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Country Roads of France

Dordogne Valley
17 Days from $4,001 per person

Leafy vineyards, majestic mountains, Riviera sunshine, Roman remains and fortified towns, combined with great food and wine, make for an engaging ‘Tour de France'.

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Tour Pace: Comfortable
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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Airport transfers depart from Charles de Gaulle Airport for your hotel at 08:30, 11:00 & 13:30. Relax and settle in, or start exploring this great capital. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.
    meal(s):WD
    hotel:Pullman Montparnasse, Paris.
  3. Troyes, in the Champagne region - its magnificent core of medieval buildings is appropriately shaped like a champagne cork. Continue to Burgundy, once a powerful duchy and synonymous with fine wine. Stop in the quiet village of Chablis which gives its name to one of the most famous French wines. Join an expert vintner for a taste and introduction to these refreshing, steely whites. Move on to your hotel in Dijon.
    meal(s):BB, RD
    hotel:Grand Hotel La Cloche, Dijon (2 nights).
  4. Enjoy the Burgundian capital of Dijon. Its many handsome buildings recall the time when the Duchy of Burgundy was more powerful than the Kings of France. Perhaps take the opportunity to visit the wine capital of Burgundy, Beaune? In the evening, don't miss the chance of an optional Burgundy wine tasting and traditional dinner in the Grand cru village of Fixin.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Grand Hotel La Cloche, Dijon.
  5. Head towards the Mâconnais and Beaujolais before turning east into the Alps. A scenic symphony awaits you as you ascend into the high Alps and climb towards Mont Blanc, Western Europe's highest mountain. Your destination is the fashionable ski resort of Chamonix. Why not take a spectacular drive into the mountains in the evening for a traditional Savoyard style dinner?
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Le Prieuré, Chamonix.
  6. In the morning, embark on a beautiful drive to the lakeside town of Annecy. Enjoy free time for lunch in the Little Venice area or perhaps take a boat trip? Then it's off to Grenoble, the ancient capital of the Dauphiné region.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Mercure Grenoble President.
  7. Glorious mountain scenery will be yours to enjoy as you travel along a spectacular route, used by the Emperor Napoleon when he returned from his first exile to try to take the throne of France once more. Continue to the French Riviera and the elegant resort of Nice.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Radisson Blu Hotel, Nice (2 nights).
  8. Wake up ready to rub shoulders with the jet-set on the glamorous Côte d'Azur. Unlock the secrets of the French perfume industry with a visit to a perfumery, where fragrance experts waft exclusive scents from stoppered bottles. Then drive along part of the Grand Prix circuit in Monaco and walk with your Tour Director through the old town to see the Royal Palace, yacht-filled harbour and the cathedral, housing the tomb of Princess Grace. The rest of the day is set aside for you to enjoy the French Riviera at your own pace.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Radisson Blu Hotel, Nice.
  9. Visit the medieval village of St-Paul-de-Vence, perched high above the Riviera beaches. A walk through its winding streets reveals elegant fountains, vine-covered stone walls and views of mountains and sea. Continue to Aix-en-Provence to see the sumptuous mansions lining the Cours Mirabeau, before continuing to the pretty village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Enjoy a wonderful introduction to the famous wine, taste the difference for yourself and learn about the various grape varieties that are allowed in the final blend of the prestigious Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine. Journey on to Avignon for the next three nights.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Grand Avignon Hotel (3 nights).
  10. Head to the beautiful town of Arles, ancient capital of Gaul and follow in the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh during an orientation tour. Next, see the greatest of the Roman remains, the incredible three-tiered Pont du Gard. See the remaining arches of the 12th century Pont Saint-Bénézet, the Pont d'Avignon of the famous song and walk through the medieval battlements to the town centre, dominated by the fortified Papal Palace. The rest of your day is at leisure.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Grand Avignon Hotel.
  11. This day is at leisure for you to relax and soak up the atmosphere of Avignon. Why not take an optional experience to Les Baux-de-Provence, one of the most picturesque villages in France with its superb stone fortress and Renaissance facades? Or maybe visit an Olive Mill and sample some of the finest olive oil in France?
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Grand Avignon Hotel.
  12. Cross the fertile Languedoc region, before heading inland to the fortified town of Carcassonne. Travellers are often amazed at their first sight of this medieval gem. The city has a complete set of ramparts and a medieval keep. Enjoy an orientation of Albi, known for its amazing cathedral and the birthplace of Toulouse Lautrec.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Hostellerie Saint Antoine, Albi.
  13. Stop in Cahors, famous for its ‘Black Wine', and see the Pont Valentré before heading to Rocamadour. A resting place for pilgrims on their way to Spain, the medieval town is perched on a cliff side above the Alzou River. After some time to explore, make your way to the beautiful town of Sarlat-la-Canéda, its medieval core blessed with fine historic golden limestone houses.
    meal(s):BB, RD
    hotel:Au Grand Hotel de Sarlat (2 nights).
  14. Start the day with a morning drive into the stunning Valley of the Dordogne to visit Lascaux II where the world-famous prehistoric cave paintings have been faithfully reproduced. Later, sample some of the local Dordogne specialties.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Au Grand Hotel de Sarlat.
  15. Onwards to immerse yourself in the beautiful city of Paris. En route to your hotel, stop for a photo of the Eiffel Tower. At night, why not try a French cabaret show?
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Pullman Paris Bercy Centre, Paris (2 nights).
  16. Sightseeing in the morning with a Local Expert shows you Notre Dame Cathedral and the façades of the Louvre. Drive from the Place de la Concorde along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. In the evening, enjoy a Celebration Dinner followed by a relaxing Seine cruise.
    meal(s):BB, CD
    hotel:Pullman Paris Bercy Centre, Paris.
  17. Departure transfers arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 & 11:00.
    meal(s):BB
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We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

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Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options

INCLUDED QUALITY DINING

15 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 2 Restaurant Dinners (RD), 3 three-course table d'hôte Dinners (D) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee. 

Signature Experiences

Côte d’Azur:

  • Walk through the old streets of Monaco to see the Palace and Tomb of Princess Grace.

St-Paul-de-Vence:

  • Discover how this hilltop town became a refuge for artists.

Arles:

  • See the ancient two-tiered amphitheatre built by the Romans in the 1st century AD and which is still used for plays and concerts today.

Lascaux II Caves:

  • This caves contain some of the oldest and finest prehistoric art in the world. For preservation reasons, they have been replicated in all their glory.

Paris:

  • See the monuments, museums, buildings and bridges on a Seine River cruise through the heart of Paris.
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount AvailabilityPrice
14 Apr 17 30 Apr 17 checkmark $4,250pp
$4,250 pp
28 Apr 17 14 May 17 checkmark $4,295pp
$4,295 pp
5 May 17 21 May 17 checkmark $4,525pp
$4,525 pp
black-dot 12 May 17 28 May 17 checkmark $4,525$4,186pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$4,525 $4,186 pp
26 May 17 11 Jun 17 checkmark $4,525pp
16 Jun 17 2 Jul 17 checkmark $4,425pp
23 Jun 17 9 Jul 17 $4,425$4,093pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
21 Jul 17 6 Aug 17 checkmark $4,325$4,001pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$4,325 $4,001 pp
11 Aug 17 27 Aug 17 checkmark $4,325$4,001pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$4,325 $4,001 pp
25 Aug 17 10 Sep 17 checkmark $4,350pp
$4,350 pp
1 Sep 17 17 Sep 17 checkmark $4,525pp
8 Sep 17 24 Sep 17 checkmark $4,525$4,186pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$4,525 $4,186 pp
15 Sep 17 1 Oct 17 checkmark $4,525pp
$4,525 pp
22 Sep 17 8 Oct 17 checkmark $4,525pp
$4,525 pp
6 Oct 17 22 Oct 17 checkmark $4,395$4,065pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$4,395 $4,065 pp

These departures stay at the Imperator, Nimes instead of Avignon.

undefinedThese departures will stay at alternative accommodation of similar standard on the French Riviera.

There is a 60% reduction to the Single Supplement charge for April 7th, April 21st and October 6th departures, subject to availability.

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $470 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $141 per person.

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation.

  • U.S. citizens traveling to France must have a current passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering France.

  • The currency in France is the Euro (€). While it’s a good idea to bring some euros for when you first arrive in France, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate when you arrive in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in France. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • The French have an ongoing love affair with food and wine. Meals are lovingly prepared and consumed leisurely through a bevy of appetizers and main courses, usually accompanied by a number of wines. Boeuf bourgignon (beef stew with wine, herbs and vegetables), coq au vin (chicken cooked with bacon in a white wine and herb sauce) and bouillabaisse (fish stew) are featured on many menus. Cheese lovers will not be disappointed with hundreds of varieties to choose from.  And no visit would be complete without a visit to a pâtisserie, with its delicate pastries you will definitely be tempted.

    Wine is the most popular drink in France and is consumed at both lunch and dinner. Coffee is generally served black, unless a café au lait or café crème (with milk) is requested. For a simple and inexpensive lunch or snack, stop by a local bakery or food cart for a baguette au jambon (ham sandwich), crêpes, or a buckwheat galette filled with melted gruyère cheese and mushrooms. Many restaurants also offer a simple three course menu at a reasonable price.

  • We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • In France, a 15% service compris is included by law in the price of food and drink. Tipping in addition to this service charge is never expected, but always appreciated. If you’d like to leave something extra, keep in mind that even in the fanciest restaurants, people rarely tip more than 5-10%. A good rule of thumb is to leave an extra €1 for every €20 spent. Rather than adding gratuity to your credit card slip, leave coins in the tray where the check was presented to ensure that your waiter receives it.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Reviews

Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Country Roads of France
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : GET provided good descriptions of the activities on the trip, which made choosing "Country Roads" a "no-brainer." I also found that GET personnel were very helpful and informative when I needed answers to questions and help with some of the options (flight plans) beforehand. Then the whole organization of the trip was well-thought-out and well-executed.
Vacation : As a "rookie" on guided bus touring, I was very happy with the route we followed, the sights we were able to see, and the experiences we had, and delighted with the quality of the hotels we stayed in (beyond my price range in my independent travels!). And I don't see how we could have had a better guide: Mark De Cote was extremely knowledgeable about the areas we visited, had lots of interesting and informative stories that gave us great background on what we were to see, and brought us into contact with locals with whom he had friendships of long-standing, which really brought various aspects of the regions to life. Our main bus driver, Agostino, was possibly the most skilled and talented driver I could imagine -- on those winding, hilly roads in the wine country, and also in the Perigord/Dordogne, he handled everything coolly and calmly, and kept us comfortable and safe.
Sunday, October 30, 2016
Country Roads of France
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Liked the I sight bus with free wifi
Vacation : Insight Travel did a great job. Our tour guide Laurent Millett was great.
Friday, July 1, 2016
Country Roads of France
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : We love traveling with Grand European. Good value, good itineraries.
Vacation : We have found on previous Grand European or Insight trips that even limiting the optionals, we could have a full, interesting itinerary. On this particular trip very little was included, so that had we not signed up,for practically all the optional excursions, we would have had a very threadbare experience. This added a significant cost. Most people on our tour were pretty upset about it. Also, our guide, nice as he was, tended to do just the bare minimum.
Friday, June 3, 2016
Country Roads of France
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Great tour, with an excellent tour guide.
Vacation : Well planned tour with terrific locations to see.

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