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Walking & Cycling Holidays in France 2008 BEST SPECIALIST TOUR OPERATOR TO FRANCE

2009 • • • • •

NEW for 2009 Cycling in Alsace and Bordeaux Cycling along the River Loire Prestige Walking in Dordogne Another trek on the Cathar trail Weekend and B&B Options


Welcome to Belle France The home of delightful activity holidays

Welcome to the 2009 Belle France brochure. We are proud to have received the 2008 Best Specialist Tour Operator Award from Maison de la France in recognition of our expertise in the provision of self-guided walking and cycling holidays. Our aim is to give you an opportunity to explore the best regions of France at a leisurely pace, enjoying gentle daily exercise and indulging in some delicious cuisine at the end of each day. If you are looking for a new adventure, on some of our holidays, we can add a flight in a hot-air balloon, a cookery class, special wine-tasting, canoeing, horse-riding or even rock-climbing. You will find some new circuits such as Alsace and Bordeaux and some of the old favourites have been revised including an extension of the Cathar Castles trek and all of our Vintage Burgundy cycling routes, which now include special wine-tasting features. Inevitably the euro exchange rate has made it necessary to revise our prices but we aim to give you value for money. Our friendly team here will be delighted to chat about your holiday options. We’re confident that we have a holiday to suit you, so enjoy browsing, and we look forward to you discovering the very best of France with us in 2009.

Bob Blackstock - Manager

Bob receives the award for 2008 Best Specialist Tour Operator from Maison de la France

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Contents It’s all on-line To discover more about all that Belle France has to offer

www.bellefrance.co.uk

Discover La Belle France

4

Secrets of Savoie

30

Dordogne Exploration

56

NEW for 2009

5

Ardèche Discovery

31

Drama of the Dordogne

57

We’re with you all the way

6

Van Gogh’s Provence

32

Provençal Dreams

58

Comfortable Hotels

8

Provence Prestige à Pied

33

Provence Prestige en Vélo

59

Delicious Food

10

Stevenson Trail TREK

34

Charente Waterways

60

It’s all On-Line

12

Cathar Castles TREK

36

Canal du Midi to Coast

61

NEW Cathar Castles TREK - Stage Two

37

NEW Alsatian Adventure

62

Breathtaking Brittany

38

NEW A Taste of Bordeaux

63

Catalan Coast

39

NEW B&B Options

64

Mountains to Med TREK

40

Bella España - Granada

41

Adventure Holidays Adventure Activities

13

Walking Holidays

Touring Holidays

Walking for Everyone

14

NEW The Opal Coast - Weekend

16

NEW Gourmet Golf - Pas de Calais

65

Gourmet Golf - Touraine

65

Cycling Holidays NEW Charm of Champagne - Weekend

16

Picardy Pastures

17

Seine Valley Secrets

19

Château to Château

20

Wine List Wanders Burgundy Prestige à Pied Classic Cognac Sparkling Champagne

42

Mellow Mayenne

44

Emerald Coast

45

Loire Discovery

46

Garden of France

47

NEW Along the Leisurely Loire

48

Loire Prestige en Vélo

49

Loire en Famille

50

NEW Best of Burgundy

51

River Cruise Holiday

18

Mulberry March

Loire Prestige à Pied

Cycling for Everyone

21 22 23 24 25

Provence River Cruise

66

NEW Self Drive Hotels

67

Breaking your Journey

68

Pricing Information

69

Ways to Save!

70

Rail Travel/Ferries to France

71

Low Cost Flights

72

Holiday Advice

73

Holiday Insurance

74

Fair Trading Terms

76

How to Book

78

Map of France

79

NEW Vintage Burgundy Classic & Premier Cru 52 Tranquil Dordogne NEW Dordogne Prestige à Pied Volcanoes of the Auvergne Untamed Cévennes St Bonnet and Beyond

26 NEW Burgundy Grand Cru Prestige

53

Périgord Discovery

54

Limousin Lakes and Castles

55

Auvergne Discovery

55

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www.bellefrance.co.uk

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Discover La Belle France Captivating places to visit

France is full of captivating places to visit with landscapes

More experience

ranging from the rugged coasts of Brittany to rolling

With more than 20 years experience, we know France better than most and have

greenfields and vineyards of Burgundy; from the honey coloured châteaux of the Loire to the snowcapped peaks

carefully planned and researched each holiday and produced detailed notes and maps. Each route has been independently

of the Alps. Our aim is to enable you to enjoy whichever region you choose with modest exercise on foot or cycle

tried and tested so you can enjoy the very best cycling and walking that France has to offer. Our well developed relationships with

and a superb evening meal at the end of the day.

local bike shops, taxi drivers and hoteliers, means that somebody is always available to

Cycling or walking is a wonderful way to explore France at a leisurely pace; there is always something to catch the eye and gratify the senses, whether you’re meandering down

help with any questions and give you advice on places of interest and good shops and restaurants. Our hotels have been selected to provide comfort and a warm welcome. At the end of your day, arrive at one of our

a rural lane, picnicking by a slow river, or sipping pastis in a village café.

charming, family run hotels, sit back and relax with a glass of local wine and indulge in a choice of dishes from tempting menus.

What’s included All of our holidays include dinner bed and breakfast unless B&B is specifically noted. We provide detailed maps and route instruction for your walks or cycling journeys and we arrange the transfer of your bags between hotels. Leaving you with little more to worry about than the filling

Our experience • Over 20 years experience and expert local knowledge

for your lunchtime bagette or the best angle for that • Thoroughly researched and planned routes

memorable photograph.

• Cycling and walking notes – all tried and tested • Fully bonded with ABTA – look forward to your holiday with confidence

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NEW for 2009 No Bags to Carry All of our walking and cycling holidays feature the inclusive transfer of your baggage between hotels. All you need to take with you are the bare essentials so that you’re not humping round a heavy load. On linear routes we will arrange a rail or taxi transfer back to the start point if needed.

More choice Our selection of holiday destinations enables you to discover fascinating towns and villages, historic buildings, along with some of the lesser known sights and best kept secrets. We also offer a choice in the style of holiday, from linear and circular tours to fixed location tours, as well as some group walking. All are designed to allow you to discover the very best of France and we’ve recently extended our range of holidays, offering more choice and flexibility.

Weekend Wanders – in Champagne or the Opal Coast for weekend walks to try the Belle France experience of a little gentle exercise and delightful French food in carefully selected hotels.

Gourmet Golf – we’ve added a weekend of luxury combined with first class golf courses not too far from the eastern channel ports in Nord Pas de Calais.

A Taste of Bordeaux – a brand new circuit through some of the best Bordeaux vineyards with overnight stops in Cadillac and Saint Macaire before reaching St Emilion. Much to see in addition to the fine wines to taste.

Alsatian Adventure – a new cycling circuit with start and

Luxury

finish in historic Strasbourg takes you south through Colmar and the regions’ wine villages.

If you’re looking for a touch of luxury, why not try one of our “Prestige” holidays, staying in elegant hotels and châteaux; perfect for a special occasion.

Along the Leisurely Loire – our old favourite grows up with an easy ride following the River Loire all the way from Blois to Saumur and passing numerous royal châteaux along the way. Vintage Burgundy – we are collaborating with a local agent to

Family friendly For families we’re happy to recommend circuits featuring gently rolling landscapes, with bikes and tag-alongs available for future Tour de France champions, and even have a holiday designed specifically with children in mind.

Flexible options Often a week just isn’t long enough to do justice to what each region has to offer, so why not add some extra nights en route, enabling you to relax at one of our charming hotels for a couple of nights before setting off for your next destination. We’ll be happy to recommend some of our personal favourites for a relaxing additional stop.

focus on the wines of the region with personal tastings available in addition to some great cycle rides. You can choose the level from Classic through Premier Cru upgrade to the Grand Cru Prestige circuit which includes a tasting dinner at a top vineyard in Puligny Montrachet and up to fourteen different wines to try.

Cathar Castles Trek – is now extended to offer two weeks of terrific walking in this quiet, little-known region dotted with ruined Cathar Castles. Bed & Breakfast Cycling – for those who don’t want our gourmet meals every evening we have included B&B options in the Loire, Brittany, Dordogne and Provence. Self-drive Wine Trails – whatever your needs we can offer first class accommodation throughout France from the Châteaux & Hotels Collection and in the wine regions we can include personal introductions to our partner vineyards with some very special and memorable tasting experiences.

www.bellefrance.co.uk

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We’re with you all the way The easy going alternative

There’s no better way to discover the French countryside

People you can rely on

and experience the culture of the local area than on

• We offer you expert advice and first hand

a Belle France holiday. We place particular emphasis on the unique charm and character of our holidays, with a friendly atmosphere and typically French ambience.

experience. • From the moment you contact us to book your holiday to the time you return home, our experienced staff are on hand to answer

We take a personal interest in the success of your any questions you may have. holiday, and respond to your feedback.

Your questions answered Here at Belle France we pride ourselves on providing a As soon as your holiday is confirmed we issue quality, highly personal service. Plenty of careful planning

you with a detailed booklet that aims to answer

and research goes on behind the scenes to ensure we

all the questions you may have about your

meet the individual needs of every one of our customers.

holiday. From the practical stuff about passports, currency & tickets through to what clothes to

Booking your holiday with us is just the beginning…. take, food and drink, and of course handy hints for when you’re out exploring the countryside.

The Belle France Team

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It’s all on-line Learn more about what to expect, with sample cycling and walking notes

www.bellefrance.co.uk

Comprehensive Travel Pack

Careful planning

Three weeks before your departure

• Careful costing, good deals with local transport companies and

you’ll receive our detailed and unique

bike shops means we can pass these savings on to you ensuring

Travel Pack. This contains all your

you get unbeatable value for money.

tickets, luggage tags and details on

• By giving us details of your height and inside leg measurement,

how to reach your first hotel, whether

we’ll have your individually prepared bike ready and waiting

you’re travelling by car or train.

for you.

Of most importance though are our carefully researched notes themselves.

Once you’re out there

These detailed booklets guide you

We hope that everyone you’ll meet on your holiday will provide

every step of the way, pointing out

a service with a smile, from hotel receptionists to the taxi drivers

landmarks and places of interest en

who meet you at the station or transfer your luggage between

route, recommending picturesque spots for a picnic or hidden cafés for a refreshing drink. Walkers and cyclists

hotels. With all these details taken care of, it leaves you more time to relax and enjoy your holiday, safe in the knowledge that we’ve done all the hard work for you. We even provide you with an emergency contact number so that there’s always someone

are also issued with large-scale IGN on hand should you require assistance. maps – each one marked up by us personally and individually to show

Representatives

your route. If you’re after a little extra support then we’d recommend our holidays in the Loire Valley, Bordeaux, Dordogne, Ardèche, Limousin Perigord or Spain, where a friendly and knowledgeable

Belle France Loire Valley holidays FREE wine carrying service If you travel with your car it’s easy to transport your chosen vintage from hotel to hotel. But if you’re cycling or walking it’s not so easy. We don’t want you to miss out on the opportunity to pick up local wines while on your travels so, in the Loire Valley a member of our team can collect it for you.

representative is on hand to meet you at the station, talk you through your itinerary, transfer your luggage and basically just be there for you. These English-speaking representatives provide extra peace of mind whilst you’re out and about.

www.bellefrance.co.uk

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Comfortable Hotels A warm welcome and a good night’s sleep

Here at Belle France we know that at the end of a day’s

Charming hotels

gentle exercise, it’s important that a comfortable hotel awaits

So how do we select our hotels? Well, location is

you, where you’re guaranteed a warm welcome and a good

obviously important: we search out conveniently

night’s sleep.

situated establishments with direct access to our walking and cycling routes, but we also look

You’ll find we offer what we consider to be the ‘best’ hotel in

for settings that are picturesque and rural, or

each area, whether it be the most luxurious, the best located

well-placed in vibrant little towns.

for direct access to the trails, the most friendly or the best

We’re always on the look-out for charming hotels

for serving traditional cuisine.

where there’s a real personal touch - small, family-run establishments with character and

Many of our hotels have swimming pools, enabling you to

friendly proprietors. You’ll discover a real variety

enjoy a refreshing dip at the end of an active day. Or if you

of hotels on a Belle France holiday, from little

have a spare day you may just want to relax with a good book

chambre d’hôtes with just a handful of rooms in

and something cool and refreshing.

a private house and the opportunity for a genuine taste of la vie française, to elegant and stylish

Each holiday may have a mix of accommodation styles and sometimes we may sacrifice a little in room quality in order to provide a more enjoyable dining experience.

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townhouses, through to rustic hideaways full of authentic French charm.


It’s all on-line To view hotel descriptions and pictures

www.bellefrance.co.uk/hotels

Sometimes it’s best to let others do the talking… Don’t just take our word for it – here’s

The personal touch We’ve worked with many of our hoteliers for years, and they’re always delighted to hear that there’s another Belle France

what some of our recent customers have had to say:

customer passing through. And it’s these personal touches that our customers love to tell us about on their return.

WALKING: “ Your arrangements fully met and even surpassed our expectations!”

Although you may not find a mini bar or a trouser press in some of our hotels, you will most certainly find a comfortable bed,

“ The entire experience allowed us to see a side of the country that possibly remains hidden from the average tourist.”

a hot shower and a warm welcome at the end of an active day.

“ While your walking notes and maps were meticulously prepared, we still felt that we had the freedom left for discovery and adventure, this adding greatly to our pleasure.” John Comloquoy (Van Gogh’s Provence)

and we’ll be delighted to fill you in.

We only wish there was room within these pages to tell you more, but if you do have any questions then pick up the phone

“ The transport arrangements and taxis all worked well, as did the transfer of our luggage between hotels.” “ The hotels, all very different, were uniformly excellent, as was the food.” Mr Shipley (Van Gogh’s Provence) “ … an excellent walking holiday which we enjoyed enormously. Thank you for organizing it and being so helpful.” Mrs Fitton (Cathar Castles) “ Website very helpful, reservation team even more helpful!!” Mrs Humphrey “ Very helpful in organizing a ‘non-standard’ trip.” Dr Patterson (Mixture of Van Gogh’s Provence and Provence Prestige)

A taste of luxury If you fancy a little extra comfort then our Prestige Holidays in the Loire, Dordogne, Provence and Burgundy feature some spectacular hotels: converted châteaux, idyllic settings, gourmet restaurants – perfect for a special treat. Upgrades also available in Champagne, Cognac and Perigord.

www.bellefrance.co.uk

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Delicious Food A tempting menu and a good bottle of wine

Entrées

Salade de

Magret de Canard Fu Terrine de mé et son Légumes et Oeuf Poché son Coulis au Vinaig Carpaccio re Balsam de Thon M ique ariné aux Agrumes Crème Duba rry (Potag e de Choux Fleur)

Poissons

Dos de Cabi llaud à la Fondue de Poireaux Cuisses de Grenouilles et son Pa au Rieslin in de Mie au x Noix g Coeur de Ru mst

Viandes eck Charola

Coq au Vin de

is au Bleu Chinon

d’Auvergne

Fromages Plateau de Fromages Chèvre Chau ds sur Toas ts

Desserts

France is renowned for its creative use of fresh market

Gratin de Poires à la Crème d’A mande Soufflé Gl acé Grand Marnier Moelleux au Chocolat Gl ace Vanille Faisselle au x Fruits R ouges et so n Coulis

produce, and our hoteliers pride themselves on serving fare of the highest standard.

Typical evening menu taken from Le Lion d’Or, Candé sur Beuvron, Château to Château walk and

Breakfast is usually served buffet-style with croissants,

Leisurely Loire cycling holidays.

pastries, jams, yoghurt, fruit juice, even ham and cheese, and of course plenty of freshly brewed coffee. For lunchtime, many of our hotels are happy to rustle up a picnic for you.

Local cuisine So you’ve spent the day exploring some of the

But even better, it’s the ideal opportunity to visit the local

most beautiful areas of rural France, and you

markets and stop off at the épicerie to pick up some

reach your hotel feeling pleasantly weary. What better than to settle down in the restaurant and

wonderful fresh provisions for your own al fresco experience.

enjoy some wonderful regional cooking and

When the produce is this good, the simplest of meals –

excellent local wine? We’ve selected our hotels

creamy cheese, plump tomatoes and some crunchy

not only for their comfort, but also with the lover of good food and wine in mind.

bread – are sometimes the best. Cookery courses can be added to Leisurely It’s the evenings that really get your taste buds going. Some of the restaurant settings themselves are spectacular, be it a vine covered terrace beside the river Dordogne or an elegant dining room in an old manor house, providing the perfect place to relax as you reflect on the experiences of your day.

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Loire cycling, Château to Château walk or Provence Prestige walking or cycling holidays.


It’s all on-line To view pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus

www.bellefrance.co.uk/cuisine

Sometimes it’s best to let others do the talking… Don’t just take our word for it – here’s

More choice, more value Belle France is unusual in that we aim to provide more than a fixed menu – at many of our hotels you’ll have a choice of dishes

what some of our recent customers have had to say:

from a 3 or 4 course menu, so whether you prefer meat or fish, cheese or dessert, there’s bound to be something for you. In fact

CYCLING: “ We liked the personal touch given by the Belle Fance team.” Mr Zenner “ Very helpful and seamless booking experience.” Miss Patel “ Thanks very much, you were superbly efficient. We had a lovely holiday, routes were brilliant, stunning scenery.” Mrs M Blower (Vintage Burgundy) “ All staff very helpful, fast response times, couldn’t fault service.” Mr J Connolly “ Domaine de Valmouraine is an absolutely fantastic hotel, lovely staff and atmosphere.” Ms J Davis (Provence Prestige)

you’ll be spoilt for choice – it has been said that this is quite possibly the hardest part of your day! Most of our holidays are on a half-board basis, with breakfast and evening meal included. If it’s just on a bed & breakfast basis, you’ll always be within easy reach of places to eat, and you’ll find suggestions in our walking & cycling notes. At Fontvieille in Provence for example, there’s everything from pizzerias to a Michelin-starred restaurant. Your hotelier will be more than happy to point you in the direction of some great eateries – in fact they have been known to give you a lift there themselves! If you do have special dietary requirements please let us know and we will advise our hoteliers who will do their best to cater for you.

“ Our overall holiday experience could not have been better!” Mr Bear (Provence Prestige en Vélo) “ Fully met and even surpassed our expectations, felicitations Belle France!” Ms Schoeffel - Canada (Provencal Dreams - Camargue)

www.bellefrance.co.uk

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It’s all On-Line Experience our holidays up-close

A Belle France holiday is no ordinary holiday. It’s no run-of-

LATEST OFFERS – keep an eye on the website

the-mill experience. Talking to customers, and enjoying the

for new holiday choices or special offers that

holidays ourselves, tells us that there is a huge depth and

come on stream as the season progresses.

range of experiences that make for a truly different holiday.

These will usually change month by month.

And it can just as easily be a small personal insight, as much as visiting a major sight or enjoying a mind-blowing meal.

This brochure provides details of each holiday and on each page you will find a web link

A traditional brochure can only convey a small proportion of

pointing to a specific page on the web site

all you can expect on a Belle France holiday. On our website

where you can find complementary information.

we have lots of details with regional information, photos of

We hope you click onto many of our hotels, sample menus and, in some cases,

www.bellefrance.co.uk

holiday journals reported by our staff or clients with snippets

to enable you to experience our experience.

of tips and useful advice.

We have included a sample of our walking and cycling notes to show you the detail of our step by step directions and to give a feel for how a typical day unfolds.

Our Perfect Match system helps you to short-list routes that are suited to your needs and abilities.

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Adventure Activities Exciting family fun

Why not take the opportunity to add an exciting activity to your standard walking or cycling holiday. Add an extra night hotel accommodation and participate in one of the following activities in the region listed.

Cookery Loire Chateau Walk, Provence Prestige Insight into the work of French masterchefs.

Wine Loire Valley, Burgundy, Cognac, Champagne, Rhone Special wine-tasting experiences at partner vineyards.

Canoeing Dordogne, Perigord, Ardeche, Loire Opportunities for river canoeing in specific locations.

Horse-riding Ardeche, Loire From beginners to experienced horse-men and women. A half-day trekking through peaceful countryside.

Tree-adventure Loire, Ardeche, Champagne Walk the high wires with levels to suit all ages.

Spa Treatment Ardeche, Loire, Provence Prestige Be pampered or simply enjoy a sauna or hamam.

Hot-air Balloon Loire, Burgundy, Provence Exhilarating experience with memorable views.

Golf Loire, Picardy, Burgundy, Nord pas de Calais Great courses and gourmet food, or simply add an extra night to the region walking or cycling holiday and have a round of golf at the nearby course.

Telephone our helpful staff to discuss your adventurous desires and find the holiday to match. Look on the holiday pages to see which activities are available on any particular holiday.

www.bellefrance.co.uk

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Walking for Everyone Explore at your own pace

Any reasonably fit person can undertake a Belle France walking holiday with confidence. Naturally, different people walk at different rates which is part of the attraction of a Belle France holiday as you’re free to wander and explore at your own pace. You will quickly establish your own rhythm and routine as you progress through your holiday. Follow our simple guide to find the holiday that’s perfect for you.

Walking grades

Linear & circular tours

Easy 4 to 6 Hours

With the majority of our holidays you follow a circuit changing hotels every two

About 10 miles per day on undulating terrain over tracks with easy inclines which are rarely steep.

nights, giving you time to explore some of the local area. We will always suggest

Picardy Pastures, Château to Château, Classic Cognac, Mulberry March, Loire Prestige à Pied, Opal Coast Easy/Moderate 4 to 7 Hours As easy but with more noticeable hills, up to 12 miles per day. Less than 600m change in altitude. Tranquil Dordogne, Dordogne Prestige à Pied, Seine Valley Stroll,St Bonnet and Beyond, Wine List Wanders, Burgundy Prestige à Pied, Van Gogh’s Provence, Ardèche Discovery, Provence Prestige à Pied, Sparkling Champagne Moderate 6 to 8 Hours

a local walk for these days, but you may prefer to explore the shops and brasseries of the town, or simply relax by the hotel swimming pool.

Fixed location On our fixed location holidays you spend your week at one hotel, so you can get to know the area intimately, with the added benefit of not having to repack bags every time you move on. All fixed base hotels are in locations where you have the opportunity for varied walks direct from the hotel door. If you travel there by car you can of course explore further afield, or simply while away a couple of days relaxing in the grounds of the hotel or watching the world go by from a pavement café.

Sometimes rough underfoot with some steep ascents. Up to 800m change in altitude.

• St Bonnet and Beyond

Breathtaking Brittany, Untamed Cévennes, Catalan Coast, Secrets of Savoie, Volcanoes of the Auvergne

• Ardèche Discovery

Moderate/Hard 7 Hours - TREK

• Secrets of Savoie

Guided group walking

Up to 16 miles, with up to 1000m change in altitude. Stevenson Trail, Cathar Castles, Mountains to Med, Bella Espana

Some of our fixed location holidays are ideal if you’re travelling alone or looking to meet new people, as you’ll be walking as part of a group. Each evening you will be presented with options for the following day and can choose whether you wish to join a group for a guided walk of the area or do your own thing. Either way, our hoteliers and their experienced teams will be on hand to help you make the most of your stay. • Secrets of Savoie

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• St Bonnet and Beyond


It’s all on-line Read travel journals from people who’ve experienced our walking holidays

www.bellefrance.co.uk

Prestige à Pied holidays

A bit of a challenge

We pride ourselves on selecting comfortable, welcoming hotels, but there are times when you want that little bit extra. Perhaps it’s a honeymoon, a birthday or anniversary, or you just fancy pushing the boat out. We’ve chosen some extra special hotels for a “Prestige à Pied” holiday. Be it a fairytale château hotel with elegant rooms, or a former hunting lodge set in landscaped gardens, you’ll have a wonderful holiday to remember.

Although we don’t consider any of our holidays to be too tough, there are some which maybe require a little more stamina and experience than others. Our long treks cover up to 25 miles from hotel to hotel for several consecutive days, while the Pyrenees inevitably require a head for heights, good map-reading skills and a sense of adventure. • Stevenson Trail

• Burgundy Prestige à Pied

• Provence Prestige à Pied

• Loire Prestige à Pied

• Sparkling Champagne (part)

• Dordogne Prestige à Pied

• Classic Cognac Upgrade

• Mountains to Med

• Cathar Castles

Family-friendly holidays If your children are fans of the great outdoors then this is a great way to combine exploration and relaxation for all the family. We don’t have any age restrictions for children on our holidays as they all have different abilities, and you know best what they’ll enjoy, but there are some options that we consider to be particularly suitable, with flexibility and manageable mileage for smaller feet! • Ardèche Discovery

• St Bonnet and Beyond

• Picardy Pastures

• Château to Château

Scenery and culture France has both of the above in abundance, and some of our holidays really do capture this essence of France. If you’re interested in wine, châteaux, bygone times, rolling hills or dramatic coastlines, accompanied of course by some very pleasant walking, there’ll be something in here for you. Do remember to call our friendly team who will be happy to help find the holiday that’s just right for you. • Breathtaking Brittany

• Château to Château

• Tranquil Dordogne

• Volcanoes of the Auvergne

• Wine List Wanders

• Secrets of Savoie

• Untamed Cévennes

• Van Gogh’s Provence

• Catalan Coast

• Bella Espana

• Cathar Castles

• Opal Coast

www.bellefrance.co.uk

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The Opal Coast WEEKEND WANDERS

NEW

3 nights

a footfall in France

Gently undulating hills and plains- from the ancient town of Boulogne to the charming fishing village of Wissant, enjoy a long-weekend taste of walking and fine food. Friday: Arrival

1 Boulogne

Prices per person (Based on two sharing)

Arrive as a foot passenger at Boulogne, from where a taxi will take you to the chambre d’hôte “L’Enclos de l’Evêché” in the centre of the ancient fortified town. Within this labyrinth of medieval streets you’re sure to find a restaurant to your taste.

Saturday: Ambleteuse ➜

 10 miles 1 Wissant

Taxi transfer to the picturesque seaside village of Ambleteuse. From here you start your 10 mile walk following the coastal path to the attractive village of Wissant. Stop for a picnic on the cliffs of the Cap Gris Nez, from where on a clear day you can see the British coast. A two night stay, half board at the Hôtel le Vivier, enables you to enjoy the ‘catch of the day’.

Sunday: Day trip from Wissant ➜

Own Travel LOW SEASON

£369

HIGH SEASON*

£399

Starting days: Any Day. Arrival via Calais can be arranged. Please phone for details of supplements. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

 12 miles

A circular walk, taking you at first inland cross-country Cap Nez Blanc, with the final stretch along the dunes beside a fine sandy beach, frequented by kayakers and kite-surfers, before heading back to your hotel.

Monday: Boulogne Shopping Morning transfer to Boulogne for last minute shopping before taking the afternoon ferry back to Dover.

Your hotels One night B&B, two nights half board.

Charm of Champagne NEW

WEEKEND WANDERS

3 nights

a weekend to celebrate

Just a three hour drive from Dover/Dunkerque to Epernay, the capital of Champagne production for a weekend of rambling, gourmet dining and a chance to bring home the bubbly. Friday: Arrival

1 Ambonnay

Mid-day departure from Dover or take the morning Eurostar from London to Reims and transfer to Ambonnay and the Auberge du St Vincent, renowned locally for the standard of cuisine.

Saturday: Ambonnay ➜  12 miles 1 Epernay

Rise through vineyards to the woodland of the Montagne de Reims and soak up the views to Epernay where you stay B&B at the elegant Villa Eugene, once the private residence of the Mercier champagne family. This evening choose one of the many restaurants in town just a short walk away.

Sunday: Epernay ➜

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £581

£699

£549

HIGH SEASON*

from £611

£729

£579

Starting days: Saturday. Available all year except 12 April - 31 May and 13 September - 19 December. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

 6 or 10 miles 1 Champillon

Option to visit a Champagne producer in the morning and at mid-day we whisk you out of town by taxi to walk through the vineyards from Cumières through Hautvilliers, where we recommend a visit to a family vineyard, then to Champillon and the Chateau Royal Champagne-Bellevue, a magnificent four star hotel with gourmet restaurant.

Monday: Depart – after breakfast transfer back to car or rail station for your journey home.

Your hotels One night B&B, two nights half board.

16

Reservations 01580 214010

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris and arrive Reims mid afternoon. Return: Depart Reims mid morning, change stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station late afternoon.


Picardy Pastures 4 nights

Ancient towns and rural idylls

The medieval hilltop town of Laon offers panoramic views of the peaceful greenery and woodland that make for such pleasant and easy walking. The grade is easy, with short distances between hotels through gently rolling countryside. Much is on forestry or cart tracks and through open fields, with about a third on quiet lanes. OPTIONS Add an extra night at Chamouille and play a game of golf on the lakeside course. Add an extra night at Laon to explore this delightful medieval walled town.

Day One Arrival 1 Chéret Arrive at Chéret with plenty of time to settle in at the rambling country guest house. The charming owners go out of their way to make you feel welcome, and in the evening everyone dines together round a large table so you’ll rapidly feel immersed in the French way of life!

Day Two Chéret ➜

 10 miles 1 Chamouille

Enjoy a short easy walk along quiet lanes through fields and forestry tracks. En route you pass a beautiful art deco church at Martigny Courpierre before heading down an enchanting little valley towards Chamouille. Pass round the lake through peaceful woodland to reach the 3-star Mercure Hotel nestling in a corner of the lake. You may arrive in time for a swim in the hotel pool before settling down to enjoy a hearty meal in the restaurant whose large windows look across the water.

Day Three Chamouille ➜

 11 miles 1 Laon

Wander through quiet lanes to the little village of Monthenault before making your way through verdant pastures and woodland. The medieval hilltop fortress of Laon with its spectacular gothic cathedral is visible from some distance. Home to some 80 classified properties, Laon was the capital of France from the 11th to 14th century. Tonight’s hotel, a former staging post, is in the centre of Laon close to the cathedral. After dinner it’s worth exploring the town by night when its buildings are dramatically floodlit.

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £489

£619

£439

HIGH SEASON*

from £519

£649

£469

Starting days: Any day. Extra night at Chamouille £85 per person. Extra night at Laon £60 per person. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Day Four Laon ➜

 9.5 miles 1 Chéret

As you leave Laon enjoy the splendid vistas stretching out before you. You pass through a tranquil, pastoral landscape aptly named Domaine de la Solitude before arriving in Bruyères. Take time out to visit the remarkable church that dates back to the 12th century, and the 19th century underground fortress. You’ll arrive back at Chéret with plenty of anecdotes to share as you enjoy another sociable meal at the guest house. The above itinerary is for arrival by car. By rail start and finish is in Laon.

Your hotels

Rail Travel

A charming French chambre d’hôte, a modern lakeside hotel with all mod-cons and a quaint old town hotel make for an eclectic mix.

Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change trains at Gare du Nord, arrive Laon late afternoon.

View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Return: Depart Laon mid morning, change trains at Gare du Nord, arrive St Pancras International station mid afternoon.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/picardy

www.bellefrance.co.uk

17


Seine Valley Secrets 4-5 nights

Ancient woodland and ruined abbeys

One or two steep sections to negotiate each day as you rise from the river valley, taking in forest tracks, towpaths and quiet lanes. The route is way-marked almost throughout its length. The gentle pace combining glorious woodland, romantic ruined abbeys and the slow moving waters of the Seine makes it ideal for those looking to take it easy.

Day One Arrival 1 Caudebec-en-Caux The river Seine curls round the bustling town of Caudebecen-Caux, dominated by the elegant Notre-Dame church with its intricate spire. Take a seat in the restaurant of the Logis de France hotel and indulge in a leisurely dinner.

Day Two Caudebec-en-Caux ➜

 12 miles 1 Jumieges

The taxi takes you to St Wandrill-Rancon to commence today’s walk at the Gregorian St Wandrill Abbey. From here your journey takes you through fields and beech woods with the Seine meandering below until you head down towards Jumièges for a night in the comfortable guesthouse in a delightful rural setting.

Option Circular walk from Jumieges ➜

 10 miles

We recommend a second night in Jumieges to visit the ruins of the Benedictine Abbey and take a circular walk crossing the river by way of the local ferries. Or walk down to the lakes - great for swimming or a picnic. B&B

Day Three/Four Jumieges ➜

 10 miles 1 Montigny

Our taxi takes you to the edge of Duclair. Then a varied walk takes you up chalky, limestone hills, through mixed woodland and denser forests. Tonight’s hotel, the 3-star Relais de Montigny, is set in a clearing in the heart of the Roumaré forest. Most rooms have a terrace or balcony overlooking the parkland, and the restaurant on the south-facing terrace is a wonderful setting.

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £569

£709

£509

HIGH SEASON*

from £599

£739

£539

Starting days: Any day. Extra night at Jumièges £40.00 per person B&B. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Day Four/Five Montigny ➜

 13 miles 1 La Bouille

Today sees you heading back through dappled woodland to rejoin the paths running by the riverside. You have the option of following the interesting pathways winding by the forest’s edge or of taking the more direct route through the centre. Your riverside hotel in the pretty village of La Bouille is accessed via a little ferry that crosses the Seine.

Your hotels

Rail Travel

A warm welcome is guaranteed at the end of every day. You stay in 2-star and 3-star hotels and a charming chambre d’hôte.

Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris, arrive Yvetot station late afternoon. Taxi transfer to hotel included (20 mins).

View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Return: Taxi transfer to Rouen station included, (20 mins) change stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station later afternoon.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/seine

18

Reservations 01580 214010


Mulberry March 4 nights

Peaceful villages and evocative memorials

A pleasant walk across flat countryside following the route taken by the British 5th Division en route to Bayeux – now a pretty seaside town but famous for the Mulberry harbour used for landing troops and vehicles during the war. Then off along the coast for some scenic views. We grade this walk as easy; and the distances are short.

Day One Arrive 1 Bayeux Arrive in the medieval town of Bayeux and settle into your comfortable 3-star hotel with time before dinner to explore some of the fascinating town – full of timbered houses and quaint streets. Make sure to see the Cathedral de Nôtre Dame and the Hôtel du Doyen full of paintings, porcelain and lace.

Day Two Bayeux ➜

 9 miles 1 Arromanches-les-Bains

A trip to Bayeux isn’t complete without visiting the famous Tapestry, which tells the tale of the Norman Conquest in 1066. Then pick up some provisions for an al fresco lunch before heading off through peaceful Normandy villages and apple orchards on your way to the evocative D-Day memorials at Arromanches. Your 2-star hotel here is right on the quayside, overlooking one of the landing beaches. Its restaurant serves some wonderful food – dine on the catch of the day as you look out across the sea.

Day Three Arromanches-les-Bains ➜ Bessin-Huppain

 8 miles 1 Port-en-

Today takes you along the peaceful coastline past numerous war memorials and war cemeteries. You may want to call in at the “Arromanches 360” museum on the hill overlooking the town, where you can watch a short panoramic film made up of archive and contemporary footage, giving an insight into D-Day. You can choose to continue your way along the coastal route with splendid views out to sea, or take an evocative inland path that follows in the footsteps of the No 47 (RM) Commando on the route of their march to liberate Port-en-Bessin. Whichever you choose, there will be plenty of time to pause en route to absorb the atmosphere before settling into tonight’s hotel in this small port, nestling in the hollow of the cliff.

Day Four Port-en-Bessin-Huppain ➜

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £551

£739

£499

HIGH SEASON*

from £581

£769

£529

Starting days: Any day. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

 7 miles 1 Bayeux

Heading away from the coast you find yourself back in the peaceful Normandy countryside for a final day of walking along quiet pathways through fields and orchards, with plenty of time for contemplation. Back in Bayeux, you may find time to follow the Old Town Tour with 21 noticeboards to help you explore the town at your own pace. Enjoy a final meal at your comfortable hotel in the heart of this interesting and historic old town.

Your hotels Three contrasting hotels; a comfortable 3-star former coaching inn; a 2-star seaside hotel with views along the coast, and a modern hotel close to the beach. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris, arrive Bayeux late afternoon. Hotel is a 10 minute walk from station. Return: Depart Bayeux in morning, change stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International mid-afternoon.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/mulberry

www.bellefrance.co.uk

19


Château to Château 6-8 nights

Famous names and hidden gems

A classic walk through the garden of France, along the high limestone banks of the river Loire. Venture inland through vineyards and flower-decked villages to take in some of the region’s most enchanting châteaux. Walking is easy - even the longest day has flat gradients and simple navigation. WINE AND DINE EXPERIENCE Option to add our Wine and Dine experience at Candé to spend time with chef Gerome at the Lion d’Or and visit the Domaine du Prieuré vineyard for an in-depth dégustation of Touraine wines and local delicacies.

The 6-night holiday starts in Amboise (day three) and walking begins from there the following morning.

Day One Settle in at your friendly hotel in the little riverside town of Montrichard and enjoy a typical French meal that evening.

Day Two Montrichard ➜

 6 miles 1 Chenonceaux

After exploring the market town of Montrichard you’ll follow the banks of the River Cher to Chenonceaux, arriving in time to explore the stunning Château.

Day Three Chenonceaux ➜

 11 miles 1 Amboise

A shady walk through the forêt d’Amboise will bring you out across farmland as you approach Amboise. You’ll pass the manor house where Leonardo da Vinci spent his final years. Your stay in Amboise is B&B with plenty of restaurants to choose.

Day Four Amboise ➜

 6 miles 1 Chaumont

A little sightseeing then you’re transferred to Mosnes. From here it’s woodland and riverbanks followed by farmland and vineyards until you reach your hotel in Chaumont.

Day Five Chaumont ➜

 5 miles 1 Candé sur Beuvron

Spend your morning visiting the famous château and gardens. Then it’s on to Candé and tonight’s comfortable hotel.

Day Six Candé sur Beuvron ➜

 10 miles 1 Chitenay

At Les Montils pick up the ingredients for an al fresco lunch then head off through woodland, fields, and a vintner’s yard to Chitenay.

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £731

£899

£699

HIGH SEASON*

from £761

£929

£729

Starting days: Monday, Wednesday or Friday for 6nts. Wednesday or Saturday for 8nts. 8 night tour add £180 per person. Wine and Dine extra night at Candé £120 per person. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Day Seven Chitenay ➜

 6.5 miles 1 Cour Cheverny

An easy walk through fields and woodland to the spectacular hunting château at Cheverny. Tonight’s hotel has an elegant dining room serving traditional French cuisine.

Day Eight Cour Cheverny ➜

 11 miles 1 Chambord

The hotel at Chambord is approached through vast parklands – a beautiful and fitting end to your exploration of the Loire.

Your hotels Typical, small French hotels with old-fashioned authentic charm serving wonderful local cuisine. You certainly won’t go hungry on this holiday! All half board except one night in Amboise B&B. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/chateau

20

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris and trains at St Pierre des Corps arrive Montrichard late afternoon transfer to hotel included (5 mins). Return: Transfers to Blois station included (45 mins), change trains at St Pierre des Corps and stations in Paris. Arrive St Pancras International station late afternoon. For 6 night holiday: Journey is from London St Pancras International station via Lille changing trains in Lille and St Pierre des Corps arriving Amboise late afternoon. Return journey as above but change in Lille not Paris.

Reservations 01580 214010


Loire Prestige à Pied 6 nights

Enchanting châteaux and picturesque villages

The Loire is renowned for its châteaux dotted across the landscape, and on this holiday you have the chance to live like a king yourself as you walk from château to château. We grade this walk as easy, following straightforward pathways alongside the river and through vineyards, rewarded with gourmet food at the end of each day. HOT-AIR BALLOON Add an extra night at Château de Chissay and an early morning flight in a hot-air balloon.

Day One Arrival 1 Château de Chissay This imposing 16th century château offers a large outdoor pool, a vaulted dining room and peaceful inner courtyard; a wonderful setting in which to begin your exploration of the Loire valley.

Day Two Day trip from Chissay ➜

 10 miles

After threading through the ancient village of Chissay, cross open fields and vineyards to Chisseaux and then follow the River Cher to the fabulous Château de Chenonceau. After viewing the gardens and interior of this architectural masterpiece, return along the banks of the Cher for a second night at the Château de Chissay.

Day Three Chissay ➜

 14 miles 1 Amboise

A peaceful walk through woodland to Amboise to stay at the Château de Pray which dates back to the 13th Century.

Day Four Day trip from Amboise ➜

 6 miles

There’s plenty at Château de Pray to tempt you just to relax in a luxurious setting, or you can amble into Amboise to visit Leonardo Da Vinci’s residence Le Clos Lucé, or stock up on French produce in the town.

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £1259

£1499

£1199

Day Five

HIGH SEASON*

from £1289

£1529

£1229

Amboise ➜

 8 miles 1 Noizay

Set off back towards Amboise and a short walk through the fertile fields of the Loire Valley to the opulent Château de Noizay in the heart of the Vouvray vineyards. The hotel gardens house an outdoor pool and tennis courts.

Day Six Noizay ➜

Starting days: Monday, Wednesday, Saturday. 1st Class Rail. Club Class Ferry. Extra night at Chissay £125 per person. Flight in hot-air balloon £225 per person incl. transfers. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

 10 miles 1 Vouvray

Leaving Noizay walk through vast acres of the Vouvray vines to the village of Vernou. Then climb the slopes above Vouvray to reach Château Gaudrelle for a special wine tasting experience. Finally a short descent through the village to reach the unique Hôtel les Hautes Roches, where you may spend the night in a troglodyte chamber hewn into the cliff face with spectacular views of the mighty River Loire.

Your hotels Former châteaux that have been tastefully converted into elegant hotels with wonderful facilities, sumptuous bedrooms and exquisite dining. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/loireprestigewalk

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris and trains at St Pierre des Corps arrive Montrichard late afternoon. Transfer to hotel included (10 mins). Return: Transfer to St Pierre des Corps included (10 mins), change stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station late afternoon.

www.bellefrance.co.uk

21


Wine List Wanders 6 nights

From vineyard to vineyard

A 45 mile walk through a string of villages reading like a wine lover’s wish list, covering much of the Côtes de Beaune and Côtes de Nuits. This is a relatively flat region with just a few climbs. Walking is easy to moderate, passing through the rolling vineyards.

Day One Arrival 1 Dijon Your 2-star hotel is close to the station, near the city centre. Longstanding capital of Burgundy, Dijon still has a core of picturesque medieval streets and is great for gourmets. B&B

Day Two Dijon ➜

 11 miles 1 Nuits St Georges

From Dijon you will be conveyed to Fixin, a stone built village on the Côtes de Nuits slopes. Walk south from here along well-worn footpaths, past historic Clos Vougeot, home to the Brotherhood of Winetasters, before descending to your 3-star Logis de France hotel.

Day Three Nuits St Georges ➜ Beaune

 11 miles 1 Savigny les

A day of easy walking along quiet country lanes and across gently undulating hills, you’ll find world-class vineyards and famous names all around. Today’s destination, Savigny les Beaune, has a château with a collection of old aeroplanes.

Day Four Savigny les Beaune ➜

 5 miles 1 Beaune

It’s a gentle walk into ancient Beaune, passing above the famous vineyards of Aloxe Corton, and entering the city through quiet suburbs. Your pleasant 3-star town hotel is within the city walls. The Musée du Vin, housed in the former royal residence, is well worth a visit. B&B

Day Five Beaune ➜

 8 miles 1 Meursault

A small detour on this walk leads to Pommard and its 14th century cellars. Then on to the sleepy village of Meursault, one of Burgundy’s most celebrated wine villages and home to a major wine festival every year. B&B

Day Six Meursault ➜

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £759

£899

£699

HIGH SEASON*

from £789

£929

£729

Starting days: Any day. Ferry price includes taxi transfer from Camp Romain to Chagny Station and train to Dijon. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

 10 miles 1 Chassey le Camp

You pass very close to the vineyards of Bourgogne Aligoté, then on to Santenay and a stiff climb to a ridge with good views of distant vineyards. There’s a chance to view a Gaulish, pre-Roman site and then descend to your final hotel, with swimming pools and a fine restaurant.

Your hotels A good selection of hotels from modern town centre accommodation to charming auberges tucked away amongst vineyards. Three nights B&B, three nights half board. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris, arrive Dijon station late afternoon. Hotel is 5 minutes walk from the station. Return: Transfer to Chagny station included (10 mins), change trains in Dijon and stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station late afternoon.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/winelist

22

Reservations 01580 214010


Burgundy Prestige à Pied 6 nights

Rolling vineyards and ancient châteaux

A luxury holiday, walking between prestigious hotels and converted châteaux. Walking is relatively easy to moderate along fairly even earth tracks and quiet lanes with vineyards all around. The undulating hills necessitate some short climbs but with compensating views!

Day One Arrival 1 Dijon Burgundy is world renowned for its wines and gastronomy, with Dijon as its capital. Your hotel for the evening is the 4-star Hostellerie du Chapeau Rouge, a charming 15th Century residence at the foot of the Romanesque cathedral.

Day Two Dijon ➜

 10 miles 1 Nuits St Georges

Walking begins in Fixin after a transfer, past famous name vineyards including Gevrey-Chambertin. Follow level tracks and rise up onto the hautes cotes for lovely views to reach your hotel just outside Nuits St Georges lies La Gentilhommière, a 3-star hotel with outdoor pool.

Day Three Nuits St Georges ➜ Serrigny

 10 miles 1 Ladoix

Detour into the centre of Nuits St Georges this morning, before heading into the vine-clad hills for a relatively easy walk along quiet lanes. Your stay tonight is at Les Paulands or the Ermitage de Corton both with pools and situated at the edge of vineyards at Ladoix Serrigny.

Day Four Ladoix Serrigny ➜

 6.5 miles 1 Beaune

Today starts with an easy walk to the little town of Savigny, then it’s a gentle descent into Beaune. Visit the Hospices de Beaune whose multicoloured roofs house a fascinating museum. We have chosen the hotel Le Cep for tonight’s stay. This prestigious hotel has been welcoming travellers for centuries.

Day Five Beaune ➜

 12 miles 1 Puligny Montrachet

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £1199

£1419

£1119

HIGH SEASON*

from £1229

£1449

£1149

Starting days: Any day except Monday. 1st Class Rail. Club Class Ferry. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Back into the gentle hills and undulating tracks amongst vineyards for a walk which should take no more than 6 hours. Settle into the Hotel La Montrachet which offers gourmet menus and an excellent wine cave. Why not sample a local vintage with your meal.

Day Six Puligny Montrachet ➜

 8 miles 1 Chagny

Take the pathways through the vineyards to Remigny, from where you follow a peaceful towpath along the Canal du Centre to Chagny. Lameloise, your luxury hotel awaits, where you can enjoy a final taste of Burgundy in the gourmet restaurant which boasts three Michelin Stars.

Your hotels A splendid array of prestigious quality establishments, many with highly acclaimed restaurants. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/burgprestigewalk

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris, arrive Dijon station late afternoon. Hotel is 5 minutes walk from the station. Return: Hotel is 5 mins walk from Chagny station, change trains in Dijon and change stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station late afternoon.

www.bellefrance.co.uk

23


Classic CognacDiscover the classic 6 nights

Cognacs of Charente

The walking is gentle following the River Charente as it meanders from Angoulême to Cognac passing through a peaceful landscape of vineyards. Plenty of opportunity to sample some of the great names of Cognac or book a Privilege visit to the Martell house in Cognac.

Day One Arrival 1 Angoulême Check in at the elegant Mercure Hotel de France opposite Les Halles within the old Angoulême Remparts. Accommodation is B&B and close by you’ll find a labyrinth of narrow streets bustling with pavement restaurants for your evening meal or simply choose the hotel restaurant. B&B

Day Two Angoulême ➜

 8 miles 1 Asnières-s-Nouère

Leaving the Angoulême suburbs a rural walk to Asnières and the Hostellerie du Maine Brun, a converted water mill estate.

Day Three Asnières-s-Nouère ➜

 12 miles 1 Bassac

You will be transferred to Le Simeux to commence today’s walk. Cross the river at Châteauneuf, then follow the GR through woodland and crossing the river into Bassac to the charming Hotel l’Essile in the centre of the village.

Day Four Bassac ➜

 8 miles 1 Cognac

From Bassac continue your walk into Jarnac and perhaps visit the maison Courvoisier before following the River Charente to the outskirts of Cognac, where you stay at the Domaine de l’Echassier Hotel for two nights. You may choose to upgrade to the Château de l’Yeuse, a 4-star hotel with mouthwatering menus. Both hotels have outdoor pools.

Day Five

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £829

£969

£769

HIGH SEASON*

from £859

£999

£799

Starting days: Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday. Upgrade to 4-star in Cognac £240 per person with 1st Class rail.

Day Trip into Cognac Town ➜

 6 miles

Privilage visit to Martell Cognac £20. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

A short walk to explore the town and visit the famous Cognac Distilleries such as Hennesy or Remy Martin. We can arrange a Privilege visit to Martell.

Day Six Day in Angoulême Transfer by taxi back to Angoulême for a final night at the Hotel de France giving time to explore this historic city. B&B

Your hotels The splendid Mercure Hotel in Angoulême is B&B. Hostellerie du Maine Brun is situated in peaceful countryside and Hotel l’Essile has a locally renowned restaurant. At Cognac we offer the comfortable Domaine de l’Echassier or the elegant and distinguished Château de l’Yeuse. Two nights B&B, four nights half board. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International Station, change stations in Paris arrive Angoulême later afternoon. Hotel is within walking distance of the station. Return: Transfer to Angoulême station (5 mins), change stations in Paris, arrive London St Pancras mid afternoon.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/cognac

24

Reservations 01580 214010


Sparkling Champagne 7 nights

Bubbly sensations, gourmet restaurants

… Drinking Champagne in Epernay is like listening to Mozart in Salzburg … We have chosen 3 star hotels to celebrate your visit to Champagne in the manner it deserves with fine food in hotels of character and charm. The walking is easy with just a few short climbs.

Day One Arrival 1 Reims Check in at the elegant Best Western Hotel de la Paix or Hotel Grand Continental, both in the heart of old Reims and just a short walk from the famous cathedral. Hotel de la Paix has a pool and fitness room. B&B

Day Two Reims ➜

 8 miles 1 Sept-Saulx

Explore the city centre in the morning before a taxi takes you out of the city to the Fort de la Pompelle. A level canalside walk to the village of Sept-Saulx to limber up the muscles and a superb meal at the Hotel le Cheval Blanc.

Day Three Sept-Saulx ➜

 11 miles 1 Ambonnay

Pass along quiet lanes through vineyards and then follow the GR up into the woodland of the Montagne de Reims before descending to the village of Ambonnay and the Auberge St Vincent, a village inn with a fine restaurant.

Day Four Ambonnay ➜

 12.5 miles 1 Epernay

Return to the woodland hills for a scenic route or choose a level walk along canal towpaths to Ay. Then into Epernay for two nights at a chambre d’hôte with character. B&B

Day Five Day in Epernay An opportunity to explore the city of Epernay and visit the famous Champagne Houses, such as Mercier, Castellane, or Moet et Chandon. B&B

Day Six Epernay ➜

 10 miles 1 Champillon

Stroll through vineyards to Cumières. Perhaps take a boat trip or explore the pretty village of Hautvillers, and then a couple of miles further to the Château Royal ChampagneBellevue at Champillon and a truly gourmet dinner.

Day Seven

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £1099

£1249

£1049

HIGH SEASON*

from £1129

£1279

£1079

Starting days: Any day except Wednesday, Thursday. Extra night B&B in Reims add £85 per person. * 17 July to 6 September start days.



Champillon ➜ 8 miles to Rilly-la-Montagne and train 1 Reims A woodland walk across the Montagne de Reims descending to the village of Rilly-la-Montagne with it’s Premier Cru Champagne appellation. Take a twenty minute train ride into Reims for your final night at the Hotel de Paix or Hotel Grand Continental. B&B

Your hotels From a modern city hotel in Reims to a period chambre d’hôte in Epernay, once the grand family home of a vigneron that retains traditional elegance. Three nights half board with first class restaurants ranging from a village inn to a manorial château. Four nights B&B, three nights half board. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris and arrive Reims mid afternoon. Return: Depart Reims mid morning, change stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station late afternoon.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/champagne

www.bellefrance.co.uk

25


Tranquil Dordogne 7 nights

Mystical rivers and hidden valleys

An exciting landscape of green fertile valleys and dramatic cliffs dominated by the Dordogne river which meanders past vineyards, pretty villages and brooding castles. Much of the walk is on easy open farm tracks but as the distances are slightly longer with a few climbs rising 150m, the grade is moderate.

Day One Arrival 1 Meyronne The 3-star Hotel la Terrasse is an 11th century château set in the heart of a village overlooking the Dordogne. Relax by the pool before dining on the vine-covered terrace.

Day Two Day trip from Meyronne ➜

 6 miles

Take what the French call a ‘mise en jambes’; a short warm up walk along spectacular cliffs with wonderful views, then follow the narrow riverside paths back to the hotel.

Day Three Meyronne ➜

 13 miles 1 Carennac

Head towards the picturesque town of Carennac and up on to the dramatic Causses, the rugged plateau of scrub, gnarled oak and juniper, gradually descending back to river level and the delightful family-run 2-star Hostellerie le Fénelon, with pool.

Day Four Day trip from Carennac ➜

 6.5 miles

It’s worth the effort to reach the pretty village of Mézels for the beautiful views. Or simply spend the day exploring Carennac with its picturesque tiled roofs and art exhibitions.

Day Five

 14 miles 1 Rocamadour

Carennac ➜

Although this is the longest walk, the going is mostly easy, through woods and across open country. Descend into the old medieval town, clinging to the sheer limestone spur, to stay in the characterful Hotel Beau Site.

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £831

£1029

£799

HIGH SEASON*

from £861

£1059

£829

Starting days: Any day except Saturday by rail.

Day Six Day trip from Rocamadour ➜

 10 miles

* 17 July to 6 September start days.

Descend steeply into the Alzou Canyon past crumbling watermills. The scenery is absolutely stunning, and there are plenty of photo opportunities before returning to the hotel.

Day Seven Rocamadour ➜

 8.5 - 12 miles 1 Meyronne

Return to Meyronne through a charming flat valley winding under cliffs past ancient weirs and watermills. Follow the limestone hills to Meyronne and your final stay at La Terrasse, a firm favourite with our customers.

Your hotels

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change trains in Paris,

Some of our finest hotels, all with swimming pools and excellent restaurants. Perfect after a day’s walk.

arrive Souillac early evening. Transfer to hotel included (30 mins).

View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Return: Taxi transfer to Souillac station included (30 mins), change stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station early evening.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/tranquil

26

Reservations 01580 214010


Dordogne Prestige à Pied 7 nights

Spectacular Dordogne combined with special hotels

NEW

Spectacular views as this walk takes you from the delightful medieval town of Martel through the splendid scenery of the Quercy Naturel Park past rocky overhanging cliffs giving wonderful views across the Dordogne river. A good selection of 3 and 4 star hotels – we classify this as a moderate walk as there are some fairish climbs.

Day One Arrival 1 Martel Relais Saint Anne - a delightful hotel located in the heart of the charming, medieval town of Martel know as the town of the Seven Towers.

Day Two Day trip from Martel ➜

 7 miles

A circular route to discover the pretty hamlet of Murel with its Romanesque church before heading off up the valley of Doue.

Day Three Martel ➜

 7 miles 1 Meyronne

Today your route takes you via Mont Mercou with splendid views of the Dordogne valley – stay tonight at the charming hotel La Terrasse – wonderful food and splendid views along the Dordogne River.

Day Four Day trip from Meyronne ➜

 7 miles

A circular route with breath taking views on the peaks of the Roc des Monges, return to Meyronne on a narrow walk way cut in to the cliff passing prehistoric shelters.

Day Five Meyronne ➜

 8 miles 1 Rocamadour

Today’s walk takes you out of the Dordogne valley and into the Regional Naturel Park of Causses du Quercy and the spectacular town of Rocamadour which clings precariously on to the cliff edge. Stay in the lovely Hôtel les Vieilles Tour in peaceful countryside above the town.

Day Six Day trip from Rocamadour ➜

 9 miles

A wonderful circuit which takes you into the splendid Alzou gorges past ancient mills, and return along quiet, rocky footpaths across the plateau.

Day Seven Rocamadour ➜

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £1226

£1499

£1169

HIGH SEASON*

from £1256

£1529

£1199

Starting days: Any day. 1st Class Rail. Club Class Ferry. It is not possible to book single travellers on this holiday. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

 10 miles 1 La Treyne

Today descend towards Lacave through the rock canyons of the valley of Ouysse passing a succession of mills and pits, continue to the Château de Treyne: a noble residence built originally in the 14th century this beautiful hotel sits on top a cliff majestically overhanging the splendid Dordogne River. Final night in the impressive 4 star Château de la Treyne linger over a sumptuous meal as you recap on the best bits of your holiday.

Day Eight Depart Transfer to rail station or back to Martel to collect your car.

Your hotels Ranging from modern in style to a traditional Breton granite country hotel. Many are close to the sea. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/dordprestigewalk

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change trains in Paris, arrive Souillac early evening. Transfer to hotel included (30 mins). Return: Taxi transfer to Souillac station included (30 mins), change stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station early evening.

www.bellefrance.co.uk

27


Volcanoes of the Auvergne 6 nights

Wooded hills and lunar lakes

The dramatic landscape here is full of contrasts: barren yet lush, rolling yet rocky. You’ll be walking for 5 to 7 hours each day, on a whole range of surfaces, from narrow woodland tracks to country lanes. We grade the walking on this holiday as moderate.

Day One Arrival 1 Le Mont Dore The Romans discovered the springs in the 2nd century and the baths they built are still here today. The waters of Le Mont Dore are famed in France for their apparent healing properties. The 2-star Hotel Castelet has an art-deco theme, with a good restaurant and an indoor pool.

Day Two Le Mont Dore ➜

 12 miles 1 Murol

Your walk starts with a steep climb, rewarded with views across the plains. You’ll wander up hillsides, through lush pine forests, past tumbling waterfalls, over the open slopes that form winter ski runs, down into the large open and green valley, home to Lac Chambon, and on to Murol. The pleasant and traditional 2-star Hotel de Paris, which has been run by the Planeix family for decades, is right in the centre.

Day Three Murol ➜

 10 miles 1 Sauteyras

An easy walk today, past ancient stone menhirs and tiny picturesque villages, switching between quiet country roads and remote farm tracks. Your hotel tonight is the modern Hotel des Cygnes, with splendid views across Lac d’Aydat.

Day Four Sauteyras ➜

 8 - 13 miles 1 Orcival

You have two choices today, with the longer route actually passing through the now extinct volcano cones. The countryside is extremely attractive and very peaceful. When you reach your destination you’re sure of a friendly welcome from Mme Bontemps at Hotel Notre-Dame, in the shadow of the Basilica.

Day Five Day trip from Orcival ➜

 12 miles

Orcival is worth exploring before leaving on today’s gentle walk. You’ll see that this whole town is built around the basilica, and forms a real focal point, both spiritually and physically. The walk is a true blend of rural France, dotted with old farmsteads, fertile fields and intriguing hamlets.

Day Six Orcival ➜

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £731

£919

£699

HIGH SEASON*

from £761

£949

£729

Starting days: Any day except Thursday. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

 12 miles 1 Le Mont Dore

There are points in this homeward leg that are quite remote and utterly beautiful. There are several short steep climbs and you pass many lakes, so swimming may help cool you off. You spend your final evening back in the lovely spa town of Le Mont Dore.

Your hotels Hotels range from an ornate art-deco style with indoor pool, to a simple, bright establishment by the lakeside. Some of our most friendly and welcoming hoteliers will be encountered in this traditional area. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris and trains at Clermont Ferrand, arrive Le Mont Dore station early evening. The hotel is close to the station. Return: Depart le Mont Dore station, change trains at Clermont Ferrand and stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station late evening.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/volcanoes

28

Reservations 01580 214010


Untamed Cévennes 6 nights

Dramatic landscapes and remote beauty

The rugged Cévennes offer stunning and dramatic scenery: steep tree covered slopes, cascading streams and remote granite strewn plains. This moderate walk allows you to experience the majestic beauty of the Cévennes without too much exertion. The route through this striking part of France is easily navigable and visually rewarding.

Day One Arrival 1 Villefort Broom covered hills surround Villefort, a charming quiet granite built town, which nestles at the bottom of a steep valley. The 2-star Hotel Balme is a delightful old-fashioned family-run hotel with an excellent chef.

Day Two Villefort ➜

 11 miles 1 Cubières

Much of today’s walk is spent on woodland tracks following the GR 68 walking route. You will pass through pretty hilltop villages, with frequent panoramic views - your camera will be an essential item today!

Day Three Day trip from Cubières ➜

 6 miles

Enjoy a circular route to the village of Le Bleymard, typical of this area and home to several old silk workshops. The industry has faded now, but there are still clues including the large number of mulberry bushes!

Day Four Cubières ➜

 11 miles 1 Pont de Montvert

An excellent day of walking up on to the rocky plateau. The walk down into the Tarn valley and the pretty village of Pont de Montvert is very rocky underfoot, and takes in some of the famous “Stevenson Trail”.

Day Five Day trip from Pont de Montvert ➜

 5 miles

Today, walk through a steep-sided ravine and across a boulder strewn plateau, taking you up the quiet lanes to L’Hermet, a picturesque hamlet overlooking the Tarn valley.

Day Six Pont de Montvert ➜

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £731

£949

£699

HIGH SEASON*

from £761

£979

£729

Starting days: Only Thursday or Friday by rail. Only Sunday or Monday by car.

 10 miles 1 Villefort

* 17 July to 6 September start days.

The taxi transfer takes you to start your walk at Le Mas de la Barque and you follow the hills with panoramic views to Villefort. The above itinerary is for arrivals by rail. If travelling by car, you start in Pont de Montvert, with the itinerary as follows: Day 1 Arrival Pont de Montvert/Day 2 Day Trip from Pont de Montvert/Day 3 Pont de Montvert to Villefort/Day 4 Villefort to Cubières/Day 5 Day Trip from Cubières/Day 6 Cubières to Pont de Montvert.

Your hotels Family run hotels all offering good food, a comfortable room and a friendly welcome. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/cevennes

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change at Lille Europe and Nimes, arrive Villefort early evening. Transfer to hotel included (5 mins). Return: Transfer to Villefort station included, change trains at Nimes and Lille Europe, arrive St Pancras International station late evening.

www.bellefrance.co.uk

29


St Bonnet and Beyond GROUP WALKING

7 nights

in the Auvergne

Available in summer or winter (with raquets or cross-country skis) walks are led by English speaking guides and you can choose the ‘Sportif’ brisk pace or leisurely ‘Tranquille’. Your Hotel for 7 Nights

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £631

£849

£599

HIGH SEASON*

from £661

£879

£629

La Découverte Your hotel ‘La Découverte’ is located in the centre of the tiny village of St Bonnet le Froid, altitude of 3700ft (1130m), west of the Rhône valley. The stone built hotel, converted from an old convent school, provides simple accommodation on three floors. Facilities include a sauna and outdoor pool.

Starting days: Sundays (Saturdays in February). Available all year except December, January. Single supplement £60. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Meals Generous picnics are provided at lunchtime. In the evening, hearty meals, featuring regional dishes based around local produce, are served on a table d’hôte basis and are eaten at a large table, for a real house-party atmosphere.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris and trains in Lyon, arrive St Etienne station late afternoon. Transfer to hotel included (45 mins).

Walks Daily guided walks of 7-10 miles take you to discover lakes in extinct volcanoes, ancient stone terraces and tumbling streams through pretty villages.

Return: Transfer to St Etienne station, change trains in Lyon and stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station late evening.

View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/stbonnet

Secrets of Savoie GROUP WALKING

7 nights

in the Alps

These holidays are available both summer and winter. Staying only twenty miles west of Mont Blanc, you can be sure of some stunning views. The grades are selected to suit the group. Erick Clement is an experienced and qualified mountain leader with the ‘National Brevet’ accreditation. Each day he, or his assistant, takes the group to a different location for a walk in the Alps at an altitude between 1,000 and 2,400 metres. Summer or winter you will enjoy the spectacular scenery, summer pastures abundant with flowers, forests of pine trees and high ridges with views of Mont Blanc. The winter ‘Trappeur’ programme runs from 20 December to 11 April. The summer ‘Chamois’ programme runs from 1 June to 15 September. A rest day is included in the schedule, usually with an optional visit to local places of interest. The hotel has a minibus to transport you to and from the chosen walking area. You will join a multi-national group with English speaking guide. Walks will be tailored to match the average ability of the group.

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £691

£919

£659

HIGH SEASON*

from £721

£949

£689

Starting days: Saturday. Available all year except 12 April - 31 May and 13 September - 19 December. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Walks Daily guided walks of five to seven hours tailored to match the average ability of the group. Climbing perhaps 800m in summer and 400m in winter with optional extensions to reach some of the local summits, a good level of fitness is necessary.

Your hotel: You stay full board at Chalet Hotel l’Eau Vive.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/savoie 30

Reservations 01580 214010

Rail Travel Outward: Depart London St Pancras International, change stations in Paris and trains Aix les Bains le Revard, arrive Albertville. Transfer to hotel included. Return: Transfer to St Nicolas followed by bus to Albertville station, change trains at Aix les Bains and stations in Paris, arrive London St Pancras International station late evening.


Ardèche Discovery 7 nights

Verdant valleys and bubbling springs

Untamed mountains and gently sloping vineyards offer something for everybody, however relaxing or adventurous a holiday you wish to experience. The Ardèche is hilly with some short steep climbs, but the walking is never too strenuous or lengthy.

ADD AN ACTIVITY If you arrive by car you could choose to spend a half-day horse-riding, rock-climbing or canoeing or pamper yourself with a half-day at the spa.

Suggested Walks Day trip from Vals les Bains ➜

 4-11 miles

A gentle exploration of the neighbourhood as you walk up to the woods, returning to Vals les Bains in time for lunch. In the afternoon you can try a more challenging walk, taking in some charming hamlets before returning to Vals via the river Ardèche and the old rail track.

Day trip to Antraigues ➜

 9-11 miles

You’re transferred to nearby Aizac for a walk up to a panoramic view of the Haute Cévennes mountains. You’ll reach the ancient village of Antraigues, perched on a rocky outcrop, in time for lunch, then set off to explore the nearby Château de Craux which dates back to the 15th Century.

Day trip to Asperjoc ➜

 9 miles

Today sees you striding out along the Volane river to Asperjoc, home to a neo-roman style church. Scattered along the riverside you’ll come across several old mills that once housed silk factories.

Prices per person (Based on two sharing)

Day trip to Aubenas You’re transferred to the medieval town of Aubenas which has many notable historic buildings. The market on Saturdays is the perfect opportunity to stock up on local produce.

Day trip to Chalencon ➜

 3-7 miles

Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £731

£929

£699

HIGH SEASON*

from £761

£959

£729

Starting days: Wednesday, Sunday. Canoeing £20 per person. Horse-riding £50 per person. Spa treatment £50 per person. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Head to the nearby little town of Labegude and off the beaten track to Chalencon which is reached after a climb of over 300 metres. As you descend you will have panoramic views of the region. 6 nights B&B, 1 night half board. Our local British agent will tailor this holiday to suit your requirements and you can add various adventure activities. Family self-catering accommodation can be arranged.

Your hotels The elegant 3-star Grand Hotel les Bains and a charming Chambre d’Hôte, in the village of Antraigues-sur-Volane. You stay on a B&B basis except for first night at hotel which is half board. This gives the option of eating table d’hôte or trying the local restaurants. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/ardeche

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change at Lille Europe, arrive Valence then coach to Aubenas, arrive late afternoon. Transfer to hotel from Aubenas included (10 mins). Return: Transfer to Aubenas coach station included (10 mins). Coach journey to Valence, TGV to Lille Europe, change trains arrive St Pancras International station late evening. NB: Local car hire is necessary if travelling by rail.

www.bellefrance.co.uk

31


Van Gogh’s Provence 7 nights

Shimmering light and olive groves

Wonderful buildings, charming village squares, the smell of herbs growing wild under your feet, all the right ingredients for some great walking. The grade is moderate, not due to the gradients, but because the distances are longer than usual. Underfoot are quiet lanes and stony tracks.

Day One Arrival 1 Graveson Settle into your family-run 2-star hotel, relax by the pool and look forward to the week ahead. In the evening enjoy a gentle stroll around Graveson.

Day Two Saze ➜

 12 miles 1 Remoulins

After a transfer to Saze, head off up the lanes into the Provençal countryside. You will spot the little stone huts known as capitelles, ancient in construction and used as stores and shelter for shepherds.

Day Three Day trip from Remoulins ➜

 6 miles

Just down the road from your 2-star hotel, the Pont du Gard is a must. It does not take long to walk into the attractive countryside of the Gardon valley along dusty lanes to picturesque villages perched on the hilltops.

Day Four Remoulins ➜

 13 miles 1 Beaucaire

Rise up onto the hillside to join the GR6 footpath. You walk through fields of redcurrants, apples, walnuts and vines. Visit the Abbaye St. Romain, on a ridge overlooking the Rhône, before settling in at your 3-star hotel.

Day Five Beaucaire ➜

 11 miles 1 Fontvieille

Pass through the narrow streets of the old walled town of Tarascon, then head out through the olive groves, rough pasture and woodland towards the hills and the limestone outcrops of Les Alpilles. You’re guaranteed a friendly welcome at our 3-star hotel in this typical Provençal village. B&B

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

from £811

£999

£779

Not available

Not available

Not available

LOW SEASON HIGH SEASON*

Own Travel

Starting days: Any day. This holiday is not available in July and August.

Day Six Fontvieille ➜

 13 miles 1 St. Rémy

* 17 July to 6 September start days.

Return to the hills of Les Alpilles and climb to the medieval village of Les Baux. As you descend into St Rémy and your centrally located 2-star hotel, pass the sanatorium where Van Gogh painted some of his most famous works. B&B

Day Seven Day trip from St Rémy ➜

 6 miles

St Rémy itself is known for its charm and sophistication, but why not take a walk up to the higher reaches of Les Alpilles for grand views over the Camargue before enjoying your final meal of the holiday in one of St Rémy’s lovely restaurants. B&B

Your hotels An interesting collection of hotels; all except Remoulins have swimming pools. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/vangogh

32

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change at Lille Europe (onward train is from either Lille Europe or Lille Flandres), arrive Avignon late afternoon. Taxi transfer to hotel not included (20 minutes, about 25€). Return: Transfer to Avignon station included, change trains at Lille Europe, arrive St Pancras International station late evening.

Reservations 01580 214010


Provence Prestige à Pied 7 nights

Scented pines and dazzling skies

This walk offers a touch of luxury staying in delightful accommodation that adds extra charm to the delights of walking in Provence. Wander through pretty village squares, past vineyards and fields of sunflowers, over remote hill sides and along canal towpaths with the smell of wild herbs in the air. The grade is moderate. ADD A COOKERY CLASS OR SPA TREATMENT Option to include a Friday morning cookery class with lunch at Valmouriane or a half day pampered beauty treatment.

Day One Arrival 1 Avignon Arrive at the luxurious Hostellerie la Magnaneraie in the suberbs of old Villeneuve-les-Avignon. Explore the old village centre or relax in the hotel garden by the outdoor pool.

Day Two Remoulins ➜

 10 miles 1 Collias

A taxi transfer to Remoulins to start your walk by crossing the river to reach the magnificent Pont du Gard. Take time to explore this Roman monument before continuing on to Collias and Hostellerie le Castellas which has a secluded outdoor pool and Michelin starred restaurant.

Day Three Collias ➜

 8 miles 1 Tarascon

The taxi transfer drops you off to start your walk at St Roman. Passing through Beaucaire you cross the River Rhone into Tarascon and continue south to Le Mas des Comtes de Provence, a delightful manor house.

Day Four Day trip from Tarascon ➜

 5 miles

Take time to explore the delights of Tarascon and continue on to Beaucaire to admire the boats moored canalside.

Day Five Tarascon ➜

 9 miles 1 Fontvielle

Follow the winding route of the canal, then continue along tracks, through woodland glades and the limestone outcrops of the Alpilles. Your destination is the delightful La Régalido with Michelin-starred restaurant, an oasis of tranquility.

Day Six Fontvielle ➜

 10 miles 1 Valmouriane

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

LOW SEASON

from £1329

£1569

Own Travel £1249

HIGH SEASON*

Not available

Not available

Not available

Starting days: Any day. 1st Class Rail. Club Class Ferry. This holiday is not available in July and August. Extra night at Valmouriane £135 per person. Half day cookery class with lunch £50 per person. Half day beauty treatment £115 per person. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Leaving Fontvieille visit Château d’Estoublon and the interesting Olive Boutique. Then follow the foothills before climbing to the medieval village of les Baux. Cross the Alpilles and descend to your hotel Domaine de Valmouriane. Set in a lovely park with outdoor pool.

Day Seven Day trip to St Remy ➜

 8 miles

A short walk through woodland to the Roman site of Glanum before exploring the warren of narrow streets in St Remy at lunchtime. A level walk alongside a canal back to Valmouriane for your final night.

Your hotels A prestigious collection of hotels each with its own individual charm and ambiance – from a delightful oasis set in the centre of a village to a country house hotel with beautiful pool. All have pools except at Fontvieille. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change at Lille Europe (onward train is from either Lille Europe or Lille Flandres), arrive Avignon late afternoon. Taxi transfer to hotel not included (20 minutes, about 25€). Return: Transfer to Avignon station included, change trains at Lille Europe, arrive St Pancras International station late evening.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/provenceprestigewalk

www.bellefrance.co.uk

33


Stevenson Trail In the footsteps of one man and his donkey

In 1878, Robert Louis Stevenson published, “Travels with a Donkey”, an account of his intriguing journey through the Cévennes, accompanied by his donkey, Modestine. Starting at the southern end of the Massif Central, the walk takes you across the Cévennes to the edge of the Midi.

1st stage

Day One Arrival 1 Le Puy Le Puy has a wealth of religious history and several beautiful buildings including the cathedral and the Romanesque chapel of St Michel de L’Aiguille perched 80m high on a pinnacle rock - the Rocher St. Michel.

Day Two Le Puy ➜

 12 miles 1 Le Monastier

Today’s walk starts with a climb out of the valley, encircled by extinct volcanoes and then descends to cross the infant Loire, passing through some enchanting scenery.

Day Three Le Monastier ➜

 16 miles 1 St. Nicolas

Stevenson bought his donkey, Modestine, in Le Monastier. Cross the Loire river at Goudet and rise out of the valley. The author got lost here; he missed the Lac du Bouchet because it is uphill of the hamlet within a flooded volcano cone.

Day Four St. Nicolas ➜

 16 miles 1 Langogne

Through wooded valleys and rough pasture, along cinder paths and farm tracks. Everything is made of local granite, the houses, bread ovens and crosses.

Day Five Langogne ➜

 10 miles 1 Cheylard L’Evêque

An undulating walk across the remote and vast plain of Margaride. The church bells here, like so many in the region, are not housed in a tower. This makes them louder, so in times of inclement weather the bells used to be rung to guide lost souls to the safety of the village.

Day Six Cheylard L’Evêque ➜

 12 miles 1 La Bastide

Walk on the route of the Roman road that leads to Marseilles, via Regordane and enter the upper reaches of the attractive Allier valley.

Day Seven La Bastide ➜

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Stevenson Trail 1st Stage

Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £756

£949

£649

HIGH SEASON*

from £786

£979

£679

Starting days: Any day. Own Ferry option includes transfer back to your car. Own travel clients requiring transfer back to the start add £150 per car. Single supplement £100. Stevenson Trail 2nd Stage

 8 miles 1 Chasseradès

You climb today to the highest point of this stage, opposite the source of the Allier. As you climb over the Mourage hill you cross the watershed between the Atlantic and Mediterranean, then head down the valley to pretty Chasseradès.

Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

LOW SEASON

from £796

£989

Own Travel £689

HIGH SEASON*

from £826

£1019

£719

Starting days: Any day. Ferry option includes transfer back to your car. Own travel clients requiring transfer back to the start add £150 per car. Single supplement £140. Extra night at Chasserades £55 per person HB. Extra night at St Jean du Gard £60 per person HB. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Your hotels

Rail Travel - Stevenson Trail 1st Stage Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris and trains at

Accommodation in this part of France tends to be simple, from small village guest houses to traditional auberges with good homely food.

Clermont Ferrand, arrive Le Puy en Velay late evening. Transfer from station to hotel not included – hotel is within easy walking distance.

View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Return: Transfer from hotel to Chasseradès station not included, change trains at Nimes and stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station late evening.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/stevenson

34

Reservations 01580 214010


1st/2nd Stage 7 nights - Combined 13 nights

TREK

The walk is moderate, with a few long climbs. Conditions underfoot are good, well drained, though often rocky. Whilst remote, throughout the Cévennes you will pass frequent stone built farms and hamlets. The landscape is ever-changing, tiny villages, valleys and woodland give way to desolate boulder-strewn plains.

2nd stage

Day One Arrival 1 Chasseradès The Chaptal family run the charming Hotel des Sources and the restaurant serves great meals on the terrace.

Day Two Chasseradès ➜

 9 miles 1 Le Bleymard

After passing through the little village of L’Estampe you climb the densely wooded hill of Goulet. This is the beginning of the Cévennes.

Day Three Le Bleymard ➜

 11 miles 1 Pont de Montvert

Climb the Finiels summit for impressive views, sometimes as far as the Mediterranean. Pont de Montvert has many fine 16th century houses built on rocks above the waters.

Day Four Pont de Montvert ➜

 10-16 miles 1 Florac

Most of today’s walk is along the Bouges ridge with views across the Cévennes. Florac spans the confluence of the Tarnon and the Tarn.

Day Five Florac ➜

 10 miles 1 Cassagnas

You quickly find yourself in the steep, red and rocky sided Mimente valley, which is quite dramatic. The tiny village of Cassagnas has a permanent population of 20 people! You stay in an old railway station.

Day Six Cassagnas ➜ Calberte

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £1330

£1499

£1199

HIGH SEASON*

from £1360

£1529

£1229

Combined holiday 13 nights

 11 miles 1 St. Germain de

You can, if you wish, detour up Mont Mars for a view over this heavily forested area. There are many chestnut groves, once the staple diet of the population.

Day Seven St. Germain de Calberte ➜ St. Jean du Gard

Starting days: Any day. Ferry option includes transfer back to your car. Own travel clients requiring transfer back to the start add £200 per car. Single supplement £200. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

 13 miles 1

Some of the walk is spent on the paved road ‘Corniche des Cevennes’, built for the military during the reign of Louis XIV. As you descend from the Cévennes into the Midi, you see the changes in the landscape and on reaching the lowest part of the walk you realise you are now in the land of the grape! Extra Nights are possible at Le Puy, St. Nicolas, La Bastide, Chasseradès, Florac or St. Jean du Gard.

Rail Travel - Stevenson Trail 2nd Stage Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris and trains in Nimes, arrive Chasseradès late evening. Transfer from station to hotel not included. For afternoon arrival in Chasseradès take overnight stop in Paris or Nimes. Return: Transfer from hotel to Alès station not included, change trains at Nimes and stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station early evening.

www.bellefrance.co.uk

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Cathar Castles Trek of the Cathar Castles from Tuchan-Queribus to Quillan

NEW

This trek through the foothills of the Pyrenees will take you past many of the mystical Cathar Castles through beautiful and changing landscapes from craggy rocks to lush green meadows. You stay half-board in friendly chambre d’hôtes and small hotels where you can discover local cuisine and Languedoc wines.

1st stage

Day One Arrival 1 Perpignan Arrival via Perpignan in Tuchan at the 2 star Hostellerie du Montauch.

Day Two Padern ➜

 10 miles 1 Duilhac

After a short transfer your walk takes you through the early medieval village of Mollet and the wine centre at Cucugnan. You can see the 13th cent. Castles at Padern and at Queribus. Stay at the Auberge du Vieux Moulin.

Day Three

 10 miles 1 Cubieres sur Cinoble

Duilhac ➜

You pass the Galamus Gorges and see the hermitage of St Antoine de Galamus and the fortress of Peyrepertuse. Upon arrival at the Gite Accueil in Cubieres you will be allocated to a friendly chambre d’hôte.

Day Four Cubieres ➜

 10 miles 1 Sougraigne

Today you pass through the Chestnut forest and Bugarach. In Sougraigne you stay at the Auberge l’Ecluse au Soleil, a 2 star Logis de France.

Day Five Sougraigne ➜

 12 miles 1 Granes

Follow way-marked trails through Rennes le Château to Granes where you stay at Gites les Tamaris chambre d’hôte.

Day Six Granes ➜

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Cathar Castles 1st Stage

 12 miles 1 Quillan

Today you pass through traditional Pyrenean villages and over the Col des Trois Quilles. Your final night is at the 3 star Hotel La Chaumière.

Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £651

£949

£619

HIGH SEASON*

from £681

£979

£649

Starting days: Any day. Rail price includes extra night in Carcassonne B&B.

Day Seven Departure and Carcassonne By rail you have an extra night in Carcassonne before catching the train to Toulouse with TGV and Eurostar back to UK.Transfer back to Tuchan to collect your car. Transfers to Perpignan can also be arranged at a supplement. B&B

Cathar Castles 2nd Stage

Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £661

£949

£619

HIGH SEASON*

from £691

£979

£649

Starting days: Any day. Rail price includes first night in Carcassonne B&B. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Your hotels A mix of hotels are used on this holiday ranging from homely chambre d’hôtes to two star Logis de France. Evening meals are included on each night of the walk, usually with a fixed menu de jour. This is a remote part of France without a vast tourist input and we have graded this holiday as a trek in view of the lower standard of accommodation compared with our usual choice. Rail travellers spend an additional final night B&B in Carcassonne at a 3 star hotel in the town centre close to the rail station. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/cathar

36

Rail Travel - Cathar Castles 1st Stage Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change trains at Lille Europe and arrive Perpignan early evening. Transfer to Tuchan included (40 mins). Return: Transfer to Quillan station not included (10 minutes walk), change trains at Carcassonne. Transfer in Carcassonne not included for overnight stay. From Carcassonne change trains at Toulouse to Lille Europe or Carcassonne to Paris, change to Eurostar, arrive St Pancras International station late evening.

Reservations 01580 214010


1st/2nd Stage 7 nights - Combined 13 nights

Continue from Quillan to Foix via Montségur

TREK

Discover the unique history and wonderful food and wine of this fascinating region, charming villages and gorgeous scenery of meadows, vineyards, and distant snow-capped peaks. Follow the ancient trails to discover precariously perched ruins of Cathar castles clinging to cliff edges and stay in small unspoilt Pyrenean towns and villages.

2nd stage

Day One Arrival 1 Carcassonne Arrival in by rail in Carcassonne. Your first night is B&B in Carcassonne giving you the next morning to explore this historic walled town before catching the local train in the afternoon to Quillan.

Day Two Quillan ➜

 13 miles 1 Puivant

Walk to the village of Nebias and continue along the Cathar footpath to Puivert and its splendid 13th century Château of the Troubadours - its well worth a visit. Tonight stay in a simple chambre d’hôte located close to the lake, ideal for a quick swim, eat local food prepared by your host and shared ‘en famille’ with other guests.

Day Three Puivant ➜

 13 miles 1 Belcaire

Through the heart of the thick fir tree forests of Escale and Picaussel and out on to the airy plateau of Sault using the ancient path to the valley of Aude and the Corbieres region. Tonight stay in the mountain chalet style Logis de France Hotel Bayle.

Day Four Belcaire ➜

 11.5 miles 1 Montségur

From the airy Pays de Sault plateau the path takes you down through the impressive Gorge de Frau (Gorge of Fear!) to the Ariege before arriving in the village of Montségur, the heart of Catharism. Stay for two nights at a welcoming and comfortable chambre d’hôte.

Day walk from Montségur ➜

 7.5 miles

An evocative walk past ancient terraces and ruins with panoramic views of the famous Pog de Montségur, the last Cathar strong hold – the ancient Château de Montségur perchs high on the top of the pog, its a hard climb to the top but well worth it for the magnificent views.

Montségur ➜

Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £1319

£1469

£1199

HIGH SEASON*

from £1349

£1499

£1229

Combined holiday 13 nights

Day Five

Day Six

Prices per person (Based on two sharing)

Starting days: Any day. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

 11.5 miles 1 Roquefixade

Follow the Cathar trail as it winds its way to the village of Montferrier, crossing the Modini forest before reaching the 13th century Pyrenean walled village of Roquefixade. Stay at the Relais des Pogs.

Day Seven Roquefixade ➜

 12 miles 1 Foix

The final section combines superb terrain with stunning views as the Cathar trail follows a high ridge to the small town of Foix nestling in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Foix is dominated by the three towers of its chateau perched high above the town. Your final night at the 3 star Hotel Lons.

Day Eight Departure and Toulouse Departure by rail from Foix, a morning train to Toulouse for the onward TGV and Eurostar to arrive late evening in London. By car transfer back to Quillan.

Rail Travel - Cathar Castles 2nd Stage Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change at Lille Europe (onward train from Lille Europe change trains in Narbonne, arrive Carcassonne 19:18. Overnight in Carcassonne. Next day depart Carcassonne 16:12 change trains in Limoux, arrive Quillan 17:35. Return: Depart Foix in the morning, arrive Toulouse, change trains, arrive Paris early evening, change stations, arrive St Pancras International station late evening.

www.bellefrance.co.uk

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Breathtaking Brittany 7 nights

Celtic crosses and rocky inlets

This south-western tip of Brittany stretches into the waters of the Atlantic. Sandy dunes and marshes give way to dramatic cliffs as you approach the stunning Pointe du Raz headland. We rate this walk as moderate - you’ll be walking for around 7 hours each day, mainly along coastal paths with the odd climb.

Day One Arrival 1 Pont l’Abbé This historic little town is famous for its lace and embroidery, and some residents still wear traditional Breton dress. Your starting point is a comfortable Logis de France hotel.

Day Two Pont l’Abbé ➜

 14 miles 1 Saint Guénolé

Your route takes you towards the coast, past chapels and springs to the fishing ports on the south-west tip of Brittany. Your base for the night is a 2-star hotel with ocean views.

Day Three Saint Guénolé ➜

 17 miles 1 Lababan

Follow alongside the vast sandy beaches popular with surfers. You’ll pass Notre-Dame de Penhors, an example of Brittany’s culture and tradition, where religious pardons are still held, before arriving at the 3-star Hotel Ker Ansquer.

Day Four Lababan ➜

 13.5 miles 1 Audierne

The rocky coastline leads you all the way to Audierne, a charming Breton fishing town where you can watch the boats come in with their catch at the end of the day.

Day Five Day trip from Audierne ➜

 4 miles

Enjoy a boat trip out to the Ile de Sein, a tiny island peeping out of the water, off the Pointe du Raz. Many of its 350 inhabitants live in the brightly painted houses along the quayside. Explore this other-worldly setting, before heading back to your 2-star hotel in Audierne.

Day Six Audierne ➜

 15 miles 1 Baie des Trépassés

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £931

£1099

£899

HIGH SEASON*

from £961

£1129

£929

Starting days: Any day. It is not possible to book single travellers on this holiday. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

A final day following the rugged coastline up to the protected site of the Pointe du Raz. Here, the granite and sandstone rocks are buffeted by the wind and the ocean. Watch the surf come crashing in from the comfort of your hotel.

Day Seven Quimper If you’ve travelled by car you have a transfer back to Pont l’Abbé then drive to Quimper for your final night. If you’ve travelled by train you’re transferred back to Quimper where you can spend the day exploring before catching the train home the following morning after a night in a 3-star hotel.

Your hotels

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris, arrive Quimper

Ranging from modern in style to a traditional Breton granite country hotel. Many are close to the sea.

late afternoon. Transfer to hotel at Pont l’Abbé not included (20 mins).

View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Return: Taxi transfer to Quimper the previous day included. Depart Quimper station in morning, change stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International early evening.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/breathtaking

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Reservations 01580 214010


Catalan Coast 7 nights

Rocky coves and orange groves

Frontier battles gave way long ago to the simple fishing and agriculture which prevail today. An easy walk becoming moderate in places with several steep climbs. There is little shade from the Mediterranean sun, so bring a sunhat and plenty of sunscreen. Stunning views, friendly people and unique culture.

Day One Arrival 1 Collioure Collioure is a beautiful place surrounded by pretty beaches, and attracted the likes of Matisse and Picasso. Your 2-star hotel, Mas des Citronniers, is centrally located. B&B

Day Two Collioure ➜

 8 miles 1 Banyuls

A straightforward walk with a mix of coastal paths, orange groves and rural country lanes. Follow a rocky promontory looking out across the clear blue sea before descending through vineyards to Banyuls. Hotel with pool.

Day Three Day trip from Banyuls ➜

 5 miles

If you have the inclination to leave your 3-star hotel perched high above the town then you can spend the day on vineyard slopes overlooking the bay where some of France’s sweetest dessert wines are produced.

Day Four Banyuls ➜

 8 miles 1 Llança

From the vineyards you’ll pass through thick forest and onto a ridge for a panorama of both France and Spain. Follow this ridge to the border and descend back to sea level at Port Bou in Spain, before taking the short train journey to your 2-star hotel in Llança.

Day Five Llança ➜

 9 miles 1 Port de La Selva

Follow the coastal footpath or climb to Sant Pere de Rodes monastery. You pass through abandoned vineyards and relics from the civil war, always surrounded by glorious views. Tonight’s 3-star hotel is in the centre of the little fishing village.

Day Six Port de La Selva ➜

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

from £791

£999

£759

Not available

Not available

Not available

LOW SEASON HIGH SEASON*

Own Travel

Starting days: Any day. This holiday is not available in July and August and supplements apply Easter and early September. Single supplement £140.

 10 miles 1 Cadaques

* 17 July to 6 September start days.

The inland route is charming. Pass through olive groves and untouched Spanish countryside. Your hotel for the final two nights is the 3-star art deco Hotel Rocamar with indoor and outdoor pools.

Day Seven Day trip from Cadaques ➜

 8 miles

There’s plenty to see and do in the fascinating ancient fishing village of Cadaques with its winding streets, or you may prefer a final day’s walk that takes you up above the town for breathtaking views of the Mediterranean coastline.

Your hotels A diverse selection of accommodation from modern sea front hotels to a 3-star hotel with swimming pool. One night B&B, six nights half board. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/catalan

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change trains at Lille Europe and Perpignan, arrive Collioure late evening. Taxi transfer from station to hotel not included – hotel is only a 10 minute walk away. Return: Transfer from Cadaques to Perpignan station included (2hrs), change trains at Lille Europe, arrive St Pancras International station late evening.

www.bellefrance.co.uk

39


Mountains to Med 8 nights

Rugged hills and silver beaches

A journey from Pyrenean peaks to Mediterranean beaches. This walk is graded moderate to difficult. Some paths are long, rocky and steep and some scrambling may be necessary. We consider this to be the most challenging of all our walking holidays, but stunning views are your reward!

Day One Arrival 1 Setcases Start off high in this small mountain village nestling at the bottom of the Ter valley at the foot of the peaks.

Day Two Setcases ➜

 9 miles 1 Mollo

The route starts steeply from the valley and there are a number of spots where you almost need to scramble. The views up here are quite outstanding.

Day Three Mollo ➜

 4 miles 1 Prats de Mollo

The route to Prats de Mollo was traditionally used by brigands and smugglers as a way into French territory. As you climb, magnificent views across the Vallespir appear before you.

Day Four Day trip from Prats de Mollo ➜

 8 miles

The fortified medieval city sits on the banks of the River Tech. As you explore the surrounding valleys, you will discover a mountain environment, bursting with wildlife.

Day Five Prats de Mollo ➜

 7 miles 1 Amélie les Bains

Your walk starts on a wide track surrounded by cherry trees and leads along the ridge with amazing views all around. On a slow descent you reach the spa town of Amélie Les Bains.

Day Six Amélie les Bains ➜

 7 miles 1 Céret

There is a steady climb up to Puig d’Oulou. As you descend into the narrow streets of Céret, think of the artists who found inspiration here; Picasso, Matisse and Chagall.

Day Seven Day trip from Céret ➜

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £789

£959

£719

HIGH SEASON*

from £819

£989

£749

Starting days: Any day. Single supplement £120. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

 6 miles

Today is an easy stroll through woodland, cherry orchards, vineyards and olive groves. Spend time in the afternoon exploring the interesting streets of Céret.

Day Eight Céret ➜

 9 miles 1 Banyuls

A pre-arranged taxi will drop you about half a mile from the ridge that will take you east, involving a short steep climb. The descent to the sea is spectacular.

Your hotels A selection of hotels ranging from Spanish country hotels high in the Pyrenees to a 3-star hotel with spectacular views across the bay. Remote village hotels are less luxurious but adequate with good homely food. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change trains at Lille Europe and arrive Perpignan early evening. Transfer to Setcases included (2hrs). Return: Transfer to Banyuls station not included (station is 10 minutes walk from hotel) change trains at Perpignan and Lille Europe, arrive St Pancras International station late evening.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/mountains

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Reservations 01580 214010

TREK


Bella España 7 nights

Alpujarra – Foothills of the Sierra Nevada

Walking in this area is a delight as you follow trails and ancient pack horse routes through the unspoilt landscape. Through olive and almond groves past aequias that crisscross the hillsides bringing water from the snow capped mountains into the small villages and towns that cling to the hillsides and nestle in the valleys.

The Walks There is no fixed itinerary for these wonderful guided walks. Martin Riley – your British guide will outline the various walks available and depending on the weather and your walking ability will suggest the best route for the day.

Day One Arrive 1 Hotel Hesperia in central Granada Day Two Monachil Gorge ➜

 5 hours

Transfer to Lanjaron via the Monachil Gorge – a breathtaking start to your adventure the route incorporating suspension bridges and natural rock tunnels for about a mile before opening out into a valley. Continue on to Lanjaron.

Day Three to Day Six Guided Walks These walks are examples of what is on offer during your stay in Lanjaron.

Walk in the Taha ➜

 4 to 5 hours (8 miles)

A string of white villages spread across the hillside above the valley of the Rio Trevelez - from the village of Mecina the route descends to cross the river on a medieval bridge before climbing to an ancient water store.

Poquerira Gorge ➜

 5 to 6 hours (10 miles)

Transfer to start of the walk – this is a popular walking area crisscrossed with a network of trails and pack horse bridges over the river. Our route reaches around 1600m with views of the high sierra before returning to Capileria and an opportunity to sit and watch the world go by before heading back to Lanjaron.

Grand Walking Route ➜ (10 miles)

 5 to 6 hours

Follow a section of the long distance GR7 trail as it traverses through the villages of Sopotujar and Canar following aequia channels and passing remote fincas.

Rio Verde ➜

 5 hours (8 miles)

A walk which descends into the Rio Verde to pass a ‘petrified’ waterfall and grotto before returning through the lunar landscape and limestone pinnacles of the Sierra Almijara.

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Own Travel LOW SEASON

£879 (April, May)

HIGH SEASON*

£899 (June, Sept)

Starting days: Any day. We anticipate that you may arrange flights to Granada and your holiday with us starts with your arrival at the first hotel. Rail travel is possible but involves an overnight stay or a sleeper train - please phone for details. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Day Seven Exploring the city Your final day offers a great opportunity to explore this historic city - a visit to the spectacular Alhambra is a must. It’s only a five-minute taxi ride or a 20-minute steep uphill walk from Granada’s central Plaza Nueva - you’ll walk nearly three miles in your Alhambra visit, so take a guide book and plan your visit.

Your hotels The 4 star Hotel Hesperia – in the centre of the old town is a great location ideal for exploring Granada. Comfortable en suite rooms with air conditioning. The 3 star Hotel Alcadima in Lanjaron – a delightful family run hotel with spacious en suite bedrooms, air conditioning, a fridge and tea and coffee making facilities. Just off the treelined main street the hotel is an oasis of calm. The swimming pool offers the chance of a welcome dip at the end of a day’s walking. You are booked B&B throughout.

Rail Travel This is possible with overnight stops or sleeper trains.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/granada

www.bellefrance.co.uk

41


Cycling for Everyone With the wind in your hair

We don’t consider any of our cycling holidays to be too much of a challenge; every day has a carefully planned itinerary - the pace at which you travel is up to you. Cycling distances each day range between 10 and 40 miles, perfectly manageable considering average cycle speed is between 6 to 8 miles per hour – or much faster with the wind behind you! If faced with a climb, you can always get off and push for a bit – that’s what we do!

Cycling grades

Most of our cycling holidays are circular; you cycle from hotel to hotel, with one or two nights at each hotel before moving on. If you’d prefer to stay in

Please remember that a long flat run on a hot day can be more tiring than a short hill where you can get off and push. Distances between hotels are always shorter in hilly areas and you should not choose a holiday solely on the basis of mileage. We do not suggest hard routes. But if you do want to cycle the steep mountain path identified on your map, then feel free! Easy Almost flat terrain. Up to 30 miles a day. Emerald Coast, Along the Leisurely Loire, Garden of France, Loire Discovery, Loire Prestige, Loire en Famille, Provençal Dreams, A Taste of Bordeaux Easy/Moderate Occasional hills, some steep. Up to 35 miles a day. Mellow Mayenne, Charente Waterways, Périgord Discovery, Burgundy Prestige, Provence Prestige, Vintage Burgundy Classic, Premier Cru & Grand Cru Prestige, Alsatian Adventure

one place for the duration then we have a couple of fixed base options available too. All of our cycling holidays are self-guided, which means that you’ll be cycling independently at your own pace.

Our bikes - everything you need All our bikes are prepared in advance and from most centres you can hire cycle helmets for 2 euro a day paid locally. Simply provide us with your height and inside leg measurement and your bike will be awaiting your arrival. Our bikes are usually hybrids – a cross between a tourer and mountain bike that’s perfect for the distances and terrain you’ll be covering. The saddles are made wide for touring, but you can also bring your own if you wish. We also provide you with panniers to carry your picnic and supplies for the day. We’ll provide you with a repair kit containing a spare inner tube and puncture repair kit. If your bike breaks down, our local representative will bring a replacement, ready for the next day enabling you to continue your holiday. However, you will need to know how to repair your own puncture! If you’re travelling by car and wish to bring your own bike, this will reduce the cost of your cycling holiday by £5 per day.

Moderate/Challenging Rolling countryside with some steep hills, but shorter distances between hotels. Requires regular gear changes but is continuously cyclable. Up to 40 miles per day depending on the terrain. Drama of the Dordogne, Dordogne Exploration, Auvergne Discovery, Canal du Midi to Coast, Limousin Lakes and Castles, Best of Burgundy

42

Reservations 01580 214010


It’s all on-line Inside information and first-hand accounts on our holidays

www.bellefrance.co.uk/cycling

Prestige en Vélo holidays

Scenery and culture

At all of our carefully chosen hotels, you’re guaranteed a friendly welcome and a comfortable place to stay. If you fancy some real luxury and mouth-watering gourmet meals in an exclusive setting, then we’ve introduced a “Prestige” option to add that extra special something to your holiday experience.

All of our cycling holidays take in the above in abundance, but there are some that are worth a special mention thanks to their historical or cultural relevance, or simply because you’ll experience some of the wonderful landscapes for which France is renowned. • Provençal Dreams

• Mellow Mayenne

• Périgord Discovery

• Emerald Coast

• Auvergne Discovery

• Dordogne Exploration

• Vintage Burgundy

• Garden of France

• A Taste of Bordeaux

• Alsatian Adventure

• Loire, Burgundy, Provence plus Périgord upgrade

Family-friendly holidays An increasing number of families are looking to explore France together in a fun and healthy way; cycling couldn’t be a better option. Children thoroughly enjoy cycling in France, the roads are free from busy traffic and they are fully occupied the whole time. We do recommend that you bring your children’s bikes with you if possible, simply because they will be more familiar and comfortable with them, but on most holidays we can provide children’s bikes, with the option at some destinations of child seats and tag-alongs for the smallest family members. We’ve even introduced a holiday with young families in mind, taking in attractions that include adventure parks and a zoo.

Flexible options Please do call our friendly team for advice on any of our holidays – we’ll be delighted to help choose the perfect one for you. And we’re more than happy to adapt our holidays

• Loire en Famille

• Along the Leisurely Loire

• Loire Discovery

• Emerald Coast

• Provençal Dreams

• Périgord Discovery

to suit your requirements; if you want to add extra nights en route, combine two holidays, create a short weekend break… we’ll be happy to tailor-make a holiday that’s just right for you.

A bit of a challenge? You’ll already know that we don’t categorise any of our holidays as “hard”, but there are some that have a few more climbs or longer mileage. Although they can be undertaken by any reasonably fit person, they are worth considering if you like a challenge and cycle regularly. • Charente Waterways

• Drama of the Dordogne

• Best of Burgundy

• Limousin Lakes and Castles

• Canal du Midi to Coast

• Dordogne Exploration

Why not add a flight in a hot-air balloon to any of our Loire Valley Holidays?

www.bellefrance.co.uk

43


Mellow Mayenne 7 nights

Rolling hills and silent streams

This little known area of south Normandy offers the chance to pedal along country lanes watching the countryside unroll in front of you like a patchwork quilt of fields and streams, manor houses and duck ponds. The grade is mostly easy with some huffing and puffing over the rolling countryside and a long ride on your last day.

Day One Arrival 1 Loué On arrival in Loué at the delightful Hôtel Ricordeau, a former coach house, it may be tempting to take a dip in the pool. Dinner is served in the flag stoned restaurant and the menu features local produce including the famous Loué poultry.

Day Two

310 miles

Day trip from Loué ➜

Pick up your bike after breakfast and head down to explore the tranquil banks of the River Verge. Or, head off to the Forêt de Charnie. If this sounds a bit too energetic then spend a relaxing day by the hotel pool.

Day Three

315 miles 1 Saulges

Loué ➜

Today head up the Verge valley to Brulon, maybe for a reviving café crème and a chance to buy a picnic lunch. The hilly bit is behind you as you head towards your destination, the delightful 3-star Hotel l’Ermitage.

Day Four

319 miles

Day trip from Saulges ➜

Take a spin down to Ballée and visit the beautiful château with its watermill and gardens. On the return journey the château and watermill at Thevalles are worth a closer look.

Day Five

321 miles 1 Mézangers

Saulges ➜

The pretty route follows the l’Erve, crossing the river to Chammes and the chance for a refreshing drink. The highlight is the beautiful fortified village of Sainte Suzanne. Then wind past farms and streams to the 3-star Relais.

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £951

£1149

£919

Day Six

HIGH SEASON*

from £981

£1179

£949

316 miles

Day trip from Mézangers ➜

An easy run through the forest and along a straight road makes a quick trip to the impressive roman ruins at Jublains. Enjoy lunch alfresco by the lake before a relaxing pedal back to the hotel.

Day Seven

Starting days: Wednesday and Friday. Extra night at St. Suzanne £80 per person. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

332 miles 1 Loué

Mézangers ➜

The route is deeply rural and quiet - quaint little villages provide opportunities for refreshment and a breather - apple orchards and the occasional watermill litter the route. The tour is complete and it’s time to make your way back to the hotel, and a chance to relive some wonderful experiences. Option for extra night breaking this journey at St Suzanne, a quirky medieval country town.

Your hotels Accommodation is in some of the finest hotels in our programme. Elegant buildings with plenty of character, plus swimming pools and delightful restaurants. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris, arrive Le Mans station mid-afternoon. Transfer to hotel included (30 mins). Return: Transfer to Le Mans station included (30 mins), change stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station late afternoon.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/mayenne

44

Reservations 01580 214010


Emerald Coast 7 nights

Quiet coves and elegant seaside towns

The river Rance separates the resorts of Dinard and Saint Malo; you’ll be following and criss-crossing the river as you explore Belle Epoque towns, sandy coves, fishing ports and green countryside. We grade this route as easy – the region is relatively flat although there is the odd climb in and out of villages.

Day One Arrival 1 Dinard As you arrive in Dinard settle in at the elegant 3-star Roche Corneille, a beautifully converted Belle Epoque villa just round the corner from the beach and the little art galleries in the narrow streets.

Day Two

320 miles

Day trip from Dinard ➜

There are plenty of small coves to explore, as you pass through St Lunaire and St Briac sur Mer before heading down to Ploubalay and back to Dinard cross country, and a second night at La Roche Corneille.

Day Three

316 miles 1 Dinan

Dinard ➜

Head inland following the river Rance and the Voie Verte, a cycle path along a former railway track into Dinan. Your 3-star hotel, Le Jerzual, is right on the quayside, so you can watch the boats moor up for the evening from the terrace.

Day Four

325 miles

Day trip from Dinan ➜

A day’s cycling takes in Château de la Bourbansais with its zoo and gardens, before heading west through the countryside and back up to Dinan. Upon returning to Dinan you can cool off in the outdoor pool.

Day Five

320 miles 1 Saint Malo

Dinan ➜

Prices per person (Based on two sharing)

Head through countryside and forests to the bustling old walled maritime town of Saint-Malo. La Villefromoy, your 3-star hotel housed in a former bourgeois residence, is situated along the seafront. B&B

Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £911

£1129

£879

HIGH SEASON*

from £941

£1159

£909

Day Six

322 miles

Starting days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. 7 nights B&B option deduct £130 per person, see page 64. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Day trip from Saint Malo ➜

It’s a gentle round trip along the flat coast road towards Cancale, famed for its oyster beds. You’ll be able to look out to the little islands dotted across the sea and stop off for refreshments at one of the beach-side cafés.

Day Seven

35 miles 1 Dinard

Saint Malo ➜

Your final day of very easy cycling takes you back to Dinard. Our friendly hoteliers will be delighted to hear about your adventures before you settle down for the catch of the day in the restaurant. B&B option for this holiday see page 64.

Your hotels High quality hotels, all very tastefully decorated and coincidentally all with maritime themes. There’s an outdoor pool at Dinan. Two nights B&B, five nights half board. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris and trains in Rennes, arrive St Malo early evening. Transfer to hotel included (20 mins). Return: Transfer to St Malo station included (20 mins), change trains at Rennes and stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station early evening.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/emerald

www.bellefrance.co.uk

45


Loire DiscoveryX 7 nights

Discover rivers, forests, vineyards and châteaux

Easy cycling along country lanes and the day trips described are just our suggestions, so you can adapt the route to suite your holiday requirements. From Montrichard on the banks of the River Cher to the peaceful village of Chitenay youcan explore all faces of the region.

Two Centre Stay

Your First Hotel Arrival 1 Montrichard Your first three nights are spent at a traditional Logis de France, the Hotel Tête Noire run by a friendly and welcoming family. The restaurant is popular with locals - a sure sign of good food!

310 to 30 miles

Day trips ➜

Visit Chenonceaux with the fabulous château spanning the River Cher or cycle to Amboise, a delightful town with its château and Leonardo da Vinci exhibition.

320 miles 1 Chitenay

Montrichard ➜

On the way pass through Bourré and a chance to explore cave dwellings and then Fougères with its medieval château.

Your Second Hotel 1 Chitenay Your final four nights are spent in a Belle France favourite, an elegant village auberge whose beautifully presented cuisine is served in a bright and airy restaurant. In summer the peaceful hotel gardens are a delightful retreat.

310 to 30 miles

Day trips ➜

A quiet ride through the tranquil countryside of Sologne through woodland and past secluded ponds with abundant birdlife. Or you can visit the châteaux of Chaumont whose park hosts a garden festival, Cheverny with beautifully preserved interior, or Chambord the grandest of them all.

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £801

£969

£769

HIGH SEASON*

from £831

£999

£799

Starting days: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Add a balloon flight to these holidays £225 per person incl. transfers. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Single Centre Option Six nights in Amboise You spend six nights bed and breakfast at the Hotel Belle Vue in the centre of Amboise. This bustling little town has a range of restaurants to tempt you all within a short walk of your hotel.

310 to 30 miles

Day trips ➜

From Amboise you can easily visit Chaumont, Montrichard, Chenonceaux or Vouvray and we supply you with a map and suggested route notes. See page 64 for prices

Your hotels

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris and

Two delightful hotels; the first a family run Logis de France hotel in the bustling town of Montrichard, the second tucked away in the peaceful village of Chitenay.

trains at St Pierre des Corps, arrive Montrichard late afternoon. Transfer to hotel included (5 mins).

View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Return: Transfer to Montrichard station included (20 mins). Change trains at St Pierre des Corps and stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station late afternoon.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/loiredisc

46

Reservations 01580 214010


Garden of France 6-8 nights

Pretty villages and enchanting châteaux

This part of France is home to some of the finest examples of architecture and construction in the world. Princely mansions stand next to picturesque farm houses, fields of sunflowers merge with the uniform rows of vineyards. There is ample opportunity for tasting some of the local wines. The grade is easy with few climbs. You can make this an 8-night holiday by adding in nights at Cheverny and Chambord or Amboise.

Day One Arrival 1 Montrichard After a warm welcome at our 2-star hotel, look around this attractive medieval town on the banks of the Cher.

Day Two

324 miles 1 St. Aignan

Chenonceaux ➜

Follow the Cher river past troglodyte homes. Or rise onto the Touraine plateau to the magical Château de Gué Péan.

Day Three

330 miles

Day trip from St. Aignan ➜

Today you could visit the nearby Zooparc de Beauval. Or cycle to Valencay with its motor museum and grand château.

Day Four

325 miles 1 Chitenay

St Aignan ➜

Head north through forests to Cheverny, perhaps visit the Château before the final short ride to Chitenay to stay two nights at one of our favourite hotels, the lovely Auberge du Centre.

Day Five

320 miles

Day trip from Chitenay ➜

Several great options: you can cycle to Chaumont to visit the International Garden Festival. Or cycle to Blois, which has a Royal palace open to the public.

Day Six

330 miles 1 Chenonceaux/

Chitenay ➜ Montrichard

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £801

£969

£769

HIGH SEASON*

from £831

£999

£799

Starting days: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. 8 night tour add £180 per person. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Today your journey back to our base passes through colourful flower-decked villages, interspersed with orchards and vineyards with a chance to explore Chenonceau Château. Option for additional nights at Chambord, Cheverny or Amboise. We can tailor-make this holiday to suit your requirements.

Your hotels

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris and trains at

A delightful selection of family run hotels all offering a warm welcome and interesting menus and good wine lists.

St Pierre des Corps, arrive Montrichard late afternoon. Transfer to hotel included (5 mins).

View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Return: Transfer to Montrichard station included (5 mins). Change trains at St Pierre des Corps and stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station late afternoon.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/garden

www.bellefrance.co.uk

47


Along the Leisurely Loire 7 nights

Blois to Saumur

NEW

A gentle bike ride following the majestic River Loire from Blois to Saumur with daily distances never more than 20 miles. Your hotels offer genuine French charm and wonderful regional fare, whilst B&B provide an opportunity for you to discover a ‘local’ restaurant.

Day One Arrival 1 Blois B&B at Auberge Ligerienne in the centre of the city overlooking the majestic River Loire.

Day Two

315 miles 1 Candé

Blois ➜

Collect your bicycle from ‘Detours’ office and explore the city before you cross the river to cycle west to Candé and a night at the Auberge du Lion d’Or including evening meal.

Day Three

315 miles 1 Amboise

Candé ➜

Cycle along the riverside tracks to Chaumont with its International Garden Festival all summer long in the grounds of the château. After lunch continue to Amboise where you stay half board at Hotel le Blason. Perhaps book an extra night if you wish to visit the Royal Château or Clos Lucé, Leonardo da Vinci’s manor, housing an exhibition of his life and work.

Day Four

320 miles 1 Tours

Amboise ➜

Continue west through Montlouis to the sprawling city of Tours. Stay B&B at the Hotel Châteaux de la Loire and in the evening meander through the old quarter bubbling with lively pavement cafés to find the restaurant of your choice.

Day Five

320 miles 1 Azay-le-Rideau

Tour ➜

Leave Tours by the Voie Verte cycle route to reach Villandry Château, famous for the ornate medieval vegetable gardens, before continuing to your overnight stop close to Azay-leRideau at the Auberge Pomme’poire with a homespun evening meal.

Day Six

320 miles 1 Chinon

Azay-le-Rideau ➜

Return to the riverbank and pass the Château d’Ussé, inspiration for Grimms Sleeping Beauty before leaving the river to reach Chinon and one night B&B at the Hotel le Plantagenet.

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £859

£1029

£799

HIGH SEASON*

from £889

£1059

£829

Starting days: Monday, Wednesday, Sunday. Extra night at Montrichard £75 per person half board. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Day Seven

320 miles 1 Saumur

Chinon ➜

Return to the riverside at the charming village of Montsoreau with its mushroom caves and head west again into Saumur, perhaps enjoying a dégustation at one of the riverside wineries before checking in at the Hotel Anne d’Anjou for your final night and evening meal.

Day Eight Return to Tours/Chenonceaux Take the train to Tours to connect with your onward rail journey home, or to return to your car at Chenonceaux, in which case you may wish to consider an extra night in Montrichard at the Hotel la Tête Noire.

Your hotels Genuine French charm and wonderful regional fare in small, friendly hotels are guaranteed on this holiday. Three nights B&B, four nights half board. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris and trains at St Pierre des Corps, arrive Blois late afternoon. Transfer to hotel included (5 mins). Return: Transfer to Saumur station included (10 mins). Change trains at St Pierre des Corps and stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station late afternoon.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/leisurely

48

Reservations 01580 214010


Loire Prestige en Vélo 6 nights

Tranquil rivers and regal architecture

A luxury holiday staying in elegant accommodation that reflects the style of this classic region. Days are spent exploring quiet back roads and waterways, with a chance to explore the fascinating old towns of Amboise and Blois. Plus ample opportunity to try the classic wines of the region. Cycling is easy, along quiet country lanes.

Day One Arrival 1 Chissay-en-Touraine Upon arrival at this former 16th century fortress overlooking the river Cher, explore the Renaissance courtyard and the large outdoor pool, admire the views from your personalised room, before dining in the Gothic style vaulted dining room.

Day Two

313 miles 1 Amboise

Chissay-en Touraine ➜

Today you’ll have the chance to explore one of the region’s most celebrated château at Chenonceaux. Your hotel is Château de Pray, a majestic building nestling in woodland. The chef-proprietor serves delicious seasonal food using ingredients from the vegetable garden.

Day Three

330 miles

Day trip from Amboise ➜

Today you can explore the bustling town of Amboise, resting place of Leonardo da Vinci, or cycle west along the river Loire to Vouvray, renowned for its sophisticated white wines.

Day Four

320 miles 1 Ouchamps

Amboise ➜

You’ll head cross-country to Chaumont and then follow the path cut by the river Loire to join one of its tributaries, the Beuvron, to reach the Relais des Landes, a restored 17th century manor house set in acres of wooded parkland. You’re sure to fully relax in the secluded and peaceful setting.

Day Five

320 miles

Day trip from Ouchamps ➜

The prestigious historical town of Blois, former residence of kings and bishops, is a pleasant cycle ride from Ouchamps. For a more peaceful option you can head down to Cheverny to explore the château that was the inspiration for Moulinsart, the château featured in the Tintin comics.

Day Six

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £1215

£1459

£1159

HIGH SEASON*

from £1245

£1489

£1189

Starting days: Monday, Wednesday, Sunday. 1st Class Rail. Club Class Ferry. Flight in hot-air balloon £225 per person incl. transfers. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

316 miles 1 Chissay-en-Touraine

Ouchamps ➜

Soak up your final views of the Loire countryside as you head back to the elegant Château de Chissay for your final night. Unique to the region and well worth a visit are the cave dwellings carved into the limestone rocks at Bourré.

Your hotels Three elegant hotels offering a delightful opportunity to enjoy a touch of luxury as you explore this region. All of the hotels are set in beautiful grounds with swimming pools. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris and trains at St Pierre des Corps arrive Montrichard late afternoon. Transfer to hotel included (10 mins). Return: Transfer to Montrichard station included (10 mins). Change trains at St Pierre des Corps and stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station late afternoon.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/loireprestigecyc

www.bellefrance.co.uk

49


Loire en Famille 7 nights

Bikes and bouncy castles, high wires or canoes

The Loire is the perfect region to choose for a family holiday… the quiet country lanes and shady woodland routes make for gentle cycling easy for even the smallest member of the party. We’ve allowed plenty of time to discover the many child-friendly attractions of the region.

Day One Arrival 1 Amboise A charming tourist town on the banks of the River Loire, dominated by its Royal Château, with narrow streets and pavement cafés.

Day Two

312 miles

Day trip from Amboise ➜

This morning our Representative will bring your bicycles to the hotel. Today we suggest that you explore Amboise, visit the Château, or Clos Lucé where there is a fascinating exhibition of the works of Leonardo da Vinci with working models that the children can operate. A six mile ride will take you to the Parc of Mini Châteaux.

Day Three

312 miles

Day trip from Amboise ➜

A short cycle ride along the Loire to Fantasy Forest at Mosnes where there are exciting activities for all ages, including adults. From bouncy castles to aerial runways, mountain biking, caving and climbing. Option to stay two nights half board at the Domaine de Thomeaux, a superb three star château hotel, which gives the opportunity for a full day at the adventure park or to go canoeing down the River Loire, in which case you would cycle here on Day Two. Mum could book in for a luxurious beauty treatment in the spa boutique.

Day Four

317 miles

Amboise or Mosnes ➜ 1 Montrichard

A cross-country ride through woodland and vineyards to Montrichard where you will discover a ruined medieval castle and a sandy beach on the River Cher with pedalos for hire in high season.

Day Five

312 miles

Day trip from Montrichard ➜

Cycle along the riverside to Chenonceaux with its enchanting Château and beautiful gardens, or in the opposite direction, during the afternoon, visit the fascinating troglodyte dwellings built into the limestone cliffs at Bourré.

Day Six

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £761

£929

£729

HIGH SEASON*

from £791

£959

£759

Starting days: Tuesday or Saturday only. Generous discounts for children on this holiday - please ask for a quotation. Option for 2 nights half board at Fantasy Forest add £120 per person. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

320 miles 1 St Aignan

Montrichard ➜

Follow the Cher valley past troglodyte homes and perhaps detour uphill to visit mushroom caves. Return to the valley past Roman Ruins at Thessé on your way to our friendly riverside hotel St Aignan.

Day Seven

36 miles

Day trip from St Aignan ➜

You could take a short ride to visit the nearby Zooparc de Beauval, for an amazing display of birds of prey and sealions. Please note that entrance to tourist attractions is not included – call our office or visit our website for details on entrance fees to the places mentioned.

Your hotels All three of our hotels overlook a river, and all guarantee a friendly welcome for all the family. Four nights half board, three nights B&B, or two nights HB at luxurious Domaine des Thomeaux. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change trains in Lille, arrive St Pierre des Corps mid afternoon. Transfer to hotel included (30 mins). Return: Transfer to St Pierre des Corps included, change trains in Lille, arrive St Pancras International station late afternoon.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/loirefamily

50

Reservations 01580 214010


Best of Burgundy 6-8 nights

From bustling Beaune to sleepy villages

NEW

Burgundy is a wonderful region to explore by bike pedaling along quiet lanes, past vineyards with prestigious names, stopping off at delightful hotels offering delicious menus. Travel at a pace that allows you to enjoy the good things in life, to meet the local people, discover the heritage and appreciate how life is really lived in Burgundy.

Day One Arrival 1 Beaune Arrive in Beaune, Hotel des Remparts or Hotel Central B&B Both in the centre of town with plenty of restaurants nearby. B&B

Day Two

320 miles 1 Chassey-le-Camp

Beaune ➜

Collect your bicycle from our local agent near the rail station. Cycle through vineyards on quiet lanes through the wine villages of Pommard, Volnay, Meursault, Puligny Montrachet, and Santenay to the Auberge Camp Romain at Chassey-le-Camp. Two nights half board.

Day Three

320 miles

Chassey-le-Camp ➜ 1 Dracy-le-Fort

Descend into Remigny to join the canal towpath cycleway past Chagny to reach Rully. Then quiet lanes to Mercurey, Mellecey and Germolles to Dracy le Fort and Hotel Dracy, two nights half board. 3 star hotel with outdoor pool.

Day Four Day trip from Dracy Today you could simply have a day off beside the pool with a good book or cycle south to wine village of Givry and then follow the Voie Verte to the medieval village of Buxy.

Day Five

3

Dracy-le-Fort➜ 20 miles 1 Verdun-sur-les-Doubs Follow the cycle track through the Forest of Chalonnais to join the canalside path to Fragnes, then cross-country on quiet roads to Verdun sur les Doubs and the Hostellerie Bourguignonne where a gourmet meal is assured, one night half board. 3 star hotel with noted restaurant.

Day Six

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £899

£1049

£849

HIGH SEASON*

from £929

£1079

£879

Starting days: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Extra night add £90 per person. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

325 miles 1 Beaune

Verdun-sur-les-Doubs ➜

Quiet roads cross-country and through forest takes you back to Beaune for your final night B&B. Option for additional nights at St Boil, Cluny, Tournus or Nuits St Georges. We can tailor-make this holiday to suit your requirements.

Your hotels Something for everyone; from a 3-star town centre hotel to Logis de France hotels tucked away in sleepy villages. Two nights B&B, four nights half board. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris and trains in Dijon, arrive Beaune late afternoon. Return: Depart Beaune, change trains in Dijon and stations in Paris, arrive London St Pancras International station late afternoon.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/bestof

www.bellefrance.co.uk

51


Vintage Burgundy Classic & Premier Cru 7 nights

A ride through renowned vineyard countryside

NEW

For the wine enthusiast our cycle routes take you through the vineyards with endless tasting opportunities with easy and more challenging route options.

Day One Arrival 1 Beaune Arrive in Beaune and go directly to our local agent close to the rail station. Drop your luggage, collect your bicycle and settle in at 3 star Hotel de la Paix or Hotel des Remparts. Dinner is arranged at a nearby restaurant.

Day Two Day in Beaune Collection by our Guide for a short tour of the famous spots in Beaune including the famous Hotel Dieu. This evening select your own restaurant. B&B

Day Three

325 miles 1 Puligny Montrachet

Beaune ➜ and Rully

A great cycle ride along the Hautes Cotes through the villages of Saint Romain and Orches before descending to Puligny Montrachet for a Vineyard Lunch accompanied by tasting a selection of wines from fifteen different varieties on the Premier Cru option. You stay two nights at the charming Clos Belloy chambre d’hote in Rully.

Day Four Day trip from Rully Easy riding along the canal towpath or more challenging rides into the hills provide more wine tasting opportunities or simple château visits.

Prices per person (Based on two sharing)

Day Five

3

Rully ➜ 30 miles or Morey St Denis

1 Nuits St Georges

Through fields of wheat and sunflowers or the more challenging Hautes Cotes route to Nuits St Georges for two nights at the Hostellerie St Vincent or the Castel de Tres Girard in Morey St Denis (Premier Cru).

Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

LOW SEASON

from £1031

£1199

£999

HIGH SEASON*

from £1061

£1229

£1029

Starting days: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. For Premier Cru upgrade add £120 per person. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Day Six Day trip around Cote de Nuits Visit a number of wine villages including the most expensive Romanée Conti and the historic Clos de Vougeot.

Day Seven

315 miles 1 Beaune

Nuits St Georges ➜

Through the blackcurrent fields to return to Beaune for the afternoon and your final night at Hotel de la Paix or Hotel des Remparts. B&B

Your hotels A variety of hotels range from a delightful chambre d’hote, Logis de France and three star hotels in the centre of Beaune. Upgrade includes character hotels and wine-tasting lunch. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris and trains in Dijon arrive Beaune late afternoon. Return: Depart Beaune, change trains in Dijon and stations in Paris, arrive London St Pancras International station late afternoon.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/vintage

52

Own Travel

Reservations 01580 214010


Burgundy Grand Cru Prestige 7 nights

Sample the Grand Cru vineyards

NEW

For the wine connoisseur we have teamed up with a local agent to offer some in depth wine tasting combined with gourmet dining. Cycling offers easy or more challenging options through the vineyards and the Hautes Cotes.

Day One Arrival 1 Beaune Arrive in Beaune and go directly to our local agent close to the rail station. Drop your luggage, collect your bicycle and settle in at 3 star Hotel de la Paix or Hotel des Remparts. Dinner is arranged at a nearby restaurant.

Day Two Day in Beaune Collection by our Guide for a short tour of the famous spots in Beaune including the famous Hotel Dieu. This evening select your own restaurant. B&B

Day Three

325 miles 1 Puligny Montrachet

Beaune ➜

A great cycle ride along the Hautes Cotes through the villages of Saint Romain and Orches before descending to Puligny Montrachet. This evening you stay at the Maison d’Olivier Leflaive for a vineyard dinner accompanied by tasting a selection of wines from fifteen different varieties.

Day Four

320 miles 1 Chagny

Beaune ➜

Cycle to the village of Rully and return along the canal towpath to Chagny for a truly gourmet meal at the Michelin starred Hotel Lameloise.

Day Five

330 miles 1 Gilly les Citeaux

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £1769

£1999

£1719

HIGH SEASON*

from £1899

£2029

£1749

Chagny ➜

Through fields of wheat and sunflowers through Nuits St Georges for two nights at the Château de Gilly.

Starting days: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. 1st Class Rail. Club Class Ferry. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Day Six Day trip around Cote de Nuits Visit a number of wine villages including the most expensive Romanée Conti and the historic Clos de Vougeot.

Day Seven

315 miles 1 Beaune

Nuits St Georges ➜

Through the blackcurrent fields to return to Beaune for the afternoon and your final night at Hotel le Cep.

Your hotels A delightful collection of prestigious hotels, you can expect a warm welcome and some amazing meals and, of course, some splendid wine. One night B&B, six nights half board. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris and trains in Dijon arrive Beaune late afternoon. Return: Depart Beaune, change trains in Dijon and stations in Paris, arrive London St Pancras International station late afternoon.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/burgprestigecycle

www.bellefrance.co.uk

53


Périgord Discovery 7 nights

Discover the river gorges of the Perigord Vert

Gentle cycling through the Périgord-Limousin Natural Park with just a couple of longish climbs leaving the towns. Spend a couple of nights in each of the two most enchanting market towns in the Périgord Vert, Nontron and Brantôme, within striking range of prehistoric caves and opportunities to hire a kayak. UPGRADE OPTION You can upgrade your Brantôme hotel to the delightful 4 star Moulin du Roc at Champagnac-du-Belair, about 3 miles before reaching Brantôme. The hotel is a converted 17th century watermill set in a peaceful riverside park with outdoor pool and tennis court.

Day One Arrival 1 Montbron Your holiday begins at the Château de St Catherine just outside Montbron, a delightful château in a peaceful park with swimming pool.

Day Two

326 miles

Day trip to Rochefoucauld ➜

An easy ride along an old railway track to Rochefoucauld with its interesting château, where you can choose to dress in medieval garb for your visit. Afterwards return along a river valley with just a short climb back to the Château St Catherine.

Day Three

319 miles 1 Nontron

Montbron ➜

Cross country for a coffee stop in the ancient village of Vairaignes before following the Bandiat valley to Nontron. Enjoy two nights B&B at the chambre d’hôte la Maison des Arts, which has a pool and is just a few minutes walk from the town centre. B&B

Day Four Day trip from Nontron Simply explore this charming market town with ancient château and knife-making museum, or take a circular ride through woodland to the Château de Beauvais.

Day Five

3

18 miles 1 Brantôme

Nontron ➜

A steep climb over the mountain to St Pardoux-la-Rivière is followed by a level ride along the valley of the River Dronne to Brantôme. Stay at a 2 or 3 star town centre hotel or why not upgrade to the 4 star Moulin du Roc at Champignac-du-Belair three miles outside the town.

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £921

£1164

£889

HIGH SEASON*

from £951

£1194

£919

Starting days: Saturday (recommended), Monday, Wednesday. Extra night Brantôme £90 per person. Moulin du Roc upgrade £90 per person per night. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Day Six Day Trips down the river to the pretty medieval village of Bourdeilles, or along the River Trincou to the Grottes de Villars, with prehistoric cave paintings. Alternatively take a riverboat cruise, try your hand in a kayak, or simply browse the stalls at the Friday morning market.

Day Seven Spend a final morning in Brantôme before being collected after lunch for transfer back to the Château de St Catherine for your final night. Option to upgrade to the four star Moulin du Roc just outside Brantôme.

Your hotels The charming Château de St Catherine chambre d’hôte for your first and last night. A 2 star hotels with pool in Nontron. Option to upgrade to exclusive 4 star Moulin du Roc with pool and tennis court just outside Brantôme. Two nights B&B, five nights half board. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris and trains in Angoulême arrive La Rochefoucauld station late afternoon. Transfer to hotel included (20 mins). Return: Transfer to depart La Rochefoucauld and change trains in Angoulême, change stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station mid afternoon.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/perigord

54

Reservations 01580 214010


Limousin Lakes and Castles 6 nights

Little known region of rural France

With a backdrop of rolling hills this circuit takes you along quiet lanes through honey coloured hamlets, past glittering lakes and dominant castles that have witnessed many battles and seiges. Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £711

£954

£679

HIGH SEASON*

from £741

£984

£709

Starting days: Saturday, Monday, Wednesday. Extra night at Massignac £90 per person. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Cycling

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International

From the Château St Catherine at Montbron to a rural chambre d’hôte at Marval for two nights. Then you pass the castle at Chalus, fatal to Richard the Lionheart, on your way to Rochechouart for two nights at Hotel Meteorite. Pass by the Lacs de Haute Charente returning to Château St Catherine for your final night or break the journey with an extra night at Massignac, Château de la Redortiere.

station, change stations in Paris and trains in Angoulême arrive La Rochefoucauld station late afternoon. Transfer to hotel included (20 mins). Return: Transfer to depart La Rochefoucauld and change trains in Angoulême, change stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station mid afternoon.

View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/limousin

Auvergne Discovery 7 nights

Hidden rivers and secret villages

Based principally in Brioude, this region offers some great cycling with daily circuits from 16 to 36 miles. Midweek you transfer to Reilhac with scenic rides along the valley of the River Allier. Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £831

£1019

£799

HIGH SEASON*

from £861

£1049

£829

Starting days: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Option for overnight at Chavaniac Lafayette add £30 per person. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Cycling You cycle from the charming 3 star Hotel la Sapiniere with pool in Brioude to the modern 2 star hotel at Reilhac with great regional cuisine. We detail optional circuits to visit Auzon, Blesle, and Chavaniac Lafayette, often taking your cycle on the local train in order to cycle back to Brioude.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris and trains at Clermont Ferrand, arrive Arvant or Brioude station late afternoon. Taxi transfer from station to hotel included. Return: Taxi transfer to Brioude or Arvant station included, change trains at Clermont Ferrand and stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station late evening.

View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/auvergnedisc

www.bellefrance.co.uk

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Dordogne Exploration 7 nights

Prehistoric treasures and stunning valleys

Dramatic castles, cliff hugging villages and mysterious grottoes make for an exhilarating ride through one of the earliest cradles of civilisation, an enchanting landscape just waiting to be explored. The Dordogne countryside means that there are regular inclines, but you’re never climbing for too long. CANOE OPTION Although we cannot include canoe hire in our package you may consider an extra night at Vitrac to spend a day canoeing down the river. Local canoe or kayak hire is less than 20€ per day and includes transfer back to the hotel in the afternoon. (For competent swimmers minimum age eight).

Day One Arrival 1 Souillac Settle in at La Vieille Auberge, a charming, rambling 3-star hotel, set in the pretty little town of Souillac by the river Dordogne. Make the most of the hotel’s facilities - take a dip in the heated outdoor pool or limber up in the gym.

Day Two

319 miles 1 Laval de Jayac

Souillac ➜

Today’s route takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the main tourist attractions as you head for the family-run 2-star Hotel Coulier in Laval de Jayac, with time to relax by the pool before sampling some regional fare.

Day Three

329 miles 1 Les Eyzies

Laval de Jayac ➜

First stop today is Saint Geniès whose golden stone buildings typify the Périgord, next comes the pretty village of Saint Leon sur Vézère, an idyllic spot for refreshments, before the last leg to Les Eyzies. Your base for the next two nights is the tranquil 2-star Hôtel de France.

Day Four

316 miles

Day trip from Les Eyzies ➜

Les Eyzies has so much to offer that you may choose simply to explore the cave paintings or the magnificent Grotte du Grand Roc. Or there’s a lovely cycle trip along the river that takes in the tucked away villages of Le Bugue, Limeuil and Tremolat.

Day Five

321 miles 1 Vitrac

Les Eyzies ➜

You now leave behind the picturesque green valleys to spend time in Sarlat, a wonderful market town that houses the world’s biggest grouping of medieval buildings. Your destination is the 2-star Hotel Plaisance.

Day Six

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £911

£1109

£769

HIGH SEASON*

from £941

£1139

£799

Starting days: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday (Not Saturday by rail). Extra night in Vitrac £75 per person. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

39-13 miles

Day trip from Vitrac ➜

Head for La Roque Gageac, nestled in the cliffs on a bend in the river, then on to Beynac with its stunning château. You may want to take a detour to Domme, where a steep climb is rewarded with stunning views.

Day Seven

320 miles 1 Souillac

Vitrac ➜

A pleasant journey along the shady banks of the Dordogne takes you back to Souillac, with chances to admire the châteaux of Montfort and Fénélon en route.

Your hotels

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris,

Small, friendly hotels, all with swimming pools and all part of the Logis de France group, which is a sure sign of good food!

arrive Souillac early evening. Transfer to hotel included (10 mins).

View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Return: Taxi transfer to Souillac station included (10 mins), change stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station early evening.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/dordexp

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Reservations 01580 214010


Drama of the Dordogne 6-8 nights

Rocky crags and gorgeous gorges

The meandering valley of the Dordogne is a visual feast. Honey-coloured villages, slowly crumbling in picturesque disorder typify this delightful region. Graded moderate although the valleys and plateaux are fairly flat there are sharp inclines between the two.

You can make this an 8-night holiday by adding in Carennac.

Day One Arrival 1 Souillac Settle in at La Vieille Auberge, a quaint 3-star hotel comprising three buildings tucked away in a quiet street.

Day Two

39-18 miles 1 Meyronne

Souillac ➜

To reach the charming 3-star Hotel la Terrasse you can opt to cycle along the flat and peaceful riverside or rise up on to the limestone plateau with its spectacular views.

Day Three

318 miles

Day trip from Meyronne ➜

Take a trip out to Gluges wedged below soaring cliffs. Stop at the idyllic village of Cressye with its watermill.

Day Four

39-24 miles 1 Rocamadour

Meyronne ➜

Either go straight to Rocamadour and spend the day exploring this fascinating town hanging on the cliff-side or head off to the dramatic Gouffre de Padirac.

Day Five

318 miles

Day trip from Rocamadour ➜

Explore this intriguing town which clings to limestone cliffs and is full of little chapels, grottoes and hidden nooks. Alternatively, head off to Gramat across fragrant scrubland.

Day Six

39 miles 1 Souillac

Rocamadour ➜

Visit La Cave with its amazing rock formations and underground pools and rivers. Stop at Bel Castel with wonderful panoramas before returning to Souillac.

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £1249

£1499

£799

HIGH SEASON*

from £1279

£1529

£829

Starting days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday. 8 night option add £180 per person. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Eight night option On Day Four cycle from Meyronne 13 miles to picturesque Carennac. On Day Five a 20 mile day trip to Collonges-laRouge and medieval Turenne.

Your hotels

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris,

A delightful selection of 3-star accommodation from towncentre auberges to rural hideaways, all with swimming pools.

arrive Souillac early evening. Transfer to hotel included (10 mins).

View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Return: Taxi transfer to Souillac station included (10 mins), change stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station early evening.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/drama

www.bellefrance.co.uk

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Provençal Dreams 6-8 nights

Wild herbs and lavender

An easy-going tour that soaks up the Provençal atmosphere with plenty of time for sight-seeing. Ideal outside July and August when the air is fresh and scenery is at its best. The grade is easy. Distances between hotels are short and mostly flat; longer options are available which take you over hills worth pedalling up. 8 NIGHT OPTIONS To visit Pont du Gard add 2 nights at Remoulins. To visit the Camargue add 2 nights at St Giles.

Day One Arrival 1 Graveson On arrival in Provence relax at the pretty 2-star hotel in Graveson, just to the south of Avignon. This is the perfect opportunity to relax by the pool, before the cycling begins.

Day Two

311-15 miles 1 Beaucaire

Graveson ➜

Head west towards the Rhône and have the option of riding through the small range of hills behind the hotel past the pretty village of Boulbon, or choosing a flat lane running past the smallholdings below the dykes. Your destination is the secluded Hôtel Robinson. The pretty terrace provides the perfect setting for an evening meal at this 3-star hotel.

Day Three

316 miles

Day trip from Beaucaire ➜

Today you have the opportunity to explore the many canals, stopping off at the port of Beaucaire, en route to the typical Provençal village of Vallabrègues. It is worth extending the journey to visit the Abbey of St Michel de Frigolet before returning via the Celtic village of Aramon.

Day Four

39 miles 1 Fontvieille

Beaucaire ➜

This relatively easy journey from Beaucaire to Fontvieille takes you back across the Rhône and through orchards. There is plenty of time to take in the sights of the historic town of Tarascon. Or, a longer jaunt south will take you past paddy fields before picking up the Sète canal towpath. Your 3-star hotel is on the edge of this charming Provençal town where a day’s cycling is rewarded by a meal in one of the choice of local restaurants. B&B

Day Five

310-20 miles

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

LOW SEASON

from £791

£999

£769

HIGH SEASON*

from £821

£1029

£799

Starting days: Any day except Sunday. 2 extra nights half board at Remoulins or St Giles add £180 per person. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Day trip from Fontvieille ➜

Today you have the opportunity for a leisurely spin to the village of Paradou, or to cover another 10 miles (mostly flat) to reach the wetlands of St Martin de Crau where migratory birds are in abundance.

Day Six

313 miles 1 Graveson

Fontvieille ➜

The journey back to Graveson takes in the spectacular rock formations of Les Baux de Provence where buildings are carved into the white limestone. From this vertiginous point you can freewheel down to the village of St Remy before ambling across the fields back to Graveson.

Your hotels A delightful range of hotels from an old farmhouse to a comfortable modern hotel set on the edge of a lively Provençal village. All hotels have pools except Remoulins and St Giles. Two nights B&B, four nights half board. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change at Lille Europe, arrive Avignon late afternoon. Taxi transfer to hotel not included (20 minutes, about 25€). Return: Transfer to Avignon station included, change trains at Lille Europe, arrive St Pancras International station late evening.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/dreams

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Own Travel

Reservations 01580 214010


Provence Prestige en Vélo 6 nights

Vineyards and olive groves

Absorb the essence of Provence – sleepy villages, sun soaked vineyards, roman ruins, the magnificient Pont du Gard all under sunny blue skies. Easy going cycling along quiet lanes and canal paths the air fragrant with wild thyme to your destination where you are guaranteed a comfortable room and delicious food. OPTIONS AT VALMOURIANE Perhaps add an extra night for a Friday morning cookery class including lunch or pamper yourself with a spa treatment.

Day One Arrival 1 Graveson Arrive at the delightful Moulin d’Aure hotel on the edge of Graveson. After settling in to your attractive room, take time to explore the grounds and relax by the pool before dinner.

Day Two

325 miles 1 Collias

Graveson ➜

It is a level ride to Remoulins and then you cross the river beneath the Pont du Gard on your way to the Hotel les Castellas at Collias, which boasts a small secluded pool and a Michelin star restaurant.

Day Three

329 miles 1 Tarascon or Fontvieille

Collias ➜

A short climb before taking quiet lanes to Beaucaire and cross the River Rhone to Tarascon. After exploring one or both of these bustling riverside towns, it is just a short ride south for two nights at the Mas du Comtes de Provence, a first class Chambre d’Hôte with pool, or the Auberge de Regalido in Fontvieille with its Michelin starred restaurant.

Day Four Day trip from Tarascon or Fontvieille ➜ 18 miles

3

Prices per person (Based on two sharing)

Today we propose a short ride to historic Arles with its Roman amphitheatre.

Day Five

321 miles

Tarascon or Fontvieille ➜ 1 St Remy (Valmouriane)

After visiting the Olive ‘Boutique’ at the Château d’Estoublon climb to les Baux en Provence for lunch in this charming medieval village before descending to St Remy and the Domaine de Valmouriane, situated in peaceful countryside.

Day Six

Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £1249

£1499

£1169

HIGH SEASON*

from £1279

£1529

£1199

Starting days: Any day. 1st Class Rail. Club Class Ferry. Auberge Regalido upgrade £50 per person. Extra night at Valmouriane £125 per person. Cookery class with lunch £50 per person. Spa treatment £115 per person. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

38/24 miles

Day trip from Valmouriane ➜

A short circuit through St Remy to seek out the haunts of Van Gogh or visit the Roman sanctuary of Glanum. Alternatively you could take a more challenging 24 mile ride across the Alpilles to Maussane and Eygalières.

Your hotels A delightful collection of prestigious hotels each with its own charm and character – from a charming Mas set in the midst of an ancient olive grove to a country house hotel just outside St Remy en Provence. All the hotels have pools very welcome at the end of days cycling. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change at Lille Europe, arrive Avignon late afternoon. Taxi transfer to hotel not included (20 minutes, about 25€). Return: Transfer to Avignon station included, change trains at Lille Europe, arrive St Pancras International station late evening.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/provprestigecycle

www.bellefrance.co.uk

59


Charente Waterways 6 nights

Trailing willows and emerald waters

Linear tour through the network of quiet waterways encompassing tranquil canals, pretty villages and sandy beaches, ending up in the lovely port of La Rochelle. Cycling is mostly flat, with some enjoyable climbs and many dedicated cycle trails that criss cross the Venice Verte heading down to the coast.

Day One Arrival 1 Niort Settle into your first hotel, situated close to Niort’s main square. There’s plenty of history on offer; why not explore the remnants of the 15th century keep overlooking the river.

Day Two

328 miles

Day trip from Niort ➜

A pleasant day trip which takes you along the slow moving waters and canals of the ‘Green Venice’. Why not hire a boat to discover its network of emerald green waterways before heading back to Niort.

Day Three

328 miles 1 Fontenay le Comte

Niort ➜

Your leisurely exploration of the watery labyrinth of the Marais Poitevin continues as you head towards Fontenay through peaceful back lanes. You’ll pass by quiet waterways scattered with water lilies. laced with canals and humpbacked bridges, and home to a variety of migratory birds. Visit one of the last working watermills at Nieul sur l’Autise.

Day Four

324 miles

Day trip Fontenay le Comte ➜

Today you have the chance to explore the historic Mervent forest, rich in oak and chestnut. It’s a hilly ride offering idyllic views over flatlands and lakes. ‘One of France’s prettiest villages’, the village of Vouvant is worth exploring. Or why not take it easy and just wander around Fontenay itself, soaking up the atmosphere.

Day Five

3

Fontenay ➜

41 miles 1 La Rochelle

There are only a handful of bridges across the marshes, so the run to La Rochelle is longish, but flat. Your day begins along the Autise river as you pass low-roofed houses and head for the small port of Marans. You may wish to learn more about the region’s culture at ‘La Maison du Petit Poitou’ in Chaillé-les-Marais, or stop at the mussel farm in Esnandes. As you approach La Rochelle the wetlands give way to sand dunes and fresh marine air. Your hotel is located in a prime position in the picturesque old port.

Day Six

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £869

£1029

£819

HIGH SEASON*

from £899

£1059

£849

Starting days: Any day from 15 June to 29 Aug. Saturday, Sunday and Thursday outside these dates. Extra night B&B in La Rochelle £55 per person. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

320-55 miles

Day trip from La Rochelle ➜

The idyllic Ile de Ré is well worth a visit, explore the whole island (16 miles long) or just relax on one of its white sandy beaches. In the evening enjoy the sunset over the Atlantic before dining in the restaurant with panoramic views over the town of La Rochelle.

Your hotels Two of the hotels on this route have swimming pools and the final hotel in La Rochelle has wonderful views over the harbour. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris, arrive Niort early evening. Transfer from station to hotel not included – 10 minute walk. Return: Hotel is 400m from La Rochelle station, change stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station early evening.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/charente

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Reservations 01580 214010


Canal du Midi to Coast 7 nights

Ancient cities and idyllic waterways

Explore enchanting Carcassonne before gentle cycling along the Canal du Midi. Finally arrive at the Mediterranean coast at Grau d’Agde and the port of Sète, where you can soak in the atmosphere and perhaps indulge in a fruits de mer seafood platter.

Day One Arrival 1 Carcassonne Arrive in Carcassonne at 2 star Hotel Montmorency or Hotel du Château. An evening meal will be booked at a nearby restaurant.

Day Two

317 miles

Daytrip from Carcassonne ➜

Perhaps simply explore historic Carcassonne or take a short ride to Pennautier and return along the canal from Villesèquelande. Your second night is B&B enabling you to choose your own restaurant in the old town.

Day Three

326 miles 1 Homps

Carcassonne ➜

Cycle along the canal through picturesque Trèbes and Marseillette to the Auberge de l’Arbousier.

Day Four

316 miles 1 Le Somail

Homps ➜

Leave the canalside today to pass through olive groves to Bize-Minervois before returning to the canal and hotel Grand Somail or B&B at a chambre d’hote in this pretty port village.

Day Five

319 miles 1 Nissan-les-Ensérene

Le Somail ➜

Follow the canal again through Capestang and perhaps visit the Roman remains of Oppidum on your way to Nissan-les-Ensérene and the Hotel Residence.

Day Six

320 miles

Nissan-les-Ensérune ➜ 1 Grau d’Agde

In six miles you reach Béziers with an interesting old quarter and an aqueduct carrying the canal over the River Orb. At Agde is the large circular lock as the canal meets the River Herault, from here you follow the river to the coast at Grau d’Agde, a charming little port with a small sandy beach. You stay B&B at the Hotel l’Ephebe with a number of restaurants nearby offering seafood specialities.

Day Seven

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £1069

£1259

£969

HIGH SEASON*

from £1099

£1289

£999

Starting days: It is not possible to book single lone travellers on this route. Single supplement £175. Own travel transfer to Carcassonne £20. Extra night B&B in Carcassonne or Sète £70 per person. Ferry price includes rail tickets back to Carcassonne. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

318 miles 1 Sète

Grau d’Agde ➜

Cycle along the sometimes busy coast road or transfer to Sète for a day sightseeing in the ancient port town. You stay at either the Grand Hotel or the Hotel Port Marine.

Day Eight Depart by rail – just a ten minute walk to the station either back to Carcassonne to collect your car or by TGV home via Lille.

Your hotels A variety of hotels from ranging from chambre d’hote and auberge village accommodation to 3-star hotels in the towns, some with pools. Three nights B&B, four nights half board. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change trains in Lille and Narbonne, arrive Carcassonne early evening. Transfer to hotel not included (10 minutes, about 20€). Return: Train from Sété, and change stations in Paris or Lille, arrive St Pancras International station early evening.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/midi

www.bellefrance.co.uk

61


Alsatian Adventure 7 nights

Picturesque historic towns and scenic country

NEW

Easy cycling with a moderate grade for distance on some days as you explore this delightful corner of France.

Day One Arrival 1 Strasbourg Settle into the Hotel de l’Europe situated in the heart of Strasbourg. Ten minutes walk from the rail station, it is just a short walk to the old streets of Petite France and the Cathedral area where you’re sure to find a restaurant to your liking.

Day Two

334 miles 1 Osthouse

Strasbourg ➜

Follow the Canal du Rhone au Rhin to reach Osthouse and the charming half-timbered Hotel à la Ferme.

Day Three

333 miles 1 Colmar

Sand ➜

Pass the beautiful Baroque church of Ebermunstere, through typical Alsace villages to the city of Colmar, famed for its art and culture. Stay at the Hotel Beausejour, close to the picturesque historic quarter. Book early for an extra night and the Colmar Music Festival during the first two weeks of July.

Day Four

332 miles 1 Murbach

Colmar ➜

Turn away from Mulsheim towards the foothills of the Grand Ballon to arrive at Murbach near Guebwiller and the Hostellerie St Barnabé.

Day Five

330 miles 1 Riquewihr

Guebwiller ➜

At the foot of the Vosges through the wine villages Eguisheim, Turckheim, and Kaysersberg to Riquewihr and the Hotel Schoenenburg.

Day Six

331 miles 1 Obernai

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £1199

£1299

£1099

HIGH SEASON*

from £1229

£1329

£1129

Starting days: Any day. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

Riquewihr ➜

Follow the route des vins to discover the villages of Hunawhir, Ribeauvillé, Bergheim, Andlau and Boersch to Obernai. Stay at Hotel à la cour d’Alsace.

Day Seven

325 miles 1 Strasbourg

Obernai ➜

Leaving Obernai you pass through Molsheim, where Bugatti cars were built, to return to Strasbourg and your final night B&B at the Hotel de l’Europe.

Your hotels All 3 star hotels ranging from city centre elegance to quiet country retreats. Two nights B&B, five nights half board. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/alsatian

62

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International, change in Paris or Lille for TGV to Strasbourg arriving late afternoon. Transfer to hotel 15 mins on foot not included. Return: Depart Strasbourg, change trains in Paris or Lille, arrive St Pancras International early evening.

Reservations 01580 214010


A Taste of Bordeaux 7 nights

Sweet white or deep red, wine for all tastes

NEW

Discover the Bordeaux vineyards on the banks of the Garonne. Sample the sweet whites of Loupiac and the deep reds of St Emilion as you meander through the landscapes and culture of this historic region with easy/moderate cycling.

Day One Arrival 1 Bordeaux Relax in the centrally located hotel Sainte Catherine, a warm welcome awaits you, with a presentation of what to expect for the week ahead.

Day Two

318 miles 1 Cadillac

Bordeaux ➜

Transfer to Latresne to start your route. Follow a cycle track to the ancient town of Sauve Majeure. Continue through hills and vineyards to Cadillac for your overnight at hotel Château de la Tour.

Day Three

315 miles 1 Saint-Macaire

Cadillac ➜

Cycle through the villages of Loupiac and Sainte Croix du Mont, whose names are given to the famous syrupy wines of this area. Pass the Château Malromé once owned by the Toulouse-Lautrec Family! Why not stop and taste the château wines. Overnight stay at hotel Feuilles d’Acanthes in the fortified town of Saint-Macaire.

Day Four

331 miles 1 Saint Emilion

Saint-Macaire ➜

Follow the right bank of the Dordogne and continue along world heritage listed landscapes to the wine region of St Emilion. A two night stay at Le Logis des Remparts.

Day Five

Prices per person (Based on two sharing)

Day trip from Saint Emilion Spend the day discovering Saint Emilion and its surrounds: Saint Christophe des Bardes, Saint Etienne de Lisse, and the town which saw the final battle of the 100 years war: Castillon la Bataille.

Day Six

Ferry Inclusive

Rail Inclusive

Own Travel

LOW SEASON

from £1331

£1549

£1299

HIGH SEASON*

from £1361

£1579

£1329

Starting days: Any day. Single supplement £40 per night. * 17 July to 6 September start days.

335 miles 1 Bordeaux

Saint Emilon ➜

The journey back takes you through the vastest vineyards of the Bordelais, passing through the pretty regional villages of Saint Suplice de Faleyrens, Branne and Le Moulon.

Day Seven Bordeaux Discover the world heritage city of Bordeaux, an 18th century architectural gem, take in some shopping in the vibrant quarter of Saint Michel before indulging in that last glass of Bordeaux wine...

Your hotels A variety of charming 3 star hotels throughout, some with pool. View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/bordeauxbybike

Rail Travel Outward: Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris, arrive Bordeaux late afternoon. Transfer to hotel not included. Return: Depart Bordeaux, change stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International early evening.

www.bellefrance.co.uk

63


B&B Options Flexible freewheeling

In response to clients who don’t wish to

Loire Amboise Discovery

indulge in gourmet meals every night we can

Six nights at Hotel Belle Vue in Amboise, a bustling little tourist town with an abundance of restaurants and pavement cafés. Discover Leonardo da Vinci’s Clos Lucé, and cycle to the châteaux of Chaumont and Chenonceau or the vineyards of Vouvray.

offer the following destinations on a bed and breakfast basis. The price includes cycle hire,

Own Travel Price £499 per person two sharing. For return rail add £200. Two centre option with Chenonceaux add £30 per person.

local transfers, maps and route notes. Day trip suggestions may be less detailed than routes between hotels.

Emerald Coast Discovery Standard Emerald Coast Itinerary on page 45 but staying in two and three star hotels throughout, 7 nights on a B&B only basis. The Hotel Crystal in Dinard, Hotel Avagour in Dinan and the Oceania in St Malo. Own Travel Price £749 per person two sharing. For return rail add £250.

Provence les Alpilles Discovery Four nights in St Remy at the Hotel du Soleil and two nights in Fontvieille at the Hotel Val Majour. Explore Van Gogh’s haunts, Roman Glanum, les Baux de Provence and Arles. Own Travel Price £579 per person two sharing. For return rail add £250.

Dordogne Discovery Three nights in Souilhac at La Residence and three nights in Rocamadour at the Hotel de Lion d’Or. Stunning scenery, some steep climbs. Own Travel Price £579 per person two sharing. For return rail add £240.

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Reservations 01580 214010


Gourmet Golf NEW

- Pas de Calais 3 nights

A fabulous golfing weekend with gourmet meals

A luxury weekend just across the channel in four star château hotels plus golf on a couple of the finest courses in France.

Friday

Prices per person (Based on two sharing)

Arrive at the Château de Montreuil near Le Touquet and less than two hours drive from Dunkirk. Enjoy your gourmet dining experience.

Ferry Inclusive

Starting days: Thursday, Friday. Extra night plus golf £200.

from £469

Single room supplement £60.

Saturday A morning round of golf on one of the prestigious Le Touquet courses. In the afternoon drive to Château de Beaulieu at Busnes between Arras and St Omer.

Sunday

Your hotels

A morning round of golf at Golf d’Arras or St Omer. In the afternoon drive to Dunkirk for your return ferry crossing to Dover.

The elegant Château de Montreuil set in parkland just a few minutes drive from Le Touquet offers gourmet cuisine. The Château de Beaulieu is a 17th century mansion in secluded gardens with a masterclass restaurant.

Option to add an extra night including dinner and a further round of golf.

View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/golftour

Gourmet Golf

- Touraine 4 nights

Great golf courses, vineyard wine-tasting and a Château hotel Day One Arrive in France in the early afternoon and drive to Rouen to stay at the 3 star Auberge de l’Abbaye du Bec Hellouin with dinner included.

Day Two A round of golf at Champ de Bataille, recognized as one of the foremost courses in France. In the afternoon drive south to the Loire Valley to stay two nights half board at the Auberge du Centre in the quiet village of Chitenay.

A terrific break for golf enthusiasts as we take you to three first class courses and include a personal wine tasting at our partner Touraine vineyard. Your final night is in a château hotel and plenty of interesting visits are available for non golfing partners.

Day Three A round of golf at Château du Cheverny, a lovely flat course surrounded by a pine forest with views of the château, (partners may visit the château). In the afternoon a special wine-tasting at Domaine du Prieuré where your British host will guide you through a range of local wines. Afterwards perhaps visit the Garden Festival at Chaumont Château before returning to your hotel.

Prices per person (Based on two sharing) Ferry Inclusive from £569

Starting days: Any day. Mid Feb to mid Nov. Including Club Class Dover-Calais Channel crossing. Reduction of £75 for non-golfing partners. Single room supplement of £110.

Day Four Drive to Golf de Touraine at Ballan Miré, a delightful course to the southwest of Tours, (partners may wish to explore Tours central shopping area). Return to Amboise for your final night and a gourmet meal at Château du Pray.

Day Five Depart north for your return Channel crossing in the late afternoon.

View pictures, hotel descriptions and sample menus.

www.bellefrance.co.uk/golftour

Your hotels The Auberge de l’Abbaye is a half-timbered property in a small village oozing with character and boasting a fine restaurant. At Chitenay the Auberge du Centre is one our most popular cycling hotels with a peaceful garden terrace and delicious food. The Château du Pray on the outskirts of Amboise has an outdoor pool and the chef will recommend his gourmet meal of the day – a mouthwatering experience of five courses or more.

www.bellefrance.co.uk

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River Cruising in Provence It’s all on-line Learn more about the Belle France river cruising on our website

www.bellefrance.co.uk/river-cruises

Share our French “Art de vivre” for a while, forget the land and relax aboard LE PHENICIEN, a luxury barge especially converted and furnished to give you the comfort of a first class hotel. Sip fine wines and enjoy our gourmet Provençal cuisine cooked by our on board Chef.

Learn about the history and traditions of this land, remember the Roman times, discover local cowboys on their superb white horses, take a cool bike ride in the back country and enjoy being pampered by our crew.

Daily excursions might include Avignon and its monumental Palace of the Popes, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards, the Roman aqueduct of Le Pont du Gard, the Medieval village of Les Baux de Provence, the famous Roman city of Arles, the wildlife and ranches of the Camargue and the walled city of Aigues-Mortes.

With just nine comfortable cabins, each with en suite bathroom, you can enjoy the intimacy of joining a small group from which new friendships can grow.

This is an all-inclusive holiday to which we can add overland travel and additional nights in hotels before

Perhaps add a golfing option that offers five different courses to play as the barge makes its way along the River Rhone and associated canals.

or after your cruise. Prices from £1859 per person

For more information visit

www.bellefrance.co.uk/river-cruises

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Self Drive Hotels Châteaux & Hotels de France pick of 100 favourites

It’s all on-line To find links to your hotels and wineries go to

www.bellefrance.co.uk/motoring

With our specialist knowledge of many of Frances wine

Whatever your travel plans we can assist by booking accommodation for you from the Châteaux & Hotels de France Collection.

regions we can offer our clients personal introductions to

For Example:

2009 Self Drive Wine Trails

great vineyards and arrange accommodation in quality hotels along the way.

Loire Valley

In addition to the vast number of hotels featured in our

A two night stay at the Château du Pray set in peaceful Loire Valley countryside a Touraine Dégustation Terroir at the Domaine de Prieuré, a visit to a family-run Vouvray vineyard and a Dover to Dunkerque return channel crossing

walking and cycling holidays we have teamed up with a major hotel group so that we can offer accommodation to suit the discerning client in all regions of France. The CHATEAUX AND HOTELS DE FRANCE collection offers

from £359 per person – 2 nts Half board.

three and four star hotels of quality and distinction, often with gourmet restaurants boasting Michelin Stars.

Champagne

Ranging from authentic auberges, beautiful houses, properties

Two nights at the Villa Eugene in Epernay with a Dover to Dunkerque return channel crossing and recommended Champagne houses to visit.

of character and genuine châteaux, they all have their own special charm. We can book accommodation and inclusive channel crossings to suite your requirements and our specialist knowledge of the regions enables our staff to recommend hotels and locations specific to your holiday plans with regard to wine-tasting, historic visits, activities and scenic routes.

from £299 per person – 2 nts B&B.

Cognac Two nights at the 4-star Château de l’Yeuse in Cognac and a Privilege guided visit of the Martell distillery with a return Portsmouth to Caen return channel crossing

Just let us know which areas of France you wish to visit and we will offer suggestions of the best hotels for your stay.

from £449 per person – 2 nts Half board.

We can arrange visits and recommend vineyards in the Loire Valley, Burgundy, Champagne, the Cotes du Rhone and

Cotes du Rhone

Cognac. For those who enjoy a little gentle exercise we can

Return Dover to Dunkerque channel crossing, overnight at the Hotel des Remparts in Beaune, two nights at the 4-star Château de Mazan, a walk through the vines at Vacqueyras and a Tasting Lunch at Gigondas, overnight at the Hotel de la Paix in Reims on the return journey.

often include a short ramble or cycle ride through the vineyards.

from £399 per person – 4 nts B&B.

www.bellefrance.co.uk

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Breaking your Journey Relax en route

It’s all on-line To view further details of our overnight stops

www.bellefrance.co.uk/overnight

Why not break your journey at one of our hotels

You may wish to extend your holiday by a few days, perhaps to explore

conveniently located throughout France?

a nearby city for window shopping or to visit museums and galleries, or simply to stroll the boulevards.

If you’re travelling by car then we have a wide selection We’ve teamed up with specialist hotel groups to ensure that we can of hotels ideally situated close to the main routes that offer whatever you’re looking for and find a hotel to suit your cross France, perfect for an overnight stop. Your journey

requirements.

will be that bit more relaxed knowing there’s a bed We can offer a choice from the Inter-Hotel Group with many hotels in awaiting you, rather then having to rely on pot-luck at the end of a day’s travel.

Paris well placed for a night out or a day’s sightseeing, and never far from a Metro station.

Or if you’re flying, we have many hotels close to the

Popular choices are the Hotel Vieux Saule near Place de la Republique,

airports, be it Paris or one of the smaller destinations

or La Bourdonnais near the Eiffel Tower. 3 star hotels with prices from

such as Carcassonne or Nimes. Budget airlines are great,

£100 for a double room with breakfast.

but the times of the flights are often an inconvenience,

For a little luxury we offer a choice from the Châteaux & Hotels de

leaving early in the morning or landing late at night. We’ll

France Collection, all character hotels with bed & breakfast prices

help find you a hotel close to the airport so you can catch as many winks as possible.

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typically around £100 per person.


Pricing Information How to price your holiday

Cycling and walking prices

Triple rooms

The prices featured on each holiday page are based on

For a party of three adults, most hotels can provide a triple room,

two people travelling and sharing a room. However, we are

usually containing a double and single bed. If you’re booking a triple

more than happy to quote for other arrangements for

room, the price per person is £30 less than the published “two people

single travellers, parties of three or more, or for families.

sharing” price.

High Season Prices apply for hoildays starting between 17 July and 6 September.

Family rooms Rooms for four people are very limited, and the fourth bed is often likely to be a sofa-bed or folding bed (suitable only for small children). Where required please ask for a family room and we will check

Single travellers

availability and cost.

If you are travelling on your own, our walking and cycling

Children aged three and under:

holidays have a single supplement of £20 per night for

The price for a child aged three or under sharing a room with two

rail inclusive and own travel unless stated otherwise.

adults is just £100.

On ferry inclusive holidays there is a further £32 single supplement. For ‘Prestige’ holidays ask for a quote for

Children aged four to eleven inclusive:

single occupancy.

Sharing a triple room with two adults, we charge just half the brochure price. For a second child in a family room we give a discount of £100

Own travel prices

from the brochure price. (Excluding ‘Prestige’ holidays - when a

Your holiday with us starts on your arrival at the first hotel

quotation is necessary).

and ends at your last hotel. You may require additional transfers from or to your points of arrival and departure

Children aged twelve to fifteen inclusive:

or back to the start to retrieve a vehicle. We are happy

Sharing a triple room with two adults, receive a discount of £100

to arrange these for you at supplementary cost.

of the brochure price (excluding ‘Prestige’ holidays when a quotation is necessary).

Overseas bookings We make a charge of £40 on bookings from overseas clients to cover the additional administration costs and dispatch of travel pack by courier.

Ferry When more than two people are booking a ferry-inclusive holiday, the additional passengers pay only the “Own Travel” price for their holiday. Upgrade to Club Class for £25 per traveller and priority loading for £20.

Rail Please do give our friendly team a call should you require

Upgrade to First Class seating £120 per person. For bookings made

any assistance with pricing your holiday: 01580 214010.

within 12 weeks of departure our rail prices cannot be guaranteed. In this instance please ask for a quotation.

www.bellefrance.co.uk

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Ways to Save We reward your loyalty

It’s all on-line Our website features special offers that change monthly, so for extra value visit

www.bellefrance.co.uk/offers

We’re confident that our carefully

Second holidays

researched holidays already offer

We know that some of you like to take more than one Belle

excellent value for money, but there

France holiday a year – sometimes there’s an old favourite that

are further savings for you to make

you like to revisit, or maybe you’re working your way through the

– just read on…

brochure, sampling some of the new experiences on offer. To say thank you for your loyalty, if you’ve booked one holiday in 2009

Recommend your friends

and are planning on seeing a different corner of France (or even

If you travelled with us last year or

the same corner!) later in the year then we’ll discount the

earlier in the current season, and you

booking by £50 per party.

introduce a friend to the Belle France

Tell us more experience we will grant them a £50 discount per couple if they haven’t holidayed with us previously. That’s not all, we will send you a personal £50 voucher to spend on a future Belle

We love to hear about your holiday experiences. Of course we’ve heard tell of the odd blister, but that aside we’ve enjoyed tales of picnics shared with fellow walkers you’ve met en route, siestas by bubbling streams, friendly locals opening their museum specially.…

France holiday. Your experiences really bring the holidays to life, so if you send

Discounts and Promotions

us a story that we publish on our website then we’ll offer you £25 off a future Belle France holiday.

Keep an eye on our website as from time to time we advertise special offers, such as early booking or certain holidays during a particular period. Discounts are not cumulative and only one discount can be applied to any given holiday.

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Travel Plans Inclusive travel

We work with Rail Europe in order to book your rail

Channel crossing by car

journey. Travelling by rail to your destination couldn’t

Ferry inclusive prices in this brochure are base prices to include the

be simpler: using the state of the art Eurostar & TGV

cost of an off-peak return crossing for a car and passengers between

networks you will have an unforgettable journey through the French countryside as you travel in comfort and style to your destination, arriving relaxed and ready to enjoy your holiday.

Dover and Dunkerque. Other routes and timings will incur a supplement. When more than two people travel in the car the additional passengers pay the ‘Own Travel’ price for the holiday. We act as agents for all the cross-channel operators and can book all your travel arrangements with the minimum of fuss and at the best

Departures available from London St Pancras International,

possible rates.

Ebbsfleet or Ashford in Kent. Just 2 hours 15 minutes

We shall be pleased to give you a quotation at the time of your

journey time to Paris, at st Pancras you’ll find shops, bars

booking for any of the following operators.

and restaurants catering for all your needs.

On Dover crossings you can upgrade to Club Class for £25 per passenger and priority loading is an option for £20. Club Class offers

Ebbsfleet is just 3 miles from junction 2 on the M25

comfortable lounges with complimentary drinks and continental

with over 2,000 parking spaces only 5 minutes walk

breakfast.

from the station.

Norfolkline - Approximately four sailings a day on newly refurbished ferries offering a high standard of comfort. Dover to Dunkerque in

Upgrade to First Class seating for £120 per person, which

2 hours.

includes a meal and complimentary drinks on Eurostar. P&O Ferries - Sailings every 30 minutes peak times and a 90 minute A break in your outward or inbound rail journey of more

crossing from Dover to Calais.

than 24 hours will usually incur a travel supplement of £50.

Seafrance - Regular sailings for the 90 minute journey between Dover and Calais.

For bookings made within 12 weeks of departure our Brittany Ferries - A great choice of sailings on the western channel rail prices cannot be guaranteed. Please ask for a quotation. As timetables change throughout the season the train times given at your time of booking may be subject to variation. Exact times of your rail journey will be confirmed at least three weeks prior to departure.

routes from Portsmouth, Poole or Plymouth to Caen, Cherbourg, St Malo and Roscoff. Overnight crossings can save time for your onward journey with a 2-berth cabin costing from £80. Fastcraft services operate on some routes. Condorferries - Speedy same-day arrival from Poole to St Malo, or from Weymouth with a change of vessel in the Channel Islands. Can be combined with Brittany Ferries Fastcraft services.

www.bellefrance.co.uk

71


Travel Plans Inclusive travel

Flights - own travel

Book direct - save money Many of our holiday destinations are conveniently served by a wide choice of flights operated by low cost airlines. However there is no Euro-Tunnel - If a crossing by sea is not

benefit in us booking your flights for you, and many low cost airlines

to your liking, or you wish take less time

only sell direct anyway.

reaching France, then Euro-tunnel may

Ryanair and Easyjet are just two of the most well-known low cost carriers

be the solution. A 35 minute journey fromFolkestone

but there are others, including BmiBaby, EUJet, Flybe and Thomsonfly. New routes are frequently added so check the latest options available.

to Calais/Coquelles, the service runs 24 hours a day

The national carriers like Air France and BA can also offer keen prices

with departures every 15 minutes at peak times.

at certain times so it pays to look around.

Simple check-in procedures and drive-on carriages,

Plan carefully

where you stay with your car throughout the

The low cost airlines offer some fantastic prices. But it pays to plan

crossing, make this an easy option.

carefully and to observe some basic principles:

Price supplements on top of our Ferry inclusive price given on the holiday page.

• It can be costly and complicated to get from the airport to your first hotel. • Generally it pays to book early for the lowest fares.

Eg Weekday afternoons outbound, weekday mornings

• Children are the same costs as adults.

inbound from £45

• Peak dates can actually be expensive compared to other carriers. • Full payment is required at the time of booking. • Changes and amendments can be costly.

ryanair.com

www.

easyjet.com

www.

These websites can also offer attractive prices at certain times on various routes

travel4less.co.uk

www.

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expedia.co.uk

www.

travelbag.co.uk

www.


Holiday Advice It’s all on-line

All you need to know before you go

For expert advice on preparing for your holiday

www.bellefrance.co.uk/advice

Travel requirements

Money

The E111 which allows eligible travellers free or reduced cost

To take cash in large amounts is unnecessary though, clearly, some

medical treatment has now changed to an EHIC (European

Euros will be essential. Credit cards and debit cards are increasingly

Health Insurance Card). You can apply for your EHIC* by filling

useful when travelling abroad. The majority of cash points accept Switch and Maestro cards as well as Mastercard and Visa, although usually

in a form in the ‘Health Advice for Travellers’ booklet or by

there is a transaction charge (minimum charge £1.50).

applying online at the Department of Health website. The EHIC is not mandatory, and in fact our own insurance will cover you

Luggage

anyway. However you might be saved from paying a large bill

We transport baggage between hotels but each item must be closed,

while away.

sturdy, easily portable and clearly labelled with your name and the next

* Please allow up to 21 days for delivery of your EHIC if applying via post, or 7-10 days if applying via the website.

destination hotel. Some local agents charge extra for overweight luggage or too many pieces.

Go to: www.doh.gov.uk for the Department of Health

What to take

Go to: www.hmce.gov.uk for HM Customs and Excise

When packing it’s important to remember that

- Cagoule utes cycling ro s for the er n ai Tr utes Passports walking ro boots for rn g n ki Hi are well wo the boots e ar s er (make sure n A valid passport is mandatory. Information and application ai ). Tr mfortable! s te u in and co ro g in forms are available at main post offices and cost around le for walk NOT suitab £72 (£46 for a child). Allow plenty of time for the - Sun hat ses - Sunglas application process. Non EU passport holders may need r lunch to put you ck sa - Ruck e day a visa and should contact the French Embassy. in for th and bits bottle - Water .gov.uk for Passport Service Go to: www. en re sc n - Su repellent ct Go to: www. .gov.uk for Foreign and Commonwealth Office - Inse ic cream, & antisept - Plasters tel: 0870 521 0410 for advice se! just in ca - Camera lars - Binocu

passport fco

you’re only away for a week or so! If travelling by car, make sure you have unhindered rear vision and pack your luggage so that items needed en route or on an overnight ferry crossing can be easily reached.

Clothing These are outdoor holidays, so it is best to bear this in mind when packing. Lightweight, comfortable clothing that can be layered is best. Left is a useful reminder list of things to take with you, but we will send you further details when you book.

www.bellefrance.co.uk

73


Holiday Insurance We understand that the Holiday Insurance pages of any

Important Advice

travel brochure are amongst the least exciting. To be

We strongly advise clients to ensure that they are covered by Travel

honest, we don’t particularly like the idea of suggesting Insurance from the time of making the that things might go wrong on your holiday but we do

booking. This ensures that you will

consider it essential that you have appropriate cover for

benefit from protection in the event that you find it necessary to cancel

your holiday with us. Please do take the time to read through the information on these pages.

your holiday due to unforeseen circumstances covered by the policy.

DEMANDS AND NEEDS

We have arranged a choice of travel insurance policies. The personal

Personal Insurance. This insurance will suit the Demands and Needs of an individual, or group (where applicable) who have no excluded pre-existing medical conditions, are travelling to countries included within the policy terms and who wish to insure themselves against the unforeseen events detailed in the cover section below. Subject to terms and conditions and maximum specified claim limits.

insurance and vehicle assistance are arranged by Voyager Insurance

Vehicle Assistance. This insurance will suit the Demands and Needs of an individual wishing to insure themselves against unforeseen costs following the breakdown of a vehicle. Subject to terms, conditions and maximum specified claim limits.

you provide details of your cover at the time of booking. We cannot

IMPORTANT

24 hour assistance

We will not provide you with advice about the suitability of this product for your individual needs but we will be happy to provide you with factual information.

Our personal insurance provides access to the services of Primary Assist.

SAVE WITH ANNUAL POLICIES

efficient service 24 hours a day.

If you are likely to make more than one trip to Europe over the next 12 months then our Annual multi-trip policies will save you money. PLEASE CALL FOR DETAILS The policies outlined on these pages are only applicable for travel within Europe. If you need Worldwide cover please ask for a quote.

Services Ltd with UK Underwriting Ltd on behalf of AXA Insurance UK plc. All are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. As we have an important responsibility to ensure the success of your holiday we will automatically arrange personal insurance for you unless

accept your booking without proof of adequate insurance.

Experienced multi-lingual personnel provide a caring, sympathetic and

• 24 hour medical assistance • Authorisation of medical costs and payment guarantees • Air ambulance repatriation/evacuation • Repatriation due to serious illness of relatives at home

IMPORTANT NOTICE We would like to draw your attention to some important features of your insurance including: 1 Insurance document. You should read this carefully. It gives full details of what is and is not covered and the conditions of the cover. It will be sent with your holiday invoice. 2 Conditions and exclusions. Specific conditions and exclusions apply to individual sections of your insurance, whilst general exclusions and conditions will apply to the whole of your insurance. 3 Health. This insurance contains certain restrictions regarding pre-existing medical problems concerning health of the people travelling and of other people upon whose health the trip depends. You are advised to read the document carefully. 4 Property Claims. These claims are paid based on the value of the goods at the time you lose them and not on a ‘new for old’ or replacement cost basis. 5 Limits. This insurance has limits on the amount the insurer will pay under each section. Some sections also include other specific limits, for example, for any one item or for valuables in total. 6 Excesses. Under some sections of this insurance, claims will be subject to an excess. This means you will be responsible for paying the first part of the claim as follows: £50 per person for Cancellation, Curtailment or Abandonment, to limit of £100 per party. £50 per person for Emergency Medical & Repatriation claims. £50 for Baggage or Money Claims. £50 for Tents and camping equipment. £100 for Personal Liability and Legal Expenses. There are no excesses on European Vehicle Assistance claims. 7 Reasonable Care. You need to take all reasonable care to protect yourself and your property, as you would if you were not insured. 8 Dangerous Sports and Pastimes. If you are going to take part in dangerous sports or pastimes where there is a risk of injury, check that this insurance covers you. 9 Cooling-off. This insurance contains a ‘cooling-off’ period of 14 days during which you can return it and get a refund if you have a justifiable reason for being dissatisfied with the cover provided.

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Reservations 01580 214010

• Medical escorts and regular liaison with overseas doctors providing treatment European Vehicle Assistance cover is provided by Green Flag who, with over 25 years’ experience, provide assistance to over 3 million people each year. With a Europe-wide network of over 7,500 garages and agents you know you’re in very safe hands. Both Primary Assist and Green Flag are very familiar with the location of our hotels and have contacts at garages, doctors and hospitals nearby.


It’s all on-line Details of our insurance policies are on our website

Levels of Cover – Personal Insurance Description

£5,000***

Medical Expenses

£5,000,000*

Hospital Benefit

(£50 per day) £600 max

Personal Accident

£20,000

Maximum payable in the event of death

£10,000

Travel Delay

£200 max

Abandonment

£5,000***

Missed Departure Baggage & Money

£600 max - overall (under 18)

£1,500 (£500)*

- Single item

£250

- valuables

£250

- money (under 18)

£300 (£50)*

- emergency purchases

£100

Passport Indemnity

£500

Personal Liability

£2,000,000***

Legal Expenses Transport disruption

www.bellefrance.co.uk/insurance

Cover

Cancellation/Curtailment

£20,000*** - additional accom. (per night)

£500 (£50)

- additional travel expenses

£200

Tents & camping equipment

Combined Gross Premiums - Europe Only Duration

1 car under 10 years and up to 5 passengers under 80 years

Up to 1 day

£15.66

Up to 2 days

£31.34

Up to 5 days

£47.00

Up to 31 days

£81.46

Each additional week

£25.08

Personal Insurance: • Maximum age – 79 years at the date of departure • Winter sports personal only – 2.5 x premium • Maximum duration – 91 days Vehicle Assistance: • Maximum vehicle age under 10 years old at the date of departure • Maximum duration – 91 days • Trailer or caravan to be charged at a flat rate of £16.54 All premiums shown include Insurance Premium Tax

£500 *

Personal Holiday Insurance

Additional winter sports cover subject to the appropriate premium having been paid

Winter sports equipment

£800* £500

Ski pack Piste closure (inc Avalanche)

refund if you have a justifiable reason for being dissatisfied with the cover provided. The insurance is underwritten by UK Underwriting Ltd on behalf of the insurers identified above

£400

This insurance does not exclude claims relating to existing medical conditions provided you can agree to the

£50 per person*

(the amount you have to pay if you make a claim)

the cover, conditions and exclusions. You have a 14-day cooling-off period during which you can return it and get a

£400

£300 (£30)

Excesses

The above is a summary of cover only. You will receive the full policy wording at the time of purchase, which defines

£100 per party** £100 per person***

following important declaration. By taking out this insurance, you declare that: 1. No holiday shall be booked or undertaken against the advice of a medical practitioner or for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment. 2. Nobody insured or anyone on whom the holiday or journey depends has received a terminal prognosis from a registered medical practitioner as far as you are aware.

Levels of Cover – European Vehicle Assistance

3. Nobody insured or anyone on whom the holiday or journey depends is on a waiting list for treatment or

Description

Cover

Cover prior to departure

£2,000

Road side assistance

£250

Location & transport of replacement parts

No limit

Break-in emergency repairs

£100

Vehicle out of use

£2,000

Alternative driver

No limit

Repatriation

you are aware. 4. You are not aware at the time of issue of this insurance of any reason why the holiday or journey may be cancelled or curtailed. 5. In the event of circumstances arising after the issue of this insurance which may give rise to a claim, we shall be contacted as soon as possible. If any Insured is in any doubt concerning their ability to comply with this declaration we must be notified for consideration and acceptance of this risk. Failure to do so may affect your rights under this Insurance. Please contact Voyager Insurance Services Ltd on 01483 562662 if you are in any doubt.

Limited to vehicles current market value No limit

Vehicle Assistance

Telephone advice

Covered

The above is a summary of cover only. You will receive the full policy wording at the time of purchase, which defines

Bail bond

£1,000

the cover, conditions and exclusions. You have a 14-day cooling-off period during which you can return it and get a

Motoring defence

£1,000

refund if you have a justifiable reason for being dissatisfied with the cover provided.

Customs regulations Motoring legal protection

investigation at a hospital or nursing home, nor do they have knowledge of the need for such treatment as far as

Legal expenses

£10,000

By taking out this insurance, you declare that the insured vehicle: 1. Is either: a car, light van, motorised caravan, estate car or motorcycle privately registered in the UK.

Single Trip Gross Premiums - Europe Only

2. Is under 15 years old (or under 10 years old for annual multi trip) and has been regularly serviced in line with manufacturers recommendations and holds a current valid MOT certificate if applicable.

Duration

Personal

Vehicle Assistance 3. Does not exceed (including any load carried) the following gross vehicle weight and dimensions: 3,500kg in

Up to 1 day

£3.49

£9.91

Up to 2 days

£6.32

£18.95

Up to 5 days

£12.66

£31.55

Up to 10 days

£15.10

£42.57

Up to 18 days

£17.72

£45.94

Up to 31 days

£25.18

£55.44

Each Additional Week/per week

£10.10

£5.51

• • • • • • • •

weight, 7m in length, 3m in height and 2.25m in width. 4. Will be roadworthy at the start of the trip and has a serviceable spare wheel and tyre.

Belle France is a trading name of Mark Hammerton Travel Ltd, who are an Appointed Representative of ITC Compliance Ltd (FSA Registered Number 313486), who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. ITC Compliance Ltd’s registered office is 1 Charnwood House, Marsh Road, Bristol, BS3 2NA.

Personal Insurance Maximum age – 79 years Child age (3 to 17 years inclusive) – 50% reduction in premium Infants (under 3 if travelling with an insured adult) – Free of charge Family Policy – 2.5 x premium Seniors 65 -79 – premium is doubled Winter sports personal only – 2.5 x premium Maximum duration – 91 days Note - A family is defined as husband and/or wife or common law partner and their dependent children under the age of 18 years

Vehicle Assistance • Maximum vehicle age under 15 years old at the date of departure • For vehicles aged 10 years and over but under 15 years at the date of departure – premium is doubled • Maximum duration – 91 days • Trailer or caravan to be charged at flat rate of £16.54

www.bellefrance.co.uk

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Fair Trading Terms Our Agreement With You This agreement has been drawn up in accordance with the ABTA code of conduct and the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 (as amended), ‘the Regulations’. Throughout this agreement, ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’ means Mark Hammerton Travel Ltd of Spelmonden Old Oast, Goudhurst, Kent TN17 1HE. Belle France is a trading name of Mark Hammerton Travel Ltd. ‘You’ and ‘your’ means the person who makes the reservation with us or any other person nominated

1 The Price of Your Holiday. Our staff will always try to give accurate information and price quotations. If we notice we have made a mistake we will notify you as soon as possible. We reserve the right to increase our prices published in this brochure before you book. If there is any increase we will draw it to your attention at the time of booking. If the new information or price would constitute a significant change, then we will offer you the options set out below in Term 2. Before final payment is due: The price of your holiday is subject to review, but only where there are increases in: (a) transportation costs, including the cost of fuel; (b) dues, taxes or fees chargeable for services such as landing taxes or embarkation or disembarkation fees at ports; (c) Government action, such as increases in V.A.T. or any other Government-imposed increases; (d) currency in relation to adverse exchange rate variations. Even in this case, we will absorb an amount equivalent to 2% of the holiday price which excludes insurance premiums and any amendment charges. Only amounts in excess of this 2% will be surcharged and we will send you a separate invoice for the amount of the surcharge or a replacement invoice for the new cost of the holiday. If this means paying more than 10% on the holiday price previously confirmed and invoiced, you will be entitled to cancel your holiday with a full refund of all money paid except for any premium paid to us for holiday insurance and amendment charges. Should you decide to cancel because of this you must exercise your right to do so within 14 days from the issue date printed on the new invoice. The price of your holiday was calculated using the Sterling to Euro exchange rate quoted in the Financial Times on 28/9/08.

as party leader. We will only accept reservations from a person

After final payment for your holiday: We guarantee not to increase the price of your holiday once the final balance, due twelve weeks before departure has been paid.

who is 18 or over at the time the reservation is made and who

2 Alterations. Alterations made by us before departure: Occasionally we may have to amend your holiday arrangements but we will notify you of any amendment as soon as possible. If this were to constitute a significant change you would have the option of either accepting the change, booking any other available holiday from this brochure or cancelling your booking and receiving a full refund. These options do not apply where we cancel the holiday because of your non-payment. A significant change would include a change of ferry or train time by more than twelve hours, where this has been necessitated by us changing your holiday arrangements. You will notify us of the option you wish to take as soon as possible.

will be one of the party taking the whole of the holiday. The contract between you and us comes into force when your booking is accepted by us. If you wish to cancel your booking you must notify us within fourteen days of the date of the confirmation invoice. If we receive such notification from you we shall refund the deposit paid. We act as agents for the transport operators featured in this brochure. This means that when you ask us to make a reservation for transport we will notify the transport operator of

Where any alteration amounts to a significant change we will pay compensation according to the table below. However, you will not be entitled to compensation where we have cancelled your holiday because of your non-payment. Further, you will not be entitled to compensation where the holiday is cancelled by reason of unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control and the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had been exercised by us. These circumstances include industrial action or disputes, closure or congestion of ports or airports, road blockades, technical problems to transport, war, threat of war, civil strife, terrorist activity, natural or nuclear disaster, epidemic or disease, adverse weather conditions or similar events. Period of notification given to you of any significant changes

If holiday is taken:

If you cancel:

More than 42 days

Nil

Nil

29 - 42 days

10%

Nil

15 - 28 days

15%

10%

00 - 14 days

20%

10%

your request. If the transport operator confirms the availability of the service you have requested we will advise you in our confirmation invoice. You enter into a contract with the transport operator based on their conditions of carriage and these conditions accompany our confirmation invoice to you. However, some transport operators do not provide us with their conditions and in these cases we will enclose information on how to obtain them. Your contract with the transport operator comes into force on the date your booking is accepted by us. By asking us to arrange your cross-Channel travel in conjunction with your Belle France accommodation, we are usually able to offer competitive prices under this scheme. You should note that the transport operators for whom we act as agents are involved in your holiday solely for the provision of transport and must not be construed as being a tour operator as defined under the Regulations.

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Reservations 01580 214010

Compensation per booking: % of Total Holiday Cost

Alterations made by us after departure: Should alterations be necessary after your departure on holiday, we will make suitable alternative arrangements (at no extra cost to you) for the continuation of the holiday and will, where appropriate, compensate you for the difference between the services to be supplied and those services actually supplied. If it is impossible to make such suitable alternative arrangements (or you do not accept the alternative arrangements, for good reasons) we will, where appropriate, provide you with equivalent transport back to the place of departure or to another place to which you agree, and you may be entitled to compensation. 3 Delays to Transport Services. Where we are notified of a delay by the transport operator we will make every reasonable effort to contact you before departure to advise you of such delay. You may be covered for additional expenses incurred due to such delays under the terms of your insurance policy but we make no representation to this effect. 4 Marketing Information. We make every effort to ensure that the information in our guides and brochures is accurate and comprehensive. It is based on our best knowledge at the time of going to press. However, changes may be made in the particulars contained in the brochure before the contract between you and us comes into force. Where possible we shall advise you of any changes at the time of booking. 5 Our Liability To You. a) We accept responsibility for ensuring that the holidays that you book with us are supplied as described in this brochure and that the services we are contractually obliged to provide are to a reasonable standard. If any part of your holiday is not provided as promised, we will pay you appropriate compensation, if this has affected the enjoyment of your holiday. In all cases (other than death or personal injury) our liability to you from the total of all claims


arising out of your contract with us is limited to twice the cost of the relevant person’s holiday (less any insurance and cancellation premiums). We accept responsibility for the acts and/or omission of our employees, agents and suppliers, save where they lead to death, injury or illness, except as provided in the following paragraph.

Cancellations: You must confirm in writing all cancellations made before your holiday departure date. No action will be taken by us until we have received your written instructions. Clients are strongly advised to send such notification by recorded delivery as we cannot be responsible for non-receipt of written instructions.

b) We accept responsibility for death, injury or illness caused by the negligent acts and/or omission of our employees or agents, together with our suppliers or sub-contractors, servants and/or agents of the same whilst acting within the scope of, or in the course of, their employment in the provision of any part of your holiday that we are contractually obliged to provide. We will, accordingly, pay to our client such damages as might have been awarded in English Law.

Our preferred holiday insurance provides cover against cancellation in some circumstances. Some or all of the following charges and fees may be recovered under the policy. If you cancel your holiday before final payment is due you will forfeit your deposit. Once final payment has been received, the following cancellation fees (including the amount of the deposit) are payable:

c) In respect of carriage by air, sea and rail and the provision of accommodation our liability in all cases will be limited in the manner provided by the relevant international convention. d) If any client suffers death, accidental illness or personal injury whilst overseas arising out of an activity which does not form part of the foreign inclusive holiday arrangement or excursion arranged through us, we shall, at our discretion, offer advice, guidance and assistance to help you in resolving any claim you may have against a 3rd Party, provided we are advised of the incident within 90 days of the occurrence. Where legal action is contemplated, authority must be obtained prior to commencement of proceedings and be subject to your undertaking to assign any costs recovered or any benefits under an appropriate insurance policy to ourselves. This financial assistance is to a maximum sum of £5000 in total per booking. 6 Special Requests. We always do our best to comply with any special requests made at the time of booking but these are not guaranteed.

Your Obligations 1 Satisfaction. If you believe that we have made a mistake with your holiday booking, or have failed to provide the services that you are entitled to under your agreement with us, or if you are dissatisfied with your holiday you should seek to resolve any issue with the supplier of the service concerned, and if still dissatisfied, notify us, in writing, on your return. 2 Regulations. You and your party must abide by the rules and regulations of the rail operators, ferry companies, hotels and other operators. You must accept the jurisdiction of the accommodation management during your stay. You are further expected to be considerate towards everyone you come into contact with during your holiday. If you or any member of your party fail to observe such rules or behave in such a way as to cause (in our opinion, or the opinion of the supplier) danger, distress or annoyance to anyone or damage to property your holiday may be terminated without prior notice. In this situation the person/s concerned will be required to leave immediately and we will have no further responsibility. No refunds will be made nor will we pay any expenses. Costs for any damage must be paid by you. 3 Your Accommodation. In booking you undertake to accept the accommodation allocated by our local representative. You must take reasonable precautions for your own safety and that of members of your party. 4 Facilities in Low Season. You must accept that provision of certain services and facilities may be restricted in low season or times of bad weather. 5 Planning Your Journey. If travelling, by car or making independent flight arrangements, it is your responsibility to plan your journey and provide a roadworthy vehicle. We cannot make refunds for unused accommodation where insufficient time has been allowed for journeys or if you have broken down. 6 Holiday Insurance. We believe insurance is necessary for a worry free holiday and we rely on your representation at the time of your booking that all members of your party are adequately insured. If, at the time of booking, you do not provide us with details of your insurance company and policy number, we will arrange cover for you and the members of your party and the cost of our insurance policy will be automatically added to your invoice. 7 Payment. We accept the deposit as part payment for your holiday. The final balance is due 12 weeks before departure. It is a condition of our contract with you that we receive the final balance by that date. If we do not receive the balance by the due date we reserve the right to cancel the holiday with the consequent cancellation charges (see right). Bookings made less than twelve but more than four weeks before departure may incur a higher deposit and must be paid for within 7 days of the date of the invoice. Bookings made within and up to four weeks before departure must be paid for in full at the time of booking. 8 Alterations or Cancellations. We reserve the right to charge an amendment fee of £25 payable for any alterations made to your holiday arrangements. Alterations within eight weeks of departure: If you wish to alter your holiday dates by more than two weeks this will be treated as a cancellation (see below) and your new holiday arrangements will be treated as a new booking. Alterations within two weeks of departure: All alterations will be treated as a cancellation (see right) and your new holiday arrangements will be treated as a new booking. Alterations whilst on holiday: We will do our best to accommodate any alteration but reserve the right to charge an amendment fee of £25 to cover administration and telephone costs. You will be required to pay extra costs (if any) for alternative accommodation or facilities not pre-booked.

• Within 8 weeks of departure - 40% of the total holiday cost plus insurance premiums. • Within 4 weeks of departure - 70% of the total holiday cost plus insurance premiums. • Within 2 weeks of departure - 100% of the total holiday cost plus insurance premiums. Alteration and cancellation of travel bookings: Changes, alterations and cancellations of ferry, rail or other transport operator bookings are subject to their own terms and conditions and cancellation charges are likely to be payable to them in addition to any of our amendment fees. You are responsible for arriving in good time for your journey. Cancellations of hotels only: Once final payment has been received the cancellation fees above are payable. For amendments to existing hotel bookings made on holiday a fee of £25 will be payable. Loss of travel tickets: Where lost travel tickets have to be replaced, this will be treated as an alteration and amendment charges may be levied. Some companies insist on replacements being paid for in full. 9 Complaints. Should you experience a problem during your holiday, please see the hotel management or the representative of the supplier of the service who will normally be able to sort it out immediately. If the problem cannot be resolved to your satisfaction please telephone us during office hours. If you still feel that a complaint remains unresolved, please write to us within four weeks of your return from holiday. All letters received by us will be answered within 14 days. Disputes arising out of, or in connection with, this contract which cannot be amicably settled may be referred to arbitration under a special scheme arranged by the Association of British Travel Agents and administered independently by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. The scheme provides for a simple and inexpensive method of arbitration on documents alone with restricted liability on the customer in respect of costs. Full details will be provided on request or can be obtained from the ABTA web site (www.abta.com). The Scheme does not apply to claims for an amount greater than £5,000 per person. There is also a limit of £25,000 per booking form. Neither does it apply to claims which are solely in respect of physical injury or illness or their consequences. The Scheme can however deal with compensation claims which include an element of minor injury or illness subject to a limit of £1,000 on the amount the arbitrator can award per person in respect of this element. The application for arbitration and Statement of Claim must be received by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators within nine months of the date of return from the holiday. Outside this time limit arbitration under the Scheme may still be available if the company agrees, but the ABTA Code does not require such agreement. 10 Data Protection. In order to process your booking and to ensure that your travel arrangements run smoothly and meet your requirements we need to use the information you provide (such as name, address, any special needs etc). We take full responsibility for ensuring that proper security measures are in place to protect your information. We must pass the information on to the relevant suppliers of your travel arrangements such as hotels, transport companies etc. The information may also be provided to public authorities such as customs/immigration if required by them, or as required by law. Additionally, where your holiday is outside the European Economic Area (EEA), controls on data protection in your destination may not be as strong as the legal requirements in this country. We will not however, pass any information on to any person not responsible for part of your travel arrangements. This applies to any sensitive information that you give to us such as details of disabilities, or dietary/religious requirements. (If we cannot pass this information to the relevant suppliers, whether in the EEA or not, we cannot provide your booking. In making this booking, you consent to this information being passed on to the relevant persons). We will hold your information, where collected by us, and may use it to inform you of offers or to send you brochures. If you do not wish to receive such approaches in the future, please write to us at Spelmonden Old Oast, Goudhurst, Kent TN17 1HE. We may also provide your details to selected third parties for similar purposes. If you do not wish to receive such approaches in the future, please write to us at Spelmonden Old Oast, Goudhurst, Kent TN17 1HE. 11 River Cruising Holidays. There are additional Terms and Conditions that apply to passengers on our cruise holidays, a copy of which will be sent on request or with your cruise booking confirmation. Publication date of this brochure 1st December 2008 Please note that some information in this booking guide is provisional and subject to change. English law shall apply to the contract between you and us which incorporates these terms. Any dispute arising out of the contract may be referred to any court in England or Wales to be heard and determined. If you are normally resident outside the United Kingdom all such disputes shall be referred to an English court.

www.bellefrance.co.uk

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How to Book - Phone 01580 214010 The first step to your holiday in France Your holiday is important, so take time to browse

We’re waiting to hear from you!

through this brochure. When you’re ready, call us and

9.00am - 5.00pm Monday - Friday. (We are often available outside these hours too!)

ask for a costing on the holiday you have in mind or to check availability. Maybe you need advice on

Should you phone when we’re closed please leave a message and we’ll call you back. Alternatively you can email us at:

travel options, or you may want to

enquiries@bellefrance.co.uk

secure your first-choice holiday or dates.

Friendly advice

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• Names of all in party and D.O.B of any children

• Pen and paper...!

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Booking by phone The quickest way of booking is by phone. There are no forms to fill in and we can confirm many of the arrangements immediately. Simply quote your credit or debit card number to cover the low £100 per person deposit (and insurance premiums) and you know your holiday is secure. (30% deposit on our River Cruising holidays). If you’d rather pay by cheque we’ll hold an option booking for 3 days - just send us your cheque together with the holiday reference number you’ll be given.

Keeping costs down Belle France represents incredible value for money and we do all we can to pass on great savings and real value to you. However we must make a surcharge of 2% on all balance payments made using credit cards (deposit payments are not affected). Balances paid by cheque or debit card incur no surcharge and we welcome these.

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Map of France It’s all on-line

France at a glance

Discover more about the varied regions of France

www.bellefrance.co.uk/regions

Our Cycling Holidays

Our Walking Holidays The Opal Coast - Weekend Charm of Champagne - Weekend Picardy Pastures

Region Pas de Calais Champagne Picardy

Seine Valley Secrets

Normandy

Mulberry March

Normandy

Château to Château

Loire

Loire Prestige à Pied

Loire

Wine List Wanders

Burgundy

Burgundy Prestige à Pied

Burgundy

Classic Cognac

Charente

Sparkling Champagne

Champagne

Tranquil Dordogne

Dordogne

Dordogne Prestige à Pied

Dordogne

Volcanoes of the Auvergne

Auvergne

Untamed Cévennes

Cévennes

St Bonnet and Beyond

Auvergne

Secrets of Savoie

Alps

Ardèche Discovery

Ardèche

Van Gogh’s Provence

Provence

Provence Prestige à Pied

Provence

Stevenson Trail

Cévennes

Cathar Castles

Languedoc

Breathtaking Brittany

Region

Mellow Mayenne

Mayenne

Emerald Coast

Brittany

Loire Discovery

Loire

Garden of France

Loire

Along the Leisurely Loire

Loire

Loire Prestige en Vélo

Loire

Loire en Famille

Loire

Best of Burgundy

Burgundy

Vintage Burgundy Classic & Premier Cru

Burgundy

Vintage Grand Cru Prestige

Burgundy

Périgord Discovery

Charente Dordogne

Limousin Lakes and Castles

Limousin

Auvergne Discovery

Auvergne

Dordogne Exploration

Dordogne

Drama of the Dordogne

Dordogne

Provençal Dreams

Provence

Provence Prestige en Vélo

Provence

Charente Waterways

Charente

Canal du Midi to Coast

Languedoc

Alsatian Adventure

Alsace

A Taste of Bordeaux

Aquitaine

Touring Holidays Gourmet Golf - Pas de Calais Gourmet Golf - Touraine

Region Pas de Calais Loire

Our River Cruise Holiday

Region

River Cruising in Provence

Provence

Brittany

Catalan Coast

Pyrenees

Mountains to Med

Pyrenees

www.bellefrance.co.uk

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Belle France, Spelmonden Old Oast, Goudhurst, Kent TN17 1HE tel

01580 214010

fax 01580 214011 e-mail enquiries@bellefrance.co.uk

www.bellefrance.co.uk


Belle France Holiday Brochure 2009