TASTE TOURS — Self-Drive Tours in France

TASTE TOURS

 

Self-Drive Tours in France

The Spirit of Place through TASTE



Burgundy – Seven Days Champagne and Burgundy – Seven Days Riviera Coast – Seven Days Provence Riviera – Seven Days Provence to Riviera – Fortnight

Burgundy – Seven Days Dordogne to Provence – Fortnight Paris – The City of Light Corsica Bordeaux and the Dordogne Barging Holidays

Sensational Self-Drive packages and tailor-made itineraries for independent travellers. Our commitment to real taste and helping to save the earth through eating and drinking means:

  • We choose hybrid vehicle rentals with low CO2 emissions (where available)

  • We encourage you to travel with friends (minimum 4 to a car when possible)

  • We seek out green accommodations and restaurants featuring local, seasonal, fresh, organic cuisine

  • We provide personal contacts to the best organic and biodynamic wineries and farms

  • We take you along the hidden pathways of ‘La France Profonde’ and make sure you discover all its historic treasures

  • We offer personalised tailor-made itineraries as well as pre-packaged tours to accommodate every taste and interest

  • All of our tours have been personally researched and reflect the experience of over 25 years in travel in France

All Self-Drive tours require a deposit before we commence working.

Vignoble         Plat

Devoted to saving the earth through the choices we make in eating and drinking, TASTE TOURS brings travelers to the world's best tables, be they gastronomic palaces or beach fire cookouts, where commitment to quality and real taste find their origins in natural farming practices, unfiltered and untarnished organic, ecological, ethical and above all, delicious foods and wines that are respectful of the environment and produced in the most passionate way.

The following programs have been created for the independent traveller interested in seeing and tasting rural France with the professional assistance of an experienced travel company. We book the hotels and offer route suggestions so that you won't miss anything worth seeing while travelling from one place to another. We also give you two nights in each location so you can feel like you are on holiday and not on a rally. We offer France of the countryside – beautiful scenery, tranquillity and small villages via the back roads. Programs are 7 or 13 days and are designed so that regions may be linked to create a continuous circuit.

Village

Contact us for shorter packages and our exclusive tailor-made
tours created to suit your tastes and interests.

The featured regions are Champagne, Northern Burgundy, the Côte d'Or, Beaujolais, Provence, the Côte d'Azur, the Dordogne, Bordeaux, Cognac, Brittany, Normandy, the Loire Valley, Alsace and Corsica. All tours include accommodation in hotels, private châteaux and auberges of character and charm according to the category requested – ‘Pilgrim’ (economy), ‘Traveller’ (tourist) and ‘Chic’ (luxury). A meal at the beginning and end of the tours is included where 2 meals are indicated. The rental vehicles are environmentally friendly, low CO2 hybrids where possible and include collision damage waiver and insurance. Cancellation insurance and personal liability insurance are highly recommended. For further information and prices contact TASTE TOURS, today.

Tournesols

Taste Tours, Self-Drive programs

Beautiful rural countryside and quiet French villages tucked away in forgotten corners of the French provinces just waiting for you to explore and enjoy with your organic market picnic.

It is this image that our self-drive tours will be offering you – the flexibility and autonomy of travelling independently while enjoying the organisation and professionalism of a group tour. All itineraries are prepared by specialists who know the regions of France intimately and include personal contacts for winery visits and a broad range of organic and biodynamic food producers. We offer programs that take you to less travelled places and acquaint you with ‘The Spirit of Place through TASTE’

In your own rental car you will be given driving instructions that take you along back roads, which offer insights into the main aspects of each region. These tours feature the astonishing history, cultural variety and the unique beauty of each area.

As part of these tours you will stay in little auberges and charming independent hotels in the villages. Some tours include regional meals for the first and last nights of your holiday. We want you to be immersed in the local life of the provinces rather then being housed in the big cities and towns. It is planned that in most instances you will spend two nights in each place, so that you have the chance to unpack a bit, and enjoy the unhurried pace of actually ‘being there’.

Fête médiévale


Self-Drive Tours of the Provinces

Burgundy – Seven Days

Tour: BGY01

Burgundy's Côte d'Or is without a doubt one of the world's leading fine wine producing regions. It is often said that driving from Dijon in the north to Santenay in the south along the village roads is like reading a restaurant wine list. Exclusive tastings of fine wines are married here with flavourful cuisine and dishes such as Coq au Vin, Boeuf Bourguignon, and cheeses like Brillat Savarin and l'Ami du Chamertin find their origins. Burgundy wine's spiritual headquarters at the Clos de Vougeot and the medieval village of Beaune may be visited along with less frequented sites such as the Château de Larochepot and the Cirque au Bout du Monde. The Hautes Côtes, the high slopes that lead over the hills to the Ouche valley are forgotten or neglected by most travellers, but offer stunning pastoral scenes and tranquil rural peace.

Bourgogne         Hospice de Beaunes

From the Côte d'Or, our route continues south through the Maconnais to the Beaujolais, following wine roads and country villages that seem undisturbed by the passage of time. The hilltop village of Brancion with its crumbling château and Romanesque chapel has a population of 30. Cluny, once renowned for having the largest monastic complex in Europe is today a modest well kept town with the vestiges of the once magnificent cathedral. The wines of the Maconnais – Pouilly Fuissé, Macon Clessé, Macon Viré, are delicious and worth a taste. The ‘Roches du Solutré’ is a notable prehistoric site and a lovely spot for a picnic.

In the gently rolling and sometimes dramatically pitched slopes of the Beaujolais vineyards, the image of the ideal vineyard comes to mind. Here the word picturesque is an understatement. The light and fruity wines of the Gamay grape are also reflected in the spirit of the villages where lively markets and friendly vintners share rounds of Beaujolais. After two days here to meander midst the bucolic splendour of Beaujolais, return your car in Macon and take the TGV back to Paris.

Champagne and Burgundy – Seven Days

Tour: BGY 02

Celebrated the world over as the quintessential drink of festivity, of birthdays, anniversaries and weddings, Champagne is also a stunning geographical region. Its rolling slopes and tranquil valleys are breathtaking, punctuated by industrious villages devoted to the cultivation of the vine. Reims, the capital of the Champagne region, also features one of France's greatest gothic cathedrals with stained glass windows created by the painter Chagall.

Cathédrale de Reims         Vignobles

The tour begins in Reims where the rental car of your choice will be waiting. From Reims you may choose to follow the wine roads to Epernay – perhaps stopping en route for a Champagne tasting, or a visit to the village of Hautvillers where Dom Perignon resided at the Abbaye d'Hautvillers. There are two leisurely days here to explore the wineries and picnic among the vines.

From the Champagne region you travel south to the Côte d'Or via the medieval city of Troyes, which has an extraordinary fine art museum. The next 4 days will be divided between the Côte d'Or and the Beaujolais as described in the Burgundy tour. Return to Paris via TGV from Macon.

In Depth Provence – Seven Days

Tour: PRV01

Of all the regions of France, Provence evokes the most emotional response. It is the land of sun, olive trees, olive oil and wine, the land of antiquities going back to the start of civilisation. Artists make their names for themselves here, benefiting from the extraordinary light and the romance of the lavender scented air.

Palette         Lavande

This tour starts by picking up your rental car in Avignon. It will take you to the north of Provence exploring the Dentelles de Montmirail and Vaison la Romaine, and through some of the most picturesque villages in France. Then into the Luberon made so well known by Peter Mayle and villages such as Gordes, Lacoste, Bonnieux, Roussillon and Menerbes. You will have time to explore the extraordinary Roman history around Les Baux and St Remy de Provence. Visit Avignon, the city of the Popes, the Pont du Gard, Uzes and Arles, before heading to elegant Aix en Provence. Nearby is the renowned Mont Ste-Victoire in the region of the Var, made famous in the canvasses of Cézanne. The villages that you will stay in and explore here are truly Provençale, away from the known tourist trails. After 7 days of enriching vistas and inspiring landscapes, you return your vehicle in Aix en Provence - the end of your tour.

Riviera Coast – Seven Days

Riviera         Côte

Tour: PRV 02

Having picked up your vehicle from Aix-en-Provence you will head down to the charming seaside village of Cassis. Here you will explore by foot and car the striking coastline. You can also venture through Aubagne and into Marcel Pagnol country, which appears in his films ‘My Father's Glory’ and ‘My Mothers Castle’. You will then explore further along the coast through such seductive places as St Tropez, le Lavandou, St Raphael, and Cannes before reaching the region surrounding Nice. Here you will have the opportunity of visiting the charming hill towns of St Paul de Vence, Vence, Grasse, Eze, as well as the coastal favourites of Antibes, St Jean Cap Ferrat, Villefranche, Monte Carlo, and Menton. You will then return your car to Nice and thereby end this portion of your holiday.

Provence Riviera – Seven Days

Ocre         Côte

Tour: PRV 03

Having picked up your rental car in Avignon you will explore the historical heart of Provence through St Remy, Les Baux, and Cavaillon before exploring the villages around the Luberon; Gordes, Bonnieux, Lacoste, Roussillon, Menerbes. You will then head into the Var to experience true Provençale life away from the well-known tourist trails, before heading through the impressive Canyons of Verdon. Then you drive through the Alpes Maritime and explore the villages of Vence, Grasse, St Paul de Vence, before arriving at the coast and Nice, the queen and capital of the French Riviera. Carry on to see places such as St Jean Cap Ferrat, Villefranche, Eze, Monte Carlo and Menton before returning your car to Nice.

Provence to Riviera – Fortnight

Côte         Dîner

Tour: PRV04

This tour is a combination of 'In Depth Provence' and 'Riviera Coast'. Pick-up and drop off arrangements may be changed to accommodate personal needs and choice of departure.

Bordeaux, Dordogne – Seven Days

Vigne         Ville

Tour: BDO01

After picking up your rental car in Libourne, you will head towards St-Emilion to explore this most picturesque region, giving you the chance to visit some of the world's most famous wines - even head down to Sauternes to visit these famous vineyards. Head through Bergerac, visiting some of the well known bastides, and onto the heart of the Dordogne, so famous for its prehistoric remains, with the chance to visit such places as Font de Gaume and the caves of Lascaux. Visit Les Eyzies, Sarlat, la Roque Gageac, Domme, Souillac, and Rocamadour. Then after driving through St Cirq Lapopie and Cahors head towards Gascony through Montflanquin, Villeneuve sur Lot and then follow the Garonne River back to Bordeaux to return your car.

Dordogne to Provence – Fortnight

Côte         Ville

Tour: DPR01

This tour links ‘Bordeaux & Dordogne’ with ‘In Depth Provence’. There is a change in the ‘Bordeaux, Dordogne’ tour the last night to link up with the Provence region. A night en route between Provence and the Dordogne will help to break up the drive as well as allow for a more leisurely pace.

We also have tailor-made packages for Alsace, Normandy, Brittany, the Mont St-Michel and St-Malo, the Loire Valley, Languedoc Roussillon, South West France and Gascony.
Contact us for complete details.


Stay put holidays

Not all holidays need to make use of a car. From Paris to Corsica we would like to provide you with a holiday where you are free to explore the village or city where you are staying.

Paris – The City of Light

Ocre         Côte

In Paris we give you the option of stays of three and five nights, in a range of different standards of accommodation, remembering of course that TASTE TOURS is only interested in those places that are truly French and utterly charming. Each tour offers a half day Discovery Tour of Paris, with many other options of tours available (i.e. Monet's Garden at Giverny). You will also be provided with our suggestions for what you can do in Paris to truly enhance your stay in this city of romance. Close your eyes and imagine it all..

Corsica

Côte         Ville

For something completely different, TASTE TOURS offers you the chance of experiencing this island of magic, off the south coast of France. Enjoy the chance to see a land where time stands still. Your stay here in a seaside village will give you the chance to both holiday and experience the people and food of the area. You have the chance to travel to Corsica by boat or by air. During your stay here, there will be opportunities to take half daily and daily tours from your base, if that is your wish.

Bordeaux and the Dordogne

Hôtel         Hôtel

This week-long sojourn departing Paris by TGV gives you three nights to explore the city of Bordeaux, including a guided tour around the famous vineyards of the region. You will then be transferred to a small village in the Dordogne Valley, for something completely different. You will stay in a small village, with a population of not more than 300, where you will set back and be immersed in the local life. How about walking to the nearby village through the vineyards or across the fields of sunflowers. Go for a bike ride with the bikes provided, and even take a picnic lunch into the fields. Enjoy the lack of pace and the peace, but don't worry if a cuckoo bird wakes you in the morning. You will then be transferred back to catch your train back to Paris.


Barging Holidays

Locks, Laziness, and Liberty

Péniche

Imagine the serenity of cruising down one of the many canals that wind their way through some of the most beautiful countryside in the world. Dream of sharing a luxurious river boat with a few friends, as you wander from vineyard to vineyard, château to château, or village to village. How about renting bicycles to take along with you, to allow you to ride off to get your morning baguette.

We can offer you a range of ‘drive your own’ barges to let you discover the waterways of France. From barges sleeping two to 12 people - we will have something to offer you.

If a ‘drive your own’ barge isn't what you are after, we can offer you a selection of guided luxury barge cruises covering a number of provinces of France.


Price categories – Self-drive tours

Our commitment to sustainable, environmentally friendly transportation means we will favour hybrid vehicles with low CO2 emissions and also encourage you to travel with friends whenever possible. All accommodations are selected for their earth-friendly amenities and feature local, organic produce for meals. There are three categories that you can choose from, depending on your budget: ‘Pilgrim’, ‘Traveller’ and ‘Chic’. All accommodations are in especially selected hotels of charm and character. ‘Pilgrim’ is in good 2 & modest 3 star establishments. ‘Traveller’ accommodation is in exceptionally good 2 or superior 3 star establishments. For both these categories you will be provided with a late model environmentally friendly Category ‘A’ car. ‘Chic’ accommodations are in charming 3 and 4 star hotels and private châteaux, and vehicles are late model Category ‘D’ cars.

Contact us today for full details, prices, terms and conditions.


Chemin