From Paris to Toulouse, this trip will allow you to explore these unique regions by the backroads. Take the time to visit some of the hidden castles of the Loire Valley, enjoy duck confit in Dordogne, and discover the typical villages of the Basque Country.
based on double occupancy.
Step by step
Paris, for a great start
- For the first 3 nights of your French trip, you will be living the Parisian life. Comfortably accommodated in a charming boutique-hotel in a quiet street of the bustling Marais district, you will discover the French capital city’s must-sees and hidden beauties.
- Being based less than a 10-minute walk from Notre Dame Cathedral, you can explore Paris on foot, by boat, or using public transportation with different and unique itineraries we have prepared for you. We also recommend our favorite restaurants and boulangeries in different districts of the city, so you’ll know where to take a break.
- To get oriented in Paris, we plan for you to take a guided tour on a bike, following a Parisian guide. Those who are not interested in biking can also take a walking tour.
- You will pick up your rental car in Paris and drive 3 hours to the gorgeous Loire Valley. The region and its people will welcome you to the renowned "sweet way of life", which includes its Renaissance castles and gardens and its famous gastronomy and wines.
The Loire Valley: castles, gardens & wine
- Spend the following five nights of your journey in the lively town of Chinon by the river, where Joan of Arc once met with her future King of France. The B&B is at the foot of the medieval fortress and you will be within walking distance of the restaurants and wine bars. One night you may also enjoy a romantic picnic on the river banks or at the guinguette restaurant.
- Touraine is famous for its vineyards – Chinon, Bourgueil, Vouvray, Amboise and many more – you will visit a Chinon winery run by a charming couple who come from generations of winegrowers. Enjoy a commented tasting of the wines with some very local specialties.
- Discover the marvels of the Loire Valley. We will make recommendations on how to visit Chambord or Chenonceau castles away from the crowds. We will also recommend a few smaller castles and hidden places in beautiful settings. These places are less well-known but are steeped in history and well worth the escape from the tourist crowds. If you like gardens, don’t miss Chaumont castle or the wonderful Villandry.
- On the 9th day, drive south from the Loire to the Dordogne region.
Dordogne : a moving testimony of mankind's first steps
- You will continue your sightseeing expedition in the Dordogne region. In Black Perigord you will stay in a restored stone house for 5 nights and share a mouth-watering dinner cooked by your hosts.
- Dordogne is famous for the prehistoric caves in Lascaux, but we have planned a much more intimate visit to a 20,000-year-old cave for you. If you are interested in history or if you are a Jean M. Auel reader, this is a must! Visit the old city of Sarlat and feel the buzz of activity on market days.
- There is a lot to do in Dordogne: medieval castles to visit, wonderful food to taste - we'll tell you where to find the most typical goat cheeses - and if you like outdoor activities, you'll be in paradise.
- On the 14th day, you will drive from Dordogne to the Basque Country, with a nice stop along the way.
The Basque Country: quaint villages & strong culture
- From the Atlantic coastline to the rugged Pyrenees Mountains, from the peacefulness of the untouched Basque villages to the lively nightlife in Saint Jean de Luz, the Le Pays Basque will not disappoint.
- Spend 3 nights in a lovely town nestled in the hills. This 4-star family boutique-hotel is a perfect place to be introduced to the Pays Basque and enjoy the beautiful countryside.
- We will craft your days so you get a feel of everything the Basque culture has to offer, and there is a lot. You can taste the local Bayonne ham after strolling through a valley and learning about the traditional mountain pig farming, a practice which still thrives today. Get acquainted with the Basque weaving tradition, try to make your own Basque cake, or take a stroll though one of the many farmers markets.
- End your trip with 3 nights in a gorgeous Basque Country villa. The B&B is located 3 miles from the beach but in a very quiet landscaped garden.
- Follow a local guide in Biarritz by the ocean. He will give you the keys to his city and to the Basque culture. You will learn about the Basque language as well as the traditions and festivals, such as the Basque Force. You will end this tour at the covered market tasting some Basque specialties.
- Some of the most beautiful villages in France will be on your scenic drives. Here, you may see locals playing the Basque game of pelote at the town’s fronton (the pelote court). Lovers of nature and the great outdoors will enjoy long walks and hikes in the Pyrenees mountains. For occasional walkers, we will recommend a relaxing walk along the beach, followed by a coffee on a terrace watching the local surfers.
On this trip you’ll experience the generosity of Western France and its inhabitants: gastronomy, architecture, wines, heritage . . .
Paris Bike Tour
Spend about 4hrs with a Parisian who will have you discover his city on a bike, with a group of max.10 travelers. For those who don't like biking, you can also take a walking tour.
A Winery Visit & Tasting in Chinon
Visit a Chinon winery run by a charming couple who come from generations of winegrowers.
Enjoy a commented tasting of the wines with some local-product snacks.
Walk back on the prehistoric men footsteps, in 20,000 year old painted caves - access is limited to 40 person per day.
A Private Guide to introduce you to the Basque culture
Follow a local guide in Biarritz, by the Ocean. He will give you the keys to his city and to the Basque culture. You will end this tour at the covered market, tasting some Basque produces: cheese, hams and wines.