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PARIS TO NICE via the Alpes and Wineries

Reference: BRT

CHAMPAGNE, BURGUNDY, THE ALPS, PROVENCE

  • 9 Day Tour 
  • 15 Passengers maximum
  • Cost per person A$4,220 Twin-share 
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CHAMPAGNE, BURGUNDY, THE ALPS, PROVENCE

Glasses glinting with bubbles and rich red wines. Windows that open out on soaring mountains, charming villages and fragrant fields of flowers. Join us on a bon voyage through quintessential France as we go on an adventure infused with Gallic charm.


ITINERARY


Day 1 PARIS – CHÂTEAU DE VAUX-LE-VICOMTE – REIMS – AY

So lavish that its first owner was arrested for daring to outdo King Louis XIV, Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte makes a magnificent opening act for our adventure. Glasses glinting with bubbles and rich red wines. Windows that open out onto soaring mountains, charming villages and fragrant fields of flowers. Join us on a bon voyage through quintessential France as we go on an adventure infused with Gallic charm. Next comes Reims in Champagne, where treasured reminders of its medieval heritages stand beside elegant art deco buildings. One such gem is the UNESCO-protected Cathedral of Our Lady, which we take time to explore. Finally, our road winds into Ay, a quiet town in the Champagne region where we enjoy a welcome dinner. (D)
Overnight: Hotel Castel Jeanson (or similar)

Day 2 AY – CHAMPAGNE – AY

The pop of a cork. The fizz of thebubbles. The clink of toastingglasses. Today is devotedto discovering Champagneand its liquid riches. Epernayis arguably its epicentre, sowe pause here to stroll upAvenue de Champagne, linedwith many famous merchantshouses and cellars. Then it’s onto La Côte des Blancs, wherewe visit an artisan producer.After wandering through thevineyards and watching thepressing and distillation process,we sit down together to enjoya crisp, refreshing glass or twoof the final product. Our roadback to Ay takes us through thebeautiful Montagne de Reimsarea, known for its Pinot Noir. (B)
Overnight: Hotel Castel Jeanson (or similar)

Day 3 AY – CHABLIS – DIJON

Now to swap fizz for the dry, pure white wines of Chablis. Here we visit a traditional cellar, where barrels are piled high under arched ceilings that have stood for hundreds of years. Guided by an expert tasting master, we sip the best local wines. Afternoon brings us to Dijon, where you have the evening free to explore this attractive city known for its gothic grandeur. (B)
Overnight: Maison Philipe Le Bon (or similar)

Day 4 DIJON – BEAUNE – BEAUJOLAIS – LYON

Walled Beaune, the beating heart of the Burgundy wine region, is our first port of call, where we visit the peaceful Hospices of Beaune. Founded as a hospital for the poor in the 15th century, it also has its own vineyards and hosts a prestigious wine auction each year. Next we drop by a sprawling wine estate in the verdant Beaujolais countryside before continuing to Lyon. A warm welcome comes courtesy of a meal in a traditional Bouchon Lyonnais – a type of bistro known for a convivial, relaxed atmosphere that accompanies authentic, hearty dishes. (B, D)
Overnight: Grand Hotel des Terreaux (or similar)

Day 5 LYON

Today you’re free to explore Lyon at your own pace. Saunter along the riverside, whose banks are flanked with tall, colourful houses. Learn about everything from the early days of cinema to classic cars at the museums. Visit traditional ateliers, where time-honoured crafts are still practiced. Or simply take a seat in one of the many restaurants to discover why Lyon claims the title of ‘gourmet capital of France’. (B)
Overnight: Grand Hotel des Terreaux (or similar)

Day 6 LYON – RHÔNE VALLEY – URIAGE-LES-BAINS

We’re back on the wine trail as we venture into the Rhône Valley, home to some of France’s oldest vineyards. After a private tasting session at Tain l’Hermitage, source of the famous Hermitage wines, we climb into the French Alps. Take in swoon-worthy mountain views from Villard-de-Lans, before we continue on to the romantic spa town of Uriage-les-Bains. (B, D)
Overnight: Grand Hotel d'Uriage (or similar)

Day 7 URIAGE-LESBAINS - SAINT-PIERRE-DECHARTREUSE - URIAGE-LESBAINS

Deep in a green valley between towering peaks, we find Grande Chartreuse Monastery. Before we see the complex itself, we drop by the Chartreuse museum to learn about its history – along with the origins of the Carthusian Order who built it. We stroll to the monastery and enjoy a picnic lunch amidst the stunning scenery, before driving on to the monks’ distillery in Voiron. Here they make the famous Chartreuse liquor, whose recipe dates back to the 18th century – and we’re treated to a taste. (B, L)
Overnight: Grand Hotel d'Uriage (or similar)

Day 8 URIAGE-LES-BAINS – SISTERON – FORCALQUIER

Our road turns south towards Provence today, with Alpine slopes giving way to rugged hills and wildflower meadows as we drive through the Drome region. We stop in Châtillon-en-Diois, a pretty town surrounded by sheer cliffs and forests, before continuing to Sisteron. This medieval commune, strewn over a deep turquoise river between a mountain pass, is the gateway to Provence. The citadel, which crowns an impressive rocky hilltop, pairs fascinating history with sweeping views. Finally, we reach Forcalquier, where we settle in for a farewell dinner and final overnight stay at a charming 18th century farmhouse. (B, D)
Overnight: Hotel Charembeau (or similar)

Day 9 FORCALQUIER – ENTREVAUX – NICE

Our closing day takes us deeper into exquisite Provençal countryside. Entrevaux, a medieval town set between rolling green countryside and a deep blue sky. Nice, elite resort and shining capital of the French Riviera, soon beckons. And it’s here that our tour ends, among the golden beaches and clear waters of the Côte d’Azur. (B)


Tour Inclusions
  • 8 nights' accommodation in boutique hotels
  • Driver/tour leader
  • Mini-coach transportation
  • European breakfast daily
  • One lunch
  • 4 x evening meals
  • 4 x wine tastings
  • One liquor tasting
  • Entrance fee included to: Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, Reims Cathedral, Hospices of Beaune, Musée de la Grande Chartreuse and Citadel of Sisteron..