France tour highlights
Whether you travel for the ornate chateaux and beautiful gardens, the tranquil canals, soaring mountains, glittering coastlines or delicious cuisine, France offers a wealth of experiences to suit all kinds of traveller.
You could find yourself pedalling serenely along the banks of the Canal du Midi, lacing up your hiking boots to walk the spectacular Tour du Mont Blanc route, cooling off in the crystalline lakes and bays along the French Riviera on a self-guided walking holiday or sampling sparkling wines in elegant vineyards.
Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in Europe (west of the Caucasus) and rises some 4,808 metres above sea level. Straddling three country borders with its immense bulk, the mountain is covered with a carpet of wildflowers in spring and summer, with the forests providing cool shelter from the heat. Tick off three countries as you embark on our Tour du Mont Blanc trip, tracing the historic circular route through France, Italy and Switzerland around the magnificent glacier-topped peak. It’s one of the most spectacular and well-recognised trekking routes in Europe, traversing some 148 kilometres over five major passes. Highlights include the charming Italian town of Courmayeur, enjoying the stillness of the Chamonix Valley and delicious local wine and mountain fare in traditional auberges along the route. You can also walk the Tour du Mont Blanc on a self-guided holiday, navigating yourself around the mighty massif.
Spanning 280 kilometres along the Loire River, the Loire Valley is a perfect example of France’s splendour and gastronomy. Once the domain of France’s nobility, the region is studded with chateaux, prized vineyards producing outstanding wines and UNESCO-listed villages. Get closer to the dreamy landscapes on our Loire Valley Cycling trip, pedalling through the pretty towns and dropping into medieval villages like Amboise and Azay-le-Rideau, or beautiful Montrichard with its bustling markets. A highlight is the Château de Chenonceau; spanning the Cher river, it is among one of the most striking and photographed castles of the Loire. Along the way, refuel with fine French cuisine and local wine.
Canal du Midi
Weaving for some 240 kilometres across the South of France, the Canal du Midi was once considered one of the greatest construction works of the 17th century. Today, the peaceful waterway is used mostly for pleasure cruising, with small river vessels travelling between the sun-drenched towns of Carcassonne and Narbonne. The tow paths that follow the route of the canal are popular with walkers and cyclists, who can enjoy the scenery of vineyards, sunflower fields and medieval villages. Embark on our Cycle Canal du Midi and you’ll pedal between Cathar Castles and bountiful markets, the fortress town of Carcassonne and the wine-growing region of Béziers.
Perhaps best known for its rolling fields of fragrant lavender, hilltop towns clutching cliffs and almost wall-to-wall sunshine, the region of Provence is vast and marvellously diverse. In the morning you may find yourself among the rocky Southern Alps, while lunch maybe enjoyed to the sound of chirruping cicadas in a sleepy vineyard, and evenings spent among the elegant coastal resorts of the Cote d’Azur. Join our Cycle Provence tour to explore at a slower pace, spinning the wheels between the landscapes that once inspired Van Gogh and a fleet of other artists. You’ll visit the village of St-Remy-de-Provence, the southern slopes of magnificent Mont Ventoux and cycle between the charming villages of the Vaucluse. If travelling on foot is more your thing, our Self-Guided Walking in Provence trip allows you to discover Venasque, Lagnes and the Vaucluse at your own pace.
Solo travel in France
If you prefer to travel solo, our France holidays offer a great opportunity to explore, accompanied by expert tour leaders and like-minded travellers. Each of our tours has been designed to suit both solo travellers and those in groups of couples or friends, and you'll typically find that around half of your group is travelling solo. Not only will your holiday take you to fantastic sights, both big-hitters and off-the-beaten-track gems shared by our expert local guides, but you're also likely to meet like-minded fellow travellers to share your experiences with.