The tour starts with a gala dinner at a luxury chateau near Bethune, in northern France, before meandering along rural roads and Alpine passes to Monte Carlo for a three night stay at the five-star Fairmont Hotel, on the Grand Prix circuit between Casino Square and the tunnel.
You will be able to explore and soak up the atmosphere of this amazing jewel of the Cote D’Azur, and, of course, drive the Grand Prix circuit, before the tour heads north via Arles, Lyon, Bourges and Le Mans to a final two night halt and last night dinner in beautiful Honfleur.
Established Country Lane Tours clients need no introduction to the meticulous planning that precedes each event, with every inch of the route reconnoitred and each hotel carefully vetted and personally checked.
A detailed, easy-to-read, road book gives precise instructions, complete with information on attractions, and allows you to travel at your own pace. Furthermore, a support vehicle with an experienced mechanic accompanies every Continental event. The tour arranger is also present throughout to deal with any problems that might occur.
Cars of all types and vintages are welcome and Country Lane Tours events always have a varied selection of marques and ages participating.
The itinerary is as follows:
Monday, May 15th. The group collects for a first night dinner and overnight halt approximately an hour’s drive from Calais at Gosnay. The charm and old world luxury of Hotel La Chartreuse du Val Saint Esprit (see right) will be familiar to many Country Lane Tours regulars, but suffice to say the surroundings are truly stunning. Dinner will be 8pm which will enable people to arrive from the various channel ports without stress. Overnight Gosnay, mileage from Calais, 52.
Tuesday, May 16th. Gosnay – Les Monthairons. The run today takes us through mostly rural roads and rolling countryside to Les Monthairons, on the River Meuse. Here our overnight halt is Hostellerie du Chateau des Monthairons (see left), another elegant chateau set amidst manicured parkland. Perhaps the tour should be called ‘Chateaus & Circuits’ ! Overnight Les Monthairons, mileage for day – 202.
Wednesday, May 17th. Les Monthairons – Bourg en Bresse. Once more rural roads and peaceful villages, although a slightly longer day. However, unlike the UK, it’s easy to cruise at a reasonable speed without the hazards of a million cones and speed cameras! Overnight Bourg en Bresse,mileage for day – 232.
Thursday, May 18th. Bourg en Bresse – Embrun. We now start to get into the hills and there are some great driving roads as well as stunning views. We’re also at one point following the famous Route Napoleon.
We’re now into the Alps and our hotel in Embrun is Chateau La Robeyere, situated on the outskirts of the small town with open aspect across the valley. Overnight Embrun, mileage for day – 165.
Friday, May 19th. Embrun – Monte Carlo. An easy run today through scenic countryside as we drop down to the coast and take the short motorway section between Nice and Monte Carlo.
The Fairmont, our base for the next three nights, is situated on the hairpin bend between Casino Square and the Tunnel. All rooms have a sea view, so you can look out over the Mediterranean and survey the yachts anchored in the bay. Overnight Monte Carlo, mileage for day – 136.
Saturday, May 20th. Monte Carlo. With vehicles tucked up in the hotel car park it’s an opportunity to relax and explore the principality.
The Hop On – Hop Off bus tour enables you to visit all the places of interest, including the old town with its narrow streets, the Pink Palace, Prince Albert’s residence, Prince Rainier’s car museum, and much more.
The evening is free for you to dine wherever you wish, and perhaps visit the casino. Overnight Monte Carlo, mileage for day – 0.
Sunday, May 21st. Monte Carlo. Another day to just chill out, with lunch perhaps on the 7th floor of the Fairmont, overlooking the expensive yachts in the port? Overnight Monte Carlo, mileage for day – 0.
Monday, May 22nd. Mont Carlo – Arles. Saying our farewell to Mont Carlo we take a short detour into Italy!
To savour a little more of the cote D’Azur we travel along the coast through Menton before crossing the border into Italy at Ventimiglia and joining the motorway west, high up and travel along the Moyen Corniche.
There are great views out to sea and we stay on the motorway all the way to the ancient city of Arles, in the Camargue.
Arles has historic Roman remains, and, of course, is linked with Vincent Van Gogh who rented rooms in the city in 1888. Overnight Arles, mileage for day – 198.
Tuesday, May 23rd. Arles – Lyon. Lyon, founded by the Romans in the first century B.C., was given World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1998.
In order to arrive in plenty of time to see the sights we’re using the motorway once more, but it does pass through very pleasant scenery. Overnight Lyon, mileage for the day – 174.
Wednesday, May 24th. Lyon – Bourges. Off into the countryside again and quiet back roads as we head towards Le Mans, stopping overnight in the medieval city of Bourges. The most amazing thing about Bourges is the marsh area, at the foot of the old town, split into numerous allotments and walkways. Overnight Bourges, mileage for day – 169.
Thursday, May 25th. Bourges – Le Mans. Again we travel along rural roads, but less miles today allow an opportunity to visit the Le Mans museum before adjourning to our hotel. Overnight Le Mans, mileage for day – 135.
Friday, May 26th. Le Mans – Honfleur. An opportunity to drive the open sections of the circuit before heading off to the final destination of the tour in Honfleur.
Honfleur (see left), situated on the Seine estuary, is renowned for its picturesque ancient port and links with famous artists, including Claude Monet. Overnight Honfleur, mileage for day – 115.
Saturday, May 27th. Honfleur. A day to chill out in the town, explore the port area and its myriad restaurants and shops selling calvados, before the final dinner of the tour in the evening. Overnight Honfleur, mileage for the day – 0.
Sunday, May 28th. Departure for home. Ferry ports are easily accessible, with Le Havre just 16 miles away. Caen is 40, Cherbourg 115 and Calais 171 by good motorway.
Included in the price are the following:
- Thirteen nights hotel accommodation on a B&B basis, including three nights in the 5 star Fairmont, Monte Carlo
- First night’s gourmet dinner with wine in Chateau du Val Saint Esprit
- Dinner at Hostellerie du Chateau Le Monthairons
- Dinner at Chateau La Robeyere
- First night’s dinner at Fairmont Hotel, Monte Carlo
- Guided tour of Monte Carlo
- Guided tour of Lyon
- Entry to Le Mans museum
- Service vehicle and mechanic
- Experienced tour director
- Detailed road book and map
- Rally plates
- Windscreen sticker
- Farewell dinner in Honfleur
- Sundry extras including some meals
Space precludes a detailed description of everything you will see, so the details here are necessarily a synopsis. However, the daily mileage allows plenty of time to relax and enjoy the scenery and quiet roads as well as hotel facilities. The TOTAL mileage from Gosnay to Honfleur is approximately 1570.
If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to call me on 01824 790280, or via our contact page
The entry is restricted to just twenty-five cars so early booking is advisable to avoid disappointment.