Golden Silence Self Drive Motoring Tour in France - Provence & Alps
Why take a self-drive holiday?
With the tiresome and frustrating feeling of just being a number at any of the UK airports and the hassle of obtaining a seat, let alone sitting together on the plane - then the days of the open road start to beckon again. [scroll below for full details of this French Tour]
Easy on and off ferry or tunnel crossings means one heads straight on to the open road. France has far less traffic than the UK, which seems another good reason. There are no problems of putting up with uncontrollable children or unpleasant fellow travellers. You travel door to door and can return with as many gifts and wines as your car can carry.
“Silence is golden” it is said and in this modern world it is more difficult to come by easily. When we were offered the chance to co-operate with the Relais du Silence hotel chain we were pleased to accept. This association of individually owned hotels covers more than eight countries in Europe all with one thing in mind – to offer a stay in lovely quiet surroundings with excellent facilities, which include swimming pools and tennis courts in many cases and all with superb restaurants offering typical regional cuisine and using local produce.
Provence and the Alps Tour:
A 14 night tour that takes in the lavender fields and hills of Provence, the eastern part of the Cote d’Azur and the mountains of the Rhone Alps and southern shores of Lake Leman (or Geneve as it can be known)
Night 1: Your first night is in the countryside just north of Dijon at the Chateau de Rigny - a typical historic mansion located within 12 acres of grounds on the banks of the River Soane. Click on the photo for further details.
Nights 2-5: A four-night stay in the heart of the Luberon at this three star Hotel Le Mas de Guilles once a 17th century farmhouse now converted into a three stars 29 bedroomed hotel. Complete with lovely gardens and a large swimming pool to lounge around. This area became famous because of author Peter Mayle who wrote “A year in Provence” a book perhaps not well admired by the locals who live here! Click on the photo for further details and pictures.
An alternative is the four star Auberge de Cassagne that is just 10 minutes drive from Avignon. A splendid traditional hotel set in well-tended gardens with a pool, tennis, sauna and gym to while away the time. Supplement of £35 p.p.p.night. Click on the photo for extra details.
Nights 6-9: Now to the Mediterranean shores of Port Grimaud to stay at the three star Hotel le Suffren. Located in the bay of St Tropez and just a short 200 yards walk from the nearest beach. Great sea views.
The alternative is just up the road in the pretty small resort of La Lavandou at the three star Hotel Belle Vue that has splendid views across St Clair bay.
Night 10: Time to head north via the wild mountains of the Rhone Alps between Sisteron and Gap to stay in the three star Ferme de l’Izoard – an 18th century original farmhouse and buildings all now converted to a 23-roomed hotel. Complete with a restaurant and you do not have far to roam for a good fixed price menu that starts from £13 upwards.
Nights 11 & 12: Now a chance to explore the surroundings of Lake Leman at the typical Savoyard style chalet hotel Le Bois Joli. From here you enjoy the views of Mt Blanc and yet only 10km from the spring waters of St.Evian and you can also pop into Switzerland to taste the wines and cuisine of the Valais region.
Alternative hotel is the three star Le Manoir set in lovely gardens in the picturesque lake side resort of Aix les Bains.
The hotel is situated close to a number of thermal baths!
Night 13: Home ward bound via the historic town of Provins with its half timbered houses and lying between the Brie and Champagne regions. This lovely wood framed Hotel Aux Vieux Ramparts is ideal for your final night being in the town centre with a choice of restaurants to sample.
Lastly, for something really special you might opt to stay in the four star Chateau des Bondons – an 18th century château in 12 acres of landscaped gardens in La Ferté sous Jouarre, just south of Reims (supplement of £35 p.p.p.n)