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Self-Driving Agrotourism holiday in the heart of France



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  • 11 Days

Stephen Molloy

Objectif France

We are an inbound tour operator that builds voyages of discovery across France and Western Europe.

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Self-Driving Agrotourism holiday in the heart of France

This circuit of 11 days explores the creative agricultural heartland of France, sampling the best of its terroir and cuisine. This agrotourism itinerary takes you across five beautiful regions in the centre of France : the Forez – the Cantal – the Périgord Noir – the Pays des Bastides and the Quercy. The farm stays are picked for their authenticity, and their warmth of welcome.


Departure from Toulouse

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 for you about the holiday and last advice for how 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. Read more

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Exploring real rural France

Day of exploration - 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 Read more

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Into the Cantal Mountains

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. Your accommodation: Ferme des Monts du Cantal or similar 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 with your hosts, at least one night at each farm: 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 Read more


Hiking, or fishing, or horsetrekking

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. Read more


The Perigord Noir

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. Your accommodation: Farm in Périgord or similar 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 with your hosts, at least one night at each farm: 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). Read more


Exploring Dordogne

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. Read more

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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 elevation of the village to a grand national 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. Your accommodation: Farm-stay in Monpazier or similar 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 with your hosts, at least one night at each farm: Simone offers the guests products from the farm and vegetable garden and orchard, this is served at the family table with the owners. Read more

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Discover the local cuisine

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. Read more


The old regions of Quercy and Gascony

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. 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 with your hosts, at least one night at each farm: 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 Read more

DAY 10

Exploring the Pays de Serres

The bulk of economic activity is related to agriculture and that makes this visit perfect for agrotourism. The subsoil is rich in water. The farmhouses 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. Read more

DAY 11

Departure from Toulouse

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.


Day in trip
Day 1
Location Forez
Hotel Farm-stay in Forez or similar
Day 3
Location Cantal
Hotel Ferme des Monts du Cantal or similar
Day 5
Location Perigord
Hotel Farmstay in Périgord or similar
Day 7
Location Monpazier
Hotel Farm-stay in Monpazier or similar
Day 9
Location Quercy
Hotel Chateau based Farm-stay


Package includes

  • Price based on 2 people in a double or twin share basis
  • 11 day car rental of a category ‘Compact’ with unlimited kilometres
  • Crash damage waiver (CDM) and theft insurance (TPC) If you are more four people or more a slightly larger car will be included.
  • Zero excess insurance
  • Civil responsibility insurance
  • 10 nights’ accommodation in a farmstay, in double or twin share basis
  • 10 breakfasts
  • 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

Package excludes

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

More information

  • Price based on 2 people in a double or twin share basis, if you are interested in the single supplement it is 600€ per person.
  • The accommodation and options and activities mentioned in the itinerary above are available at the creation of this quotation; the final options depend on the availability at the moment of payment of the deposit. If an option is unavailable, we will reserve equivalent quality. The earlier that you reserve the tour, the more likelihood that all preferred choices mentioned above will be available.
  • Cancellation conditions:
  • Once we have confirmed the availability of the activity, and you decide to cancel 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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