French Tours – Reviews
Read what people say about our French Tours in the South West of France.
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Our tour was based in a charming and very comfortable cottage in an idyllic setting right on the banks of the Charente river . Surrounded by a lovely garden we were only a few minutes walk from the centre of the little village with its friendly locals .
From the first glass of champers and amazing antipasta platter by the river to the final chef catered dinner in the dining room we enjoyed many and varied wonderful meals. Even one in the grounds of a beautiful chateau .
Every day was a new adventure filled with vineyards , restaurants , chateaus , garden shows , markets ( have to be seen to be believed ) marinas , cathedrals and even and underground church .
We couldn't say which day was the best as they were all so interesting and fun .made more so by our perfect hosts Dianne and Peter and our new friends Valerie and Wayne . Lots of laughter , food and wine was shared daily .
For a wonderful taste of France from the Charente to the Loire Valley and the Dordogne we thoroughly recommend Our French Escape Tour .
Testimonial * Wow!! Was our first impression of Les Noisetiers. The house was more enchanting than we had imagined, brimming over with charm and character. The outdoor setting is just as impressive, right beside the Charente River. We really enjoyed kayaking/canoeing on this peaceful river. The tour was a wonderful experience, consisting of a wide variety of sight seeing, where we visited many, very charming little French villages and magnificent chateaux and gardens, combined with excellent food and wine and great company.. Peter and Dianne were the perfect hosts. We felt immersed in the French culture. One of the many highlights for us was the "Ban des Vendanges" festival in St Emilion which marks the official start of the grape harvest. St Emilion is now recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. We would like to sincerely thank Dianne and Peter for a wonderful experience in France. Highly recommended. September 2016.
Our French Escape Tour, based at Les Noisetiers, was the single most enjoyable part of our recent holiday in Europe – and probably our best-ever experience of France, after many years of travelling in and around this beautiful country by car, coach and train. Travelling with three other couples in an eight-seater vehicle was a whole new experience for us and one we enjoyed immensely. Peter is an excellent driver and it was wonderful to sit back and relax, knowing that he was going to get us safely to our destination and that Dianne had every last detail of the day-to-day sightseeing under control. While obviously having done lots of research and planning, including ‘pre-outings’, they still allowed for little variations as needed, according to group wishes or availability of a special event at a particular time. The itinerary was very thoughtfully constructed, to allow for lots of interesting sightseeing, including guided tours at several places, while also retaining a relaxed feel, thanks to some lazy mornings at ‘home’, some free time as a couple on most outings and pleasant evenings having drinks and/or dining outdoors by the river. When a well-travelled friend saw the proposed itinerary, he said “That’s magnificent!” – and it was!
Some of our favourite memories, apart from those already mentioned by other reviewers – all of whose positive comments about the house and village we endorse – were: finally visiting famous places like St Emilion, the Lascaux Caves II and the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Amboise (Loire Valley); wandering around the picturesque villages of St Martin de Re (on an island near La Rochelle), rural Verteuil (on the Charente) and medieval market-town Sarlat (in the Dordogne); lunching in the grounds of a local chateau one day and an abbey the next; dining beside a floodlit chateau on a hill. The list goes on – a range of wonderful experiences that added up to a truly memorable holiday!
We were part of the first small group tour to be run by Dianne and Peter in May 2016. I would recommend it to anyone wanting a relaxing but fascinating 10 day holiday in south western France.
Their hospitality was sensational with their home, Les Noisetiers being not only beautiful and comfortable; every little detail was taken care of. From the fine cotton sheets, fresh croissants for breakfast and even a roaring fire on the last rainy Sunday, nothing was left to chance. Sitting in the garden, next to the river in the evenings with wonderful company, great food and local wines is a memory I will always treasure.
From when Dianne and Peter picked us up from Angouleme Railway Station and returned us there at the end of our trip, the holiday was really well planned, with a varied choice of historical venues, wonderful restaurants and of course the sumptuous outdoor markets on cobbled streets, where we could purchase little treasures to bring home with us.
We explored nearly villages, vineyards, abbeys, chateaux and other historical sites. We were overwhelmed with the history and splendour of these areas.
Peter and Dianne drove us to the island of Il de Re and the town of La Rochelle on the coast and the beautiful Loire and Dordogne valleys to see the natural beauty of these regions. Nothing was too much trouble for our hosts and we've returned home with sumptuous memories of our trip and would love to return one day.
Jan Goldsmith, Brisbane. July 2016.
We have just returned from 10 fabulous days staying at Les Noisetiers in Montinac-Charente. The house was wonderful, full of charm and character, as were Peter and Dianne. The setting in a little french village was full of old world atmosphere. We had a couple of overnight stays away whilst we explored Cognac, LaRochelle, the Loire Valley, Leonardo da Vinci museum, the fabulous markets of Sarlat, and the wineries of St Emilion.The schedule was very comfortably paced, very interesting with wide variety. Peter and Dianne have put a lot of effort and research into providing a unique experience. A great holiday that exceeded our expectations and is highly recommended.