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Discover French treasures during the autumn holidays

A French journey full of flavour and culture.

7 Days - 6 Nights

Imagine a journey through southwestern France, where rolling vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see and the scent of ripening grapes fills the air. This round trip will take you to explore the rich flavours and cultural treasures of iconic destinations. Immerse yourself in the history of Cognac, where every street tells a story, and then explore the vast vineyards of Bordeaux, home to the world's most acclaimed wines. Along the way, taste artisanal balsamic, enjoy art and architecture, and experience the unmistakable French lifestyle. This is a journey that will awaken all your senses and capture your heart.

Day 1: Cognac

Your outward journey starts via the Loire region, 'the garden of France', towards Cognac. You will stay three nights in an exceptional Caractère hotel located in the beautiful medieval centre of Cognac, a stone's throw from the river Charente.

Day 2: Angoulème

Today you'll spend half a day exploring the region by bike or by Citroën 2CV. You will drive among the vineyards where you are guaranteed a variety of views and unique memories. After this, you continue to the art and history city of Angoulème, also called the French capital of comic strips. From its lofty upper town with ramparts, you have stunning views of the Charente valley, which is why this city is often called 'the balcony of the southwest'. The beautiful mansions, alleyways and many painted walls with cartoon characters turn Angoulème into a paradise for art lovers. On the way to this city, you may want to visit an estate where they make the famous and artisanal French balsamic. You'll end your visit with a tasting of balsamic with oysters!

Day 3: Cognac - Martell Foundation / La Rochelle - Île de Ré

Your day starts with exploring the centre of Cognac. After a delicious lunch, you will visit a renowned cognac house with tasting afterwards. You then continue to the art incubator "Martell Foundation". Here you will discover works by local contemporary artists where your 5 senses will be stimulated. There is even a playful exhibition for children. Another option is to take a day trip to La Rochelle with its cosy historic port and streets, many restaurants and numerous monuments. Then continue via a long toll bridge to the 'White Island' Île de Ré, a paradise for nature lovers.

Day 4: Bordeaux

Today you will discover one of France's most famous wine regions, Bordeaux. You will stay three nights in a magnificent Caractère hotel in the middle of the vineyards.

Day 5: Bordeaux

You go on a day trip to the wine city of Bordeaux, arguably the most beautiful French city after Paris. Today, Bordeaux is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, a reborn city of unsurpassed beauty. For these reasons, exploring this city and its surrounding famous vineyards is highly recommended. You can do this on your own or with a slow travel bike programme with private guide. Afterwards, you can optionally visit a wine estate with a tasting afterwards.

Day 6: La Cité du Vin - Dune du Pilat - Arachon

Extend your experience of yesterday with a visit to the spectacular museum 'La Cité du Vin', where all aspects of winemaking are on display. Next stop is the Dune du Pilat, the highest dune in Europe. You will end your day in the Bay of Arcachon where you will visit a large oyster breeding pond and then taste delicious oysters at a cosy little port. Prefer to take it a little easier? Then relax at your hotel's impressive wellness centre.

Day 7: Going home

Today you return home still savouring all the delights of the past few days. You can also choose to extend your holiday for a few more days in a Caractère hotel of your choice or make a stopover at one of our hotels along the Loire on your return journey. We will be happy to help you with this!

Why book with Caractère?

  • Best price guarantee
  • Caractère extras
  • Unique collection of boutique hotels in Europe
  • Just one phone call or email away from our enthusiastic travel experts
  • New finds every month
  • 30 years specialist in Europe
  • Pay safely
  • No extra or hidden fees
  • Flexible cancellation (ex. non-refundable)
Contact us for your tailor-made trip
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