In 1872, Phileas Fogg was going around the world in a hot-air balloon in Jules Verne’s novel. Born from the unprecedented collaboration between the Puy du Fou and La Fugue, we present to you an adventure as unique as Phileas Fogg’s journey. On board of an entirely renovated luxury train, you will live for six days a special experience across France. All of our country’s richness will unveil in front of your eyes during this extraordinary journey.
From Champagne to Burgundy, to the Alpes, to Provence and until Loire Valley Châteaux, we have picked out the best touristic destinations for you: Reims Cathedral, Hospices de Beaune, Annecy Lake, the Popes’ Palace of Avignon, Chenonceaux castle… Each time, you will benefit from privileged visit conditions, taste the best wines or witness the most outstanding shows.
From the cellars of Epernay to the Puy du Fou, this journey seals the encounter of two unique know-how, the knowledge of the Puy du Fou and the expertise of La Fugue, for an adventure full of surprises that you will discover throughout the trip.
Get on board of our train: you will live in the history of France like you have never seen or heard!
Our railroad cruise will begin in Paris, Gare de l’Est, towards Epernay.
Epernay is the city of Champagne by excellence. There is a saying that the Champagne Avenue is « the wealthiest avenue » on Earth, since so many prestigious bottles mature in the cellars wandering in the underground of the city. All of the great households are located there, among which is the famous house of Perrier-Jouët, which you will be able to discover during a visit conducted by an ambassador of the domain.
We are in the middle of the Belle Époque: luxury, champagne and glitter, lightness, the gentle French way of life. Here we visit the Perrier-Jouët family home, built at the end of the 18th century, and taste a flute in the «Belle Époque Cellar». Émile Gallé, designer of the emblematic anemones on the Perrier-Jouët bottles, would symbolize France in his own right: a lover of nature, a tireless creator, a company director committed to the well-being of his workers, an ardent patriot, a poet, a symbol of French elegance for his time. He wanted to make beauty available to all, to create luxury but also high-end popular products thanks to the magic of modern technology.
After lunch, the journey continues to Reims, City of Coronations. Saint-Remi basilica and Tau Palace are two incomparable jewels of this city, but naturally, it is the Cathedral that draws everyone’s attention. An exclusive visit of the cathedral awaits us, with access to little-known spots full of surprises. The Cathedral has a captivating history : after Clovis in 498, the Cathedral was the place of baptism of at least thirty kings of France. The bombings of World War I deeply scarred the building, but it was beautifully restored, just like the rest of the city, during the inter-war period. The gothic façade of the Cathedral is without a doubt one of the most beautiful in the world.
Back at the Reims train station, our train will depart for Beaune.
Dinner and night on board.
Burgundy, a land with unrivalled landscapes and way of life ! From the Côte de Beaune to the Nuits-Saint-Georges, with villages with vineyards like Pommard, Meursault or Puligny-Montrachet, Burgundy is an authentic and abundant region. The city of Beaune is one of the most touristic place of the area. The city was first a very religious place, before turning to the riches of its vines. This is how writer Raymond Dumay described the town : « Beaune is the only city in the world surrounded by a bottle wall » !
Here we are in Beaune, on the lands of Nicolas Rolin, chancellor of the Duke of Burgundy, Philippe le Bon (Philip the Good), the man who had captured and sold Joan of Arc to the English. Was it to make up for this misdeed that Rolin, perhaps the richest man of his time, decided to give everything for the humblest ? His wife, Guigone de Salins, gave him the idea that would offer him his redemption: a palace to welcome the poor, the sick, the dying, to offer art and beauty, mercy and paradise to the most miserable. We meet the ambassadors of the famous Hospices de Beaune, leading us through the corridors of the Hôtel-Dieu to the king’s room for a tasting of Burgundy wine. The last patients of the hospital left in 1984.
In the afternoon, we head to Annecy, the Venice of the Alpes ! Its landscapes are incomparable, its lake magnificent and its historical centre greatly preserved. Year after year, the city is rewarded as most agreeable cities of France. Accompanied by a guide, we will visit the Old Town. The Thiou River flows through this enchanted medieval city. Among its treasures, the island’s Palace, Sainte-Claire Street or the Castle, the former home of the Dukes of Savoie.
But the mythical lake is what draws everyone to Annecy. We will go on a cruise, to visit the Paccard Foundry, which is today the world’s reference for church bells and carillons. Since 1796, 7 generations of founders have succeeded one another at the head of the company, founding more than 120,000 bells that give rhythm to the daily life of cities and villages throughout the world. A private visit of the foundry punctuated by privileged encounters as well as a moment of relaxation in the tea room will be on the agenda.
At the end of the day, our train will head towards Avignon.
Dinner and night on board.
Garrigues, lavender fields, picturesque villages : who has never dreamed of visiting Provence ?
But first, let’s discover the mythical City of the Popes. Still radiant and dynamic, Avignon was one of the most important cities of the western world in the Middle Ages, as proven by the majestic Palace of the Popes, which you will have the opportunity to discover during a private visit. The monument was built during the 14th century, under the impulsion of King Phillipe le Bel, in order to welcome all of the Christian popes. The palace was (and still is) the most important gothic palace in the world. Although it welcomed the ecclesiastical councillors, the Avignon papacy was nevertheless at the origin of a schism in the 15th century between a church of the East and a church of the West, with the coexistence of two popes, one in Rome and the other in Avignon. Our pathway will lead us from stairs to concealed corridors, during the exploration of this outstanding palace.
Lunch will take place in an idyllic setting. In the Alpilles, we meet the olive growers of the Moulin de Castelas with whom we exchange on their activities and know-how during a Provençal lunch in the heart of the olive grove, facing the panorama of Baux-de-Provence.
Between Alpilles and Lubéron, the region of the Beaux-de-Provence is simply one of the most beautiful regions in the world. This paradise on Earth was the place of the glorious dazzle of Vincent Van Gogh. Near Saint-Rémy de Provence, the cloister Saint-Paul de Mausole has kept the mark of the brilliant Dutch painter. We will visit a reconstitution of his hospital room, in which he stayed between May 1889 and May 1890. We will also discover all the places which had inspired him and marked his paintings. Indeed, it is in this area and in this light that the artist had painted some of his most well-known paintings, such as the sunflowers, the Irises or the Starry Night. Without a doubt, you will enrich your palette with tender yellows and burning purples in the painting course you will have the opportunity to follow in the middle of an olive field !
Our train will then head to the South-West of France.
Dinner and night on board.
You previously had had a taste of the wines of Burgundy, and you will now have the opportunity to compare them with the famous Bordelais wines. The talents of the Aquitaine region are unsurpassed in many fields.
The ocean air wakes us up and the Arcachon Basin reveals its splendours.
Back to the Belle Époque, when the Parisian elite used to flock to Arcachon to enjoy, as we do, its iodized delicacies. We visit the Dubourdieu shipyard, named after Louis Dubourdieu who built «titolles», rowing fishing boats, in 1800. More than two centuries later, this shipyard is considered a «Living Heritage Company», symbol of French excellence and age-old know-how. We cross the Arcachon Basin on board one of their pinnaces and imagine Duguesclin and the Black Prince riding at full gallop on the beach… before docking at the village of Le Canon where we savour the famous oysters of this tidal lagoon.
We will have lunch on board of our boat.
In the afternoon, leaving Arcachon Bay, our train will make its way through the heart of the Bordeaux vineyards to Saint-Emilion, where several of the most prestigious Grands Crus châteaux open their doors to welcome us. Discover then unusual wines and authentic know-how along with a wine tasting experience of a Grand Cru Class. Perfection in a glass.
Departure of our train from Libourne train station to Chenonceau.
Dinner and night on board.
We end our journey with the beauties of the West of France.
The most visited private domain of France, the Château de Chenonceau is a one of a kind castle. Built on the river Cher (it is therefore not a castle of the Loire Valley !) in the 16th century, the building was chosen as residence by many important ladies. First, Diane de Poitiers, who decided to build a bridge across the river. Then Catherine de Medicis, who built the famous two-storey gallery on the same bridge. The whole history of France is present in this wonderful castle which we will discover in exclusivity, before its daily opening to the public. The visit of these marvellous gardens and of their geometric maze will complete this exceptional morning.
Departure of the train towards Cholet and lunch on board.
Often named “best theme park in the world”, the Puy du Fou will be the logic conclusion of our journey. Performance, emotion and conviviality are the right words to describe this absolutely unique domain. The most beautiful pages of our national history are written in front of our eyes : from Latin Antiquity to the Middle Ages, the Puy du Fou offers breathtaking shows, strikingly realistic.
After a dinner at l’Auberge ; you will enjoy the wonderful nocturnal show of the park. A conclusion that brings our dive into French history to a climax !
Back to the train around midnight, you will spend your last night on board, while your train will bring you back to Paris.
Brunch on board, before arriving in Paris, gare de l’Est, for the end of this great Tour de France.
LE GRAND TOUR (luxe) – 5 nights
This train reminiscing of the Orient-Express is equipped of sixteen all comforts cabins from 10 to 15 metre square, two gastronomic dining wagons, a bar wagon and butler ! The charms of these grand railroad travels from the past in a luxurious train with a woody atmosphere. Your tastebuds will also travel thanks to our three-starred chef and his cuisine inspired by our regions.
Package cabin (10 m2) for double use : 14 900 €
Package cabin (10 m2) for single use : 19 950 €
Package suite cabin (15 m2) for double use : 17 500 €
Package suite cabin (15 m2) for single use : on request
Possibility of additional children beds in the suite cabins : question us.
The price of this trip includes: accommodation on board the privatised Le Grand Tour train for 5 nights • the visits, shows and transfers mentioned in the programme • all meals (drinks included) • the surprises of La Fugue • repatriation assistance.
The price of this trip does not include: transport to and from Paris • the programme of the options (communicated later) • extras.