Culinary-Themed French Vacation

Six-Day Tour of Normandy with Accommodations, Some Meals, Culinary Classes, and Guided Excursions from Epitourean

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Hands-On Cooking Classes and Guided Wine Tours in the Loire Valley

Abundant vineyards, cherry orchards, and historic chateaus line the Loire Valley, situated in central France. On this six-day, five-night trip from Epitourean, you’ll stay at the 3-star Château de Saint Paterne, between the Loire Valley and Normandy regions of France and just outside the quaint town of Alençon. During the day, you’ll enjoy gourmet meals, hands-on cooking classes, and sightseeing excursions throughout the French countryside.

Click here to see a complete trip itinerary.

Culinary-Tour Highlights

Cooking Classes: You’ll take part in a traditional French family cooking class led by Château de Saint Paterne owner Charles-Henry. Many ingredients used in class are sourced from the Château garden, and you’ll whip them together to make a delicious lunch.

The second class takes place after a morning tour of the marketplace in Alençon, where you’ll wander along old cobbled streets in search of ultrafresh ingredients. Your guide: Chef Christophe Renou, executive chef at Rive Droite restaurant, who has trained in a Michelin 3-star restaurant. Chef Renou will help plan a multicourse dinner that you’ll cook and eat that night.

D-day Beaches and Colleville-sur-Mer Tour: Stroll the Normandy coast where Allied troops landed on D-day during World War II.

Wine Tasting in the Loire Valley: After driving through the scenic French countryside, you’ll take a tour of a 100-year-old sparkling vineyard located near the town of Saumur. After learning about wine production and sampling some of the varietals, the tour moves underground to explore miles of galleries filled with limestone sculptures. A lunch of local dishes and wine is included.

Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.

What You Get

  • $1,998 per person for a six-day, five-night French culinary tour, valid for Sunday–Friday stays, 4/7/13–7/31/13 or 9/1/13–12/15/13 (up to a $3,398 value)

Note: Priced per person and valid for a Travel with a Friend package (two Groupons required), or pay an additional $600 fee to travel solo. Read about package structures here.

Included in all options:

  • Five nights of luxury accommodations at the Château de Saint Paterne
  • Breakfast each morning
  • Round-trip transfers from Charles de Gaulle Airport
  • Gourmet welcome dinner on evening of arrival (Sunday)
  • Day tour of Peace Memorial in Caen, Normandy beaches, and Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial
  • Hands-on cooking class with the executive chef at Château de Saint Paterne
  • Gourmet lunch at conclusion of cooking class
  • Wine tour of the Loire Valley with lunch in the medieval village of Saumur
  • Local market visit with chef in Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei (listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France)
  • Hands-on cooking class with guest chef from Alençon
  • Farewell dinner

Book by: 4/30/13

Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.

The Fine Print

  • Must book by 4/30/13 or promotional value expires
  • Must complete travel by 12/15/13
  • Not valid 8/1/13-8/31/13
  • Limit 2 per person, may buy 2 additional as gifts
  • Limit 1 per person per visit
  • Reservation required, subject to availability
  • All cancellations subject to $75 fee
  • 30-day cancellation notice required or up to Groupon price applies
  • Must be 18 or older to check in
  • Credit card required at booking and check-in
  • $600 fee to travel solo
  • Airfare to France and 10% tax not included.

Other Details

Room Details

  • Queen or king bed
  • Standard occupancy: 2
  • Maximum occupancy: 2
  • Adding occupants above standard: N/A

Hotel Policies

  • Parking: free parking available, if needed
  • Rollaways: not available
  • Smoking policy: no smoking inside the property
  • Pet policy: pets are not allowed inside the property.
  • Accessibility: handicap-accessible rooms are not available.
  • Room upgrades: not available

Getting There

  • By plane: 270 km (about 170 mi.) from Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
  • By car: 247 kilometers (about 150 mi.) west of Paris, France

Traveler's Tips

  • A passport is required for all travel outside the U.S.
  • Before international travel, always check the State Department's website for important info on the destination and its entry/exit requirements.
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