Food & Wine: France through Burgundy & Champagne

10 days / Food & Wine Tours
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About This Experience

Calling all foodies. Treat your taste buds to a tantalizing array of local specialties on this tour through the celebrated regions of Burgundy and Champagne. Sip and savor the best of French cuisine in rustic vineyards and charming villages. End your gastronomical adventure in the country's culinary melting pot. From the bouchons of Lyon to the bistros of Paris, this food and wine tour will satisfy your every appetite.

Your Tour Includes

  • Round-trip airfare & transfers

  • 8 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 2 lunches, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine, 3 wine tastings

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Select entrance fees

How's the weather?

  • Lyon, France
  • Dijon, France
  • Reims, France
  • Paris, France
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Overnight Flight1 night

Day1

Dream of fine wine and sharp cheese on your overnight flight to France

Your trip begins with a regularly scheduled overnight flight to Lyon aboard an internationally recognized airline.

Lyon2 nights - hotel info

Day2

Arrive in Lyon—gastronomy capital of France (and therefore the world)

Breakfast (in flight), Dinner

Welcome to Lyon. A Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport after you clear customs and then escorts you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax or begin acquainting yourself with Lyon. This evening, meet your fellow travelers during your welcome dinner at a bouchon.

Day3

Drink up the landmarks and the labels

Breakfast, Wine tasting

A local guide introduces you to the historical and cultural landmarks of France’s culinary capital. Begin with an exploration of the city’s ancient quarter. Visit the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, Vieux Lyon and the city’s traboules, a series of ancient passageways. This afternoon, transfer to Pérouges for a guided tour and a wine tasting, featuring Beaujolais and the local Cerdon, a sparkling rosé wine.

Dijon2 nights - hotel info

Day4

Travel through Burgundy's picturesque, grape-growing countryside

Breakfast, Dinner

Château de Cormatin

Travel north to Dijon, home of the famed mustard. En route, you’ll stop to take a tour of the Château de Cormatin, an elegant villa surrounded by a moat and formal gardens. Next, visit the picturesque town of Tournus, where you’ll have free time to visit the town’s church and Benedictine abbey. Later, arrive in Dijon in time for an included dinner featuring regional delicacies.

Day5

Feast on boeuf bourguignon and Grand Cru vintages in Dijon

Optional Excursion - Historic Beaune & Burgundy Cellars

Breakfast, Lunch

On today’s tour of the beautiful city of Dijon, stop at the Palace of the Dukes and Estates of Burgundy, the original ducal residence. Next, you’ll take in the Church of Notre-Dame de Dijon and Dijon’s medieval streets. At an included lunch, feast on boeuf bourguignon, a dish that was perfected by peasants but is now served all over France. This afternoon, opt to visit the historic Hospices de Beaune, a charitable hospital founded after the Hundred Years War. The excursion includes a stop along the Routes des Grands Crus to sample some Burgundy wines.

Optional Excursions

Historic Beaune & Burgundy Cellars $75* pp

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.

Reims2 nights - hotel info

Day6

Stop in Chablis for a taste of local whites

Breakfast, Wine tasting, Dinner

Visit the town of Chablis, a quaint town that produces some of France’s finest white wines. Your visit to Chablis includes a wine tasting of a variety of chardonnays. Then, continue on to Reims, home to Taittinger, Mumm, Veuve Clicquot-Ponsardin, Piper-Heidsieck and Ruinart, some of the world’s most famous Champagne estates. Enjoy dinner with your group tonight.

Day7

Wander through the wine cellars beneath the streets of Reims

Breakfast, Wine tasting

Notre-Dame de Reims, Basilica of St. Remy

This morning, a local guide introduces you to the charming city of Reims and Notre-Dame de Reims, the city’s Gothic cathedral. You’ll also visit the Gothic Basilica of St. Remy and pass by the Palace of Tau, a palatial 13th-century Gothic chapel and hall. This afternoon, you’ll tour one of the most reputed wine cellars in Champagne, where you’ll enjoy an included tasting.

Paris2 nights - hotel info

Day8

Peruse the amazing art and historic documents at Chateau de Chantilly

Optional Excursion - Evening in Paris: Dinner & River Cruise

Breakfast, Lunch

Begin your journey to Paris today. Stop en route in Chantilly, where you’ll enjoy an included lunch and a tasting of the town’s famous Crème Chantilly. Head into the center of town to explore the Château de Chantilly and its extensive grounds. You’ll peruse a collection of more than 700 manuscripts and 12,000 volumes—including a Gutenberg Bible—in the château’s library. Its grounds also house the Chantilly Racecourse, the Great Stables and the Living Museum of the Horse. Continue on to Paris, where you can choose to enjoy dinner followed by a scenic cruise along the Seine on our evening optional excursion.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Optional Excursions

Evening in Paris: Dinner & River Cruise $109* pp

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 gloriously illuminated monuments of Paris glittering alongside the riverbanks. Please note: the dress code may vary depending your restaurant, and your Tour Director will advise you on what to wear, but shorts and sneakers are likely to be considered inappropriate attire.

Day9

Browse both banks and fall in love with Paris

Optional Excursion - Versailles Palace & Gardens

Breakfast, Dinner

On today’s tour of Paris, take a drive along the Champs-Élysées, and view sights such as the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Opera House, Place de la Concorde, Louvre and River Seine. This afternoon, you’re free to explore Paris at your leisure, or join the optional excursion to Versailles Palace and gardens. Tonight, relive memories from your journey over a farewell dinner in Paris.

Must be booked 45 days before departure

Optional Excursions

Versailles Palace & Gardens $105* pp

The reign of Louis XIV, known as the “Sun King,” set new standards for decadence among the crowned heads of Europe. It took 50 years and 35,000 workers to turn Versailles, once a small hunting lodge, into the most magnificent château in all of France and the envy of royalty worldwide. On this excursion, you will see the palace in all its glory. Tour the State Apartments and the glittering Hall of Mirrors. Then stroll through the lavish gardens with their fine statuary, splendid fountains and colorful flowerbeds.

Day10

Order your last café au lait and head home

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport and board your flight home, or extend your stay in the City of Light with two more nights in Paris.

Extend Your Stay

Add Paris City Stay $329*

Paris—the city of life, love and light. Not to mention food and wine. From the markets of Le Marais to the bistros of Montparnasse, you'll find beauty, history and delicacies at every turn. So take a seat at a sidewalk café to watch the Parisians do their thing—and don't forget to order something delicious.

Paris2 nights - hotel info

Day10

EXPLORE PARIS' MAJESTIC LANDMARKS AND QUAINT CAFES

Breakfast

Today is free to discover Paris on your own. Explore some of Paris’ eclectic neighborhoods or exceptional museums; or sit at a sidewalk cafe and watch Parisian daily life.

Day11

Indulge in crêpes and éclairs, tarts and torts, parfaits and petits fours

Optional Excursion - Monet & the Landscapes of Giverny

Breakfast

You have another day to play in Paris. This morning, you might choose to venture out of the city on our optional excursion to the village of Giverny, Monet’s hometown. Visit the home and gardens of the Impressionist painter and feast your eyes on the landscapes that inspired him.

Optional Excursions

Monet & the Landscapes of Giverny $85* pp

The village of Giverny was home to Claude Monet from 1883 until his death in 1926. On a visit to Monet's home and gardens, discover the subtle palette of colors that inspired his Water Lilies series and gave rise to a new way of seeing. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs April through October.

Day12

Board your homeward flight and drink a toast to la belle France

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

A Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport where you’ll board your flight home.

Passport & Visa Requirements

In order to enter France, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact the French consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height). Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carryon bag.

Clothing & Packing Tips

We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please be respectful and refrain from baring shoulders or legs when visiting churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling to France. However, be sure to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates.

Cuisine

In Lyon, try the poularde demi-deuil (pullet hen with black truffles), cardoons with bone marrow and chicken liver soufflé, washed down with a bottle of Beaujolais or Côtes du Rhône wine. Burgundy produces some of the best French cheeses. Chaource, a white and creamy cheese, and Époisses, which is made by monks and was a favorite of Napoleon, are only two of the dozens that are specific to the region. They’re best enjoyed with a chilled glass of Chablis. And don’t forget to sample the many varieties of truffles and mushrooms Burgundy is known for. In Champagne, the region’s favorite drink is used to flavor everything from its sauces to its sorbets. The cuisine is rustic—pâtés, black pudding and quenelles, game and rabbit—but in no way does that mean it lacks in flavor or complexity. Also worth trying is andouillette, a chitterling sausage. In restaurants, the prix fixe option is popular, offering a three- or fourcourse menu for a good price.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in Lyon and depart from Paris. Included transportation is by private motor coach. Most of the destinations on tour are best explored on foot, but in Paris you may want to take advantage of the excellent transportation system. Paris’ massive Métro is world-class, easy to navigate and efficient. Make sure to take time and look for the best deal on travel passes. Ask your Tour Director which one might work best. Often the daily passes are not actually the best deal.

Electricity

France operates on the European standard 220 volts.

Time Zones

France is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm in Paris.

Currency

The euro is the currency you’ll be using on your tour. 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. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

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.


5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/16/2012

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

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!!!

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/4/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: AZ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

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!!!!!!

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/4/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Buyer be Aware

Before booking ANY Go Ahead tour I'd recommend asking the question, what percentage of the group with be composed of a single group under one group coordinator? The concept of group coordinators is a GoAhead business plan that is clearly articulated in their promotional material. Good for Go Ahead not necessary for outsiders to the majority group. Go Ahead's business strategy inherently potentially minimizes the overall tour experience for the minority participants who are not be part of the larger "group coordinator" group. This was my GoAhead tour experience on my recent tour. I was part of a group where the vast majority where part of a "group coordinator" group who had a common base of prior relationships and had previously traveled as a group. I must in fairness state I had not encountered being thrown in with a large "group coordinator" group during my previous 2 Go Ahead tours. In essence I as well as a few others simply fill ins for the maximum tour load. While I will not suggest any individual was not friendly or sociable the reality is there is a certain cohesiveness and clique to a group of common bond travelers. The impact is a a very different tour experience relative to human interactions and socialization due to a lack of participant diversity--diversity in the broadest to definitions. In addition a large tour "block" does influence certain aspects of the the tour itinerary. Bottom line, buyer beware of signing up for a Go Ahead tour dominated a a single majority group. The GO Ahead customer incentives are heavy geared and targeted to the group coordinator business model versus the individual purchaser.

3 / 5

Traveled On: 9/27/2013

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

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.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/27/2013

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: NC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Perfect Trip

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!!

review photo

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/26/2013

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: CO

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

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!

4 / 5

Traveled On: 5/10/2013

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: MO

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

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/

review photo

4 / 5

Traveled On: 5/10/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

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

5 / 5

Traveled On: 5/10/2013

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

A Taste of France: Burgundy & Champagne

Our Tour Director, Thierry, was a gem. He could not do enough for us. He was intellegent, full of historical information from the beginning to the end of our trip. Our trip would not have been as great if it were not for him. The Hotel Roosevelt in Lyon was a gem. We loved it. Small, quaint and the staff was most courteous. Wine country was lovely. We especially liked the small towns we stopped at and the Chateaus. The winery in Chablis was my favorite. Beautiful village. Reims was spectacular. Hotel not so great. Overall it was a very good trip. Not enough time in Paris

2 / 5

Traveled On: 9/16/2012

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: NY

Tour Director: 1 / 5

Tour Value: 2 / 5

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