Self-drive Western France

Western France driving holiday

Western France driving holiday | Hennessy-estate-Cognac

At a glance

Region:Multi Region
Type of Tour:
Duration:8 Days
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.

Trip Summary

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.

Western France driving holiday
Western France driving holiday | CAVE_L.PASCALE-ADT-26

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.

Western France driving holiday | Credits-Chateau-de-Beaulieu

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.

Western France driving holiday |Bouteville_chateau---vignoble---6912@Crédits-BRUNET-Jean-Claude-Charente-Tourisme

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.

Western France driving holiday | Credits-Cognac-Rémy-Martin

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.

Western France driving holiday | Credits-Chateau-Pape-Clement
France driving holiday | Credits-Chateau-Pape-Clement

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.

Western France driving holiday | Credits-Chateau-d'Artigny
France driving holiday

Region Map

Western France driving holiday | Montlouis-sur-Loire-C-Lazi-P7097412
Western France driving holiday | vins-du-Cher-photo-Studio-Pixel

Outline Itinerary

Day One of your Western France Driving Holiday

  • Drive from the UK to the Loire Valley, taking the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais. You are free to choose your crossing time.
  • Upon arrival, check into your Superior room at the charming Château de Beaulieu, located close to Tours city centre.
  • We would be very pleased to reserve you a table for dinner in the Château’s gourmet restaurant this evening.

Day Two of your Western France Driving Holiday

  • After breakfast, you will be met at the hotel by an English-speaking specialist driver/guide, who will accompany you throughout the day in a spacious Mercedes Viano-style vehicle on a private basis. Your tour day will comprise of:
  • A private tour and tasting at one of the best producers of Vouvray wines, with local delicacies served to accompany your wines.
  • A private tour and tasting at a 15th Century wine-making Château located just outside of Chinon, with a picnic served in the picturesque grounds.
  • Your day will conclude with a private tour and tasting at another Chinon winery.
  • Again, we would be very pleased to reserve you a table at the Château for dinner this evening.
France driving holiday

Day Three of your Western France Driving Holiday

  • After breakfast and check out, drive to Cognac.
  • Upon arrival at the Hôtel l’Yeuse, check into your Superior room.
  • The remainder of the day will be free for you to do as you please.
  • We would be delighted to reserve you a table for dinner if required.

Day Four of your Western France Driving Holiday

  • After breakfast, e-bikes will be provided for the day. Your tour day will comprise of:
  • A tour and three tastings at Rémy Martin.
  • A tour, three tastings and three course lunch (excluding drinks) at Meukow Cognac.
  • An exclusive tour and two tastings at Hennessy.
Western France driving holiday | Credits-Hotel-de-l'Yeuse

Day Five of your Western France Driving Holiday

  • After breakfast and check out, drive to the Médoc.
  • Here, check into a Superior room with its own private terrace at the beautiful Château Cordeillan-Bages, located in the famous village of Pauillac in the heart of the Médoc vineyards.
  • The afternoon and evening will be free for you to relax and enjoy your pleasant surroundings.
  • 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.

Day Six of your Western France Driving Holiday

  • After breakfast, e-bikes will be provided for the day. Your tour day will comprise of:
  • A tour and tasting with a three course lunch as the guests of a Grand Cru Classé Château in the village of Saint-Estèphe.
  • A private tour and tastings at a second Château.

Day Seven of your Western France Driving Holiday

  • After breakfast and check out, drive to Saint-Emilion.
  • E-bikes will be provided for the day. Your tour day will comprise of:
  • A private tour and tastings at a Grand Cru Classé Château
  • A tour, tasting and picnic lunch at a family-run estate
  • A private tour and tasting a third Château.
  • Cycle 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.
Western France driving holiday | creditphotoHEURISKO

Day Eight of your Western France Driving Holiday

  • After a leisurely breakfast, check out of your hotel and begin your homeward journey, taking the Eurotunnel from Calais to Folkestone.

(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.

France driving holiday | Grappe-raisin---CDT-Gironde---TV-Tourism-(96)
France driving holiday | G002-©-Deepix

Accommodation

Excellent organisation with fantastic standard of accommodation and excursions.

Derek - Midlothian, UK

Package Prices

  • These prices are per person and based on two people travelling together and sharing a twin or double room.
  • These are realistic guide prices, based on travel in standard season (usually April to the end of October). Discounts often apply for travel out of season (usually November to the end of March) or if there are more than two of you travelling together. Please let us know your preferred travel dates for a definitive price.
  • Although we propose specific hotels as part of our standard packages, we enjoy excellent relationships and preferential rates at the majority of the hotels in each of our featured destinations. Therefore if you would prefer to stay in a different hotel, this can be arranged. Please contact us for the relevant supplements/discounts.
  • Other room grades are available at most of the hotels that we work with. Just let us know which hotel you prefer and we will send you the relevant supplements for the various room grades.
  • Single supplements and extra night prices are available upon request.
Hotel NameRoom GradeStar RatingDurationPrice Per Person
Self-drive Western France HotelsSuperior4*8 Days£2234Book Now

Special Offers

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).

Western France driving holiday | Cognac-Vineyard
Western France driving holiday | Credits-Courvoisier

Enhance your Experience/Tour Upgrades

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.

  • Stay longer! Just let us know your preferred hotel and room grade, and we will provide you with the relevant supplement for extra nights with breakfast.
  • Additional tours and activities! We would be delighted to provide inspiration for more wine tours and cultural activities. The possibilities are endless!
  • Experience the region’s gastronomy. The wine regions are brimming with unique gastronomic dining opportunities and what better way to enjoy a glass than with a mouth-watering meal? We offer a variety of menus to suit every budget. Contact us for prices.
  • Tailor-made tour extensions. The team at Grape Escapes have travelled extensively in Europe, not just in the wine regions and can therefore recommend and arrange tailor-made tour extensions to other regions and cities, for example Paris in France or Bilbao in Spain.

Further Information

Travel to your Western France driving holiday

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.

Self-Drive Breaks

For more information on our Self-Drive breaks please see our Self-Drive page.

Further Information / To Book

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 info@grapeescapes.net 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

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