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  • Self-drive touring holiday to Provence

    La Briqueterie

    La Briqueterie

    La Briqueterie

    Chateau de Bagnols

    Chateau de bagnols

    Chateau de Bagnols

    Grand Hotel Nord-Pinus

    Grand Hotel Nord-Pinus

    Grand Hotel Nord-Pinus

    La Bastide de Tourtour

    La Bastide de Tourtour

    Chateau de Gilly

    Self-drive touring holiday to Provence

    12 nights and 13 days
    Our Tour to Provence includes a stay at seven very different hotels, each enjoying its own unique location in the regions of Champagne, Burgundy and Provence. This itinerary for a self-drive touring holiday of France makes an ideal honeymoon or just a marvellous holiday.

    Click here to download a pdf with information about some of our suggested French touring holidays.

    Drive from Calais across the chalky rolling fields of northern France to the first hotel, perhaps stopping off at the attractive UNESCO World Heritage city of Arras. Your first hotel, the Chateau de Gilly, is located in the heart of Burgundy, home of noble vintages, where village after village produces great wines. Follow the course of the Saone River into the patchwork landscapes of the Beaujolais, picking up the mighty Rhône at its confluence in Lyon, a city of gastronomic and architectural brilliance. Stay just south of Lyon in historic Vienne for one night. From here, journey on until you reach the green-grey hills and bright skies of Provence. Enjoy three nights soaking up the sights, smells and atmosphere of this enchanting and enduring region in Domaine de Capelongue, staying firstly amidst the many treasures of the Golden Triangle before heading to Arles, where you will stay for three nights on the Place du Forum in the Grand Hôtel Nord Pinus. Witness the landscapes that inspired Van Gogh - the sunflower fields near Arles and Saint-Rémy de Provence, which is immortalised in the timeless masterpiece ‘Starry Night.’ Continue southeast to Crillon le Brave, set in the hilltop hamlet in the foothills of Mont Ventoux and the Dentelles de Montmirail. This self-drive touring holiday allows you to explore at will the glorious scenery of inland Provence, with its lavender beds, perched villages, olive groves and thyme-scented air. Following your stay in Provence, drive northwards to Pugliny- Montrachet in Burgundy for one night before heading towards the Champagne region and the Hostellerie la Briqueterie where you stay, before returning to Calais.

    You can use this suggestion as it is, or let us help you to adapt it to suit your own tastes and budget.

    Prices for this self-drive holiday from £2470 per person.

    What's included:
    •One night’s bed and breakfast at the Chateau de Gilly in Burgundy
    •One night’s bed and breakfast at the Hotel la Pyramide in Vienne
    •Three night’s bed and breakfast at the Domaine de Capelongue
    •Two nights’ bed and breakfast at Grand Hôtel Nord-Pinus in Provence
    •Three nights’ bed and breakfast at Crillon le Brave in Provence
    •One night’s bed and breakfast at Le Montrachet in Pugliny- Montrachet
    •One night’s bed and breakfast at Hostellerie La Briqueterie in Champagne
    •Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais return

    If you would prefer to fly to Provence then explore using a hire-car, click to view our Fly-drive touring holiday of Provence. 

    Click the tabs above to view our suggested day-by-day touring itinerary and to find out more about the hotels featured.
    Click here to find out more about how our self-drive touring holidays work or click here to download a pdf with information about some of our suggested French touring holidays.

    Self-drive touring holiday to Provence

    Day-by-day itinerary

    Arrival in Calais and drive to the first hotel
    Make your way from Calais on the scenic route to your first hotel, Chateau de Gilly, in the historical region of Burgundy, in Gilly-lès-Cîteaux. Guests can enjoy the golden houses of the region, and enjoy the good food of a region renowned for its hospitality. Surrounded by the vineyards of Burgundy, take this opportunity to taste the wines local to this region, such as Gevrey Chambertin, Vosne Romanée, and Nuits Saint Georges, which are specific to the Gilly-lès-Citeaux area. Less than half an hour’s drive away lies the city of Dijon. The grand buildings offer a striking contrast to the quaint golden villages to be seen later on in the tour. While away the hours in the Cathedral Saint-Bénigne de Dijon, the clock tower of the Gothic church of Notre Dame the Musée de Beaux-Arts de Dijon, containing the tomb of Philip the Bold, the 14th Century Town Hall, or the Puits de Moïse (Well of Moses), seems an ideal moment to soak up the French culture and history before retiring to the Château.

    Drive from Gilly les Citeaux to Vienne

    After the rolling vineyards of Burgundy venture into the hillier landscapes of Beaujolais, home to the steepest vineyards in France, and take the time to explore the beautiful villages that nestle between the hills. Enjoy the scenery and continue onwards to your hotel where you will spend the night, situated in the Rhone Valley, just 40 minutes south of the cultural and historic city of Lyon. Vienne itself, once an important centre of the Roman Empire, boasts a rich archaeological history. Take time to see the Temple d’Auguste et de Livie and the amphitheatre, still used as a venue today. The gothic cathedral in Vienne, a striking building dating back many centuries, is also not to be missed. Perhaps venture away from Vienne and explore the renowned vineyards of the Rhone Valley or even take a day trip to the city of Lyon, just a 35- minute drive away. Wander the streets of Lyon, taking in the tremendous Roman, Gothic and Renaissance architecture of the city. Take time to visit the Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière or the Cathedral that has Romanesque and Gothic origins and whose façade is embellished with 280 stone medallions. While away the hours wandering the charming streets of the old town and exploring the famous Museum of Fine Arts.

    Journey on to Provence and Bonnieux
    Drive south through Alpine territory, and begin your time in Provence staying at the Domaine de Capelongue, a boutique hotel located just outside of Bonnieux. Spend your days here relaxing and enjoying the hotel’s extensive grounds, spa and swimming pool with panoramic views over the countryside. Perhaps explore the nearby village of Bonnieux, a village with a rich history and striking views of the vineyards and countryside. Climb the steps of the ‘Vieille Eglise’ for the views over Monts du Vaucluse or simply relax in one of the excellent cafes. The nearby villages of Gordes and Bories also provide a taste of traditional Provencal living, with charming winding streets and golden stone houses. Make sure to visit the Abbaye de Senanque, just outside of Gordes, and just a half an hour drive from the hotel and enjoy one of the finest examples of the famous Provencal lavender fields in the area. Dating back to 1148 this Cistercian monastery also offers guided tours of the church. In the evenings retreat to the private luxury of the hotel and enjoy dinner. The hotel boasts two excellent restaurants, the Gourmet Restaurant Edouard Loubert run by the eponymous double-Michelin- starred chef and the La Bergerie Restaurant, which is in a peaceful location set apart from the rest of the hotel, surrounded by lavender, orchards and pristine gardens.

    Drive from Bonnieux to Arles
    Continue southwards from Bonnieux to the historic town of Arles and your next hotel The Grand Hotel Nord Pinus, where you will stay for two nights. Situated amidst the red-roofed houses of rural Arles, the Grand Hôtel Nord Pinus is only a short walk from Arles’ impressive Roman Arena and Roman Theatre, around which the houses cluster. Of an afternoon, get lost down the maze of narrow streets typical of rural France, sample the local cuisine and produce at one of the many quaint cafes, or explore the history of the Rhone in the Carmargue Museum. Arles gained some of its international fame from the 18- month stay of Vincent Van Gogh in 1888-1889, in which he developed his swirling style and colour scheme that we now recognise as being quintessentially Van Gogh, and painted ‘Bedroom at Arles’ and ‘Starry Night’ amongst others. Arles was also the setting for his collaboration and subsequent disagreements with Gauguin, as well as his famous act of cutting off his own ear. Visit the Foundation Vincent Van Gogh Arles and view Van Gogh’s work in dialogue with more contemporary pieces. As an International Art capital, Arles is the home of a series of exciting and colourful festivals throughout the year. For example, from July to September, the Roman Theatre houses the Festival of Photography, in which live music accompanies open air night projections of the work of local and famous photographers.

    Leave Arles and drive to Crillon le Brave

    After one final appreciative glance over the spectacular views at Arles, this self-drive tour takes you to Crillon le Brave, named after its hilltop hamlet setting in the foothills of Mont Ventoux, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. A boutique and charming hotel comprising of seven village buildings, it is the perfect base for exploring this beautiful region. Provence is known for the huge variety of grapes that flourish in its heat and the fertility of its soil, but make sure to specifically try the Rosé wines served at local restaurants or wine estates to really taste the best of the Aix-en-Provence and Côtes –de-Provence regions. Excursions can be organised to the prestigious Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Vacqueyras vineyards, among others. To accompany the wine, try the local pork and trout in one of the nearby market towns, or in Crillon-le-Brave itself. Truffle hunting excursions can also be booked through the hotel’s concierge. The region also boasts spectacular scenery that can be explored on foot or by bike. For the more adventurous visitor, cycle up the winding path to the summit of Mont Ventoux and look down from the rocky, chalky mountain top over the lush green fields below. Crillon-le-Brave is less than an hour’s drive from Sault and also from Valréas, both sites of more famous lavender festivals, with an opportunity for a tour around some botanical gardens in Sault. Take some time to travel slightly further afield to the nearby city of Avignon just a 45- minute drive away, explore the many historical and cultural sites. In the evenings, relax back at the hotel, with its pool and terrace area, or perhaps enjoy a glass of wine from their extensive wine cellar, featuring some of the areas most famous vintages.

    Travel to Pugliny- Montrachet for one night 

    After enjoying breakfast at the hotel travel northwards again towards Burgundy and the small village of Pugliny- Montrachet, famed for its white wines. Le Montrachet, where you will spend one night, is a charming manor house style hotel located on the main square of the village. The stone façade with picturesque shutters and flowers conjures the image of a typical French ‘auberge’. Explore the local vineyards and the nearby town of Beaune, famous for the striking building of the Hospices de Beaune, one of France’s most distinctive historic buildings and now a museum. With its complex Gothic architecture, patterned roof and famous vineyard and wine auction, there is plenty of interest. In the evening enjoy the hearty food and wide range of vintages offered at the hotel.

    Travel to Epernay in the Champagne region
    Drive northwards and arrive into the Champagne region for your final night at Hostellerie la Briqueterie. Spend the rest of the day enjoying the luxurious surrounding green landscape, take the short drive to the Aisne and Marne valleys to see the thriving vineyards that give this region its distinctive reputation, or drive to Reims to explore the Gothic Cathedral Notre-Dame. Épernay and the neighbouring towns are home to the galleries of many champagne firms of international repute, such as Moët et Chandon and Mercier. Take this time to become acquainted with the specific flavour of this region before departing the next day.

    Travel home via Eurotunnel
     Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before continuing the journey home via Eurotunnel.

    Driving times for this touring holiday to Provence:
    Calais to Gilly-les-Citeaux – 5 hours 30 minutes
    Gilly-les-Citeaux to Vienne – 2 hours 30 minutes
    Vienne to Bonnieux – 2 hours 30 minutes
    Bonnieux to Arles – 1 hour 30 minutes
    Arles to Crillon le Brave – 1 hour 30 minutes
    Crillon le Brave to Beaune – 4 hours 15 minutes
    Beaune to Eparnay – 3 hours 30 minutes
    Eparnay to Calais – 3 hours

    Click the 'Hotel Information' tab to find out more about the hotels featured in this touring itinerary or click here to download a pdf with information about some of our suggested French touring holidays.

    Self Drive to Provence v3

    Hotel Information

    These are the charming hotels that are featured in this self-drive touring holiday to Provence. Alternative hotels are available in some destinations - please contact us for full details.

    La Briqueterie
    Nestled in the heart of the Champagne region, Hostellerie La Briqueterie is a gastronomic hotel with the ambience of understated luxury and charm typical to all Relais & Châteaux properties. Once the former brickworks of Chevirer, architect of Chaumières de France, La Briqueterie’s name and design appears as a homage to the area’s history, bringing the essence of the ‘country cottage’ to the 21st Century. The 36 rooms and 4 suites are designed individually with modern bursts of colour set against furniture in timeless French style. The wooden beams in the communal areas add unmistakable charm. The bar serves as a lounge where guests enjoy champagne by the fireside and relax in the Winter-Garden, a conservatory with an indoor fountain and exotic plants. There are spectacular views of the Champagne countryside all around and large windows bathing rooms in light. The restaurant is a sensory joy where guests enjoy Michelin starred cuisine paired with the perfect wine. The spa at La Briqueterie leaves guests with a heightened sense of wellness with treatments, a hammam steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi and indoor swimming pool. The 3 hectares of manicured grounds and fountains are a harbour of peace with stone benches to read on and fragrant flower lined trails to explore.
    Find out more here.

    La Pyramide
    Located in the centre of historic Vienne, this 4- star Relais & Chateaux property is perfect for those seeking elegant and comfortable accommodation, an excellent location and a gourmet culinary experience. The interiors of the hotel are minimalist and sophisticated and yet preserve the building’s character. Consisting of just 19 rooms and 4 apartments the ambience is peaceful and exclusive, a perfect retreat after a day spent exploring the region and Vienne itself. In the evenings indulge in the hotel’s unmissable culinary experience, either in the double Michelin-starred restaurant run by Patrick Henriroux, or in the more understated L'Espace Ph③. La Pyramide is an elegant yet warm hotel in an excellent location for exploring the historical and cultural sites of Vienne.
    Find out more here

    Domaine de Capelongue 
    The Domaine de Capelongue is a boutique four-star hotel in extensive, tranquil gardens just outside the village of Bonnieux. Made up of a series of authentic Provencal dry-stone buildings with terracotta tiled roofs the hotel boasts large grounds including botanical gardens, fruit trees and a large pool with panoramic views. These wonderful traditional features continue through the 17 rooms of this charming hotel with tiled floors, wooden furniture and textured bed throws, which are combined with contemporary flourishes of bright, neutral colours The hotel also has a spa for those wishing to simply relax at the hotel. In the evenings guests can choose between the Gourmet Restaurant Edouard Loubert, run by the eponymous double-Michelin-starred chef and La Bergerie restaurant situated in a charming corner of the hotel gardens surrounded by lavender fields and orchards. The Domaine de Capelongue offers a peaceful and traditional Provencal experience, in a beautiful location.
    Find out more here 

    Grand Hôtel Nord-Pinus
    Having been the inspiration for Van Gogh’s iconic ‘Café Terrace at Night’, the Place du Forum is the marvellous and historic setting for the Grand Hôtel Nord-Pinus. This is a four star hotel from which to experience the culturally rich Arles, enjoy boutique decoration and excellent proximity to the town’s most fascinating and famous sights. Of a classically French design, exteriors are adorned with terracotta features, wrought iron details and shuttered windows. Interiors are intimate and exude an intriguing style, where traditional and opulent design features are combined with contemporary pieces. Views look out on ageing terraced properties that are coloured with alternating hues. The hotel’s history is tangible, and evidence of its prominent guests is scattered throughout the hotel to impart a feeling of its fashionable 1950s-60s heyday. Some rooms have barely been altered since being occupied by such illustrious guests as Picasso and Hemmingway. Continental breakfasts are available at the bar and salon, where French cuisine may be enjoyed for lunch and dinner. But beyond the boundaries of the hotel, guests have the opportunity to discover neat alleyways and squares bustling with life and cultural variety.
    Find out more here.

    Crillon le Brave
    Crillon le Brave
    This boutique, Relais and Chateaux property offers charming, authentic accommodation, spread across seven village buildings in the hilltop hamlet of Crillon le Brave. Nestled in the foothills of Mont Ventoux and Dentelles de Montmirail it offers striking views of the countryside beyond. Each of the 32 rooms is individually-appointed, connected by quiet alleyways and secret courtyards, that add to the traditional character of the property. Spend your days here relaxing by the pool or exploring the nearby vineyards of this famous wine-producing region. In the evenings enjoy the regional cuisine served at the hotel’s restaurant, accompanied by a list of fine Rhone vintages. In the summer months dine al-fresco on the terrace with the beautiful panoramic views as a backdrop. A charming and elegant hotel, Crillon le Brave is an excellent base for exploring the local area.
    Find out more here 
    Le Montrachet
    Le Montrachet is a charming 4-star, manor house style hotel located in the main square of the small village of Pugliny-Montrachet, a village famous for its white wines. Built in regional stone, with white shutters and flowers underneath the windows the hotel typifies the image of a quintessential ‘auberge’. A small hotel of just 29 rooms it has a rustic style with all of the rooms decorated simply yet comfortably with contemporary flourishes. In the evenings guests can choose to dine at restaurant at the hotel, which provides a reasonably priced menu that uses fresh, local produce for a regional inspired menu. Le Montrachet is a comfortable and charming hotel and is ideally located for exploring the renowned wine- producing region.  
    Find out more here
    Chateau de Gilly
    Former residence of the Priors of Cîteaux, the four-star Château de Gilly offers high standards of accommodation and cuisine and is beautifully situated at the heart of the Burgundy vineyards. Once the palace cellar, the elegant, vaulted restaurant Le Clos Prieur is just the place to enjoy a gourmet dinner accompanied by fine local wines. The 48 bedrooms have been refurbished to offer modern comforts, whilst retaining their individuality and fine architectural features. To the front of the hotel are remarkable formal French-style gardens together with an outdoor heated swimming pool.
    Find out more here.

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  • France

    Find out more about France

    France FAST FACTS


    Main airports are in Paris, Bordeaux and Lyon, with scheduled and low cost airlines flying into the country from all over the UK.
    Euro (£1 = Euro 1.24)
    Roughly 600 miles wide and 700 miles long
    66 million
    Average temperature
    Varies dramatically, from about 8 degrees in winter in Brittany to 26 degrees in summer in Corsica, with snow on the Alps and Pyrenees year-round


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