Grand Rhône Valley Wine Tour

8 days

Savour the flavours of the Rhône Valley on this 8-day self-drive adventure, which takes you from the gastronomic city of Lyon to the Provençal town of Avignon. Contrast the steeply terraced vineyards and powerful Syrah and Viognier-dominated wines of the north, with the Mediterranean climate and famed blends of the south, and taste the best of the region at Michelin-starred eateries and vineyard restaurants.

Trip Highlights

  • Two nights’ accommodation in a luxurious hotel in the heart of gastronomic Lyon, and the opportunity to visit Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse

  • Sample the bold, aromatic Syrah and Viognier varietals of the northern Rhône Valley with two days’ private chauffeured wine tours

  • Two nights’ accommodation in Mirmande, one of the prettiest villages in France

  • Three nights’ accommodation in an elegant hotel, set in a period property in the heart of Avignon

  • Discover the bold blends and celebrated vineyards of the southern Rhône Valley, including Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Vacqueyras

  • Explore Avignon’s walled city and historic Palais des Papes

  • Savour the flavours of the Rhône Valley, including an exquisite vineyard lunch with wine beneath the castle walls in Châteauneuf-du-Pape

from $4,525 per person

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Trip details

Day 1

Self-drive to Lyon, France’s third-largest city and its gastronomic capital. Located at the north of the Rhône Valley, it’s the ideal place to begin your week’s exploration of Rhône wines.

After checking into your luxurious period hotel in the heart of the Vieux Lyon, you’re free to start exploring the city. Treat your taste buds to a visit to Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, Lyon’s indoor food market, which has acquired an almost mythic reputation. Or get your week off to a flying start with a meal at the Michelin two-star Restaurant Paul Bocuse.

Day 2

After breakfast, your private guide will collect you for a full-day chauffeured wine tasting tour in the northern Rhône Valley, concentrating on Côte-Rôtie and Condrieu.

Côte-Rôtie is a prestigious red wine appellation famed for its robust Syrah, while Condrieu specialises in Viognier. You’ll visit a selection of family-run vineyards, some of which span both appellations, where you can sample these intense, aromatic wines and enjoy a vineyard lunch paired with local wines.

Day 3

After breakfast, make your way to Mirmande in the Drôme Valley, a drive of around 90 minutes. After checking into your charming hotel close to the centre of the village, you can spend the rest of the day exploring.

Regarded as one of the prettiest villages in France, you’ll be enchanted by this ramparted medieval village, as you wander between stone houses adorned with flowers and peer over rooftops to the unspoilt countryside beyond.

Day 4

After breakfast, your private guide will collect you for a full-day chauffeured wine tour spanning a different region of the northern Rhône Valley. You’ll explore the vineyards and terrior of the Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage and Cornas appellations, and sample a selection of their famed vintages.

As with all northern Rhône appellations, the majority of wines produced here are powerful Syrah reds, though there are some interesting whites to sample too. You’ll also savour the flavours of the region with a local lunch paired with wines.

Day 5

Today you’ll drive to the southern Rhône Valley, responsible for c.95% of all Rhône wines including the prestigious appellations of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Vacqueyras. Your base for the next two nights is a luxurious hotel set in a sixteenth-century manor house in the centre of Avignon, a drive of a little over an hour.

Spend your afternoon exploring the walled old town and UNESCO-listed Palais des Papes. And after all that wandering, why not treat yourself to a Michelin-starred dinner at your hotel?

Day 6

Today you’ll start to experience the differences between the wines and terroir of the northern and southern Rhône, with a full-day private chauffeured wine tour of Gigondas, Vacqueyras and Beaumes-de-Venise.

Reds still dominate in the south, but blends are more common with Grenache the dominant varietal. As well as bold reds, you’ll savour some whites, rosé and the sweet Muscat-based wines of Beaumes-de-Venise, and tuck into a local lunch with wine pairings.

Day 7

Your final full-day wine tour takes you to the original cru of the southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape – the wine of popes and kings – where you’ll visit one of the appellation’s most celebrated vineyards for a tour and tasting.

The day includes a fine vineyard lunch of Provonçal cuisine completed by wines and a superb view over wine terraces and castle walls. You’ll also visit the nearby appellation of Lirac and sample the dry rosé wines of Tavel.

Day 8

Your Rhône Valley wine tour draws to a close today so it’s time to head home with happy memories – and a case or two of wine! If you’re not yet ready to return home, perhaps you’d like to extend your trip to see a little more of Provence with our Avignon to Cannes tour along the glitzy French Riviera?

All of the holidays we create are completely tailor-made to you

This sample itinerary is intended to give you a flavour of what we can do.

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Recent Google Reviews

SmoothRed planned a truly fabulous trip from Paris through Brittany to Normandy and back to Paris. Every part of the trip was wonderful and seamlessly executed. It was a trip of a lifetime! Without any hesitation or qualifications, we heartily recommend SmoothRed. They customized an extraordinary family trip.

Dorothy Weinstein

Very well organised trip to Tuscany, getting in 2 wine regions. Lovely hotel with amazing view. The best part was our guide Paula who ensured our wine tasting tours were with smaller wineries which have authenticity and care for the environment. Highly recommend SmoothRed!

Warren De Villiers

To Adam & the SmoothRed Team. Our recent trip to Bordeaux and the Medoc/St Emillion has been a wonderful trip & experience. One I would have no hesitation in saying is top class. I would certainly use SmoothRed & their travel associates in future wine tasting trips. The entire group…

Paul Green

SmoothRed did an outstanding job providing chauffeured driven wine tour through Bourgogne and the Rhone valley (France). The multiple vendors they used were all Courteous, Prompt, and very fluent in English. This 7 day trip went without problems. I would highly recommend SmoothRed.

Dan Lepley

We came to Bordeaux for part of our honeymoon and took the First Growth Bordeaux tour. SmoothRed worked with us to curate a trip based on our desires. The 8 Chateaux we visited, the 3 delicious lunches, and the hotel were wonderful, but what set the trip apart was our…

Tibita Kaneene

“Thanks for taking the time and trouble to call. You really have set the standard by which we compare all other companies!! Thank you so much for organising a fantastic itinerary with such an interesting and varied range of stop-overs. We are already starting to think about next year’s trip to France so would welcome any suggestions.”

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