An Example Itinerary

Slow Travel: A French Road Trip


10 Day Itinerary

Guide Price



Enjoy a scenic drive through France to marvel at the diverse landscape consisting of the sandy beaches of Brittany, The Loire Valley’s rolling vineyards and stretches of lavender fields through Provence during an unforgettable French road trip.


  • Avoid the airports and travel to the south of France by car, taking in highlights along the way
  • Visit Brittany and explore the surrounding area loaded with history, Belle Époque villas and choice of sandy beaches
  • Indulge with a night amongst the vineyards of The Loire Valley exploring the surrounding Châteaux of the region whilst staying in another
  • Stretch your legs through the famous Mont Ventoux area and lavender fields of Provence with a pre-prepared picnic full of local and seasonal produce
  • Pick a spot on Pampelonne and soak up the rays of the South of France

Day 1 - 3: Brittany, France

  • Take a private boat to some of the wartime-occupied Channel Islands – the remarkably peaceful fishing areas were once the site of World War II’s most vicious bombardments
  • Visit Dinard – Winston Churchill’s favourite holiday spot – dinky but filled with lovely surprises

Brittany is France’s wild and woolly coastline. Dramatic and dotted with picturesque medieval towns serving fresh fish and plenty of history to be learnt from the region’s close connection with the Second World War.

After reaching La Havre from Portsmouth, head west. Bayeaux is an excellent detour if you needed a place to stop for your first pain au chocolat and hit of history. Reach the D Day Landing beaches by lunch and with an expert World War Two guide, learn about their extraordinary past.

Then it’s back on the road west, to Dinard and your base for the next couple of nights – Castelbrac Hotel. Located right on the water and with e-bikes to borrow, immediately enter into the laidback lifestyle of this part of the world. On your first full day head out onto the water on your own private boat and discover the Côte d’Emeraude and surrounding islands. Enjoy a picnic on a secluded beach or aboard the boat before making it back to the mainland in time for supper at one of the area’s sensational seafood restaurants.

Day 3 - 4: Loire Valley, France

No visit to the Loire Valley would be complete without experiencing the remarkable history of the region through its legendary chateaux and royal gardens

Discover the secrets of wine production and share the winemakers passion on a fascinating guided tour of a local wine cellar

Next stop – a château so stunning that Diderot, Voltaire, Rousseau, Mozart and Grimm all stayed at one time or another.

The drive from Brittany to the Loire Valley should take roughly three hours. Rennes is a perfect halfway pit stop for a café au lait and perhaps a bite to eat. Old Rennes is particularly charming with timber homes that predate the 1720 fire that destroyed much of the city.

Welcome to The Loire Valley. The Loire Valley is famous for its abundance of grand homes and chateaux. Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé is the noble seat, built in 1764 for Baron Jacques Pineau de Viennay, an enlightenment thinker and close confidant of King Louis XV. Quintessentially French, it is hard to give justice to the grandeur. Truth be told, interiors of this calibre are usually roped off. The hotels gardens are magnificent and best explored by foot on arrival, a perfect opportunity to stretch car travelled legs. That evening, visit a local wine producer for an evening of wine tasting and local cheese pairing.

Take the next day to visit another masterpiece of the region. Our two favourites are the Renaissance masterpiece of Chenonceau and the Royal Chateau of Amboise. At either or both we can arrange an expert guide to make history come alive through private guided visits and intriguing anecdotes.

Day 4 - 6: Charente, France

Private cottages scattered across 2,500 acres, making social distancing incredibly easy

Michelin starred food is created from produce on the estate, where there is a working farm you are welcome to visit

Bought in the 1980s by Didier Primat, heir to the Schlumberger oil fortune, this beautiful château and its lake-filled estate has been transformed into a luxury hotel and a worthy place to break up a long drive.

The drive to Domaine des Etangs from the Loire Valley should take roughly 3 hours 30 minutes.

The estate is characterised by its seven tranquil lakes, manmade centuries ago, that open up along the River Moulde. Amongst the hotel’s complimentary extras (yoga, pilates, wine tasting, cycling), you can learn about the history of the château and tour the estate, spotting wildlife with keeper Jean-François Magnan. In fact, the extensive grounds offer plenty of low key experiences in stunning surroundings – rowing across the lake, e-biking to the farm and foraging with the chef before a cooking lesson. In light of a cancelled Wimbledon this summer, we encourage you to make the most of the hotels floating swimming pool for a ‘Singles Final’ of your own. That evening, if you were after some more French drinking experience, Cognac is not so far.

Day 6 - 8: Provence, France

Sleepy villages, weekly markets and acres of lavender fields characterise this popular corner of France

A stunning spa set in what were once the villages stables is waiting to ease any niggles after a long drive

As befits the sleepy setting, hotel services are delightfully low-key, from boules to bike rides. Gordes, the Luberon’s loveliest perched village, is a 40-minute drive away, as are the cultural honeypots of Orange and Avignon, both blessed with great summer festivals.

The drive to Provence from Domaine des Etangs is a long one, roughly 6 hours. Fortunately, there are some beautiful stops along the way. The Pont Valentré bridge of Cahors and the towns elaborate municipal gardens a lovely break. Later, Carcassonne’s La Cité boasts numerous watchtowers and double-walled fortifications dating back to the 13th century. Final pit stop, Montpellier, the town’s stately Gothic Cathédrale Saint-Pierre is distinguished by conical towers, dating back to 1364.

Finally, you will enter the region of Provence, seen by many as the most strikingly beautiful in all of France. Immerse in a hotel that has taken over a historical Provencial village with breathtaking views across the countryside. This is a quaint, higgledy-piggledy property peddling a dream of untouched Provence, even if it’s all carefully curated. In the shadow of Mont Ventoux, the fabled climb synonymous with the Tour de France, we suggest taking in the landscape by foot. Accompanied by a local guide, hike through the gorgeous countryside of Provence, stopping for a luxury picnic lunch. Still looking to enjoy the finer French things of life, the perfumeries of Grasse are close. Or, depending on what takes your French food fancy, there is cheese and chocolate tasting with local producers and Châteauneuf-du-Pape is not far should a final spot of wine tasting appeal.

Day 8 - 10: Côte D’Azur, France

A vintage-inspired hotel stay away from the crowds in the Côte d’Azur, but close to the best beaches, made easier by the complimentary shuttle

A world-class spa with pre-booked massages on arrival. Unwind at the Tata Harper spa and wellness centre set among the trees, or detoxify in the hammam

St Tropez is, quite simply, the most famous resort in Europe – and it was attracting the artistic and dissolute long before Brigitte Bardot’s time. The wooded, rocky St Tropez peninsula is spectacular and the views across the sea to the Maures mountains are outstanding.

The drive to Provence to the coast takes roughly 3 hours 30 minutes, depending on how many quaint villages you get distracted by. We have pre-booked well-earnt spa treatments to enjoy on arrival.

Discover hidden coves and untouched villages, before retreating to the shady groves of the hotel and sundowners at the garden bar. Sea and sand are easily reached by way of the hotel’s shuttles, which can ferry you to and from the northern end of Pampelonne. Time your visit on a Tuesday or Saturday and be sure not to miss the Place des Lices to pick up some artisanal olive oil or any number of antiques. Itching to get back in the car? Gordes is arguably the prettiest village in the Luberon region and seems to cling on to the rock face overlooking the Vaucluse plateau. The village is a mass of winding lanes, terracotta rooftops and church towers and an easy drive from the coast.

What is typically included

  • 9 nights Bed & Breakfast
  • Wine tasting
  • Privately Guided Châteaux Visit
  • Private Boat Trip and Picnic
  • E-Bike Experience
  • Full-Day Hiking Guide
  • Spa Treatment for two

Slow Travel: A French Road Trip


Day Itinerary

Guide Price




11 Day Itinerary

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