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Our Favourite French Short-Breaks

Posted 05 Feb 2019

Say "bonjour" to a getaway that doesn’t require weeks off work and complex advance planning. The ultimate short escape should be easy and relaxing – book it on a whim, if you will. A spontaneous friends’ weekend, a grand romantic gesture, or some much-needed rest and recuperation… Why not nip to France for some me-time (or us-time)? Here’s what we love most about a short sojourn in the French countryside. 

Maximum adventure, minimum travel

Many of our destinations are just a short hop from the UK. After a one to two-and-a-half-hour flight to Avignon, Marseilles or Rennes, you’ll be whisked to your hotel in less than an hour. A fuss-free transfer means you’re in the heart of the French countryside before you can say "au revoir" to your colleagues. You'll soon be strolling along the boulevards of Saint Rémy de Provence on our Perfumes of Provence tour, or exploring the medieval streets of Chinon on our Châteaux of the Loire tour. We take care of your transfers and luggage, and the itineraries are flexible – for if, say, a little longer in one place takes your fancy – making sure you get the most out of every day.

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Local exploration

A few days is an ideal amount of time get to know the locale, and gives you time to peruse independent shops, hidden gem museums and wander down the side streets. At the start of our Châteaux of the Loire tour, you may choose to explore Château de Chinon, adored by Henry II and his great love,Eleanor of Aquitaine. Or, perhaps you'll choose to pedal to the nearby abbey of Fontevraud, a museum at the peaceful confluence of the river Vienne and the Loire. Later you’ll wonder at the Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, rising from the river like a mysterious apparition, with its neo-Renaissance salon and lush parkland.

On your final day, head off to Château Villandry, an exquisite French country house with pristine gardens and a glorious terrace restaurant, serving local Loire wines and a farmer’s market menu. 

Find out more here.

Adventure and eateries

During our Perfumes of Provence tour, lose yourself in the undulating countryside and wend your way to Cavaillon, claiming to be the melon capital of the world. Wander round the cathedral or synagogue, or perhaps climb the hill of St Jacques to view the plains stretching for miles around. Intrepid travellers might make time for the Via Ferrata of Cavaillon – not for the faint-hearted. You’ll see St Jacques from a different perspective, via a rope climbing course through a cave and along the cliffs. Feeling like something more low-key? From Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, why not make a beeline for the rolling vineyards of Château Romanin to sample the local specialty wines, or be lured by the rich smells of chocolatier Joel Durand, with a seemingly never-ending range of delicate flavours?

Find out more here. 

On your final day in Provence, you may choose to ride to L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, a city defined by the veins of water running through it. The town is packed with eateries, like La Flourdiliz, a creperie hidden on an unassuming street. At La Dominici you can stop for a coffee and scoop – or three – of ice cream on a terrace overlooking the Sorgue before you pedal home.

Find out more here. 

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