If you're a wine lover looking for a boozy vacation, then France should be at the top of your list of dream destinations. Between troves of wine bars and tasting classes in Paris from top sommeliers, you'll be in absolute heaven among your fellow vin lovers.
The most difficult part of planning your French tour des vins is deciding what to do and how much to spend. Depending on your desires, travel style, and your budget, you can choose from many options to taste as much wine as possible.
Your winery experience can range from week-long excursions through vineyards to a walking day trip through the streets of Paris. Here are some of the most common ways to enjoy the fruit of the vine in France.
If your time in France is limited, there are plenty of classes and walking tours available in Paris. Many of them may charge a flat fee, which can range from roughly $50-$150, but some may only cost what you decide to spend. Classes are similarly priced, and their cost will depend largely on variables such as whether they offer pairings like cheese.
If you dream of traditional tastings in winery cellars, then take a day to visit a vineyard or chateau in the countryside. Many companies offer daytime excursions for roughly $200-$300, but you can also venture out on your own to save some money. Many large establishments charge a small fee, and smaller, family-owned wineries charge nothing (but they do expect you to buy a bottle in their shop).
Aficionados can traverse the entire countryside for weeks on end, enjoying all that wine country has to offer. You can book a tour or choose your own adventure - just be sure to plan in advance! Overall, this option can cost from $1,000-$2,000, depending on how you travel and the accommodation that you choose.
Regardless of your time and budget, you should take care to ensure that you get the most out of your tasting experience. These tips will help you get the most bang for your buck.
Sometimes, a more expensive tour may be worthwhile because it includes food, accommodation, transit, and other necessities. You may end up paying more by booking the cheapest tour possible.
Tour booking websites and deal sites like Groupon sometimes offer money off of excursions, especially during low season.
Wineries often require you to book in advance even if they offer public hours, so don't just show up and expect a full tour. Additionally, some require a basic dress code. Know the rules of the place you plan to visit to ensure that you do not waste the time and money on transit all for nothing.
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