France the French way


Escorted Tours for 2015

Posted: 2014-12-09

Escorted Tours 2015: Greek Islands, Italy, France, Portugal and Morocco

For over twenty years I have regularly escorted groups through France and Europe. It is at this time of the year when I love planning where I am going to take people on tour for the following year.

For the year 2015 I have chosen to revisit some of my favourite areas from previous tours. So for next year I will be taking small groups from the Greek Islands, to the “heel of Italy” in Puglia, through to the French Riviera in June. Then in September I will take a small group from the Amalfi Coast through Tuscany to the Italian Riviera and on to Lake Como. Picture perfect! Then for a pre-Rugby World Cup tour I will be travelling through the Dordogne Valley for the first week and then flying to Lisbon, Portugal, to begin 11 days of exciting touring there, before we head to Morocco for the colour and splendours of Fez, Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains.

Why tour with me?

Guide at Work!

Guide at Work!

My passion and speciality over the last twenty years has been France and Europe. Getting to know its people, culture, history, food, wines, festivals and its unique regions better than most. Each tour encompasses many different experiences not just focussing on one thing. I want people to understand the country they are travelling through, to understand the people, and at the same time to be inspired and moved by what they see.  But most importantly I want you to have a holiday – I take the angst out of travelling! I see my role as an educator, an entertainer, and a friend! 

So this is what I have planned for 2015:

Greek Islands, Puglia and the French Riviera: 1 to 27 June 2015

We start our tour on the island of Crete where we spend our time exploring and re-living the efforts of NZ and allied troops, before visiting the island of Santorini. From here we are flying from Athens to the south of Italy where we will travel through to the Amalfi Coast for.

Touring in Puglia

Touring in Puglia

While in Puglia we will be living in “trulli” accommodation close to the famous town of Alberobello.

Here we will have one magical week exploring all the area, including visits to the sensational town of Locorotondo and the dazzling town of Ostuni, the cave city of Matera, as well as a day learning how to make pasta! We will then be flying to the south of France for one week staying in the hills around St Paul de Vence. Our focus will be more on the hill towns of the Riviera including the back roads of the Alpes Maritimes seeing places such as Touerettes, Grasse, Gourdon and Vence, than on the waterfront of the Riviera, although we will certainly visit there when visiting some of our favourite galleries.

Amalfi Coast, Tuscany, Italian Riviera and Lake Como: 31 August to 16 September 2015

Positano Perfection!

Positano Perfection!

We will start this tour with five nights staying both in Sorrento and Positano. From these sensational places we will visit Pompeii, buried so horribly by the volcano of Mt Vesuvius. Also we will visit the island of Capri, before heading through to Chianti (Tuscany) for five days where we will explore the region and towns of San Gimigiano, Monteriggione, Siena and Florence, to name a few gems! We will then travel through to the Italian Riviera at Santa Margherita for a stay before we end our tour with three days on the edge of Lake Como positioned in the idyllic Bellagio. We will be ending this tour in Milan.

Dordogne Valley, Portugal and Morocco:  22 September to 18 October

Over the last few years I have travelled often through both the Perigord (Dordogne Valley) and Portugal with a group, and I loved it so much I just had to show more of you these gems. But in 2015 we are going to add ten days in Morocco to the end of our trip.

Village of Limeuil on the banks of the Dordogne River

Village of Limeuil on the banks of the Dordogne River

We will start with 6 nights deep in the Dordogne Valley where we are going to explore the land of Foie Gras, Magret de Canard and perched medieval Chateaux. We are going to explore caves where we will see art work from 20,000 years ago which is as advanced as anything we see today. We will visit the glorious gardens of Eyrignac and enjoy the wonderful rolling green hillsides so rich in forest and fauna. We will see places such as Roque-Gageac, Domme, Sarlat. As we move down the valley toward St Emilion where we will stay at a Chateau amongst the vines we will be in the heart of the vendange (harvest). Tractors laden with grapes will hold us up on the narrow roads as we explore the Premier Cru wines of St Emilion, and Sauternes.

The village of Obidos.

The village of Obidos.

Then we will head to Lisbon, Portugal, where I can’t wait to blow you away with this extraordinary country. We have eleven days in Portugal and we will start in the wonderful city of the great explorers, Lisbon, before travelling to coastal walled villages seeing Obidos and Alcobaca, before heading inland into the rural Alentejo region. Wait to be surprised at this extraordinary land of cork trees and impressive views. Then we proceed to an even greater highlight as we descend in to the renowned Duoro Valley, called the “valley of gold” for a number of reasons. Prepare to have your breath taken away! Then we head to Porto for the last night.

This part of the tour is of exceptional beauty. The scenery and the friendliness of the people take priority over lessons of historical importance, although by the end of our Portugal segment of the tour you will well understand this great country.

Then we fly to Casablanca (Morocco) for the last ten days of our tour. There is the possibility to omit this phase of the tour, in which case your tour would end in Porto on 9 October. In Morocco we are starting in the ancient capital in the majestic Fes, we then travel to Marrakech where all our senses will be thrilled centring around the famous Square Jemaa El Fna’ full of magicians, story tellers, snake charmers and food sellers, and even some lessons on cooking Tangines!  Then we are going to experience the Berber life in the High Atlas mountains getting a taste of a gentle life based around nature. We end our tour at the popular seaside town of Essaouira, with its exciting medina and fish market. What a journey!

There is also the possibility of doing this tour without the Morocco sector included, so you could do just the Dordogne Valley and Portugal from 22 September to 8 October..

Need more information?

If you are interested in joining me on one of these tours, contact me ( ) and I will send you detailed tour descriptions and prices. Please note that I take between 6 to 8 pers only, so contact me quickly so you don’t miss out on a place!