Tailormade tour French Alps self-drive holiday France

10 nights/11 days

Arras • Burgundy • Evian • Champagne

The focus of this self-drive holiday is a stay in the French Alps, on the shore of Lake Geneva, in the charming spa resort of Evian-les-Bains. This holiday includes overnight stops in Arras, Montrachet in Burgundy and Epernay in Champagne. These stops allow you chance to savour the regional differences of France including the famous wine-producing areas of Champagne and Burgundy. There is also time along the way to visit historic and cultural sites.
Holiday price guide

Available year-round subject to the opening period of the hotels, from £2,080 per person.

Luxury self-drive holiday to the French Alps with overnight stops in Arras, Burgundy and Champagne

Highlights

Eurotunnel crossing from Folkestone to Calais • Arras • Burgundy • Evian • Lake Geneva • Champagne

Day by day

You start this self-drive touring holiday of France with the crossing on Eurotunnel for your car and passengers. From Calais to your first night’s stop in Arras it is a short drive, giving you time to check-in to your hotel and explore the Flemish architecture of this northern French town, including gabled houses that line elegant city centre, cobbled squares, a town hall and belfry. The city is about 10 kms from the front line of the First World War and the battleground at Vimy Ridge in 1917. Vimy Ridge should be visited on your way into the city.

After enjoying breakfast at the hotel travel southwards along the motorway passing the cities of Reims, Troyes and Dijon towards Burgundy and the small village of Puligny-Montrachet, famed for its white wines, and to the south of Beaune, situated at the heart of the Cote de Beaune. If you want to stop along the route, the historic town of Troyes is charming with half-timbered houses in its mediaeval old town and is home to several Gothic churches, renowned for their stained-glass windows.

Today you have a choice of two quite different routes. The obvious one is to head south towards Macon before turning eastwards towards the foothills of the Alps and first crossing into Switzerland near Geneva and again into France to follow the route towards Lake Geneva and the town of Evian, sitting on the south shore, facing Lausanne. Please note that to drive on motorways in Switzerland you have to buy a vignette to stick on your windscreen (can be purchased at the border). The other route is less obvious but takes you on less busy roads through the gently rolling, pre-Alpine landscape of the Jura before crossing the border and dropping down towards Lake Neuchatel and then Lake Geneva. You follow the northern shore of Lake Geneva, passing Lausanne and Montreux before entering France again and continuing westwards along the southern shore to Evian. Time to check-in to your hotel and relax.

You have six whole days to relax and explore both at your hotel and in the immediate area. As well as an array of sports, spa and leisure activities available at your hotel, the spa resort of Evian-les-Bains is a charming, lakeside spa town where you can stroll along the promenade, enjoy the architecture of the grand buildings from the 19th century when the resort came into its own, including the Palais Lumiere, the Casino and the Theatre. The Cachat pump room is renowned for its Art Nouveau style. There is a funicular railway from Evian from near your hotel down to the lakeside and the spa rooms. Nearby is the castle and arboretum of Ripaille, picturesque lake-side villages and the mountains that rise to the south. Boat trips are possible with Lausanne being just 35 minutes away across the lake. Two picturesque alpine ski resorts, Chatel and Morzine, are less than an hour’s drive away, with abundant opportunities for hiking and mountain biking.

Drive northwards and arrive in the Champagne region for your final night of this self-drive touring holiday in Epernay. Nestling between the Aisne and Marne valleys, Epernay and its nearby rival, Reims, are well situated to see the champagne vineyards thrive.

Depending on the time of your Eurotunnel crossing from Calais to Folkestone, you may want to linger amid the Champagne houses of Epernay and Reims. We can give you suggestions of Champagne houses to visit. Laon is an historic town perched on a hill-top visible from the autoroute that you also might want to call in at on the way back to Calais.

Holiday price guide Prices from £2,080 per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room.

Holiday Code FRSD16

Luxury self-drive holiday to the French Alps with overnight stops in Arras, Burgundy and Champagne

Holiday price guide Prices from £2,080 per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room.

Holiday Code FRSD16

Our prices include ● Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais return for car and passengers
● 1 night’s bed and breakfast in a Classic room at the Hotel de l’Univers, Arras
● 1 night’s bed and breakfast in a Classic room at Le Montrachet, Burgundy
● 7 nights’ bed and breakfast in a South-facing room at the Hotel Ermitage, Evian
● 1 night’s bed and breakfast in a Classic room at Hostellerie La Briqueterie in Epernay, Champagne
● Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Our prices do not include ● Early check-in or late check-out at any hotels (although we can arrange this on request at additional cost)
● Any other services not mentioned above, such as transfers and meals except breakfast at hotels
● Personal holiday insurance. This is essential and cover should be in place from when you book the holiday.
● Local tourist tax, usually between Euros 1 and 3 per person per night, and payable locally to the hotel

Additional information Driving times for this self-drive holiday
Calais to Arras 1 hr 15 mins
Arras to Puligny-Montrachet 5 hours
Puligny-Montrachet to Evian 3 hrs 10 mins
Evian to Epernay 6 hours

Holiday price guide Prices from £2,080 per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room.

Holiday Code FRSD16

Luxury self-drive holiday to the French Alps with overnight stops in Arras, Burgundy and Champagne

Highlights of Burgundy

Cultural highlights include Burgundy wines and marcs, local wine festivals, the Beaujolais vineyards, and the Romanesque architecture.

Climate of Burgundy

Average air temperatures in centigrade: Jan: 6.1, Feb: 5.9, Mar: 10.3, Apr: 15.3, May: 15.8, Jun: 23.8, Jul: 25.8, Aug: 26.1, Sep: 21.2, Oct: 15.5, Nov: 9.1, Dec: 6.2. Source: Direction de la Meteorologique de France.

Luxury self-drive holiday to the French Alps with overnight stops in Arras, Burgundy and Champagne

Highlights of Champagne

Champagne cellar visits in Reims, Epernay and in vineyards along the Aube; the old town of Charleville Mezieres, capital of the Ardennes department; Charles de Gaulle's country residence and burial site, Colombey les Deux Eglises; Reims, with one of the finest medieval cathedrals in France, once the coronation place of French kings, now with one of the best son-et-lumieres in France; Reims' magnificent Roman triumphal arch; Lac du Der, the biggest reservoir in Europe, one of the most important migration routes for Europe's waterfowl, sheltering vast flocks of cranes, passing through in their thousands in spring and autumn; the fortified hill town of Langres, ‘Carcassonne of the North’ - minus the crowds; la foret d'Orient near Troyes and Montagne de Reims, both Regional Natural Parks; river trips along the Seine, the Marne, and the Aube; the 13th century gothic cathedral of Troyes, with its spectacular stained glass windows; autumn wine festivals.

Travel around the Champagne region

The Champagne region is reached very easily from the UK by air and rail. With the most extensive rail network in Western Europe, France is a great country to explore by train. The nationally owned SNCF (Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer) runs fast, efficient services between the main towns. Buses cover the rural areas, but services can be rather sporadic, with departures often at awkward times. To visit Champagne's cellars - the main reason for being here - by far the best option is to rent a car.

Luxury self-drive holiday to the French Alps with overnight stops in Arras, Burgundy and Champagne

Highlights of the French Alps

Walking in Parc National de la Vanoise, France's first national park, studded with peaks, lakes and glaciers, and home to France's largest colony of Alpine ibex; summer skiing in Les Deux Alpes; elegant Chambery with its 14th century castle and enchanting old town; the resort of Les Trois Vallees, offering superb skiing of course, but also wonderful walking in summer, with cable cars whisking even the most indolent right to the top of the mountain ridges; Annecy with its picturesque lakeside setting and medieval villages close by, which you can reach by ferry; fondue and raclette, traditional French Alpine dishes that are an absolute essential, preferably washed down with a sharp Savoy white, in a mountain-top café overlooking the snow-capped summits; cheese-makers right across the region; Grenoble with its small but bustling university-town ambience and superb modern art museum.

Climate of the French Alps

Average air temperatures in Centigrade: Jan: 3.1, Feb: 3.7, March: 7.9, April: 13.8, May: 15.7, June: 22.4, July: 26.8, August: 25.7, September: 22.7, October: 15.9, November: 10.7, December: 6.3. Source: Direction de la Météorologique de France

Luxury self-drive holiday to the French Alps with overnight stops in Arras, Burgundy and Champagne

Highlights of Pas-de-Calais

Seaside towns with fabulous seafood restaurants; Anglo-Norman and Art Deco architecture in the super chic Le Touquit; the castle museum, basilica and belfry of Boulogne-sur-Mer; a stroll along the promenade at elegant Wimereux; St-Omer’s narrow, winding streets, fortified upper old town and 13th century Notre Dame cathedral; the Flemish- baroque Heros and Grande Place squares of Arras, surrounded with cafes selling local gingerbreads, and galleries selling local artwork; the citadel and ramparts of Montreuil-sur-mer; locally brewed beer and cider; visit the crystal glass factory at Arque; Opal Capes and Marshes natural reserve, crisscrossed by waymarked trails; the 500ft sheer chalk cliffs at Cape Blanc-Nez, with footpath running above it.

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