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Self-driving Agrotourism holiday in the heart of France

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Lyon - Feurs - Roffiac - Saint Amant de Coly - Monpazier - Courbiac - Toulouse

11 days
This circuit of 11 days explores the creative agricultural heartland of France, it’s terroir and cuisine. This agrotourism itinerary takes you across 5 beautiful regions in the centre of France : the Forez – the Cantal – the Périgord Noir – the Pays des Bastides and the Quercy.
1190 €
Price per person

Presentation

This circuit of 11 days explores the creative agricultural heartland of France, it’s terroir and cuisine. This agrotourism itinerary takes you across 5 beautiful regions in the centre of France : the Forez – the Cantal – the Périgord Noir – the Pays des Bastides and the Quercy.
In each region you’ll stay in a farmstay and be hosted in half board at the table of your hosts. In this way you will discover the daily way of life of each farm, the local traditions used by the producers and taste the produce, handmade “a l’ancienne” by workers who love their trade and who wish to share it.

The phenomenon of agritourism—or agrotourism, or rural tourism, or farm stays, farmhouse B&Bs, or whatever you choose to call the chance to stay on a working farm—has been growing in Europe since the 1990s.  Agrotourism, gets you up close with the rural heart of Europe. In this package you don’t even have to milk the goats for cheese or stomp the grapes for wine (though sometimes being a temporary farm hand for fun is an option).

You can spend your days freely travelling across te region and discover all of what this little known region offers : hikling in the Livradois-Forez regional park; visit the Château de la Bastie d'Urfé ; contemplate the grandeur of the volcanoes in Auvergne ; see the visaduc de Garabit, ( a work of Gustave Eiffel), try some refined cheersse in Saint Flour ; stroll through the valley of Vézère listed as worled heritage by UNESCO; visit the cave paintings in Lascaux; take on a river in the canoe; hike through the village de Monpazier “listed as one of the most des beautiful villages of France”; taste local produce at one of many weekly fresh food markets: foie gras, duck, cèpes musghroomes and truffles, cabécou cheeses, walnuts, prunes, strawberries... or simply rest at the side of a lake or mountain stream or winding river.

We propose a self-guided tour guided by our tried and tested roadbooks.

Our customized roadbooks include all the information you need (and more) to spend a holiday in France without worries, including a detailed daily programme with day by day stages with:

  • A detailed day by day itinerary, the distances, the expected driving time as well as directions between two sites to visit
  • A selection of highly recommended visits that have een chosen for their historical, cultural or contemporary interest. These will help you build your day’s itinerary in complete freedom to choose
  • The addresses of recommended restaurants, local specialties, Michelin-starred restaurants, exceptional spots…
  • The address of the best shops for local supplies and gifts
  • A road map with your suggested itinerary


After confirming your reservation we will send you within 48 hours a confirmation email. You will find:

  • Our confirmation of the availability
  • Your VOUCHER (to print) to handover
  • Detailed information about your service
  • The confirmation of your payment.
  • Your credit card will be charged at confirmation of the availability of the service

Lyon - Feurs - Roffiac - Saint Amant de Coly - Monpazier - Courbiac - Toulouse

Day 1 and Day 2 LYON - FOREZ
Arrive at the Airport of Lyon.
Welcome and greeting by our local correspondent, who will help you get your rental car.
Handover of the Roadbook, maps and vouchers in a paper version (you will have already had a .pdf version sent to you)
Small presentation of you holiday and last advice for ghow to have a successful voyage.

Head towards the region of Forez and your accommodation for 2 nights.
Around 1h45 and 120km of driving.

You'll find the very best of Mother Nature in the Livradois-Forez regional park, as well as a rich variety of industrial skills, a precious local heritage which has been carefully adapted and passed down from generation to generation, always with that same warmth and innovation.

The rolling hills and mountains of the Livradois-Forez are also perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, or even winter sports. An impressive area with an unspoiled natural setting and one well worth a visit. Situated two hours from Lyon, not far from the towns of Vichy, Clermont-Ferrand and Le Puy-en-Velay, and comprised of 180 districts in the départements (counties) of the Puy-de-Dôme and the Haute-Loire, Livradois-Forez is one of France's largest regional nature parks. It covers more than 320,000 hectares (790,737 acres) and has 110,000 inhabitants.

The beauty of the Livradois-Forez landscape and the richness of its fauna and flora have been shaped by the area’s high altitudes, numerous waterways and varied terrain. Discover the area on foot, by bike, on horseback, or on snowshoes!  Another way to see the landscapes of the Livradois-Forez is on the Agrivap Tourist Train. From Courpière to Ambert and on to La Chaise-Dieu, take a ride along the Dore River for views of the Livradois et Forez Mountains.  
Enjoy a roadtrip along the "Route des Métiers" (Auvergne Trades Trail) and discover the local artisans keeping alive the traditions of the area. Devoted to knife making from the 14th century onwards, the Thiers area has emerged as the country's cutlery capital and produces 70% of the knives manufactured in France.

Near Ambert the Moulin Richard-de-Bas mill has been making paper since the 15th century in tune with the seaons: hand-made white paper in the winter, and paper dotted with fresh flowers in the summer.
In addition to crafts, the area is also home to unique local edible produce. In Ambert and the surrounding area, stop in to a farm to taste Fourme d'Ambert, one of the five AOP cheeses of Auvergne. Find out more at the Maison de la Fourme d'Ambert.
Billom, in the heart of the area known as the Tuscany of Auvergne, is known for its pink garlic, honored the second week of August each summer. And further north, the town of Chateldon is home to a prestigious sparkling water of the same name.
Beautiful churches in breathtaking landscapes dot the park, such as the painted church of Glaine-Montaigut in the northwest corner of the Livradois-Forez. Saint-Martin Church in Courpière is roman church rebuilt during the gothic period. And the most famous is the Saint-Robert Abbey in La Chaise-Dieu, which holds a world-renowned music festival each August. At the very east of the park is the Jasserie du Coq Noir, a former farm offering workshops, concerts and shows. Alors, have a great trip...with the help of our ROADBOOK

Your accommodation:
Farm-stay in Forez
This farm is located in the Forez Mountains at the gates of Auvergne in a village that dates back to 1530. This region has been the cradle of a dairy industry (both sheep and cows). It’s here where cheese ‘Fourme de Montbrison’ as well as Forez wine is made. This farm undertakes organic farming and has been in the same family since 1790.
This farm personifies the word tradition.  It is built from traditional materials, and breeds all its own animals: piglets, chickens, cows, geese and ducks roam with an exceptional view over the village.
The comfortable rooms have an attached toilet and bathroom. There
There is a living area to relax in, a kitchen available and an outside terrace with garden furniture. The area is ideal for hiking, (you can find a hiking guide who will be happy to show you around the region and show its traditions). On site you can communicate with your hosts in French and English.

Dinner with your hosts: The menus are prepared with organic farm products and local specialties and they consist of a starter, meat, vegetables, cheese and dessert. The meal is taken with the family.

Leisure activities possible on site or nearby:

  • Farm visits
  • Visit a rural museum
  • The Ski station of Chalmazel
  • The village of Montbrison    
  • The village of Ambert (Puy de Dôme)
  • The Richard de Bas paper mill
  • The train line Livradois-Forez
  • The Château de la Bastie d'urfé


Day 3 and Day 4 FOREZ – CANTAL
Head towards the Cantal in Auvergne, and your accommodation for the next two nights.
Around 2h15 or 160 km of driving.

Renowned for its cheese, Cantal's green pastures surround the largest volcano in Europe. At the Lioran, explore the largest skiable zone of the Massif Central. Drive your way across this culinary wonderland. In Salers, dive into the history of a village...and a majestic horned beast!

Cantal gives you the desire to fully immerse yourself in a ‘natural journey’ through the heart of the volcanos and finest spring waters of all Auvergne. The hills, mountains, lakes and rivers invite you to partake in many activities: hiking, fishing, horse riding, cycling, mountain biking or cycling. As well as downhill or cross country skiing ... the discovery of these spots is always authentic.
Go hike the Puy Mary, a "Grand Site National" or, appreciate the built heritage that will surprise you, like the Garabit Viaduct, designed by Gustave Eiffel, as the quality and variety of novels sites.

All activities, are within your reach in the Cantal department. The purity of the nature, the quality of local goods, and the friendly exchanges with locals means you will appreciate all that the Cantal Auvergne has to offer…Get exploring... with the help of our ROADBOOK.

Your accommodation:
Ferme des Monts du Cantal
This farm is managed by three generations of women who simply cannot do enough for you when you arrive. On arrival in the volcanic massif this farm is typical of the Cantal and has many separate agritourism activities on the site of operation.
On site you can if you want purchase: Yellow lentils, Terrine made by farmers from Cantal and Saint-Nectaire, Yellow lentil jam, mountain honey, and an artisanal range of aperitif drinks.
The comfortable rooms each have a bathroom and toilet. The lounge has a cozy fireplace, a well-stocked bookshelf and breakfast is of course served fresh every morning .
The breakfasts are toasted bread, homemade cakes, brioche, cereals, homemade jams, orange juice and a choice of tea, coffee, chocolate or tea.
On site there is a spa with a capacity of up to 7 people (supplement payable locally).

Dinner: menus are developed based on farm products and local specialties and they consist of a starter, meat, vegetables, cheese and dessert and wine is included in the meal.
Some local specialties: stuffed cabbage, yellow lentils from Saint-Flour, truffles, aligot, cold cuts of ham, coupétade, and pachade. Bonne degustation!

Leisure activities possible on site or nearby:
In a radius of 30kms of the farmstay you’ll find rich heritage sites and pristine natural lands including:

  • Medieval city of Saint-Flour (museum, cathedral)
  • Murat (The Bredons church, The Fauna museum)
  • The Garabit Viaduct (built by Gustave Eiffel)
  • The Château d'Alleuze, built over the Granval river
  • The geothermal hotpools at the Source du Par (82°, the hottest in Europe)
  • The Plomb du Cantal, the Puy Mary, the col de Prat-de-Bouc
  • The EcoMuseum of the Margeride, the Mont Mouchet


Day 5 and Day 6 CANTAL – PERIGORD NOIR
Head towards the Perigord Noir and your accommodation for the next two nights.
Around 2h45 or 240 km of driving.

Périgord is indeed in the perfect spot – on the 45th parallel – explaining its superb temperate climate.Nature has sheltered people here for nearly 400,000 years now. The shelters and ornate caves in the Vézère River valley – including Lascaux, one of the best-known exponents worldwide – are the earliest signs of the artistic and spiritual insights that stirred our now well-known-ancestors.
The churches here bear roman art’s unmistakeable hallmarks. The Hundred Years’ War in the Middle Ages brought fierce clashes between the Kingdom of France and the English Monarch – and bequeathed this area the imposing fortresses and beautifully-kept fortified towns you can explore and enjoy today.
The Renaissance brought peace, ushered out gothic architecture, and ushered in beautiful homes that rank on a par with the Loire Valley chateaux. The centuries that followed enriched this area with countless influences. History’s periods intertwine endlessly here today.

Perigord has one other reputation; traditional cuisine. Time has embarked Périgord on a journey back to Eden. Its people’s curiosity, talent, genius and penchant for epicurean delights have turned this area into one of the world’s gastronomic hotspots over the centuries – and indeed millennia.
Early prehistoric hunter-gatherers lived off – or rather survived thanks to – the natural surroundings. Then came the joys of sharing nature’s bounty. Périgord’s soil has spawned an amazing garden where chestnuts and strawberries grow alongside the well-known black diamonds, those mysterious mushrooms that botanists call melanosporum.
The secrets behind the tourain blanchi à l’ail, truffle omelette or nut oil, the skill required to harvest porcini and chanterelle mushrooms, the art of preparing poultry, and the art of making, cooking and relishing foie gras in all its forms, have handed down from generation to generation. And anyone can enjoy this ancestral heritage that passing years have preserved.
There something at once urbane and eminently commonplace about this alchemy. The dishes our grandmothers prepared and honed to perfection do fine dining proud. But they were not princely feasts at first: they slowly turned this region’s people into discerning aristocrats who relish ever-renewed taste-bud-tingling experiences.
And we will always be happy to share this land’s memorable treats and secrets…see our ROADBOOK for daily ways to optimize your holiday.

Your accommodation:
Farm in Périgord
This farmstay is located in the heart of the Dordogne only 5 km from the Lascaux Caves  in the Vézère Valley; 15 km from Sarlat and situated a few hundred meters from the village of Saint Amand de Coly (one of the most beautiful villages in France).
It is a working farm producing nuts and its by-products, oils, sweets, nuts in chocolate and it is possible to visit the oil mill and the "nutty workshop".
The location of the farm, provides quick access to attractions Perigord (the gardens of Eyrignac, Eyzies, the Dordogne and Vézère valleys, the castles of Beynac, Castelnaud, Milandes, Hautefort, and the cities of Perigueux, Brantome, Bourdeille, Bergerac, and Monbazillac) but also the sites of neighboring and nearby departments, such as the Corrèze and the Lot (must see: Rocamadour and Souillac, Turenne, Collonges la Rouge).
Located in the Perigord countryside, this farm is a perfect starting base for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, canoe trips; to access the various theatre or classical music festivals... or just do nothing at all by the poolside!
The rooms are equipped with completely separate bathrooms (WC is separate from the bathroom) with available towels. All rooms are equipped with twin beds.
Breakfast of coffee, chocolate or tea, all served with slices of toast spread with homemade jam.
The schedules are very flexible and allow you to fully enjoy your stay on the farm.
There is an on-site swimming pool and a paddling pool for children.

Dinner: The host shares the evening meal with the guests (except Saturdays) at the communal table. The purpose of these meals is to make you discover and appreciate the traditional family cooking. It is also a time to get to know and explain what makes the Perigord so special and answer your various questions. Warning! Some evenings end in really great mood so  get ready to enjoy a good laugh!
Meals are made with vegetables and fruit from the garden and meat from poultry (chickens, ducks, rabbits).

Day 7 and Day 8 PERIGORD NOIR – PAYS DES BASTIDES
Head towards the south of Perigord and the Pays des Bastides, and your accommodation for the next two nights.
Around 1h10 or 70 km of driving.

In between the larger towns of Sarlat and Bergerac, a little way from Villeneuve sur lot, and of Cahors the village of  Monpazier proposes numerous riches for its visitors. Monpazier is labelled a "Grand site national", it has no less than 32 listed buildings and is regarded as the prime example of a "bastide" among the 300 in South-western France. Monpazier has had countless awards to salute, but also to protect, the outstanding heritage of this fortified village that was founded by Edward I of England in 1284.
The elvation of the village to a grand nationl site allows the preservation and enhancement of this unique architectural and urban heritage. Chateau Biron was the seat of one of four barons in Périgord: all types of architecture are represented, the keep from the 12th century, buildings from the 18th, through to the Renaissance apartments and chapel. Other assets can be discovered: 15 churches in the canton (13 of which are Romanesque), there are many artists and craftsmen, producers, markets, guided tours, and archaeological digs.
It is also a land of gastronomy and culinary tradition, the Bastide Country happily continue to cultivate local products that have made its reputation: foie gras, duck breast, confit, porcini, truffles, cabécou cheese, walnuts, plums, strawberries ... From producer to the restaurateur, local products pass table to the delight pupils and taste buds! So good exploration ... with the help of our ROADBOOK.

Your accommodation:
Farm-stay in Monpazier
Simone and Jeannot welcome you to their 13th century farmhouse in the heart of Bastide Country. You will enjoy their warm welcome; the views over Monpazier and the quiet that surrounds the farm.  Nature is all around with many hiking trails on site. Farmyard animals and the nice dog Sassy the border collie.
Many sites to visit nearby: Castles, Old towns, abbeys, prehistoric caves, forests, landscapes, nature ...
The guest rooms are either double or twin, with toilet and bathroom in each room.

Dinner:
Simone offers the guests products from the farm and vegetable garden and orchard, this is served at the family table with the owners.

Day 9 and Day 10 PAYS DES BASTIDES – QUERCY
Head towards Quercy and your accommodation for the next two nights.
Around 1h10 or 70 km of driving.

One of the most beautiful regions of France, the Pays de Serres, at the edge of old regions of Quercy and Gascony, offers a variety of landscapes with green valleys, vineyards, on a limestone plateau with dry grasslands.  It is an area rich in flora and fauna. At the geographic threshold of the midi (basically the South of France), the region is of great historical and cultural interest with its country houses, castles, farms, picturesque villages, cultural shows, markets, museums and exhibitions.
The bulk of economic activity is related to agriculture and that makes this visit perfect for agrotourism. The subsoil is rich in water, the farms are efficiently located in the center of the land they cultivate. They thus appear to be isolated in the countryside and so have organized across past centuries to live autonomously. The farms are therefore genuine small hamlets all to themselves with a house, barn, annex residential buildings for workers, equipment shed and usually a dovecote.
Staple crops are different sorts of wheat and barley and sunflowers lavish the landscape in July. Many farmers obtain additional income, and are forced to undertake in addition to cereal production, other high-value activities such as asparagus, melons, beets, corn seed, plum and prune production, livestock feeding and processing of ducks.
Many of these crops are regional, and not cultivate elsewhere. Farmers will be happy to explain them, and some sell their products directly from the farm. Enriching meetings are guaranteed.
Thus, the Quercy will offer you a rich experience... with the help of our ROADMAP.

Your accommodation:
Chateau based Farm-stay
Your accommodation for these two nights is in a medieval castle in the heart of nature, surrounded by 56 hectares of organic farmland.
The conservation of old Aquitaine and existing flora and fauna races is paramount to the owners. The atmosphere of the farm and the natural site is more Mediterranean, but the diversity of the habitats - fertile valleys, swamps, woods, dry grasses, on a limestone plateau - allows greater natural wealth than would a more southerly located property.
To ensure this compatibility between nature and agriculture, no herbicides or insecticides are used on the property. Domestic breeds selected for breeding are compatible with dry grasslands and dense vegetation, typical of the region.
The main activity of the farm is the breeding of sheep, but in the yard there are various other domestic animals: hens and turkeys roam freely, ducks and geese wander are near the stream and ponds, rabbits are enclosed, and goats chomp lazily on green grass.
While trying to provide the guests healthy products each night, the owners are involved in the conservation of ancient races of sheep and work in connection with the conservatory of breeds of Aquitaine.
The spacious rooms, with stone walls and large beams, are furnished with antiques, while the tranquility is only interrupted by the song or cry of a bird or animal.
You also have the possibility (for those who want to) to participate in everyday life in the countryside in a rural setting. A large pool awaits those others.

Dinner:
Family meals at the guest table. Regional, traditional and Mediterranean style cuisine.
At the table each night you can taste the farm and vegetable products as well as local wine. Food is organic or "controlled origin" and there is the ability to offer vegetarian meals to those who request it.

Leisure activities possible on site or nearby:

  • Canoeing  or kayaking on the Lot river
  • Wine tasting
  • Foie gras tasting at the museum
  • Prunes tasting at the museum of prune
  • Visits to castles, country houses, caves, museums,
  • Lakes for swimming (5 km)
  • Gourmet and family restaurants


Day 11 QUERCY – TOULOUSE – DEPARTURE
Head towards Toulouse Airport.
Around 1h35 or 110 km of driving.

Drop your vehicle back at the airport or train station.
Flight or train back to your home base.

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If you need any services, please contact us : info@objectiffrance.com

Commitments Objectif France
Our team is here to make your holiday a success and meet all your expectations. Every detail is important in the organization and undertaking of your stay. Objectif France will accompany you in the process of organizing your trip in France.

Anything else we can help you with?
Remember that Objectif France is an incoming tour operator who creates discovery trips in France and across Western Europe.
Our team is at your disposal if you need help organizing your trip:

  • Car rental or private transfers
  • Accommodation Reservation: hotels, B & B, boutique hotels and anything unusual
  • Guide and interpreter services
  • Booking of restaurants that require reservations in advance (Michelin starred restaurants etc ...)
  • Booking tours which require reservations in advance
  • Etc ....


Our team is ready to answer any of your questions. By e-mail info@objectiffrance.com or phone at 00 33 (0) 9 66 96 13 19

Have a great trip – bon voyage


Price

Price per person based on 2 people travelling together

Our price includes:

  • 11 day car rental of a category ‘Compact’ with unlimited kilometres
  • Crash damage waiver (CDM) and theft insurance (TPC)
  • Zero excess insurance
  • Civil responsibility insurance
  • 10 nights’ accommodation with breakfasts in a farmstay, in double or twin share basis
  • 5 dinners at the farmstays
  • Road Book to optimize as best as possible your stay (best places to go, attractions, restaurants…)
  • Telephone assistance in case of need


Our price does not include:

  • All that is not included in the section ‘our price includes’


Cancellation conditions:
Once we have confirmed the availability of the activity, and you decide to cancel fees will apply as follows:

  • Cancellation fees will apply as follows:
  • More than 30 days before the arrival date: 50 % charge
  • Less than 30 days before the arrival date and in case of No Show: 100 % charge


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