Cultural Tour in Rural France (trip)

Cultural Tour in Rural France

  • Lyon Airport, France
  • Culture & Nature
“Oakland ”
France, Europe

from $3,290* per person8 DaysYear-round
Luxury accommodations Exertion level: 3
Operator: French Escapade 12 people max
Discover our jewel in the SE France, hidden places not listed in travel books. You will discover the diversity of this amazing region, from quaint villages to the lofty peaks and glaciers of the Alps.

Experience the French culture through a local market, medieval villages unknown from tourists, a medieval castle, a 19th century oil mill, the majestic Alps and of course through local product tasting like chocolate, Charteuse liqueur, cheese and wine.

This trip is ideal if you like the untouched, non touristy country side: from villages and markets to lakes and mountains (Foothills of the French Alps, on the border with Switzerland and Italy).

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Locations visited/nearby

France, Europe

2 testimonials about this trip

  1. Reviewer: M Mc Canta located in Oakland, CA USA
  2. Reviewer: J Bauerlen located in Los Altos, CA USA
    Los Altos

3 testimonials about the provider, French Escapade:

  • Reviewer: Jill G., Laytonville located in Laytonville CA USA
     We had never done a tour before we traveled with you, and we will never do another tour unless it's with you. We always appreciated all the hard work you put into your tour, but now, we REALLY appreciate it, having experienced what it's like on a "non-French Escapade" tour ", now that we are on a motorcycle tour of southern Italy. Although there have been many wonderful moments on the trip so far, it has been a disappointment because you have spoiled us on the French Escapade tour! Oh, how I wish you were here with us! You attention to details, your kindness, your knowledge of the region made the trip so memorable. We will travel with you again next year."
  • Reviewer: Jim H.and Cully B. located in Los Altos, CA USA
    "'Shall I tell you what I think are the two qualities of a work of art? First, it must be indescribable and second, it must be inimitable' -Renoir.
    Jac and Valerie, this quote from Renoir captures our feelings very well, you created something that is beyond words and certainly can’t be imitated."
  • Reviewer: Bonnie C. located in Oakland, CA USA
    "From the moment we connected at the airport, I felt myself relax! Jackie and Valerie attended to every detail of making the trip safe, educational, entertaining, and country-French authentic. Yet they did it with a kind of grace and that felt like each person's needs and tastes were important, and respected. It was so refreshing to just surrender to the beauty of the place, and to their special charms and TLC. We all wanted to live there forever, or, lacking that, take them both home with us. Dream on, dream on."

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Special information

  • This is a custom departure, meaning this trip is offered on dates that you arrange privately with the provider. Additionally, you need to form your own private group for this trip. The itinerary and price here is just a sample. Contact the provider for detailed pricing, minimum group size, and scheduling information. For most providers, the larger the group you are traveling with, the lower the per-person cost will be.
  • You need to form your own private group for this trip. It will be scheduled for a date you arrange with the provider. The itinerary here is just a sample.
  • Offers some solo-only/singles departures.
  • Offers some women-only departures.


Day 1: Welcome in Aix-les-Bains

We will pick you up at the Aix-les Bains train station. Upon your arrival at the hotel, you will have time to sette in and relax, either by the lake just outside the hotel or in the beautiful spa town of Aix les Bains

In the evening, we will have an orientation meeting followed by a gourmet dinner.

Day 2: Spellbing Chartreuse Mountains

We will drive you across the Chartreuse Mountains, a land of extraordinary beauty and serenity. You will visit the Chartreuse Correrie, a museum in a monastery, and then walk in the peaceful surroundings of the Chartreuse monastery where the Chartreux monks still live today.

Afternoon: Chartreuse Liqueur Tasting

We will visit the Chartreuse cellars, the longest liqueur cellar in the world, where you will learn all about the making of this world famous beverage.

This is where, from a secret recipe guarded by the monks for centuries, the Chartreuse liqueur has been produced from over 130 plants. You will have the opportunity to taste over 10 different kinds of Chartreuse liqueurs.

Day 3: Breathtaking Mont Blanc, the Heart of the Alps

Morning: Mont Blanc Glacier
We will be heading to the highest mountain in Europe. Breathtaking views of the Mont Blanc await us at Chamonix, the capital city of the mountaineers.
The Montenvers train will take us on a journey through deep forests and splendid vistas overlooking the valley. Traveling along impressive peaks, you will arrive at the unique Mer de Glace ("Sea of Ice") glacier.

You will have the thrill of exploring the inside of this glacier through a tunnel carved in the ice and of viewing its never-to-be-forgotten exhibit of ice sculptures.

Afternoon: Visit of Chamonix
You will have time to shop or stroll through the chalet-town of Chamonix, the biggest ski resort in the world. The high mountains surrounded the town are beautiful.
Day 4: Annecy or 'The Little Venice of the Alps'

Morning: Market in Annecy
Annecy is the French show-piece of lakes-and-mountain beauty. The Canal crossing Annecy brings Venice to mind as you stroll along its banks. We will stroll the medieval narrow streets to admire the renaissance houses along the canal as well as the famous old prison, one of the most photographed monuments in France!

We will also have the opportunity to go to the local market in the old Annecy.        

Afternoon: Annecy lake

Enjoy Annecy Lake, the cleanest lake in Europe, surrounded by majestic mountains. Why not rent a motor or paddle boat? If you prefer, there are beautiful trails by the lake. You may choose to take hundreds of pictures in the old medieval part of town. Annecy is unforgettable.

Day 5: Local Market and Chocolate Tasting

Morning: Market and Berlioz museum
We will experience a little market only the locals know about; it is a 13th-century covered market where the locals meet.

After a stop at one of the cafes to savor the local ambiance, you'll be able to stroll in this authentic medieval and Renaissance town. You can also visit the home of the famous French composer, Hector Berlioz, which is now a museum dedicated to his work.
Afternoon: Chocolate tasting
We will visit a chocolate exhibit, the "Paradis du Chocolat". The history and making of chocolate will have no more secrets for you.

Tasting the delicious cakes made by Pierre Jouvenal, the famous chocolate maker of the Dauphine region will delight your palate.

Day 6: Historical Lyon

This day will be dedicated to the discovery of magical Lyon, a World Heritage city known as the Capital of Gourmet Cuisine. The Fourviere Basilica, with its breathtaking view of the city, will be our first stop.

You will also explore the superb Roman Theater built in 43 AD, and then on to the Renaissance quarter, the second biggest renaissance quarter in the world, listed World Heritage by UNESCO.        

Day 7: Walnut Oil Tasting and Spa

We will drive east along the Rhone River, through beautiful vineyards and picturesque villages to the lovely village of Chanaz.

We will attend a walnut oil making demonstration in a 19th-century mill.        
This is a unique opportunity that can't be missed since this mill is the only one left in France listed historical monument where the oil is still made like it was in the 19th century.

You will of course have a chance to taste the delicious and organic walnut, hazelnut and almond oils as well as the homemade jams.

Afternoon: Spa and massage

In the 19th century, princes and the European aristocracy came to Aix for its international reknowned spas. Even today, Aix is the second largest spa town in France.

We will treat you for a very relaxing afternoon in the thermal bath of Aix. You will have access to all the spa center facilities: naturally warm indoor and outdoor thermal water pools, whirlpools, saunas and steam baths, gym and relaxation areas, bar and patios. Possibilty to get a massage, mud bath, etc...

For our last evening, we will treat you for a dinner cruise on the magnificient Bourget lake. After dinner, the boat plays a sound and light show on the wild cliffs of the lake. It is truly unforgettable!

Photo credit: Compagnie des bateaux du lac        

Day 8: Departure

After our last breakfast together, we'll drive you to Aix-les-Bains train station by 10am.

More information from French Escapade: