The Chain Gang in 2018

We’re looking ahead to 2018. We have a new tour – Languedoc. That’s the region to the west of Provence, with mediterranean coast, fabulous food and wine, and fascinating history.

Our dates are now live on the website. Our first tours are in June. I thought I’d introduce next year very simply, by choosing a photograph from each of our June tours. A great excuse to look through some fab photos, and hopefully interesting for you. (Click on any photo to enlarge it.)

1. Normandy. (June 3rd – 10th)

I’ve chosen a photo of Pegasus Bridge, near Benouville, across the canal that links Caen to the port of Ouisterham.

This is actually a replacement bridge, in the same style of the original Pagasus Bridge, which is now located in the museum dedicated to the operation to capture the bridge.

I chose this photo as a representation of all of the monuments, cemeteries and museums dedicated to the Normandy Landings. We visit the most important sites in the 2nd half of our week-long tour, and the start is cycling across Pegasus Bridge on our way to our hotel. It’s actually pretty common to see the bridge raised. It’s a busy road, and a busy canal, an we spend an extra day in the area, so we usually get to see the bridge working – which is quite a sight.

Pegasus Bridge, Normandy. © 2015, Patrick Hudgell Photography
Pegasus Bridge, Normandy. © 2015, Patrick Hudgell Photography

You can see more photos of Normandy by clicking here.


2. Alsace. (June 10th – 17th; June 24th – July 1st).

Much as I love Strasbourg Cathedral and the centre of Colmar, I’ve chosen a photo of the Route des Vins, the cycling route that snakes along the bottom of the Vosges mountains, linking beautiful medieval villages and vineyards.

Once you’ve cycled through the 5th beautiful medieval village of the day, perhaps you’ll accept that I’m not lying when I say there are dozens more that are just as beautiful. And in between are the vineyards, with the Vosges sweeping up behind them and the Black Forest visible as the far horizon 60 Km away in Germany.

We spend 3 days following the route des vins through Alsace from Guebwiller to Obernai


Blienschwiller ©JENN -Jean-Philippe ConseilVinsAlsace.jpg
Blienschwiller ©JENN -Jean-Philippe ConseilVinsAlsace.jpg

You can see more photos of Alsace by clicking here.


3. Provence. (June 17th – 24th)

This is probably our most popular tour. The food is wonderful, and the best region in France for vegetarians. What really sets Provence apart is the beauty of its landscapes. There are hillsides covered in olive trees and vineyards. The Alpilles and the Lubéron Park are beautiful – it’s wonderful in the Alpilles, they’re like a proper mountain range with jagged ridges and dramatic skylines, but they’re only 1,000 feet high. Marvellous.

But if you’re there in July, or a week or so either side, you’ll see the lavender. None of our groups can ever resist getting a photo with the lavender. Nor can I, so I’m not criticising.

Posing with Lavender in Provence
Posing with Lavender in Provence

You can see more photos of Provence by clicking here.


4. Bordeaux Winetrail. (June 24th – July 1st)

I’ve chosen this photo because I think it illustrates best what’s special about our week touring the vineyards of Bordeaux

This is Patrick Bernard, of Château du Raux in the Haut Médoc. We’re in his vineyard, learning about the vines, the grapes, the trials of growing grapes for making wine. Our week is a real learning experience. I’ve never done this tour without learning something new.

We explore nice landscapes, we eat well, and we follow very pretty roads. But above all on this tour we meet some fascinating people, and none are more generous with their time than Patrick.

Patrick at the Château du Raux, AOC Haut Médoc
Patrick at the Château du Raux, AOC Haut Médoc

You can see more photos our Bordeaux Winetrail by clicking here.

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