Breathtaking villa by the sea


Signature Experiences

Creating Exceptional Moments with Local French Friends




France Off the Beaten Path Tours (OTBP) works exclusively with the “Creme de la Creme” of France…

…in Provence, the Loire Valley, Bordeaux, Dordogne, Champagne and Normandy regions of France. Our active small group tours combine unique, culturally enriching and personalized experiences, excursions and activities that are not available to the general public — including exclusive, private visits of artisan workshops, wine producers, mills, museums, castles and other historical monuments.

Along with our local French friends and partners in each France region, we organize every small group tour activity and outing exclusively to ensure tour guests an authentic and personalized French experience that far exceeds every expectation. Our local France friends and professionals welcome guests to their homes, professional workshops, mills, wineries, and kitchens, as a group of friends. They offer a fun and relaxed environment to experience and discover French cuisine, culture, wines, and traditions. – France Tour Activities by France Off the Beaten Path Tours.

Everyday offers new opportunities to get to know our local French friends, and experience France unlike the general tourist to this spectacular country we call home. Whether you enjoy cooking regularly at home or just like to try your hand at it during vacation, cooking classes with our Michelin-star, Master, and “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” Chef friends in their professional kitchens or in their family home kitchens offer tour guests an authentic, insider experience to the magical world of French cooking and cuisine.

During our spectacular, scenic walks through the French countryside — whether in Provence or Bordeaux — guests experience the finest trails offering the best exposure to historical architecture, landscapes, villages, and artisan producers. Take advantage of endless photo opportunities to capture the beautiful countryside in images during our tour walks, cultural visits, tour excursions, meals and more during every tour. – France Tour Activities by France Off the Beaten Path Tours.

Tours include fun, hands-on and/or demonstration culinary (cooking) classes…

…with our friends who are Michelin-Star Chefs, celebrated Master Chefs and/or “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” Chefs. Prepare recipes that reflect French cuisine of each individual region along side these culinary stars, as they welcome you into their world.

Most importantly, No experience is necessary!


France Tour Activities

Learn about local France culinary traditions, cooking styles, and trade secrets that our friends rarely share outside of the French culinary world. Prepare regional recipes at a fun pace during each culinary (cooking) class experience, and enjoy a refreshing glass of local color — a white, rosé or red. Select your favorite, and try a wine of the region while cooking.  Following cooking class, enjoy a regional house cocktail with your Chef followed by a lunch or dinner of the recipes prepared together in class, as VIP guests at our Chef’s table at home or in their Michelin-star restaurant.

Recipes prepared during OTBP cooking classes reflect each individual region, and are based on seasonal ingredients purchased fresh daily at the local outdoor, village food markets. The greatest reward comes at the end of each culinary class, when our Chef transforms his or her home or restaurant into a private stage to feature and taste the dishes we prepared together under his or her guidance while sipping a local cocktail.  Meals are paired with regional classified wines selected by our chefs.

Discover French customs with local artisans…

…Learn about the art of French chocolate making during a private tour with our favorite celebrity chocolate makers at their workshops during both OTBP Provence Tours and OTBP Loire Valley Tours. Enjoy a wine and cheese tasting “tour de France” with one of France’s most famous Michelin-star Chefs during our Loire Valley Tours. During Provence Tours, guests are invited for an optional visit to learn about the importance of locally grown and cultivated flowers in Provence perfume production.

In Provence, immerse yourself in the southern France wine culture with a day in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. We walk a local wine trail designed by our team of professional France walking guides to experience the best of this famous southern France wine growing area. We top off the walk with an in-depth wine discovery workshop tasting 6 different grand cru wines followed by a privately prepared lunch by our local friend, a Michelin-star Chef. And it all takes place at our friend’s home in his restored 13th century wine cellar. On Provence tours, tour guests also visit a friends’ olive oil mill made famous by their elite selection of olive varieties and authentic, artisan processes.

There is no better way to discover local customs than by witnessing artisan practices and crafts in person, and being able to take home souvenirs of your experience — whether they be a photographic souvenir, the memory of the flavors of France’s famous cheeses, exceptional wines, or an actual final product that was just made before your very eyes.

Participate in “Easy to moderately rated”, cultural theme walks…

…that comprise our Provence and Bordeaux Wine Tasting, Cultural Foodie Walking Tours. Each of our walking tours through France has been specially designed exclusively by Off the Beaten Path to ensure that tour guests enjoy the slow backroads of the French countryside to discover France’s beautiful landscapes and villages along the most picturesque walking trails in France. We have designed tour walking around the following themes: Village to Village, Medieval & Renaissance villages, Castle to Castle, Premiere Vineyards and Wine Producing Villages, and France’s Beautiful Waterways and Coastal Areas”.

Both longer and shorter walking trails are available on all of our walking tours through France.

Guests decide how much walking to do on any of our France small group walking tours. All walks are guided by expert nature and history walking tour guides, and are designed to appeal to walkers of all interests and ability levels. Plus  we provide a support van for all walks. Some walks include gourmet picnics or a specially reserved lunch at a private castle, wine producer or select Michelin-star rated restaurant along our small group walking trail. Walks feature stops for winery tours, wine tasting, olive oil mill tours, photo opportunities, to discover local villages, enjoy castle tours and independent exploration.

NOTE: Bordeaux, Saint Emilion, and Arcachon Tour includes walking the Saint Emilion Jurisdiction. Our very popular Best Adventures in Provence Tours include 3 walks — 1 hidden gems walk that exudes such beauty it can only be described once seen with your own eyes, 1 Chateauneuf-du-Pape France wine country walk through the vineyards of this prestigious wine producing area taking us into Chateauneuf-du-Pape village, and 1 walk in Provence’s spectacular Luberon valley through Provence hilltop villages, lavender and sunflower fields, and including lots of historical, France architecture – June through August, our Luberon walk is replaced by our Lavender field trail walk at the Valensole plateau.

France is a nation of walkers, and all Off the Beaten Path small group tours through France also include “daily leisure walking” at producers, castles, markets, and in French country villages that is considered appropriate for most travelers.  Review France Off the Beaten Path France Tours Walking Ratings. ALL Off the Beaten Path Tours through France include options daily for both walkers and non-walkers alike. Van support is provided for all of our walking tours so that when you’re done, the support van is available to pick you up and transfer you to the next group meeting point, or back to the tour group hotel, as you wish.

About Tour Activities

This is active, small group tour travel at its finest!

Join us for the France tour vacation of a lifetime to discover France, as an insider and make new friends along the way, walking the backroads of the beautiful French country.  While our small group tours through France are structured to appeal to avid walkers and those who enjoy walking during vacation travel, as much as to those who prefer to be shuttled by vehicle daily, our small group tours through France are not recommended for travelers who have walking difficulties and knee or back problems that would prohibit full participation in our tours — such as having difficulty with any of the following — periods of extended standing with no seating available, walking to and from our vehicles to and from restaurants, wineries, in villages, on uneven pavement and to and from other daily tour activities.

PROVENCE TOUR ITINERARY - Top 4 Must See Places in Provence

Enjoy expert guided cultural tours of villages and regional markets…

…followed by shopping and leisure time at art, regional, farmers, and artisan markets and craft fairs, as well as antique markets in historical villages and towns adds to the excitement of discovering local heritage and traditions during our small group tours in France. Our UNESCO award winning tour guides take guests on private tours of the artisan and craft markets, introducing guests to local and regional products. They also offer assistance, as needed, with purchases in the marketplace.

Learn which artisans are truly local and authentic. Meet our local France artisan and artist friends at work. We show and recommend only the very best each of the markets has to offer. We recommend vendors, because they truly are the very best, and absolutely authentic. We accept NO kick backs or commissions from any market vendors that we recommend to tour guests. If we recommend a vendor or artisan/artist, it’s because they are selling the best product and a truly authentic local product.

Learn fun facts, tall tales and ludic stories about French history and historical figures…

…with our UNESCO award winning tour guides — all of whom are experts in French history and local French culture. Some are also President of local tourist offices, published authors, blog journalists, and feature writers for prominent travel publications and tour travel guides. Enjoy expert commentated tours in English at our favorite castles, historical sites, monuments, artisan workshops, olive oil mills, chocolate workshops, cheese makers, and wine producers. Tours are fact-filled, and also include many untold stories and legends, plus lots of historical fun facts and gossip about the kings, queens, their courts, and much more.

Savor sumptuous, Michelin-rated and bistro gourmet meals – classified wines included…

…during each tour. Meals reflect the heart and soul of each France region. OTBP small group tour meals offer an opportunity to discover local French cuisine, traditional recipes, and cooking styles through our personalized Michelin-star restaurant and gourmet bistro selections. Enjoy dining experiences with our friends who are celebrity Michelin-star, Meilleur Ouvrier de France, and Master Chefs. They welcome you, as friends, to their restaurants, workshops and homes for a memorable French meal together.

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A WORD FROM Our Guests:

Exceeded Our Expectations!

“This trip to the Loire Valley exceeded our expectations! Christy planned unique and interesting excursions and activities that highlighted the beauty of the area and provided in-depth background knowledge about the various chateaux we visited. The cooking classes with renowned chefs, held in their restaurants and homes, were never-to-be forgotten experiences, and the visit to the winery was a highlight. The hotel was delightful and charming, and staying in one location for the entire time was a treat. Every meal or cocktail hour was planned to highlight the delicious specialties of the region. Christy is extremely knowledgeable about the various places we visited and imparted that knowledge in an interesting and entertaining manner. She and Remi took great care to ensure that we were always comfortable and well-looked after. We could not have asked for a better trip!” — Ron Rose & Sharon Matsumoto (Have done Provence tour and Loire Valley tour)

This was my third trip in the same number of years

“This was my third trip in the same number of years with Christy and Off the Beaten Path. While on her trips you can tell how much effort there is on the off season to make every single week perfect. From the pick up at the train station to the teary goodbye at the airport, everything is perfectly planned and executed. The hotel in St. Remy is magical, and the tour guides Philippe and David are exceptional. If you are considering a trip with OTBP, go for it and come home with new friends, a love of Provence and a longing to return as soon as you can!” — Beth Bower (Has done Provence tour twice and Loire Valley tour)

The Best Tour Company!

“I have done two tours – Provence and Loire Valley – and I am already looking forward to booking another. The tours are all perfectly curated and Christy is a wealth of knowledge. She is so kind and takes all of your needs and wants into consideration. I cannot recommend Off the Beaten Path enough!” — Madison Carl (Has done Provence and Loire Valley tours)

“We did the Provence tour. 8/2019. I had taken the tour 2017 & this time my husband came with me. It was just as fabulous this time as it was in 2017. Restaurants, picnic, sights, wine, all of it just delightful, but the frosting on the cake is a the knowledge, insight, humor, & attention to detail from David & Philippe. To us, they make a great trip soooo much fun. (also, 3 of our neighbors joined us this tour). Don’t hesitate, take this tour & enjoy!!!!!” — Jim & Carol Dean (Carol has done Provence tour twice)

Returning to Provence with France Off the Beaten Path

“I wanted to return to Provence as soon as it was open. I had toured with Christy in Loire Valley in 2019 and knew I wanted to travel with her again. For the second time, everything was well organized, personal and definitely off the beaten path. Christy and Phillippe have a wealth of knowledge and are eager to share. The hotel was perfectly located in St Remy, the tours to the lavender and sunflower fields are my favorite memory. The lunches and dinners were like visiting friends. The boat tour in Cassis was another highlight. Even though I had visited Provence, this trip with France Off the Beaten Path brought a new appreciation for the area.” — Susan Gage (Has done Loire Valley tour, Provence tour, Champagne tour)

“We had an excellent tour with Christie and her crew in the Loire valley. We did things that only a true insider would have access to-dinner at a Michelin chefs house, helping/learning to cook at a highly rated restaurant in their kitchen. This was in addition to seeing the sights and touring the castles. A truly unique experience that is off the beaten path. We will use her again when going back to France.” — Karen Berner (Has done Loire Valley tour)