Be in charge of your own destiny on a tailormade golf tour in France. As golf in France specialists we enjoy creating itineraries taking you and your golf clubs all over this beautiful country.
The easiest option is to throw everything into the car and head down to the Eurotunnel. There are at least two trains an hour across to France and on arrival in France you are straight onto the motorway either down towards the Pas de Calais and onto Normandy on the A16 or down on the A26 towards Paris and beyond.
Stop on the way.
The temptation once you hit the A16 is to keep going onto Normandy or Brittany. We would highly recommend a stop for a couple of days in Northern France, where the quality of golf and accommodation is superb and there is plenty of history on your doorstep.
Montreuil-sur-Mer is a case in point. Just south of Le Touquet, Montreuil-sur-Mer is no longer on the coastline but has some impressive ramparts and cobbled streets to walk along while you browse in the attractive shops or stop to dine at one of the superb restaurants. Montreuil-sur-Mer inspired Victor Hugo to write Les Miserables. He was only there for an afternoon but the inn featured in the well-known novel is based on the Hotel de France and the staff there at the time appear as the innkeeper, his wife and Cosette, the waitress in the story.
Golf at Belle Dune is easily accessible from here after a pleasant drive across country. This is a very well maintained, natural course, with a small but perfectly formed clubhouse. It is a long walking course and there are not a lot of buggies so it is always worth pre-booking if you are in need of one.
We have explored Normandy and Brittany in previous blogs. Both of these regions are ideal if you are after a multi-stop holiday or equally pleasurable if you want to stay put at one of the excellent golf resorts.
If you want to take a circular route back, you can enjoy the amazing sights of Chartres, or dip down to Versailles to explore the mesmerising Palace and hopefully get a round or two in at Golf National, host of the French Open and of course of the superb European Ryder Cup victory.
If your goal is the South of France, don’t miss out on a fantastic opportunity to explore Burgundy. Our favourite stop is Chateau de Chailly near Pouilly- en-Auxois. It’s a real Rapunzel castle with a very enjoyable golf course on site. If you want to stretch your legs a bit more hire some bicycles and of course you are deep in wine country…
To tour vineyards on foot or ‘petit train’ book your stop in Beaune. This beautiful town literally has vineyards on its doorstep. As you can imagine the restaurants are superb and you won’t go wrong opting for the house wine with your dinner.
In deepest Provence you will find the outstanding Terre Blanche. Thirty-six holes of superb golf, Le Chateau and Le Riou courses designed by Dave Thomas, a top-notch spa and excellent accommodation all nestling in the countryside behind Tourrettes. It’s no surprise it was voted the Best Golf Resort in continental Europe by Golf World Magazine in 2018. It’s ideal as your final destination or a few days R and R.
West for wine – and golf!
Of course, another big advantage of taking the car is the wine you can bring back, and what better tale than to say you picked it up at the vineyard?
Why not spend a few days in the Loire, basing yourself at the very comfortable Chateau les Muids, near Orleans, playing golf at the superb Les Aisses course in between touring the vineyards on every corner. Loire also has more than its fair share of chateaux to visit and this region is deservedly a destination in its own right.
However, if you feel the urge to keep on the move, steer the car towards Bergerac and head to Chateau des Vigiers. From the top of the drive you look down on the elegant chateau surrounded by 27 holes of golf snaking between the vines. The accommodation options offer something for everyone, the luxurious rooms in the chateau, the comfortable dependence cottages or the environmentally Le Relais hotel on site. There’s a good spa and two outdoor pools, an excellent gastronomic restaurant and a more casual brasserie near the clubhouse.
We would thoroughly recommend an evening out at the nearby Famille Moutier restaurant in the countryside near Thenac. It is casual in the extreme but the food is outstanding and the wine never stops flowing, it’s all included in the cost. The only drawback is that someone has to drive, taxis are few and far between in this area and very expensive. We would suggest whoever loses at golf that day draws the short straw!
When you can drag yourselves away from Vigiers and start to head off, Chantilly north of Paris, leaves you under three hours away from the Eurotunnel. There is plenty to see and do and the golf is outstanding. This area is off peak in July and August so you can treat yourself to a stay at Auberge du Jeu de Paume and your choice of empty golf courses.
Driving in France
The motorways in France are often toll roads, but you can pay with your UK credit cards at the automatic tolls, so you don’t need to worry about carrying loads of coins. During the summer months it can be worth considering taking your longer journeys midweek as the whole of France appears to move on the ‘black weekends’ during the school holidays.
As in the UK, the fuel on the motorway is very pricey, so if you can, fill or top up at supermarket petrol stations when you are exploring the countryside. Whenever and wherever you are driving in France your car must contain high vis jackets for all passengers, a hazard warning triangle, two certified breathalysers and headlamp beam deflectors.
It’s worth remembering that France has banned the use of all mobile phone hands-free and Bluetooth devices. A hefty fine awaits you if you are caught.
While we are in the current transition period post Brexit you don’t need an International Driving Permit and it depends on the UK-EU trade deal whether we will need one or not. They are very easy to obtain at your local Post Office at a current cost of £5.50.
The Association of British Insurers recommends that motorists travelling in the EU should carry a physical copy of a Green Card. In actual fact these are paper documents, which under current international rules, should be printed on green paper. These certificates act as a guarantee that motorists have the necessary third-party motor insurance for travel abroad.
There are two travel options on the Eurotunnel, the standard fare and Flexiplus which does give you the ability to turn up for any train and you have a separate club lounge at check in on both sides of the Channel. It does add quite a bit to the cost but is ideal if you want to be as flexible as possible in your travel.
We’ve put together three suggested tours to whet your appetite, let us know where and when you want to go and we will uncover ideal golf courses and hotels to suit your specific holiday requirements.
Normandy and Brittany
Two in a car on the Eurotunnel
2 nights’ b/b Hermitage Hotel, Montreuil sur Mer with one round at Belle Dune.
2 nights’ b/b Du Golf Deauville with golf at Deauville and St Julien
4 nights’ b/b at the Hermitage La Baule with two rounds at La Baule
Prices from £1099 per person
Burgundy and Provence
Two in a car on the Eurotunnel.
2 nights’ b/b at Chateau de Chailly with one round of golf
2 nights’ b/b at Terre Blanche with 2 rounds of golf
2 nights’ room only at Ferme de Gringalet with one round at Lyons GC
Prices from £1599 per person
Loire and Bergerac
Two in a car on the Eurotunnel
2 nights’ b/b at Chateau des Muids with one round at Les Aisses
4 nights’ b/b at Chateau des Vigiers with two rounds of golf
2 nights’ b/b at Auberge Jeu de Paume with one round at Apremont
Prices from £1199 per person