Art and Architecture: Gothic to Graffiti
On our award-winning tours, France in all its guises opens up to you as we explore its charming back roads. You get a sense of the country’s medieval history as we visit the fortified cities of Carcassonne and Mont St Michel, with their fairytale turrets and sheer stone walls. However, France is not a country stuck in the past – on our Provence and the French Riviera itinerary we visit the glamorous seaside ports of Antibes and Cannes, swapping cloisters for cocktails on the promenade.
You also have the opportunity to visit some of the gems of French culture on our tours. France’s most famous artists and their works make for inspiring viewing: we visit Giverny, the colourful home of Claude Monet, on our La Belle France tour; while travelling Provence and the Riviera, you can admire Henri Matisse’s contemporary masterpiece, the Chapelle du Rosaire, and marvel at the works of Vincent Van Gogh in Arles, who painted his starry night over the city.
Wine: Sparkling or Smooth
It wouldn’t be an authentic French holiday without sampling the regions’ world-famous tipples. Tour France by the bottle with our Paris to Nice through Vineyards and Mountains itinerary, which takes you from Champagne through Chablis to the Chartreuse Mountains, tasting their iconic flavours and learning about their heritage as you go.
It’s not just about sampling the produce on our tours; France’s history is entwined with its grapevines. A stroll down the Avenue de Champagne in Epernay immerses you in the region’s wine-making heritage, as does a visit to the charming Hospices of Beaune in Burgundy. Our knowledgeable and experienced tour leaders will ensure that you understand and appreciate this vital vinous aspect of French culture.
Culinary Experiences: Forest to Frying Pan
We at Back-Roads pride ourselves on the culinary discoveries that we encourage our customers to make. We offer exquisite dining experiences that feature quintessential French cuisine – such as sea-fresh oysters from the port of La-Teste-de-Buch – but we also value opportunities to give you a French culinary education. Whether cheese sampling in Liverot or truffle hunting in the Vézère Valley, you can follow the journey of your food from forest to frying pan when you tour France with Back-Roads.
Scenery: Alpine Ridge to Riviera
On our array of tours, France – from north-west Normandy to south-east Niece – is on show in all its splendour. The country offers a panoply of panoramas, which you can view from the wide windows of our dedicated mini-coaches. They always take the characterful back roads and never the motorways, allowing you to experience the subtle architectural, geographical and cultural shifts as you travel.
As you tour France, the vistas may be natural – such as the Great Dune of Pilat or the jaw-dropping Gorges Du Verdon – or incredible feats of human engineering, like the remarkable Pont du Gard aquaduct on the route to Provence or the atmospheric quarry-cum-art gallery of the Carrières de Lumières.
If you’re looking for a truly authentic French holiday experience, weaving together the various treasures of history, culture, cuisine and wine that its eclectic regions have to offer, tour France with Back-Roads.