DAY 1 PARIS – REIMS – TROYES.
After meeting the group amidst the hustle and bustle of Paris, we’ll begin our journey. Our first stop? The picturesque Champagne region, where we’ll be treated to a delicious champagne tasting at a vineyard that used to belong to premium champagne house Veuve Clicquot. Then: we’ll tour the impressive Reims Cathedral before moving on to Troyes – where we’ll celebrate our first night together with a welcome dinner. (L,D)
DAY 2 TROYES – BAYEL – TROYES.
On the agenda today: a walking tour of Troyes with a local guide. After taking the opportunity to visit the bustling market, we’ll move on to Bayel – where we have 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. Later on, the evening will be yours to spend as you please back in Troyes. (B)
DAY 3 TROYES – CHABLIS – BEAUNE.
Day three 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. (B,D)
DAY 4 BEAUNE.
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 the fifteenth-century French architecture. (B)
DAY 5 BEAUNE – CHAMBÉRY.
After breakfast, we’ll leave Beaune behind and set our sights on Chambéry – but first, we’ll stop off at the family-owned Château de la Greffière for a delicious picnic (filled with local produce, of course). After taking in the marvellous views of the surrounding vineyards over lunch, we’ll be lucky enough to take a closer look at them on a guided tour – with an included wine tasting session to boot. (B,L)
DAY 6 CHAMBÉRY – ANNECY –CHAMBÉRY.
We’ll check off a tour highlight on day six: 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 fromagerie, where we’ll learn everything there is to know about the local cheese ripening process. After visiting the cheese cellars, we’ll have the chance to taste a sample or two. (B,D)
DAY 7 CHAMBÉRY – VERCORS – CHABRILLAN.
We’ll have the chance to sample tastier local produce today at a Chartreuse cellar and distillery. Later on, we’ll set a course for the picturesque Vercors region – an area famous for its spectacularly rugged plateaux and towering mountains. (B,D)
DAY 8 CHABRILLAN – SISTERON – FORCALQUIER.
Today alpine slopes will give way to rugged hills and wildflower meadows as we travel to Sisteron – where we’ll stop to take in the views from the Citadel. Our final stop of the day will be Forcalquier, where we’ll round off the evening in style: with a farewell dinner to remember. (B,D)
DAY 9 FORCALQUIER – ENTREVAUX – NICE.
The last day of the tour will take us deeper into exquisite Provençal countryside as we press on to Entrevaux. 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! (B)