Why Choose an Off the Beaten Path, LLC Tour?
Why Choose an Off the Beaten Path, LLC Active, Small Group France Tour Vacation?
Active, small group walking, cultural, wine and gourmet touring is a magical and active experience brought to life by our expertise and extensive first-hand knowledge of all that the French regions have to offer our guests. With 18 years experience exclusively in France, Off the Beaten Path, LLC has been extensively featured in the international press as the world's leading active, small group, luxury tour company in France, and has been cited in the "Top 50 Tours of a Lifetime" by National Geographic Traveler Magazine.
What Makes Us "One-of-a-Kind" in a class of our own?
Each season more than 60% of our guests are repeat travelers. It is an honor to be selected, as the small group tour operator of choice by both prominent travel magazines and travelers like you. Everything we do, from selecting the most beautiful destinations within France, to ensuring the highest level of hospitality you expect, results in a truly outstanding and exclusive travel experience. With Off the Beaten Path, LLC you'll travel in a truly personalized, small group (maximum 16 travelers per tour) and be able to discover and experience France at your own pace. We take care of every detail during your tour travel with us, so all you have to do is have fun and enjoy your Off the Beaten Path vacation.
We ensure that each itinerary is inspiring, and that each guest's experience is unique and personalized. Our tours are active travel planned by enthusiasts who value creativity, exploration and enjoying the finer things in life.
On your exclusive small group tour program, you can enjoy the following:
- Expert leadership: All of our guides are Americans with dual nationality (American-French citizenship), are multi-lingual and reside in France. They bring a wealth of local information, knowledge of culture and history to enrich each guest's experience, and have been selected for their comprehensive understanding of French culture. Our guides are passionate about ensuring that your experience is unique and authentically French. You will find that Off the Beaten Path guides are wonderful traveling companions, whose knowledge and sense of fun and positive attitude make each day a wonderful experience.
- Flexibility: All of our tours offer a lot of flexibility and daily options. Each day, you decide how involved you would like to be with the group and/or in which activities you would like to participate. There are daily alternatives for those who would like to spend more time on their own exploring or pursuing a specific interest. Enjoy the group ambiance and activities while also enjoying the freedom to break away from the group when you feel like it. Participate in every activity or pick and choose as you wish.
- Daily walking - scheduled walks (for interested guests): All of our tours feature walking daily whether it be an optional scheduled walk for interested guests or leisure walking at markets and historic monuments or in villages. Provence Tours feature 3 optional, scenic walks including (1) an "Alpilles Valley Winery to Village" walk that takes guests through olive orchards and vineyards and features a private winery tour and VIP wine tasting at a local organic vineyard, (2) a "Luberon Village to Village" walk that takes guests from one perched village to another through spectacular lavender and sunflower fields and (3) a Les Baux Village to Village Walk taking guests through scenic vineyards, olive orchards, colorful flower fields and historic sites. Bordeaux Tours feature 3 beautiful walks through different first growth vineyard appellations of this prestigious wine producing region - including Graves, St. Emilion and Sauternes with private winery tours and VIP wine tasting at "Grand Cru" producers along walking trails daily. Dordogne Tours feature amazingly scenic nature and cultural walks through the historic land sprinkled with no less than a 1,000 castles. Loire Valley and Champagne Tours feature daily leisure walking in historic villages and at castles (and also inside producers' caves during Champagne Tours). *See below for options available to non-walkers.
- Cooking classes with Michelin-star and Master Chefs. No experience is necessary. Whether cooking with one of our famous friends at home or in his/her professional kitchen, each culinary class experience offers a fun and exclusive opportunity to discover regional and "haut" cuisine with the "crème de la crème" of the French culinary world. Provence Tours feature 1 cooking class, Bordeaux Tours feature 1 cooking class, Loire Valley tours feature 3 cooking classes, Champagne tours feature a chocolate making class and Dordogne tours feature 1 cooking class.
- Winery tours & VIP wine tasting at the finest chateaux and estates. From the most famous to the undiscovered "gems" of each region, our wine experts take the mystery out of the sometimes daunting world of French wine in a friendly, relaxed environment that is equally welcoming to wine novices and advanced connoisseurs.
- Privately guided tours of historic monuments and castles. We blend historical facts with ludic stories and legends that have been passed from generation to generation about important French, historical events and French beliefs to ensure a fun, yet fact-filled experience. Loire Valley tours feature privately commentated tours at all of the castles listed in the itinerary.
- A Variety of options available daily for "non-walkers": Shopping, leisure time, specialty visits with local artisans, museum and historic monument options and many more active experiences are available during each tour.
- The finest deluxe castle and historical hotels, a balance between sumptuous gourmet Michelin-star and traditional bistrot meals, deluxe transportation and fabulous classified wines at every meal. Classified wines and non-alcoholic beverages are included at all group lunches and dinners.
Oui ...What we do...We guarantee some very specific services that we believe you, as our guest, deserve.
- We ensure a "small group" remains just that - a "small group" ! - The group size on each of our tours is a maximum 16 guests. Many of our trips sell out completely meaning group size is 16 guests. Our experience has been that limiting our group size to 16 guests per tour creates the ideal ambiance for guests to easily mingle and get to know each other, yet still maintain their independence. We also limit our group size in order to preserve each guest’s personalized experience, and ensure our famous quality customer service.
- We include MOST meals and ALL beverages (BOTH alcoholic and non-alcoholic) in our tour prices ! - We always include welcome cocktails, plus premium, classified and "Grand Cru" wines at all groups meals during each of our tours. If we don't include a meal on any particular day, we always have a list of our favorite cafés, brasseries and restaurants that we recommend and will be happy to reserve for you.
- We ALWAYS provide our guests the BEST rooms at every hotel we use on our tours ! - We always reserve the VERY BEST for our guests ! Plus there is NEVER any hotel hopping on our tours. We select one exclusive, luxurious, historical establishment for the entire 5 nights of each tour (3 nights on Champagne Tours).
- Our scheduled walks are ALWAYS guided ! - We always guide our walks !! Our guides are experienced and have walked our trails repeatedly each season - even in their off season, and are knowledgeable about what each trail has to offer. Our guides accompany every walk on every tour where optional and scheduled walks are included. And our guides remain with the group during the entirety of each walk. We believe your walks with us should always be fun, interesting and a time to sit back and enjoy the views along the trail while someone else takes charge and shows you the way! We have specially designed all of our trails exclusively to share with our guests. A second guide drives the support van.
- We ALWAYS provide van support for our walks ! - In addition to providing guides who accompany each walk on our tours, we always provide a support van whose sole responsibility is to meet the group at designated points throughout each walk to provide more refreshments and snacks, collect any purchases made during visits along our trails, and provide a ride to any guest who needs a break.
Our Commitment to Ensuring Inspiring Itineraries, Exceptional Quality and Excellent Value!!
- OTBP itineraries are designed to share the very BEST of each region --Provence, Loire Valley, Bordeaux wine country, Champagne and Dordogne-- including luxurious accommodations that reflect the heart & soul of each region and offer complete modern amenities, spectacular theme walks, both Michelin-star gourmet and bistrot style dining at the best restaurants of each region, cooking classes at the homes and/or private workshops of Michelin-star and Master Chefs who are Christy's personal friends and who welcome OTBP guests to their homes and professional kitchens as a group of friends, visits to local artisan workshops, shopping at the finest craft markets, hot air ballooning and much more.
- All OTBP tours are run by OTBP. The company does NOT subcontract any of its' tours. Many OTBP tours are owner led and those that aren't owner led are led by guides who work exclsuively for OTBP and who have been hand-picked by Christy based on her very strict criteria.
- Since all OTBP tour guides are Americans who reside in France, we do NOT have to incorporate any international transportation and lodging costs for tour guides into tour prices, meaning even greater savings to you, because we can ensure our OTBP luxurious quality tour experiences at even more competitive prices.
- Classified regional wines and non-alcoholic beverages are included at all group meals.
- OTBP group lunches and dinners are comprised of a combination of set menus exclusively elaborated for our groups that reflect the cuisine of the region, ordering off the menu and indulging in select gourmet menus that feature a Chef's local and/or seasonal specialties. We are constantly told that our restaurant selections are one of many highlights of our tours! We are also happy to accommodate vegetarians and other special dietary requests.
- OTBP has established, proprietary relationships with all wineries, chefs, restaurants, service providers and bistrots on each tour based on both its' exclusive and privileged network of contacts and French friends, and its' outstanding reputation throughout France. All chefs, restaurants and bistrots selected for OTBP tours are Michelin-star and/or have been featured/recommended by top "foodie" magazines and/or fellow Michelin-star Chefs. OTBP tours feature dining in both gourmet restaurants and favorite hide-a-ways.
- OTBP has negotiated the best rates with its' French partners to ensure the best luxury experience again at the best value tour prices.
- OTBP has the LOWEST single supplements in the France tour industry thanks to established relationships with partner hotels. Our single supplement fees cover exact hotel single occupancy fees charged. We do NOT charge a single supplement for profit, NEVER.
- OTBP small group tours feature TRUE SMALL GROUP travel. The maximum group size on OTBP tours is 16 guests per tour date. Limiting group sizes creates the ideal ambiance for guests to easily mingle and get to know other guests, yet still maintain their independence. OTBP also limits its' groups to a maximum of 16 guests per tour date in order to preserve each guest's personalized experience, and ensure its' famous quality customer service.
- *ALL 2013 and 2014 Tour dates are guaranteed departures!*
- Book your tour today to lock-in and guarantee your tour price. Once your tour is booked, your tour price is guaranteed and will NOT increase. Otherwise, prices are subject to change.
Below are direct links to all Off the Beaten Path, LLC online tour brochures. Brochures include complete information about each individual tour.
Check out our 2013 Tour Schedule of regularly scheduled departure tour dates for our Provence, Loire Valley, Bordeaux and Champagne Tours.
-DETAILED- Brochures feature complete and comprehensive details of each tour day, include photos and images as well as additional detailed information from our website.
-SHORT VERSION- Brochures feature a bullet point layout or outline of each tour day and have NO photos or images for faster printing.
Loire Valley Brochures
Champagne & Dordogne Brochures
In 2013, Champagne and Dorodgne Tours are available on request for private groups (minimum group size to book a private tour is 6-8 persons)
Tour Guest Testimonials
"A few words to tell you that we loved the tour and the variety of activities and walks. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about French culture and food (as she was last year when we we're on your Bordeaux Tour), and the cooking classes were outstanding. Each one was so different from the other and the food we prepared was amazing! The itinerary description was "spot-on". This was our 2nd tour, we really like that your tours offer so much quality and value! Continue to keep the price vs. value experience, as we're looking forward to a 3rd trip. Thank you for another excellent time!"Terje and Belinda Gudmestad, Los Angeles, CA (Have been on 2 OTBP Tours -Provence Tour, Bordeaux Tour)
"We are world travelers and this was our first time joining a tour group, and we had the time of our lives!! We really enjoyed learning about Provence with a knowledgeable guide who was fun, cheerful and helpful, as well as meeting the other trip guests. From the Luberon villages, both cooking classes to our hotel in Saint Remy de Provence, this was an exceptional and relaxing experience!" Loren and Althea Korte, Lexington, MA (Provence Tour)