Welcome to France
A country of such diversity
There are so many reasons why France is the ideal holiday destination for everyone: families, couples, groups, beach lovers, history fans, wine & food enthusiasts, music lovers, those who crave adventure …..the list is endless. This is because France has something to offer everyone; a truly diverse country. France is divided into 13 regions, each region unique from the other. From the stunning endless beaches of the west coast, the grandiose chateaux of the Loire, the vineyards of Bordeaux, the landscapes of the Dordogne, the history and waterways of Languedoc, the mountains of the Pyrenees and the Alps, the breath taking volcanic craters of the Auvergne, the beauty and opulence of Provence and the French Riviera and the vineyards of Burgundy and Champagne to the unique quality of Alsace. Below you will find representation of some of the regions of France we offer at The Discovery Collection; we do in fact cover the whole of France.
The Loire Valley-A truly majestic region
The charismatic Loire Valley marks the dividing line between northern and southern France. The river valley of the Loire was once home to kings, queens, dukes and nobles who came here to build their magnificent and incredibly extravagant castles and palaces. Not only is the Loire Valley home to some of the best wines in France, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It has been touched by many historical figures such as Joan of Arc and Leonardo da Vinci. As you walk through the grounds of Chateau Chenonceau, the most visited historical monument in France after Versailles, you will feel transported back to the elegance of 17th century France. The beautiful manicured gardens of Chateau Villandry will truly take your breath away.
Languedoc- A region of such diversity
At the historic heart of Languedoc is the breath taking medieval walled city of Carcassonne – its magnificence is overwhelming. In fact the city is said to have been Walt Disney’s inspiration for Sleeping Beauty. Languedoc is the centre of Cathar country which is why it is home to so many famous abbeys and magnificent castles. Rennes-le-Chateau has inspired many theories relating to the ‘Holy Grail’ and thus was central to Dan Brown’s book the Da Vinci Code.
Another well known area of the Languedoc is the Camargue, often referred to as France’s ‘Wild West’. The Camargue is Western Europe’s largest river delta and offers a landscape dotted with salt lagoons famous for its herds of wild white horses and flamingos. It is here where Europe’s only cowboys (known as Gardiens) raise the black fighting bulls for the bullrings of Languedoc and Spain.
Stunning, serene and glamorous all in one!
Amagical mix of culture, history, vineyards, lavender fields and mountains with vistas and fragrances which will uplift your spirits. Charming villages perch on hillsides surrounded by vineyards, ancient buildings, shady squares, fountains and endless sunshine all add to the appeal of Provence.
Provence offers such contrasts: from Aix en Provence, a university city and the birthplace of the Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cezanne, to St Remy de Provence popular with artists all over the world due to its ancient streets and beautiful surrounding countryside. It is renowned for its quality of light, and is where Van Gogh painted Starry Night. Cassis is a hidden gem with its picturesque harbour of pastel-coloured cottages.
The Dordogne-A region full of breathtaking scenery
South of the Loire is the picturesque and fascinating Dordogne; an area soaked in history so much of which has been carefully preserved. The Grotte de Villars is one of the many caves full of mesmerising stalactites and stalagmites and authentic prehistoric drawings. There are over 1000 castles in the Dordogne region! No visit would be complete without a stroll around the medieval town of Sarlat with its pebbled streets and hidden courtyards; followed by a trip along the Dordogne river just below the fascinating village of Beynac built high on a rock. As you enjoy your leisurely trip along the river you will gasp at how many beautiful castles you see hidden amongst the trees along the river bank.
Provence – a magical mix of culture, history, vineyards and vistas!
Charming villages perch on hillsides surrounded by vineyards; ancient buildings, shady squares, fountains and endless sunshine all add to the appeal of Provence. Added to this is the glitz and glamour of the glorious Cote d’Azur including such exciting places as Nice, Cannes, St Tropez & Monaco/Monte Carlo!!’
2 nights at Hotel Oceania L’Univers in Tours with a full day visiting Chateaux and Vineyards of the Loire…
Fly from Stansted to Tours and stay at the 4* Hotel Oceania L’ Univers in the centre of Tours. Choose between one of the full day Chateau & Wine Tasting tours: Option (1) Chateau Chinon, Chateau de Langeais and the Gardens of Villandry. A wine tasting lunch is included. Option (2) The Royal Chateau of Blois, Chateau de Cheverney and Chateau de Chambord including lunch at a traditional restaurant or Option (3) Chateau de Chenonceau, Royal Chateau of Amboise and Chateau de Clos Luce followed by a visit to a local wine cellar and a wine tasting lunch.
Price from £450pp
Subject to availability. Price based on 2 people sharing. Tours can be tailor made to suit your requirements.
3 night break including Yoga, Meditation, Reiki, Spiritual Development and more…..
Treat yourself to a long weekend of relaxation and therapy in the serene environment of our luxury Gites in Languedoc Roussillon, south west France. Immerse yourself in those therapeutic essences of life which our hectic lifestyles often deny us: Yoga, Meditation, Reiki, Reflexology and many more. Our next Retreat takes place on 11 April September 2019 for 3 nights. Flights are to Carcassonne from Stansted and accomodation is at Maison de la Roche, a former wine domain now converted into Gites, just half an hours transfer from Carcassonne airport. The Gites boast a gorgeous outdoor pool and are walking distance to the village. Enjoy 2.5 days of holistic treatments as well as a half day trip to the medieval walled city of Carcassonne itself.
Price : £699 per person
3 nights at Maison de la Roche including one full day historical & wine tasting tour:
Visit a selection of Cathar Castles in the Languedoc…
If you would love to experience Languedoc culture mixed with the amazing regional wines, then this tour is perfect for you. You will visit a selection of Cathar Castles; magnificent structures built as early as the 12th century. They are sites of besieged strongholds where the last Cathars stood their ground against the Catholic Crusaders until the 15th Century. After working up an apetite exploring castles, you will get to enjoy a picnic lunch in the fantastic castle setting along with some delicious Cathar wine. The day will be topped off with a wine tasting at a local vineyard nearby the castle, completing your full immersion in Languedoc history.
Price from £550 per person
Our fabulous villa is located in the tiny village of Fossemagne where the scenery is breathtaking. The villa stands alone surrounded by miles and miles of rolling countryside. It has 3 double bedrooms and one triple room plus the facility to have a double sofa bed on the mezzanine floor. There is a 12 x 6 metre outdoor pool with ample seating and sunbathing areas. There is a pergola under which are comfy chairs and sofas for those who prefer to stay in the shade. Al Fresco dining is a must; there is a long dining table which seats up to 12 and a large BBQ. Literally 5 minutes away by car is a great campsite with a fantastic restaurant and a lake which they fill with inflatables during the summer; its great fun and open to visitors of the Villa. The stunning towns of Sarlat and Beynac are only half an hours drive away too.
Price for the villa only for one week is from £1820 – self catering basis.
Flights from the UK to Bergerac from £80 return per person
Include a boat trip along the Dordogne – starting at Beynac where you can experience travelling by an authentic Gabarre boat; as you sail along the river majestic castles will appear through the trees and astound you – a magical experience. Follow this with a visit to the medieval town of Sarlat. Enjoy its cobbled streets and busy squares where you can enjoy your café au lait and watch the world go by! Both Beyna and Sarlat and no more than a 40 minute drive from the villa.
5 nights at the fabulous 4* Helios Hotel in Juan les Pins with its own private beach and enjoy the ambience and uplifting vibes of the
Antibes Jazz Festival. Commencing 12 July and ending 22 July; some of the artists who attended this unforgettable musical extravaganza in 2018 were Lenny Kravitz, Earth Wind & Fire and Norah Jones! Watch this space for the 2019 line up!
Price from £680 Per person
St Paul de Vence built on its rocky outcrop and surrounded by its ramparts, St Paul is certainly one of the most beautiful villages in Provence.
The beauty of the surrounding area, quality of life and exceptional light has inspired numerous famous artists, painters, writers and poets, some of whom took up residence in the village. You can find signatures from some of these famous artists at the Fondation Maeght which has a large collection of paintings, sculptures, drawings and other graphic works from the XXth century.
Walk around the narrow and picturesque streets of the village, from the Porte Royale to the Porte Sud via the (pedestrianised) and you will discover magnificent stone facades from the XVIth and XVIIIth centuries. Lose yourself in the maze of charming streets, the floral exuberance of the gardens, the little shady squares, ancient fountains, gateways and porches, or wonderful windows and you’ll see why St Paul is a favourite subject for photographers.
From the ramparts, wonderful views over the surrounding hills, the Cote d’Azur and of course the sea.
Just a short drive from St Paul de Vence is the village of Haut de Cagnes, a medieval village where Renoir lived for many years. This is where you will find the Renoir museum. During the 19th century Haut de Cagnes was discovered by many artists, mainly during the modern art period starting with the Impressionism Period. Modigliani painted much of his work here too. Our package includes 3 nights at the stunning boutique hotel
Chagnard with magnificent views over the Med.
Prices from £450 pp