Travel, Food & Drink

Le Voyage Gourmand: Take an Exceptional Food Tour Through France

Experience French gastronomy like never before by following the country’s new Vallée de la Gastronomie food and wine route

Have you ever longed to lose yourself in the famously rich French culinary scene? You’re in luck: the Vallée de la Gastronomie, a newly launched food tour through France, offers the perfect opportunity to do so. From truffle hunting to participating in a wine harvest and sampling goods from little-known cheesemakers and chocolatiers, it’s a trip designed to connect you with the artisans who define the culinary identity of their region.

A stone built winery with large olive tree can be seen on this food tour of France
The picturesque winery at Domaine de Montine, located in the village of Grignan on the edge of Provence, is renowned for both its wine and truffles. Visiting it along France’s new gastronomy trail ensures you’ll experience pairings of both.

“The idea of Vallée de la Gastronomie is for people to experience excellent fare from producers between Dijon and Marseilles,” says Jean Luc Monteillet of Domaine de Montine wine estate, who was involved in the trail’s creation. “In Grignan, people can discover truffles, and in Burgundy, they can discover the snails. The tour is an opportunity to taste food specific to each area of France, along with the art de vivre and terroir.”

So, where to start? The trail follows the natural furrow of the Rhône-Saône, a trading corridor since antiquity, and runs from the capital of Burgundy, Dijon, through the dramatic landscape to France’s oldest city, Marseille, on the Mediterranean coast. Lyon, often named the food capital of France, is at the midpoint of the tour.

If you’d like to curate your own self-guided journey along the 385-mile (620 km) route, the tour’s online platform ( allows you to select from a variety of options that suit your taste. No matter which path you choose, you’re guaranteed an immersive experience, thanks to face-to-face meetings with the chefs, restaurateurs, farmers, and winemakers who showcase local tradition through their crafts.

A chef assembles a fine dining dish using local mushrooms and herbs
At Le Relais Bernard Loiseau, a boutique hotel in Saulieu, Chef Patrick Bertron’s two-Michelin-starred La Côte d’Or restaurant is known for fine dining that’s packed with powerful flavor, while allowing the simplicity of local produce to shine.

The highlights begin in the bucolic countryside surrounding Dijon, with tastings of Cassis—a traditional blackcurrant liqueur that originated in the area—before heading out on bicycle to explore wine-producing châteaux worthy of a fairy tale. Further into the heart of Burgundy, you can enjoy an overnight stay, a chef’s table experience, and a cellar visit at Le Relais Bernard Loiseau; pay a visit to the Edmond Fallot mustard factory; and take a hot air balloon flight over never-ending vineyards.

Follow the trail south to join a gourmet walk highlighting the cheesemakers, delicatessens, and chocolatiers of Vienne, a city just outside of Lyon. Then dine and take a cooking class at the three-Michelin-starred restaurant of Anne-Sophie Pic, Maison Pic, in Valence, and set out on a fishing trip off the coast of Martigues.

If you’re mostly in it for the wine, there are tastings, tours, and winemaking experiences in abundance across the trail’s environmentally diverse landscape. At Grotte Saint-Marcel, you can venture into a 490-foot (150 m) stone tunnel that’s been converted into a cellar for aging Syrah, Roussanne, Marsanne, and Viognier, or join a blind-tasting of southern Ardèche wines 330 feet (100 m) underground. At Domaine de Montine in Grignan, wine tasting, and tours of the cellar and vineyards are run alongside seasonal truffle hunting experiences and visits to the nearby Richerences Truffle Market.

A gourmet dish of lobster tails and foam served on a green sauce
French gourmet dishes with a twist: Incredible seafood options feature on the menu at Château de Montcaud’s restaurant, Le Cèdre de Montcaud, as a nod to Normandy, the region head chef Matthieu Hervé grew up in.

Exceptional accommodation offerings are dotted throughout the route. In Sabran, stay at Château de Montcaud and enjoy the acclaimed fine dining options helmed by chef Matthieu Hervé. In Vignieu, check in to Château de Chapeau Cornu and take in the picture-perfect scenery, and gourmet fare, at its terraced Le Capella restaurant. Or, in the heart of Ardèche, book a room at the lakeside hotel and restaurant Auberge du Lac.

In a nutshell, “the Vallée de la Gastronomie puts these regions’ tremendous range of products, high level of excellence, and great variety of gastronomic experiences on the international map,” says chef Patrick Bertron of Le Relais Bernard Loiseau. “You could spend a week on the trail and discover a world of different tastes.”

Banner image: A dish served at La Côte d’Or, the Michelin-starred restaurant of Le Relais Bernard Loiseau