Eating and drinking like God in France

10 Days - 9 Nights

Oysters, truffles, seafood or foie gras... Whatever favourite indulgence you have, you will find it in abundance in this delightful part of western France.

Let the invigorating Atlantic sea breeze transport you from the beautiful coast to the fascinating inland with its impressive valleys, breathtaking limestone plateaus, green meadows and dense forests. Discover the most beautiful cycling routes on Île de Ré, get lost in Jules Verne's town, admire Unesco World Heritage sites and enjoy art and culture à volonté.

Along the way, one culinary surprise after another awaits you. Everything during this experience trip is dedicated to 'produits du terroir'. We will gladly map out your route, depending on what you want to experience.

Day 1: Departure to La Plaine-sur-Mer

Your outward journey starts via the Loire region, "the garden of France," before reaching the Atlantic Coast. This is where you will stay two nights at a Caractère hotel, near Pornic.

Day 2: La Baule and the peninsula of Guérande

La Baule is a popular and fashionable seaside resort with a casino. Its sandy beaches are impressive and further alternate with coves, inlets and fishing ports. A little further north is Guérande, famous for its salt pans that produce, among other things, the excellent "Fleur de Sel". The hinterland is formed by the regional natural park Brière - and Nantes, 'la belle ville', is also nearby. This metropolis is one of France's greatest cultural, artistic and creative centers. A visit to the city of Jules Verne is not complete until you have discovered the "Machines de l'Ile.

Day 3: La Plaine-sur-Mer - Ile de Ré or Cognac

After the Vendée, with a drive or boat trip through the Marais Poitevin with its numerous canals, you are already fully into the Poitou-Charentes. You will drive to La Rochelle, with its cozy historic port, many restaurants and numerous monuments. A three kilometer long toll bridge takes you to the "White Island," Île de Ré, where you will stay two nights in one of our hotels. You can also choose Cognac with its beautiful medieval center where you will then stay two nights in another Caractère hotel.

Day 4: Cycling on Île de Ré or Île d'Oléron

On Île de Ré you will find the most beautiful cycling routes. They take you along the salt pans of Loix to Ars-en-Ré or further to the "Phare des Baleines," a lighthouse named after the many whales that washed ashore there at the time. But you can also enjoy cycling on Île d'Oléron: along the 'Côte Sauvage' through the dunes to La Cotinière, famous for its shrimp fishermen or further through the 'Marais aux Oiseaux' to Boyardville. Here, above the waves, you get a view of Fort Boyard. Drive back via the Route des Huîtres. If you are staying in Cognac: visit the art and history town of Angoulème, also called the French capital of comic strips. From its elevated upper town with fortified walls, you have a magnificent view 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 make Angoulème a paradise for art lovers.

Day 5: Via Rochefort to Bordeaux

Via Rochefort with its rich maritime past, your journey continues to Marennes, the mecca of French oysters (not if you're staying in Cognac). You continue towards Bordeaux to the famous Médoc region where you will stay three nights in one of the Caractère hotels.

Day 6: Médoc and the 'Route des Châteaux'

The Médoc wine-growing region stretches along the left bank of the Gironde River, from Saint-Vivien-de-Médoc in the north to Bordeaux in the south. This region consists of three areas: the wooded strip along the coast, the limestone hills with the cellars where the wine is brought to maturity and, to the south, the prestigious vineyards of Haut-Médoc. Explore this famous French wine region via the "Route des Châteaux": where you can taste and buy wines at different estates.

Day 7: Bordeaux and Pomerol

Through the 'Entre-deux-Mers' wine region and the abbey of Sauve-Majeure (Unesco World Heritage Site), located on the pilgrimage route to Compostela, you will drive to the picturesque Saint-Emilion known for its excellent wines. The adventure continues through Pomerol and Libourne, to visit one of France's most beautiful cities: Bordeaux. Since its reconversion, this city seems reborn and displays an unsurpassed beauty.

Day 8: The White Périgord

You will drive inland to the wonderful land of truffles and foie gras, the Dordogne/Périgord. A stop can be made in Périgueux or charming Brantôme, the "Venice of the Périgord". Via Thiviers, with its small foie gras museum you will drive to Sorges, the true capital of truffles. You will spend two nights in a hotel near Sarlat.

Day 9: The Black Périgord

Through the impressive valley of the Vézère you are soon at the most famous prehistoric caves of Lascaux, where a museum displays a perfect copy. You will notice the medieval traces of the Hundred Years' War in Montignac or Sarlat, famous for its foie gras.

Day 10: Going home

On day 10, you return home with a taste of all the delights of the past few days. You can also choose to extend your holiday for a few more days at a Caractère hotel of your choice. We will be happy to help you with this!

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