Food & Wine: France through Burgundy & Champagne with Linda Piccolo11 days
Let us handle the details
Expert Tour Director
Sightseeing with local guides
Personalized flight options
On this guided tour, you’ll walk for about 3.5 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with some hills and stairs.
Overnight Flight 1 night
Day 1: Travel day
Board your overnight flight to Paris today.
Paris 2 nights Hotel info
Day 2: Arrival in Paris
Included meals: Dinner
Get acquainted with Paris before meeting your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner.
Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Paris
Included meals: Breakfast
A guided sightseeing tour introduces you to the architecture, scenery and cuisine of the City of Light's many neighborhoods, called arrondissements.
• Drive down the Champs-Élysées to view the Arc de Triomphe
• Pass the legendary Notre-Dame Cathedral, on an island in the Seine River
• See the Eiffel Tower, the Palais Garnier opera house and Place de la Concorde
• Marvel at the eclectic and iconic architecture of the Louvre
• Sample traditional French pastries and cheeses on a culinary walk
Enjoy a free evening or add an excursion.
Optional Excursion - Dinner in Paris & Seine River Cruise $115pp* Details
Take in the nighttime allure of the City of Light on a special evening excursion. The event begins with dinner at a local restaurant. After you dine, board a boat cruise along the Seine. As you coast along the river and under Paris’ bridges, you’ll behold the illuminated monuments of the city glittering alongside the riverbanks. Please note: The dress code may vary depending on the restaurant for your dinner. Your Tour Director will advise you on what to wear, but shorts and sneakers are likely to be considered inappropriate attire.
Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)
Champagne Region 2 nights Hotel info
Day 4: Reims via Chantilly
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
On your way to Reims, part of the famous Champagne region, stop in Chantilly for a tour of the magnificent château and taste of the town’s famous vanilla whipped cream.
Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Reims
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Included entrances: Wine tasting
Explore Reims, home to the world’s most renowned Champagne estates.
• Visit the Gothic-style Reims Cathedral, a UNESCO-recognized site
• Step inside the Basilica of Saint-Rémi, the oldest church in Reims
• Pass by the Palace of Tau, a palatial 13th-century Gothic chapel and hall
• Tour one of the most reputed wine cellars in Champagne, where you’ll enjoy a tasting of the famous bubbly
Burgundy Region 2 nights Hotel info
Day 6: Dijon via Troyes & Chablis
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Included entrances: Wine tasting
Travel through the world-famous Burgundy region.
• Stop in the medieval town of Troyes to admire the unique architecture on a walking tour, followed by free time for lunch
• Visit Chablis, the center of Burgundy’s winemaking heritage
• Enjoy a Chablis tasting paired with a charcuterie board of meats and cheeses
Arrive in Dijon, home of the famed mustard, for an included group dinner.
Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Dijon
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Soak in Dijon’s sights and sample its fare on a guided tour.
• Stop at the Palace of the Dukes and Estates of Burgundy
• Take in the Church of Notre-Dame de Dijon and Dijon’s medieval streets
• At lunch, feast on boeuf bourguignon, a classic French dish
Enjoy a free afternoon or add an excursion.
Optional Excursion - Historic Beaune & Burgundy Cellars $75pp* Details
Nicolas Rolin, the Duke of Burgundy's chancellor, built the Hospices de Beaune in the hope that his good works would earn him a place in heaven. With his wife, Guigone de Salins, Rolin devoted much of his fortune to caring for the thousands who were left poor and starving after the Hundred Years' War. Nearly 600 years later, income from the town’s vineyards along with profits from annual wine auctions continue to fund the organization. You’ll tour the Hospices before enjoying a wine tasting in Beaune's Patriarche wine cellars.
Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $85)
Lyon 3 nights Hotel info
Day 8: Lyon via the Burgundy & Beaujolais Regions
Included meals: Breakfast
Included entrances: Wine tasting
Make your way to Lyon, the gourmet capital of France, with a few stops along the way.
• Journey to the Burgundy region where you’ll take a tour of the Château de Cormatin, an elegant private castle surrounded by a moat and formal gardens
• Visit nearby Tournus to see the town’s Benedictine abbey
• Stop in the Beaujolais region to taste some of the area’s rustic red wines
Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Lyon
Included meals: Breakfast
A local guide introduces you to the country’s culinary capital on a sightseeing tour.
• Take in the Gothic and Renaissance architecture as you pass by the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière
• See Lyon Cathedral and walk through centuries-old traboules, or underground passages
• End your tour in the city’s famous indoor market, Halles de Lyon
• Learn the French art of pastry-making during a cooking lesson with local chefs
Day 10: Free day in Lyon
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Spend the day exploring on your own or add an excursion. Later, say goodbye to your fellow travelers during a farewell dinner at a traditional bouchon restaurant.
Optional Excursion - Medieval Village of Pérouges $59pp* Details
Make your way to the charming village of Pérouges, a favorite among the French for its winding cobblestone streets and medieval architecture. Visit the central Tilleul Square for a panoramic view of the area and explore the Fortress Church of Sainte-Marie Madeleine. After taking in the scenery, stop at a local bakery to sample some of the region’s sweetest specialties. Taste a galette, which is a round, flat tart filled with berries, and hypocras, a spiced wine flavored with honey, ginger, and cinnamon.
Must be booked 20 days before departure
Day 11: Departure
Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)
Transfer to the airport for your flight home or extend your stay to explore Aix-en-Provence.
Add Aix-En-Provence Starting from $859 pp
Aix-en-Provence offers travelers the quintessential charms of Southern France. An ideal city to sit back and enjoy your surroundings in, this extension gives you the chance to savor France’s exceptional scenery and cuisine for three more days.
Aix-en-Provence Region 3 nights Hotel info
Day 11: Travel to Aix-en-Provence
Included meals: Breakfast
Take the high-speed TGV train to Aix-en-Provence, and enjoy a free afternoon or add an excursion.
Optional Excursion - Provençal Dinner & Wine Tasting $105pp* Details
Travel to a rustic Provençal village outside of Aix-en-Provence. Start your evening with a wine tasting at a vineyard followed by dinner at a local restaurant, featuring the traditional herb-accented Provençal dishes for which the region is known.
Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $115)
Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Aix-en-Provence
Included meals: Breakfast
Embark on a guided walking tour of the city to uncover the quintessential charms of Southern France.
• Discover Aix’s beautiful boulevards, the intricate medieval cathedral and enter the former studio of Cézanne
• Depending on the season, your tour may end with a stroll through the city’s vibrant markets to admire fresh flowers, sample the region’s famous herbs and seek out calisson, a traditional Provençal candy
Day 13: Free day in Aix-en-Provence
Included meals: Breakfast
Spend the day exploring on your own or add an excursion.
This evening, enjoy a farewell drink as you celebrate your trip with your fellow group members.
Optional Excursion - Marseille & Cassis: Coastal Cuisine & Cruise $139pp* Details
Spend a day on France’s stunning Mediterranean coast. Your excursion starts in bustling Marseille, where a local guide shows the diverse character of the city. Notre-Dame de la Garde, the artsy quarter of Le Panier and the Old Port highlight Marseille’s rich heritage, while visits to the Euroméditerranée district and the Palais Omnisports show its more modern appeal. After your tour, sit down for an included lunch and get a taste for Marseille’s fresh, flavorful cuisine. In the afternoon, head to nearby Cassis for a scenic boat ride around the dramatic cliffs and calanques that have made this French Riviera city famous.
Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $149)
Day 14: Departure
Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)
Transfer to the Marseille airport for your flight home.
Passport & visa requirements
- In order to enter France, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
- We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
- There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
- If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact your destination country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
- You will walk for about 3.5 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with some hills and stairs.
- Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
- You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times.
- If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
Transportation & arrival information
- Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Paris and depart from Lyon (or Marseille on the tour extension). A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival. For more details, please reference the Paris transfer information included in your Go Kit.
- Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
- The tour extension includes a high-speed TGV train ride between Lyon and Aix. Please note that porterage is not included during this transfer.
- All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
- Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.
- Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that our travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
- One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted.
- Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
Clothing & packing tips
- We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
- A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
- You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
- It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
- There are no major health risks associated with traveling to France.
- At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
- If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
- If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
- For a picnic with French flair, stop at a small grocery store for cheeses, pâtés, cured meats, fresh-baked bread, and fruit. In the cities, sidewalk vendors are known for their steaming crepes, while mouthwatering pastries and hot café au lait beckon from cafes. In restaurants, the prix fixe option is a popular way to enjoy a set three- or four-course menu for a good price.
- Although lunch is generally served from noon until 2pm, dinner is served from 7:30pm onward. Those wishing to eat earlier can stop at a cafe, where light entrées and sandwiches are available throughout the afternoon and evening.
- Some of the must-try local foods on this tour include crepes, croissants, cheeses, Dijon mustard, beef bourguignon, macarons, and lyonnaise potatoes (which you can try at a traditional restaurant, or bouchon, in Lyon).
- France's wine regions offer some of the most famous varietals in the world, from sparkling white wine in Champagne and fruity reds in Beaujolais to pinot noir and chardonnay in Burgundy.
Electricity & air conditioning
- France operates on the European standard 220-240 volts and uses Types C, E, or F plugs with two small, round pins.
- We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other electrical device without a built-in converter.
- The majority of the hotels on this tour will have air conditioning. The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
- Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
- Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
- There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
- Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
- France is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET).
- When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm in Paris.
- You will use the euro in France.
- Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
- We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
- You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
- Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
- International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
- At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
- We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
- If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
- Tips can only be paid in cash.
Purchasing excursions on tour
- Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on your tour.
- Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa or MasterCard as payment for optional excursions.
- Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
- Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.
International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates, and prices.
See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.
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While I enjoyed my food and wine tour in France, the food was just okay. Because food and wine was to be the main theme of this tour I expected more. Many of the meals were just a duplicate of the last. Variety was lacking. I like snails but... My previous Italy food and wine tour was unforgetable. My tour guide was very knowledgeable and helpful, but if he chose the restaurants/meals...
Dear Linda, Thank you for your review. We regret to hear that the food did not meet your expectations. We appreciate your feedback and take it very seriously. We will be sure to communicate your concerns to our team internally in order to evaluate the itinerary. That said, we are glad to hear that you enjoyed the tour itself. Again, thank you for sharing your experience, and we hope to welcome you on tour again.
Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | May 24, 2016
Don't go in July!!
Let me begin by saying I had a great time on this tour. Our tour director was Christophe and nothing more could be asked from a tour director--in many ways your tour director determines your experience. However, he can't change the weather and July is a brutal month in France! Hotels and restaurants are not cooled as they are in America, and being hot during the day is tolerable, but being hot at night is difficult. Since this was a "food and wine" tour, I expected the quality of the food in covered meals to be better. When we ate on our own, our food was superb. The tour restaurants were unique and picturesque and we were treated wonderfully, but the food was only passable. LOTS of low quality food. The wine tasting experience was much better. When you are at a winery that does not export--buy a bottle to take home! You'll regret it if you don't.
Dear Jo, Thank you very much for traveling with us to France, and partaking in this culinary experience! We are so happy that you had a great time on the tour, and that Christophe was a model Tour Director. We are sorry to learn that the extreme heat wave in Europe this summer may have affected your experience. The weather in this region is typically much more mild during July, and some restaurants and hotels may have been caught off-guard by the unusual heat. We are surprised to learn that you were not entirely impressed with the meal inclusions on tour. Past travelers from this tour typically rate these meals very well, and feedback is generally positive. We have informed our Operations Team that manages our relationship with these restaurants of your experience, and we will continue to monitor traveler feedback. Thank you very much for your review, and we hope to welcome you onto another Go Ahead tour in the future!
Posted by Katie, Manager of Quality Control | September 11, 2015
The Real France - Insiders Wine & Food Adventure
Wow! What a fabulous experience. From Paris to the countryside and beyond ,this tour offers an in-depth cultural and visual French experience. The small group experience was perfect for this adventure. Our tour director, Christophe, and driver, Manny, were the icing on the cake. Our group of 20 were treated to an insiders food, wine, culture and visual tour of Burgundy and Champagne. Every day included a wine tasting and/or regional meals. The accommodations were good with excellent locations. Highlights included a fresh market picnic lunch in Paris, champagne tours, escargot appetizers, wine tasting after wine tasting and much more. Our pastry experience, making macaroons, was a tasty delight. This tour is perfect for the first time France traveler or like my husband and myself, third timers. If you love food, wine and France this is the tour for you. Additionally, Tiffany, our tour consultant was helpful when it came to arranging our extended stays.
Wonderful Staff, Food and Wine aspect needs fine tuning
This is a solid tour that could be even better. The itinerary has been intelligently plotted out and we thoroughly enjoyed the wit, expertise, guidance, and care of our superb tour director, Jean-Jacques and driver, Emmanuel. Ample free time to explore on our own was built in. The tour is billed as a "food and wine" experience. The food and wine component could be strengthened. The optional evening dinner in Paris was the only total misfire, at Les Noces de Jeannette, where we were served wine judged collectively to be undrinkable. Jean-Jacques, never at a loss, out of his own pocket, came to the rescue with a superb full-flavored Rasteau from Cote du Rhone, redeeming the evening, but the management's indifference to our plight was still a downer. The set welcome dinner in Paris was a perfect example of bistro dining, featuring fine fare and an entertaining staff of servers who joined in and promoted the merriment. The dinners in Reims and Lyon were memorably delicious with a choice of equally enticing entrees and desserts provided with exceptional service, quietly competent in Reims and Latinly enthusiastic in Lyon. Dijon, too, offered typical and delectable beef bourgignon and escargot, but the sole server seemed overwhelmed by the number of clients. The wine part needs rethinking. We visited four wineries, rated on the Go Ahead 1 to 10 scale for historical interest and quality of wine: Mercier (affiliated with Moet) Champagne cellars in Epernay, history 8, wine 5; Jean Marc Brocard in Chablis, history 10, wine 10; Patriarche Pere et Fils in Beaune history 9, wine 5; Caveau Morgon in Morgon, Beaujolais, history 4, wine 1. Several of us are deep into wine and would have preferred the unalloyed excellence of the Brocard experience at the other stops. The Brocard visit was personal and about a family's devotion to their land and pursuit of adventure and quality. The other stops were the equivalent of visiting a Gallo or Almaden for a winery experience in California, impersonal and aimed more at inebriating a busload of tourists than nurturing the pursuit of fine wine. There was a pastry lesson in Lyon in the art of making a French Macaroon, a lot of fun for everyone, sort of like gingerbread houses for grown ups. The optional tour to the medieval village Peyrouges on the border between Lyon and Savoy was a historical and culinary adventure that should not be passed up. The Cave at St Vincent in the village square sells an unbelievably savory and grapey Mondeuse (rare grape -- close kin to Syrah) for under 10 Euro. All the local guides were extraordinary, especially Andre in Reims and the owner of Chateau Cormatin. The Chateau at Chantilly was a feast for an art historian and the lunch provided in Chantilly town at a Creperie/Galetterie was utterly scrumptious.
Outstanding Tour Director and Bus Driver!
Our Tour Director "JJ" and our Bus Driver "Emmanuel" were outstanding! We enjoyed being in a small group of people who enjoyed each other's company. JJ and Emmanuel provided a great combination of professionalism and friendliness.Touring the vineyards in the Champagne and Burgundy areas was a great experience as was touring the several beautiful cathedrals and chateaux. The Surrender Museum in Reims should be included as part of this tour. We had wonderful weather and the French countryside is worth the trip by itself. We had several good local guides. Sebastian was an excellent guide at the Jean Marc Brocard vineyard in Chablis. We enjoyed the many wine tastings. The French food was wonderful but the meals are so filling that Go Ahead Tours should avoid including both a large lunch and dinner on the same day. The wine served with our food varied from not good to okay. The restaurant (It had an accordion player.) that was part of our "Dinner & River Cruise" served wine that should not be used again. The wine was really bad.
Great exposure to Fench wine and food!
France has the potential for many memorable cultural, wine and food memories. This tour excelled in all 3 areas and much credit for these many great memories goes to Tour Director "J.J.", who managed the many details of the tour in a very thorough manner. Many times he went the extra mile to insure that requests were fulfilled. Of particular note were the excellent wine tastings and a 5 star rating goes to Domaine Jean-Marc Brochard in Chablis. The visit to Domaine Mercier in Epernay for the champagne tasting was exceptional too. I will have memories to enjoy for many years! Paul
Overall, this was a great trip. "JJ",our Tour Director was absolutely outstanding. I would like to suggest that future tours include more time in Paris. We did Paris beforehand on our own and that was fine but, time there as part of the tour might give it wider appeal. I also recommend including the Surrender Museum in Reims as part of the tour. "JJ" made it possible for us to visit this by our special request. Please upgrade the quality of wines served with the included dinners. The wine served with the Dinner and River Cruise in Paris was undrinkable. The wine at the farewell dinner was almost as bad. For a Food & Wine Tour, the expectation certainly is for a better quality of wine. Last suggestion is to not include both lunch and dinner on the same day. It is just too much for most people. Otherwise, I certainly recommend this Tour.
It was a really good trip because we saw and did so much. All very worth while, and very good value for money. Brenda and Walton Rawls
Best Tour Director`
Our tour director was great. He was always there to help us and answer questions. When we went out on our won, he made sure we didn't get lost.
Trip of a Lifetime!
We just returned from the Taste of Burgundy tour, and we had an amazing time. Our tour director Jean Jacques was outstanding. We were a little apprehensive about booking this as we are in our early 30's and on our honeymoon, but it turned out we had a great group and were not even the youngest travelers. The way the tour was set up gave us the perfect amount of free time, but JJ often offered to take the group on excursions during the free time, which was a great option, and perfect for the single travelers. We had the time of our life, and we look forward to booking with Go Ahead again soon!
Best Tour & Bus Directors
Excellent tour director! Thierry went out of his was to be sure the group and each individual were comfortable & having a great time. Informatively he was the best source and really made us appreciate the tour. Hotels were satisfactory, but the Nortel in Paris was the not the best to get around from & breakfasts were generally cold. However, the staff were very helpful. Our tour bus driver, Emanuel, was exceptional as well, and his info of the regions were welcome. His bus tour through Paris was far better than the one provided with the Paris guide. Overall, restaurants were excellent with the exception of 2. Tours of Lyon, Dijon, Chablis, Reims, Chantilly were fantastic! Thanks to Thierry & Emanuel!!!
Tour director and guides can't be topped
This tour was an opportunity to visit an area of France which I will probably never experience again, so I wanted/hoped it would give me enough information and scenery to last a LONG time. Not only was this tour extensive with the usual known tourist spots, but it added Perouge, Chablis and Chantilly..... those little villages you'll never forget. Thierry, our director, was so knowledgeable and interesting and he even extended himself to our free time, if we needed him. The other guides that were selected by Go Ahead were exceptional and knew their subjects to the letter. The venues were also perfect.......old charm to modern Paris. I never dreamed I would know France so well in just 11 days. I highly recommend the wine tasting......all done in the most charming and professional settings. I came away with favorites and a better understanding of wine-making. The bistros and brasseries we tested ranged from elegant to eclectic! My thanks to everyone at Go Ahead!!!!!!
excellent tour director and bus driver
The tour was excellent and JJ was the same. He went above and beyond the call to make certain everyone was a part of the group, when there was a question or someone wished to go somewhere different from the group, he assisted with a smile on his face and few additional items of interest for the area. The bus driver was an excellent addition to the tour as he spoke English and assisted JJ many times with places to go and help for the persons in the group. Both did so with smiles on their faces and a desire to share France with us.
We just returned and were totally pleased by all the aspects of the Taste of France: Burgundy and Champagne Tour. The sights, the vineyards and tasting, and the restaurants exceeded our expectations. And most importantly, Jean-Jacques, our tour director, was superb, both professionally knowledgeable and extraordinarily thoughtful and caring of all in the group. Emmanuel, our driver, was excellent as well. We enjoyed the many interactions we had with so many of the people traveling with the group. Thanks, JJ and GoAhead ... we had a wonderful vacation!!
Not a foodie or a wine lover
While I am not a foodie or a wine lover, I decided to take the Burgundy and Champagne tour, because I love France and this was an area that I had not been to before. My main focus was the history of the area, the architecture, and the culture of Burgundy. Our tour guide, JJ (Jean-Jacques), the Tour Guide of tour guides, and our chauffeur de bus, Emanuel, were excellent and worked tirelessy to assist each traveler. We laughed so much! The local guides for Lyon, Dijon, Reims, the Chateau de Cormatin, etc. were also wonderful, especially in Dijon. In fact, when we finished our tour in Dijon, the whole group was thunderstruck by what a wonderful tour and guide we had there, I am sure the group understood why I came! As for the food and wine. This, I am certain, did not disappoint! Each meal included in the tour was incredible, even the lunches. The wine tastings were fun and the visit to Moet et Chandon was so interesting. I am happy to say that I learned much about wine/champaigne, including that is a grape with my last name that is used in making Moet et Chandon!
Delicious and Memorable Tour
What better way to spend ten days in mid-May than eating and drinking your way through France?! This tour is very well planned. There was not a bad restaurant on the itinerary. The wine tastings were all enjoyable and enlightening. The local guides were excellent. The hotels were convenient, clean, and the rooms spacious (for European hotels). The hotel breakfasts offered lots of options. The staff who served us–waiters, guides, housekeepers–were all kind and dedicated to our having an enjoyable vacation. My only complaints, which I expressed to GoAhead in my evaluation, were the farewell dinner menu and the guided tour of Paris. The dinner menu was set - no choice for the diner - and didn't make allowances for personal preferences or food allergies/sensitivities. The small bus for the guided tour offered limited sightlines and the guide was very difficult to understand. That was two hours of my life I'll never get back (in Paris, of all places!). The only reason I didn't give this tour five stars is it was–if you can imagine–too busy. We were go-go-go from 8:30/9:00 to 10:00/11:00 every day. No surprise many of us fell asleep every time we were on the bus. But, as I reviewed the itinerary at the close of the trip, I can't imagine what event I'd want to remove. The tour has a lot of walking. If you have knee or foot issues, this may not be the tour for you. I loved the tour and will carry the memories with me for years to come. I have blogged about the trip here: http://jancrews.com/travel/a-taste-of-france-2013/
Paris at night!
I really enjoyed A Taste of Burgundy and Champagne tour. Very nice hotels, delightful included lunches and dinners, and wonderful wine tastings. The tour is excellent because Jean-Jacques (the guide) is excellent. We were quite a small group as tours go (14). Not enough members of our group had signed up for the Evening of Paris boat cruise. But, Jean-Jacques made it happen, anyway! He chose an outstanding restaurant for those who wanted to go, he took us to the boat, and he did the cruise with us. Paris at night from the river Seine is amazing to behold. I loved Perogues, Beaune, Chablis, the castle in Chantilly, and the lunch in Senlis that Go Ahead forgot to include. Another guest and I pointed out to Jean-Jacques that the literature stated an "included lunch," and he made it happen! It was awesome. I know it was a "hassle" for him (inside language joke), but he is one terrific guide. No one else could make "Montmartre" sound like WalMart! The best thing about the included lunches and dinners is that you were given choices for each course. I had foie gras, escargot, duck, sweetbreads, ....and so much more. And, for reasons unknown, the pomme frites are so much better in France! Merci beaucoup, Jean-Jacques! Ed
Thierry Was Amazing!!
Our tour director, Thierry is very friendly, accomodating and efficient!! He executed the entire tour with such ease and charm!! The itinerary was superb, however, Chantilly could skipped over for an extra day in Paris which is the piece de resistance of the trip. The food and wine tastings were phenomenal and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I have to say that my favorite place would have to be Peruges!!! Fabulous!!! I would go again and again and again!!!
Tour of France
This being my first trip abroad, I can now say what all the hub-bub is about when someone mentions going to Europe. France was a delight from beginning to end. I am now reading about the country and will continue to do so until my next trip abroad wherever that might be. I plan to travel with Go Ahead in the future. Thank you for making my first voyage a memorable one.
Know before you go
I enjoyed the tour very much, but the very early days do wear a person down by the 11th day. It would be nice to have one late day (leaving at 10 am) during the tour. Our guide was very flexible and accommodating, but a little disorganized.....but I am a little tough on that aspect. All in all, it was wonderful.