6 nights starting from
Unspoilt, rural French atmosphere
Charming family-run hotel
Spectacular volcanic scenery – the Puy-de-Dome is truly outstanding
Elegant spa towns - Vichy exudes style
Virtually untouched by the ravages of modern tourism, the Auvergne is truly a destination for Francophiles who appreciate the spectacular volcanic mountain scenery, picturesque rural villages, often adorned with magnificent Romanesque churches, and historic towns.
|18 - June - 2020||£ 999.00||Travel Info Book Now||booking-journey/#/start/AUV/18 June 2020/|
Departing: 18th June 2020 at 07:55
Returning: 24th June 2020 at 16:13
|17 - September - 2020||£ 999.00||Travel Info Book Now||booking-journey/#/start/AUV/17 September 2020/|
Departing: 17th September 2020 at 07:55
Returning: 23rd September 2020 at 16:13
Day 1: Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Paris and onwards to Clermont-Ferrand by SNCF fast train. On arrival, transfer by coach to Issoire (approx. 30 mins) and the Le Pariou Hotel.
Day 2: Full day tour to Montpeyroux, Puy-de-Dome and Clermont-Ferrand.
One of “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France”, the small village of Montpeyroux perches on a hilltop overlooking the surrounding picturesque valleys. Stroll the old streets and visit the 12th century St Pierre’s church. The summit of Puy-de-Dome gives the most wonderful views of the surrounding region. Take the recently opened Panoramique des Dômes rack railway up to the top, follow the path, formerly a Roman road, and the whole of the Auvergne will open up before you. Clermont-Ferrand, the regional capital, sits in the midst of wooded volcanoes. Once a solely industrial city, today Clermont-Ferrand is a vibrant city with a big café culture and plenty of boutiques and galleries.
Day 3: Full day to relax and explore Issoire at your leisure.
A small, tranquil and attractive town Issoire’s turbulent history stretches back to Roman times. Boasting an outstanding 12th century abbey church - St-Aistremoine, with excellent frescoes, today you can also visit the lively market in the town’s medieval core where you’ll find lots of delicious local produce and plenty of ideas for lunch!
Day 4: Full day tour to Le Puy-en-Velay and Brioude.
Le Puy-en-Velay is one of the most extraordinary towns in France. Set in a broad valley surrounded by ancient volcanoes, the terracotta roofs of the town are watched over by three religious landmarks perched on top of natural volcanic pillars – the Romanesque cathedral, Saint Michel d’Aiguilhe Chapel and a state of the Virgin Mary. The starting point of the Way of Saint James pilgrimage, Le Puy is also known for its lace and lentils. A small bustling town situated on a terrace overlooking the lush Allier plain, Brioude is famed for its church, the Basilique St-Julien, the largest Romanesque church in the Auvergne, dating from 1060.
Day 5: Full day tour to Orcival, Saint-Nectaire, Besse-en-Chandesse and Le Mont-Dore.
The pretty town of Orcival is dominated by its early 12th century Basilica, said to be one of the best in the region. Also noted for its Romanesque church, as well as its cheese, is Saint-Nectaire. Within the church you will find some wonderful examples of 12th century workmanship - a gold bust of St Baudime and a wooden Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Cornadore. The laidback mountain village of Besse-en-Chandesse is made up of quaint cobbled lanes and lava-stone brick cottages and therefore the perfect place for an afternoon stroll. The former spa town of Le Mont-Dore sits close to the source of the Dordogne River at the foot of the region’s highest mountain. The thermal springs here were known to the Romans but were particularly busy in the 19th century.
Day 6: Full day tour to Vichy and Thiers.
The town of Vichy was a well-known spa and resort centre before it became the head of the French state during the Nazi occupation of World War II. The town’s turn of the century spa buildings and parks are now protected as part of France’s architectural heritage. Thiers sits on a steep hillside of the Durolle river valley, splitting it into a high and low town and has a wealth of wonderfully preserved half-timbered houses in the old quarter of the high town. The town is famed as a centre for the manufacture of cutlery.
Day 7: Transfer back to Clermont-Ferrand station to catch the return SNCF fast train to Paris. At Paris, board the return Eurostar service to Ebbsfleet and St Pancras.
NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 35 passengers.
NEW FOR 2020
Further to analysis of questionnaires received from many hundreds of our valued clients, we have decided to introduce two key changes to our tours in 2020:
1. The group size on all overseas tours is to be limited to a maximum of 35 or lower.
2. All overseas tours will include a welcome drink on the first evening, so that guests can get to know each other.
We hope that these changes will enhance our tours for all participants.
PLEASE NOTE: As with most trains, passengers are responsible for carrying baggage onto and off the train. Baggage can be stored on overhead shelves or at the entrance to the carriages.Trollies are available at St Pancras and Paris, but bags do need to be carried on to the platform.
Travel Editions recommends a luggage delivery service called thebaggageman, where your suitcase can be picked up from your home before departure and delivered straight to your hotel; therefore removing the worry about carrying your cases onto and off the trains. Please click here for more information and we have arranged a 10% discount exclusive to Travel Editions clients off the thebaggageman service. Tel: 01844 264890
Le Pariou Hotel, Issoire
The three-star Le Pariou Hotel based in the charming town of Issoire offers air-conditioned, comfortable bedrooms with private bath/shower, TV, telephone, minibar and hairdryer. The hotel also has a restaurant "Le Jardin", bar, lounge area, sun terrace, garden and outdoor swimming pool (seasonally heated).
Le Pariou Hotel Website
OUR VIEW ON THE HOTEL
Friendly, family-run hotel which prides itself on its cuisine using locally-sourced ingredients. Issoire is only a short walk away, perfect for a leisurely stroll and pre-dinner aperitif and the ideal base for the sites visited on this tour.
Pre-tour accommodation is available at the Premier Inn, London Kings Cross St Pancras, about 5 minutes walk from St Pancras International, at an approximate rate of £120 per room. Bookings can be made direct with the hotel on 0871 527 8672 or visit their website
Auvergne Flora and Fauna
For any of our clients who are interested in flora and fauna we are very grateful to Trevor Davis for a link to view a selection of pictures from his tours with us. Please click here to view pictures
Would have liked more time in Thiers, to visit the muesum as the industrial architecture was fascinating. I will go back there. Well-balanced visits and a good taste of the Auvergne. There was an airshow on our day free, but didn't find out about it till the day after.
Review by Cliff who travelled 19-September-2019
This tour, while very good overall, would benefit by having the occasional local guide. Our tour manager was more of a caretaker than a guide, and although she was very pleasant, she gave us very little information about the places we would visit. The hotel was very comfortable. They tried hard to accommodate my food allergies, but the result was mediocre (please note that I am anything but a 'foodie', preferring simple meals) and rather bland and tasteless. But the salads were great! I'd like to call out for praise Ms. Nadine Mascoll, who turned herself into the human pretzel answering all my questions and making sure I got my documents on time. Nadine, you're the BEST!
Review by Anonymous who travelled 19-September-2019
Review by Anonymous who travelled 19-September-2019
Review by Anonymous who travelled 19-September-2019
A very good tour with plenty of interest. A little tiring for us at age 81, especially on longer coach trips and then on return rail journey, but it was manageable and enjoyable
Review by Moore who travelled 19-September-2019
Suggestions: The tour manager's job should include a pre-visit to get up to date information eg she was not up to date on how we could have sampled the Vichy Water. Also we feel allowance should be made for 'comfort breaks' and where facilities were known, she could have been more specific. The tour tried to include too many visits eg the day going to Le Puy en Velay did not need to include Brioude as more time could have been spent in Le Puy. The visit to St Nectaire was a church too many. A visit to a cheese maker there would have been good. Having said all that, we very much enjoyed our week. Our tour manager's ability to liaise with various people including of course our driver, was excellent - as was he - and her diction was clear.
Review by White who travelled 19-September-2019
Olivier,our coach driver deserves a mention. He was a careful and safe driver, endlessly cheerful and helpful. I appreciated the relaxed starting times.
Review by Atherton who travelled 19-September-2019
As usual, Travel Editions organized an excellent tour. Using the services of ‘Thebaggageman made the journeys so easy.
Review by Anonymous who travelled 19-September-2019
Overall a very good trip and our tour manager Yvonne was really superb nothing was too much for her .Looking forward to more trips with her "in charge "
Review by WILLIAMS who travelled 19-September-2019
Highest praise for our guide Gill who made the trip so interesting and hassle free.nothing was too much trouble. She made this beatiful unspoiled region of France a total joy. Thankyou Gill!
Review by Homewood who travelled 13-June-2019
Review by anonymous who travelled 13-June-2019
Gill, our tour manager, was excellent and provided - in a nice, calm way - all the information we needed for what was going to happen next during the travelling, and first class information on the towns we were going to visit once while we were en route. The hotel was fine but the service was slow and replenishment at breakfast pretty non-existent. The hotplate for hot food only worked for one day but being able to boil an egg was good. We enjoyed the holiday very much and will book again.
Review by Logan who travelled 13-June-2019
Review by Anonymous who travelled 13-June-2019
A full free Saturday in Issoire was difficult to fill, and would have been so even in fine weather and with everything open. Little choice there of restaurants for lunch. There was little to do in Mont D'Or other than sit in the park. Some tour members had moderate walking difficulties. Perhaps the brochure should have emphasized the challenges.
Review by Cox who travelled 13-June-2019
Probably the best value for money tour we’ve done with Travel Editions with excellent included meals & the added bonus of a rack railway trip up the Puy de Dome & tourist train in Thiers. The hotel was excellent & the staff were very accommodating taking special care over my wife’s dietary problems. The only slight negatives were the rather disappointing breakfasts and regarding the trips there was an over emphasis on Romanesque Churches making it feel more like a specialist Art/History Tour rather than a general tour of the Auvergne.
Review by King who travelled 13-June-2019
A really enjoyable holiday in the company of 'like-minded' travellers.
Review by Weedon who travelled 13-June-2019
Review by Bovey who travelled 13-June-2019
We had never realised before visiting TheAuvergne, just how beautiful this region is. We had driven through the Massive Central many times but never stopped to holiday in The Auvergne. We found the local people warm and friendly,wwhen stopping to talk to residents in villages. We were extremely impressed by our tour guide "Gill" She was very caring and helpful and very aware of her group's needs and averted problems before they occurred. Most importantly, she was very knowledgeable about the area we were travelling through. In addition though, she informed us about not only the local history, terrain and events, but also much up to the minute French matters. Gill must be one of your company's "treasures"
Review by Doherty who travelled 20-September-2018
Review by Anonymous who travelled 20-September-2018
As you can see we have had yet another excellent Travel Editions tour...I think it is our 25th! Gill as always was superb; thoughtful, considerate, caring and a treasure box of information. She is a great asset to the company. Keep adding new European destinations. We have more travel in us yet! ( We are still waiting for that cancellation Ed!)
Review by Harrison who travelled 20-September-2018
a first class holiday. Hotel was ideal and Gill was a brilliant and well-informed tour manager.
Review by Anonymous who travelled 20-September-2018
This is the second feedback I have filled in. To reiterate what I said before, I thought the trip was wonderful. I had much fun on this trip as Jill often asked me for help identifying plants, in which I have some interest if limited expertise. Although not specifically a natural history trip, a certain amount of interest was widespread around the group so I wonder if you could put this link up where other travellers could see it. It is to the natural history photos I took on the trip with all the identifications I could make. I would be especially grateful if you could make sure Jill sees it, who may even find some of the id's I have managed useful in future trips... https://www.flickr.com/photos/trevor_oakthorpe/albums/72157699197299164 And I must make a correction to something I said to Jill. The keys of the Bastille were presented by Lafayette, not to Thomas Jefferson, as I said, but to George Washington, so they are on display, to this day I believe, at the latter's home, Mount Vernon.
Review by Davis who travelled 21-June-2018
Review by McLeavy who travelled 21-June-2018
This is the second time I have done Travel Editions' Auvergne trip, and my third TE trip with Jill, and it places the Auvergne in a seemingly unassailable position as my favourite part of France. Jill is a terrific guide, manager and organiser. Indeed one rarely noticed the organising; everything "just happened", even in the face of French rail strikes! Everything about what we saw, the scenery, the volcanoes, the Romanesque churches, the wild flowers (great yellow gentian, spotted orchid, lesser butterfly orchid, vipers bugloss and many more) the birds, most spectacular the many black kites, (and I got to see a cirl bunting!) was wonderful and truly memorable. The weather also helped!
Review by Davis who travelled 21-June-2018
Review by who travelled 21-June-2018
Gill was an excellent tour manager - knowledgable, relaxed and good humoured.
Review by Lorimer who travelled 21-June-2018
Hotel was beautifully quiet. Dinner in the hotel was a little stodgy - very little portion of veggies but lots of potato. Breakfast layout could have been more flowing. People were wandering around looking for things. eg forks for scrambled egg were on the opposite side of the room. The coffee machine wasn't working often and the replacement flasks of coffee were horrible. Didn't expect tea and coffee in room, but only given one tea bag between two each day and no milk . Just small things which could have made a lot of difference. Gill, our guide was outstanding! She had no notes but gave us so much information about French history and the places we were visiting - all in her head! She was also wonderful and came looking for us after we got on at Ebbsfleet. We got stuck on the wrong side of the buffet with a huge queue. and positively managed to guide us through this block to get to our seats. She was also so thoughtful in Paris changing our tickets on Eurostar on the way home when she found the train was stopping at Ebbsfleet rather than Ashford which meant we travelled home an hour earlier. As usual we found our companions on the trip quite delightful in themselves and very interesting.
Review by Westley who travelled 21-June-2018
This was a fantastic experience from start to finish .The travel logistics were excellent on outward and inward journeys.The itinerary was well thought out and our erudite,always smiling guide Gill made it all come to life,including volcanic landscapes,Romanesque and Gothic churches,gastronomy as well As the post industrial Thiers and several smart spas.The hotel was able to offer all you needed,as well as excellent evening meals.Nothing was too much trouble....I forgot my continental conversion charger and iPhone lead.They sorted me out at receptions.For a deeper understanding of Romanesque architecture I recommend the documentary film in the Centre d'art Roman.Finally thanks to Olivier our pleasant and careful driver.
Review by Douglas who travelled 21-June-2018
This was a great trip and I want to do it again! The food was good and the hotel was very cooperative in accommodating my dietary foibles. I liked the fact that it was half-board. Jill looks after us very well. The area was a revelation to me and I do hope I can get to see it in the summer.
Review by Davis who travelled 14-September-2017
Gill went out of her way to ensure we all got that bit extra from every excursion and the coach driver as well as the hotel, were very good.
Review by Waller who travelled 14-September-2017
Le Pariou was the best Travel Editions hotel I've stayed in; thank goodness for air con and fridges in the rooms in the 38C heat! The outdoor pool was a bonus too, though highly dangerous. Personally I would prefer a bed & breakfast arrangement as there is no shortage of restaurants in Issoire. Gill was as good as ever (I learnt so much) and Olivier was a superb driver. On balance I don't think Thiers is worth visiting and I would definitely re-jig the Le Mont Dore day so as to include a visit to the Thermal Baths, which I know from past experience is very worthwhile.
Review by Mr Anthony Wills who travelled 22-June-2017
Food a little disappointing although the hotel tried hard - some odd combinations!
Review by Dr Jill Hockey who travelled 22-June-2017
Review by Mrs Carol Rees who travelled 22-June-2017
Excellent hotel . We particularly enjoyed dinners on the terrace and relaxing in the swimming pool .Scenery is magnificent but we were disappointed that some of the venues in villages were shut . We strongly felt that Thiers should be dropped as a visit venue since it is very run down and many shops have closed. There must be more attractive options
Review by Mr John Lawrence who travelled 01-September-2016
joining instructions arrived the day before departure despite several emails and some maps were not included. The hotel, Le Pariou, surpassed expectations with attentive service and fine facilities. Our guide Yvonne did an excellent job
Review by Mrs Janet Erridge who travelled 01-September-2016
Review by Mrs Donald Manhire who travelled 01-September-2016
Yvonne was a great tour leader and nothing was too much trouble .She knew the area very well and was prepared with maps etc for us. The hotel was delightful and the staff very helpful.Meals were delicious and they catered for all our dietary requirements. The Auvergne is a delightful and beautiful region with some outstanding churches. An excellent trip.
Review by Mrs Davie who travelled 01-September-2016
Review by who travelled 01-September-2016
The food at the hotel was excellent. A room safe at the hotel would have been useful/desirable.
Review by Mr C Butler who travelled 01-September-2016
Very enjoyable trip even though Issoire somewhat sleepy. Nice included dinners. Excellent tour manager, especially for info and providing brochures and maps. On the tours, shortage of time in some places, but that is perhaps inevitable. Very good value for money.
Review by Dr Ian Roe who travelled 01-September-2016
yvonne, the tour guide was without doubt the best we have ever encountered.A very knowledgeable, organised,efficient,personable yet professional ,people sort of person.First class.Also the staff at the hotel were great, friendly,tolerant (of rubbish french attempts)and extremely helpfull
Review by Mrs Annie Hogg who travelled 01-September-2016
A steep and most enjoyable learning curve for us, made exciting by the consummate skill and enthusiam of Gill, our Tour Manager, who wove historic and topical information seamlessly together to explain what we were seeing. A true professional!
Review by Mrs E Greensmith who travelled 14-July-2016
Holiday slightly spoilt by cancellation of the Eurostar train on the journey home - not the fault of Travel Editions and your tour manager (Jill) did a great job in getting us on an alternative train.
Review by Miss Janice Bailey who travelled 14-July-2016
Review by Mrs Peter Davies who travelled 14-July-2016
Our Tour Manager, Gil, was excellent in every way!
Review by Mr George Middleton who travelled 14-July-2016
Review by Mrs Isobel Sleigh who travelled 14-July-2016
although we missed the Eurostar to Paris (faulty alarm clock)the rest of the holiday was excellent .Our tour manager Jill was superb,very informative. All in all an excellent holiday
Review by Mr Howard Sandman who travelled 14-July-2016
Excellent knowledgeable tour manager. The holiday could have been a couple of days longer: we would have liked more time at Thiers and Puy en Vulay. The hotel was excellent: only improvements would be tea/coffee facilities in rooms, more choice of the main course at dinner, and a mini- safe in the rooms. Altogether a good value holiday in a lovely area of France.
Review by Miss P Starley who travelled 14-July-2016
This really was an excellent holiday- we are unable to fault it in any way. Gill Thompson was a superb tour manager, knowledgeable,informative and helpful with a great sense of humour.
Review by Mr Peter Burton who travelled 14-July-2016
This tour is a great way to see the romanesque churches and volcanic landscapes of the Auvergne. Gill Thompson has been leading the tour for many years and made sure everything went like clockwork (even when Eurostar cancelled the return train at the last minute). My room at the Hotel Le Pariou was spacious, comfortable and well air conditioned and the included half board arrangement made the trip very good value.
Review by Mr P Andrews who travelled 14-July-2016
Review by who travelled 02-June-2016
Well-planned sight-seeing tour with just the right amount of commentary. Many thanks to Helene for tlc. Hands-on, welcoming manageress at Hotel. Excellent cuisine at dinner. Good breakfast provision. Thoughtful `surprises'. Rail-strike in France made for tough journey. Unflappable Helene delivered strategy which worked. We had to travel without reservations and Helene ensured that we found seats.
Review by Dr Oliver Logan who travelled 02-June-2016
The tour leader managed the cancellation of trains in France due to the strikes efficiently and cheerfully. Thanks Helene!
Review by Mrs Maureen Kendall who travelled 02-June-2016
A fantastic trip with an excellent tour manager, Helene Gaujac and a top quality hotel
Review by Mr D Moore who travelled 02-June-2016
Trip was affected by the French rail strike. Alternative journey via Lyon was OK as we managed to get seats on the train with the help of the Tour Manager (seats were not reserved for us as previously advised to me by phone by your office). Return journey also via Lyon and again we managed to get seats. Coach journey to/from Lyon lengthy part due to traffic and part due to driver's unfamiliarity with Lyon.(Otherwise the driver was excellent). Full marks to Tour Manager for keeping abreast of the travel situation.
Review by Mr David Nash who travelled 02-June-2016
An enjoyable stay in a hidden part of France which turned out to be full of surprises with stunning scenery.
Review by Mr Martin Gorman who travelled 03-September-2015
Review by Mr David Burbidge who travelled 03-September-2015
No clear explanation as to where on the map we were given where the coach would actually be. If alone I could have been lost especially in large town.
Review by Mrs Elizabeth Warr who travelled 03-September-2015
Review by Mr Michael Stocks who travelled 03-September-2015
The food and the restaurant were excellent..
Review by Mr Brian Clark who travelled 03-September-2015
It would be helpful if tour guides carried a basic first aid kit including travel sickness pills with them. Otherwise it was a good holiday
Review by Mrs Gillian Hilditch who travelled 03-September-2015
The holiday was very enjoyable but we had a problem on the outward leg from St Pancras which arrived in Paris more than one hour late. This meant we missed our connection. Gill Thompson handled it very well and managed to rebook the party, for which she deserves full credit. She is an excellent tour guide, very knowledgeable and helpful. The bus driver was very good too.
Review by Mr John Cocker who travelled 02-July-2015
This was our third trip with you, probably the best to date. It was certainly the hottest because of the "Canicule" that you had arranged!! The itinerary was just right giving us a great insight into an area that surprised us. Shame about the outgoing delay on Eurostar and missed connection in Paris. We look forward to our next trip with you. it is a pity you do not do more tours with half board.
Review by Mr Roger Mellor who travelled 02-July-2015
Gill did stirling work sorting out the missed train in Paris. Good hotel - appreciated the airconditioning in the heatwave. "Vegetarian" food better than most French efforts. Too many churches on days out.
Review by Ms Kathleen Hebdon who travelled 02-July-2015
A rich and varied itinerary which included all the highlights of the region was further enhanced by the superb contribution fromGill.Time management, cultural and practical information, the little extras like the film on the volcanoes, all added up to a truly memorable holiday.A holiday of superlatives!
Review by Ms Moragh Jones who travelled 02-July-2015
Tour operator was excellent and the accommodation was friendly and well run.
Review by Mr Melvyn Hayward who travelled 04-June-2015
Another immaculately organised tour! I was delighted to discover Gill Thompson was the leader (I had previously been on a tour (Netherlands) with her). Her attention to detail without fuss and her diction on the coach PA mike was always distinct. She has picked up all sorts of interesting titbits of information from local football teams, to breeds of cows to the plain where there the Gauls fell at last to the Romans. Something for all tasted! Lauren complemented Gill with his smooth, impeccable driving skill and quiet amiable nature. The hotel was brilliant- owners and staff hospitable, plated dinners exquisitely presented (although we were over-faced by the hearty local meat stew on a hot evening on our last night!) Thanks again to Travel Editions.
Review by Ms Patricia Watkins who travelled 04-June-2015
This was the best tour (so far) we have been on with Travel Editions, not just because the Auvergne is such a glorious and interesting area. The Hotel Le Pariou was really excellent - the room was spacious and simply but perfectly equipped, the service at all points was superb and the manager and staff went out of their way to make the holiday memorable and enjoyable. There were little treats like an aperitif the first evening and a special regional meal the last evening. We felt spoilt. The tour manager Gill was absolutely excellent. She gave well delivered and thoroughly researched talks without notes en route to the sites, rearranged various tours to fit in with likely weather, and both her ability to talk with humour in fluent French to a number of officials, train staff, bus drivers and her local knowledge were really impressive and effective! For me the only minor problem (as ever in France) was the incapacity to understand what a vegetarian meal is - they still just remove the meat/fish from the plate! The hotel was very helpful and tried their best but very dated in approach compared to the creative and imaginative vegetarian cooking in most areas of Britain. This is a minor quibble and does not affect our overall huge satisfaction with this tour - we shall certainly recommend it to other family and friends.
Review by Mr Allan Melzack who travelled 04-June-2015
Travel Editions feedback:
Thank you for your comments and so pleased you enjoyed it.
Review by Mrs Margaret Dunne who travelled 04-September-2014
Review by Mrs Louisa Wright who travelled 04-September-2014
Please read this description I sent to a friend: "Surrounded as we were from St. Pancras onwards by readers of The Independent, Guardian and, heaven forbid, a couple who read The Telegraph, all of a certain age somewhat older than myself, they all turned out to be a most amenable lot – and intelligent with it – you know, those who brought crossword books, hefty guide books and other tomes with them to read. To use what became a well-worn term of our guide Yvonne, everything was “absolutely delightful”. The coach driver, the hotel, the meals provided by them, the town surroundings of Issoire, the visits, the Puy de Dome, the many (a tad too many for a few) Romanesque basilicas and cathedrals, the countryside, the St. Nectaire ‘cheese-producing’ cows, the Little Train in Thiers, the weather (apart from one wet day), all were absolutely delightful, and, note, the extremely friendly French people everywhere we went, including in restaurants and where we had coffee, starting with a warm welcome of the family hotel and ending with fond farewells from them. Indeed, Yvonne herself was absolutely delightful. The only blip was, as expected, Paris but we passed through without being molested by the Romanians as they were being rounded up by the Police at the Gare du Nord. Gare de Bercy is a shabby set of roofed sidings with platforms adjacent the Gare de Lyon tracks. The evening meals provided by the hotel were excellent. Since everyone was so chatty at dinner and we were free to sit were we wanted, a good variety of company each evening was guaranteed. It was all quite splendid and most relaxing, despite the punctual morning departures by coach from the hotel and the mass of hills and steps we had to climb. Yvonne said that the previous trip in July was marred throughout by constant rain. That couldn’t have been fun. No need to mention really that there was silence outside the hotel, bar the occasional train in the distance, no mad traffic, the air was clear and fresh throughout, the sun was hot and the naturally-carbonated Vichy spring water most acceptable. Am now minded to keep a watch on future “Travel Editions” excursions. The important thing was, there was no following the flag in a tourist trail flogging around the places we visited; we simply were told to be back at the coach by a certain time so we could wander where we wanted. Yvonne supplied copious maps and leaflets to assist, having described on the coach the main features of each place, whilst permitting plenty of time for us to enjoy with without disruption the absolutely delightful countryside as we journeyed.
Review by Mr Graham Feakins who travelled 04-September-2014
Travel Editions feedback:
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on your recent holiday and more than delighted we were able to convince you to travel to France again!
Hotel was a particularly nice surprise with facilities and staff of high standard and the presence of the owner/manager adding a personal touch - guests rather than clients is a distinction I like to make.
Review by Mr David Walker who travelled 04-September-2014
Review by Mr Richard Wood who travelled 03-July-2014
Didn't realise it was such a special church trip. However, places were brilliant so it was okay.
Review by Mr Michael Harding who travelled 03-July-2014
Review by Mr D Walker who travelled 03-July-2014
Our first holiday with you was a brilliant success. Excellent rail connections etc, fascinating and varied daily excursions, a well informed and engaging tour guide and a fabulous hotel (with an outstanding chef!). We look forward to another holiday with you soon.
Review by Mr Peter Bates who travelled 03-July-2014
The quality and presentation of the food at the hotel was excellent. The hotel itself was pleasant with a nice garden and small pool. The staff were friendly and helpful. The guide provided good quality information and wherever possible gave maps of the places visited. However as it seems to have been some years since she had previously visited the area, there were things she was unsure of, which at times created some minor problems (eg opening times) The visit to Montpayroux at 9.30 am was too early as nothing opened until 10am ( tourist office, donjon etc) Montdore for lunch was not a good choice as many of the cafés appeared to be shut. However, despite these small issues, this was a very enjoyable holiday, and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in geography and history , especially Romanesque churches and basilicas.
Review by Mrs R Hoppitt who travelled 03-July-2014
Review by Dr John Smith who travelled 03-July-2014
We were allocated a very poor seat on the Eurostar despite having asked for a better seat. This was the third time that we were given these particular seats with virtually no window. Apart from that, the holiday was excellent and Gill the tour manager was really excellent and very helpful.
Review by Dr Edward Ferrett who travelled 05-June-2014
Review by Willett who travelled 09-October-2013
Excellent holiday at one of the best hotel and staff I have ever stoped at. There are no faults to report. The tour guide Gill was excellent and extremely knowledgable and helpfull
Review by matthews who travelled 26-September-2013
Our tour guide Yvonne was excellent, very knowledgeable and helpful. Personally we found the trip quite tiring and would have preferred another free day, or at least a half day to enjoy our base at Issoire. Overall though an excellent mix of town and country.
Review by Goodchild who travelled 04-September-2010
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