By Steven House, Feb 14 2018 08:50AM
Inn-to-Inn Guided Canoe Tours
This has been our usual style of accommodation in the 14 seasons we have been running our tours.
But we think it might be time for a change. Last year we ran two tours on the Self-Catering, Single-Centre basis and we think some of our clients may like to try it. Below we will describe how it could work for you in practical terms, and for which tours we think it may be suitable.
Self-Catering, Single-Centre Tours
Traditionally we have followed the canoes downstream and stayed in small Inns, B&B and hotels along the way with the occaisonal two night stay in a single place.
To reduce the costs of a holiday it may be practical to stay in a single-centre for the entirety of the tour and ride out to the canoe put-in at the beginning of the day and drive back from the take-out at the end of the day.
We've tried this on our 6 Day Célé Tour on several occaisons and stayed at the converted farmhouse at Métairie Bass with Richard & Helen every night. This works well in this area as each days drive is very short and never longer than 30 minutes. However this is NOT self-catering. Although this single-centre is still available we are suggesting that our clients may wish to hire a gîtes (a villa or holiday home) and stay here for a week whilst being ferried to and from the river every day for the canoe tour.
In this way you can stay in the same place and cater for yourselves for the holiday.
Q: where do the guides stay?
A: either in the same gîtes or not. It's up to you. If we share then we'll be helping out with the catering etc.
Q: who does the cooking?
A: you do unless we are staying in the same gîtes and we'll do our share.
Q: do we have to self-cater every night
A: no! We can arrange evenings out to restaurants on as many evenings as you like. We can make suggestions for you - we already use some on our Inn-to-Inn tours or course, but feel free to make your own suggestions.
Q: who does the shopping?
A: we do, we have the minibus to to run around and do all the shopping, although you are welcome to join us.
Q: how do we choose and pay for a gîtes?
A: we can do this for you and present you with some choices and costs when we are designing the tour, or you can choose and decide for yourself - in this case we'll cost the price of the tour without accommodation.
Q: how do we pay for the shopping and evenings out?
A: we can arrange this when we design the tour for you, but generally it will be on a 'pay as you go' basis e.g. paying at the shop or restaurant on the day. This allows for greater freedom about choosing when to eat in or out.
Q: what about lunches
A: we will still provide all the picnic lunches when on the river & trail
Q: what about the length of the tour?
A: gîtes are rented by the week in France (usually from Saturday to Saturday) so some of the shorter tours would need to be extended. We could suggest itineraries for these days or they could be free days for you. The minibus would be available.
Q: which tours are suitable for this kind of accommodation
A: we think the following tours would work:
6 Day Célé Tour with driving time to the river at a maximum of 30 minutes. An extra two days could be spent on hiking or wild-swimming or a vineyard visit.
7 Day Perigord Tour, max driving time of about an hour.
8 Day Ardeche Tour, this would have to exclude the hiking in the Cevennes, which would be replaced by other activities - closer hiking routes are available, or other activities are a possibility too, for example vineyard visits or wild-swimming. The maximum driving would be about an hour to/from the river.
8 Day Allier Tour, max driving time to/from the river of about 40 minute. We ran this tour in the summer of 2017 as a single-centre self-catering tour and it worked very well.
6 Day Tarn Tour, max driving time to/from the river of about an hour. The extra two days could be spent of further hiking on the causse, wild-swimming etc
Any Further Questions?
You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like any further information or clarification about our tours, whether self-catering or not.