Paris – Champagne - Burgundy – Berry – Loire Valley - Paris
6 days - 5 nights
Paris / Vaux-le-Vicomte / Troyes / Dijon
A preserved genuine masterpiece of French 17 century art. The architect, decorator and gardener who created Vaux-le-Vicomte are the same who created Versailles later.
Vaux was the tragic setting for the downfall of Fouquet, a faithful finance minister who paid the price of life imprisonment for casting a shadow over the Sun-King.
Former capital of the Champagne region, famous for its fairs in the middle ages, Troyes is full of charm. Walking tour of the old town, visit of the Modern Art museum, set in the former bishop's palace, it houses one of the richest collection in France (Vlaminck, Derain, Matisse, Dufy, Modigliani, Soutine, Rouault, Van Dongen, Daumier, Maillol, Picasso, Cézanne, Seurat...)
In the heart of the largest champagne vineyards : "La Côte des Bar", south of the Champagne region next to Burgundy and close to the sources of the Seine river, you will visit Les Ricey, the only village in France to have three appellation wines: Champagne, Côteaux Champenois and Rosé des Riceys. With its delicate bouquet of wild flowers, violets and hazelnuts, it was a particular favourite of Louis XIV and is one of the finest in France.
Arrival and accommodation in Dijon. Time at leisure in the capital of Burgundy, starting point for a tour of the great vintage wines. Heir to the splendour and prestige of the Court of the Dukes of Burgundy, Dijon is a great destination for the gourmet, the wine-lover and the amateur of art and history.
Dinner and accommodation in Dijon
Dijon / Route of the Burgundy wines / Beaune
Visit the old districts of Dijon and the Fine Arts museum housed in the former Dukes' Palace, in which the tombs of the Dukes of Burgundy can be found.
Excursion to the Route of the Burgundy wines.
Château du Clos-Vougeot : Home of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin (Brotherhhod of the Knights of the Tastevins founded in 1934 to promote the Burgundy wines), the Château du Clos de Vougeot was built in the Renaissance period.
Nuit-saint-Georges : attractive little town, center of the of the vineyards to which it has given its name. The fame of the wines of Nuits goes back to Louis XIV, when the royal doctor, Fagon, advised the king to take some glasses of Nuits with each meal as a tonic.
Capital of the Burgundy wine. Visit the Hotel-Dieu, a marvel of Burgundian-Flemish art, founded as a hospital by Chancellor Nicolas Rolin in 1443, it was used as a general hospital until 1971. See the magnificent roofs of colored glazed tiles, the preserved medieval decor and the famous polyptych of the Last Judgement by Roger Van Der Weyden, masterpiece of Flemish art, commissioned by Nicolas Rolin in 1445.
Dinner and accommodation in Beaune.
Tournus / Cormatin / Paray-le-Monial / Boussac
One of the oldest and most important monastic centre in France. Admire in the central nave of the church Saint Philibert, the most unusual feature of five transverse barrel vaults.
Château de Cormatin
Extraordinary Louis XIII décor (circa 1630). In the Marchioness room, a magnificent French ceiling in gold and blue, with a painting of Venus and Vulcan, work of the second Fontainebleau school, symbolises love. The sumptuous Baroque décor in the Cabinet de Sainte-Cecile is dominated by very blue lapis-lazuli and rich gilding.
The town's basilica, cradle of the worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a Magnificent example of Burgundian Romanesque architecture.
Dinner and accommodation in Château de Boussac (near Montluçon) or Château de la commanderie in Farges Alichamps Near Moulins
Culan / Bourges / Menetou-Salon / la Verrerie
Built between the XIIth and the XVth century, the castle of Culan is an exceptionally preserved feudal fortress endowed with towers surmounted by a wooden wall walk ("hourd", overhanging timber fighting gallery).
Capital town of the Berrry region, geographical center of France, departure point to visit the Sancerre wine region.
St Etienne cathedral, guided tour of Palais Jaques Cœur. Born in Bourges around the year 1400, Jacques Coeur rapidly rose to the top of the social ladder. After he became Finance Minister to the King Charles VII and a nobleman, he began the construction of his Palace, which was finished around 1450. This monument unique in France for its time illustrates the original personality of its builder.
Menetou Salon chalky-clay hillsides close to Sancerre produce very good, expressive, fresh and balanced white (Sauvignon) and red wines ( Pinot Noir).
Overnight at La Verrerie a lovely castle built in the 15th century, nestled alongside a romantic lake and surrounded by a large forest, between the Sancerre vineyards and the Loire Valley castles.
La Verrerie / Nançay or Foëcy / Valençay
Established in the nicely restored stables of the château de Nancay, the gallery Capazza exhibits painting, sculptures, pottery etc created by 65 different artists. (opened on week-ends)
Visit in the village of Foëcy, the famous Limoges porcelain factory 'Philippe Deshoulières', learn about the making of porcelain and be tempted in their factory shop.
Valençay is geographically speaking in the Berry region (capital town : Bourges), but belongs by the style and the size to the major castles of the Loire Valley.
Dinner and accommodation near Tour
Azay-le Rideau / Ussé / Villandry / Langeais / Paris
Azay-le Rideau, gem of the Renaissance set on the banks of the Indres.
Ussé, the castle which inspired Charles Perrault for his 'Sleeping beauty' seems actually to come out from a fairy tale. Villandry, with its fascinating ornamental kitchen garden and romantic flower garden representing outlined in boxes, four allegories of love. Langeais, very nice middle-age castle with a draw-bridge, a sentry walk and inside, apartments with beautiful period furnishings and colorful tapestries that exude a genuine medieval atmosphere.
Return to Paris, end of our services.