Champagne wine region

“LA BELLE FRANCE” private tour itinerary

LA BELLE France
(Champagne, Burgundy, Alsace)

 As all the tours I design are customized, this is a TOUR ITINERARY IDEA presented as one of the many ways you can experience France on your PRIVATE TOUR with Audrey. 

 Tour Starts in Reims and ends in Strasbourg
Your arrival and departure airports are:
Airport in Paris is Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
Airport Strasbourg (SXB)

If you wish to return to Paris by high speed train to spend a few extra days in the city and to fly back out of Paris, we can make the arrangements for you. And if you have not visited Paris before, we would recommend adding a few extra days onto your stay if you are keen on exploring more of the most famous sights in the city.

OVERVIEW

Travel to Champagne, for visits at exclusive Champagne houses, vine-covered hillsides, including very special private tours and tastings at small producers. Enjoy private tastings at some of the most prestigious estates of Burgundy’s Côte d’Or, including Premier and Grand Crus in legendary appellations like Vosne Romanée, Chambertin and Meursault. Discover Burgundy’s rich cultural heritage in the medieval city of Beaune with its beautiful Renaissance architecture and famous Hospices. Enjoy castles, vineyards, pastel-shaded towns and the canals of Colmar in Alsace, where French and German cultures collide, renowned for cozy winstubs, and century’s old wine culture. This luxurious voyage includes exceptional dining and beautiful first-class accommodations. An unforgettable wine and food vacation for the discriminating wine lover!

HIGHLIGHTS of YOUR PRIVATE TOUR TO FRANCE

  • Personalized itinerary…custom designed tour for your family, friends or colleagues
  • One-on-one expert planning
  • Private 10 day tour + 24/7 support
  • Expert local guides with skip the line private touring
  • Dedicated local tour leader, driver-guide
  • Insider access to the French way of life
  • Accommodations that blend a mix of French hospitality, comfort and local character (Breakfast included)
  • Hand-picked Insider Experiences from wine tastings to culinary delights
  • Private transportation during tour
  • Move beyond France’s signature cities and travel to the picturesque countryside regions
  • Travel at a leisurely pace along some of the back roads of Champagne, Burgundy, Alsace

About our included dinners: As Europeans, for us dinner is a celebration of good food and wine, a celebration of culture, a celebration of family and friendship. Hosting this celebration is one of the joys of being a tour manager.  We guide you to your favorite dish … or help you choose something you’ve never tried before. We choose the perfect wines and throw in some local delicacies to broaden your palate and surprise you a bit. When we are at a cooking lesson or a wine tasting, be sure to know you’ll go home with new knowledge that will draw you under its spell and increase your hunger for more.

NOTE: On every tour, we have included dinners as a group as well as nights on your own. Of course you are always invited to join me at my favorite places or as I explore new and interesting restaurant finds. I also have a lot of recommendations and would be happy to make reservations for you.

ITINERARY           

DAY 1-ARRIVAL DAY-Paris to Reims

Welcome to France for your Off the Beaten path itinerary with Audrey.
Enjoy a private transfer to your hotel in Reims and shake off your jet-lag by joining your tour manager on an orientation walk around your hotel and take some time to begin exploring this beautiful city with an inside look at the Cathedral.   The Champagne region’s main medieval city was mostly destroyed in WWI and rebuilt in the 1920’s art deco style. Fortunately the Cathedral of Our Lady remains and is today a UNESCO World Heritage site.

DAY 2-WWI SIGHTS

Today meet your driver/guide for a full-day excursion dedicated to WWI sights. A guided visit the Caverne du Dragon (underground galleries of the First World War) followed by a beautiful drive along Chemin des Dames route: Cerny-en-Laonnois, Braye-en-Laonnois, Craonne, Craonnelle and Berry-au-Bac. Upon your return to Reims, enjoy a visit to the Biscuiterie Fossier, the pink biscuits factory and a world renowned Champagne house before dinner.

DAY 3-MONTAGNE DE REIMS AND EPERNAY

The scenery is beautiful all along the road leading from Reims to Epernay, “The Capital of Champagne”, via the Montagne de Reims. We will enjoy an exclusive tour and wine tasting at a small producer, located in the village of Dizy. (Here we have a possibility of walking in the vineyards weather permitting). Enjoy lunch in the village of Hautvillers where Don Perignon invented the famous beverage. Spend a free afternoon in Epernay giving you time to visit one or two of the major Champagne Houses located on the fantastic and world famous Avenue de Champagne.

DAY 4-EPERNAY TO CHABLIS

This day involves some driving, but you will be entertained by the visits of the famous Chablis wine area and Vezelay basilica. The village of Chablis is named the Golden door of Burgundy and is one of the most famous white wine regions in the world, Here enjoy an exclusive wine tasting in a family owned winery.

Following the winery visit and lunch at a local bistro, a short 1 hour drive takes you to Vezelay.  Vezelay’s St. Mary Magdalene basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a masterpiece of Romanesque art, an 11th century masterpiece of light and space.  The Basilica Ste Madeleine (St Mary Magdalene) is the largest Romanesque church in France and only 10 yards shorter than the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Guarding the relics of St Mary Magdalen, Vezelay was a major medieval pilgrimage destination. It also saw the launch of the Second and Third Crusades. Enjoy an amazing view on the region from the top of the hill.

DAY 5- SEMUR EN AUXOIS, FLAVIGNY SUR OZERAIN, BEAUNE (Burgundy)

Today you have a full day full of great experiences on our drive to the town of Beaune, capital of Burgundy wines. Traveling through pastoral landscapes, vineyards, wheat fields and canals, you will be exploring off the beaten path Burgundy, visiting the unspoiled villages of Semur-en-Auxois (a beautiful medieval town defended since the 10th century by a fortress flanked by four huge corner towers) and Flavigny-sur-Ozerain (a medieval village considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in France and famous for its aniseed sweets production-visit the anise candy factory). Savor lunch at a traditional restaurant before continuing on our beautiful country road drive.

The rolling hills of Burgundy gave birth to superior wine, fine cuisine, spicy mustard, sleepy villages smothered in luscious landscapes. This deceptively peaceful region witnessed Julius Caesar’s defeat of the Gauls and in the 14th century its powerful dukes controlled an immense area stretching north to Holland. This is a calm, cultivated and serene region, where nature is as sophisticated as culture. Along with Bordeaux, Burgundy is why France is famous for wine. From Chablis to Beaujolais, you will find great fruity reds, dry white and crisp roses. The 3 key grapes are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Gamay. The rural region also helped define classic French cuisine with dishes such as escargots (snails) and boeuf bourguignon (beef Burgundy).

Just outside of Beaune, in the Cote de Beaune wine area of Burgundy, a must do is exploring the villages and vineyards in the region, a delight. You will have a chance to enjoy the village of Aloxe-Corton, at the bottom of the Corton Hillside, with a private wine tasting before arriving at your hotel in Beaune for the next 2 nights.

You will feel comfortable right away in this prosperous popular and perfect French little wine capital where life centers on the production and consumption of the Cote d’Or wines.

DAY 6- BEAUNE – Saturday (market day and Wine!)

The historical 2000 year old town of Beaune, nestled between prestigious vineyards, is bursting with boutique shops, wine stores and fabulous French bistros. This morning enjoy the wonderful local market and browse the stalls and stores at your leisure. You may also choose to do a Burgundy specialties cooking class.

After lunch, you will meet up with your tour manager for a tour of the Moutarderie to taste the famous mustard the area is known for. Afterwards, just a few minutes outside of town enjoy wine tasting at one of the most famous addresses in the town of Pommard, on the Grand Crus Wine Road, the Golden Triangle of Burgundy’s Great wines, like Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet. For more than 2000 years, the Burgundy region has been creating the best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines in the world; experience a journey taking you in to the heart of the great vineyards of Burgundy and its mythic Grand Cru wines.

DAY 7-BEAUNE to COLMAR in AlsaceColmar, Alsace

After breakfast, enjoy a visit to the Hospice of Beaune, a masterpiece of Flemish-influenced architecture which has become one of the famous emblems of Burgundy culture before driving onto Alsace. Alsace, gloriously green and reassuringly rustic, the “route des vins d’Alsace” is one of France’s most evocative drives. Vines march up the hillsides to castle topped crags and the mist shrouded Vosges, and every mile or so a roadside cellar or half-timbered village invites you to stop and raise a toast. The town of Colmar is made for wandering, like walking around the canal quarter or “Petite Venise”. Visit one of the town’s intriguing museums, Museum Unterlinden, a medieval masterpiece that depicts scenes from the New Testament in vivid detail.

DAY 8- THE ROLLING HILLS OF ALSACE

Today spend the day visiting towns in Alsace with stops in the villages of Kaysersberg, another instant heart-stealer with its backdrop of vines, castle and 16th century bridge; Riquewihr is considered to be the most enchanting town on the Route des Vins with medieval ramparts enclosing a maze of twisting lanes and half-timbered houses; Hunawhir where white storks featured in many folk tales have been roosting on rooftops for centuries. A stop in Ribeauvillé for wine tasting, a must, followed by a visit to château de Haut-Koenigsbourg. This mighty fortress overlooks an expansive valley. Built in 12th century, the castle occupied a strategic position controlling the wine and wheat routes to the North and the salt route from the East.

On the road up to Strasbourg our last stop is in Obernai, is a typically Alsatian village where life still revolves around its market square and lots of flower decked alleyways.

DAY 9- STRASBOURG

Today enjoy a full day at leisure in Strasbourg to discover la Petite France, the Kammerzell house, and the cathedral of Notre-Dame or the former “Grande Boucherie” (Old Butchers’ House). Strasbourg is urban Alsace at its best, a liveable city on the Rhine River with generous space devoted to pedestrians, scads of bikes, streetcars and meandering waterways.

DAY 10- DEPARTURE DAY

Transfers to airport or railway station.

PRICING…

Kindly note this is a Sample Tour Itinerary to France.  The next step is to contact me.

  • Pricing depends on the number of people in your party (minimum 2 guests), specific experiences, services and activities chosen, your dates, style of transport, choice of accommodations, meals.
  • Please contact us with your travel dates, budget, group size and wishes. If it is a good fit, I will send you a Tour Questionnaire to better understand your wishes. For more information on ‘How I work’ visit my Custom Tours page or watch our video. I plan and manage the details that will make your private tour to France memorable.

Ready for a Once-in-a-Lifetime vacation to France?

Audrey specializes in private custom tours to Europe, providing guests with delights that excite the senses that are genuine, intimate and unique experiences of France and beyond.  With a balance of culture, food, wine and stunning natural and man-made landscapes, this tour captures everything that a guest would be looking for in a French experience. Audrey warmly invites you to come along and experience “La Belle France”.

Contact me for your free consultation.