive rooms of the Château, please let us know if you would like us to reserve you a table for dinner or suggest a nearby restaurant.
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 like to extend your trip (for more wine or just to relax), we would be delighted to provide inspiration.
Day One of your Western France Driving Holiday
Day Two of your Western France Driving Holiday
Day Three of your Western France Driving Holiday
Day Four of your Western France Driving Holiday
Day Five of your Western France Driving Holiday
Day Six of your Western France Driving Holiday
Day Seven of your Western France Driving Holiday
Day Eight of your Western France Driving Holiday
(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.
Excellent organisation with fantastic standard of accommodation and excursions.
Derek - Midlothian, UK
BRING FRIENDS AND SPEND LESS!
A discount of £300 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to request a booking form.
Perfect in every sense - from booking, through to the itinerary arranged for us, the comfort of the hotel, and to the places we visited and the people we met. Couldn't fault any aspect of it.
Nick - Devon, UK