French Chateaux, Wineries and Delicious Picnic Lunches

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I had the real pleasure of leading a private Tailor-Made Tour for the Stirling family visiting Carcassonne; Bordeaux; Chinon; Bayeux; & Paris, France. Having met the delightful Mr & Mrs Stirling (Jeff & Bev) and their great friends (Valda & Glenys) on our first day in Carcassonne, in the Languedoc region of Southern France, we took a leisurely drive to a wonderful winery in Medoc, and enjoyed a fabulous wine tour of a local Chateau. This was followed by the opportunity to taste one or two fine wines, but unfortunately not for me because as the driver, I needed to remain tea total throughout!


After a light lunch, we drove on to the famous wine growing region of Bordeaux and checked into the wonderful Château Grattequina, on the banks of the mighty Garonne River, which was to be home for the next two nights.


Dinner on our first evening was at a lovely restaurant in the quayside area of this magnificent city, which allowed everyone to settle into the holiday and relax; get to know one another; and enjoy a wonderful meal together. The next day we went on a very enjoyable scenic tour to a number of local Bordeaux wineries, which really were superb. During the day we had a lovely picnic lunch, and found that this simple pleasure was to become a popular feature of our daily routine as the tour progressed.


On day three, we visited the truly wonderful Coulon, a small town in the Marais Poitevin just west of Niort, also fondly known as the ‘Green Venice’ as it is France’s second largest wetland, and there we met up with two of my dear friends, Ceris & Michel who live and work there.


Having enjoyed a lovely guided tour of the Marais, lunch by the quayside, and the magnificent scenery, it was time to drive on to Chinon and check into the lovely Château de Marçay, which was to be our base for the next 3 nights. For the next few days we enjoyed leisurely scenic visits to magnificent Chateaux; wineries; and local restaurants, and together with our ever popular picnic lunches, spent time luxuriating in total rest and relaxation, simply watching the world go by.


Continuing our leisurely journey northwards, we visited Angers Castle; Dinan; the magnificent Mont St Michel; Bayeux; St Wandrille de Fontenelle Abbey; and Monet’s House & Garden at Giverny; before we finally had to part company and say our ‘good byes’ in Central Paris on the last day of our truly magical 8 day tour. I know that our guests had a fantastic time, and I have to say, that although I was working, I had a really fantastic time too. Our guests were delightful company; generous to a fault; humorous; and great people to be with, and their subsequent glowing feedback was the icing on the cake for me.


The great thing about taking a Private Tailor Made Tour is that you can visit the places you really want to go to, and with the support of a passionate and knowledgeable tour leader, you are able to do the things you really want to do. So sit back, relax, and enjoy taking the back roads to your chosen destinations and leave with a lifetime of treasured memories.


This case study was written by our ever knowledgeable Tour Leader, Joe Royle!

You can have a look at his profile, and the profile of our other expert guides at 



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