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Luxury France Holidays 2014, 2015
It was an unexpected taste of the sun-kissed southern France good life. Our honeymooners returning from a Luberon vineyard to their luxury A&K villa in Gordes to find Nadege, a brilliant local chef, cooking a surprise feast of zucchini tart, followed by Provencal lamb stew and cherry clafoutis, all freshly sourced from Saint- Rémy market, and served al fresco on a terrace ignited gold by the sunset. 'Magnifique' needs no translation.
Food features regularly in guest's feedback; from impromptu wine, cheese and saucisson tastings with guides Benoit and Florence - 'I'll never forget my husband cutting into an enormous wheel of Camembert' - to wonderful rustic restaurants we'd recommended.
Indeed, whether you're in an exclusive A&K villa, upmarket boutique hotel or relaxed family retreat, our French team will advise on everything from eating and history, to culture and outdoor activities. As part of our multi-centre European operation providing seamless continental travel for 25 years, they know the country inside out. Expect the best, multi-lingual specialist guides, and long-established contacts that allow us to offer unique insider perspectives on France's rich cultural heritage and contemporary life including wine tasting in Saint-Émilion with a respected expert to visiting Cezanne's private Provence studio with a working artist.
Take a holiday to France with Abercrombie & Kent in 2014 and you'll find Normandy's D-Day beaches and WW1 battlefields - particularly poignant given next year's centenary; Napoleon 111's magnificent Parisian Boulevards, where we'll happily arrange tours of the capital's eclectic neighbourhoods with a local; and the surf-lashed sands of Southwest France.
We'll show you Brittany's atmospheric fishing ports; Bordeaux and Burgundy's world-famous vineyards; and the imposing French Alps, where A&K's premium chalet rentals offer top-notch winter skiing and spectacular summer hiking. And we haven't even mentioned wild and increasingly popular Languedoc; Provence's lovely lavender-scented villages, and the timeless Riviera from Nice to St Tropez, with exclusive beaches, fashionable bars and vast yachts.
It's all perfect for a touring holiday, and, as ever, A&K's team go the extra mile. 'Part of our trip was self-drive,' wrote one guest. 'Our chauffeur, who'd driven us up to that point, leant us his personal GPS, programmed with all our upcoming stops. That really is service.'
Best time to be there
Sunworshippers head to the beaches from June to September. The climate is mainly temperate with the south enjoying hot summers and mild winters.
Bordeaux, Geneva, Marseilles and Paris (British Airways), Nice and Lyon (British Airways or bmi)
Paris and Avignon (Eurostar)
A&K will be our tour company for every future journey; we have no doubt of that. Our experience overall has sold us on A&K.
- Lisa Lewis
Suggested itineraries in France
Islands, Savannas & the Amazon: Around the World by Private Jet
Highlights of Paris
Paris & the Cote d’Azur
Connections: Paris, Burgundy and a South of France Cruise
Connections Cruising - Paris, Burgundy & South of France Cruise
A French Family Adventure