Explore France with Under30Experiences
Under30Experiences just finished our first adventure in France and it was amazing. From exploring the French countryside, to wine tasting, to enjoying French Gastronomy, it was a trip of a lifetime...
Explore France with Under30Experiences
Under30Experiences just led its first trip in France and the least we can say is that it was a real success!
Welcoming U30X travelers in my home country and showing them the French lifestyle has been a great experience that I want to share with you and make you want to come to explore the magnificent French countryside!
Everything started when I went on the Explore Central America trip last November and asked Matt Wilson, co-founder of Under30Experiences, if he would ever consider to organize a trip in France. After a few emails and discussions, we decided to take the big jump and organize a beautiful trip to Burgundy since it's famous for delicious wine & gastronomy.
Of course, France attracts a lot of tourists every year who tend to visit Paris most of the time. The objective of this trip was clearly not to stay in the capital but to explore more the French countryside and get an authentic French experience in a place where you would have never thought to stay before.
Back in Time at the Palace of Versailles
Our first stop was at the Palace of Versailles, a UNESCO World Heritage site and also a strong symbol of the French monarchy. It was first built by King Louis XIII and then expanded by the King Louis XIV who wanted the biggest and most beautiful Palace of the world…
The group spent the morning visiting the Gardens of Versailles, which represent 800 hectares, 200,000 trees, more than 210,000 flowers and 50 fountains. The Gardens were absolutely beautiful and a lot of Parisians come here to spend a sunny and relaxing afternoon, sitting on the grass or walking through the park.
Living the Château Experience...
France is one of the countries that has the most castles in Europe and the region of Burgundy boasts most of them so of course we stayed in one!
The Château de Barbirey was built during the 18th century and now belongs to a French couple, Jean-Bernard and Véronique, who raised their kids in this beautiful house. In 2012, they decided to make some renovations and transformed the castle into a big guesthouse where people from around the world come to spend a few nights.
But the castle is not the only attraction of the property. The 8 hectares of Gardens are absolutely beautiful and it takes at least one hour to explore it all.
The U30X group woke up with an outstanding view of the gardens and let's not forget about the geese who would come to say hello every morning.
Wine and Gastronomy
When in Burgundy, exploring the vineyards, tasting the wine and enjoying some escargots are a must!
We walked through the vineyards of Vosne-Romanée where the most expensive wine is produced – about $13,000 per bottle! The scenery was absolutely breathtaking and our group enjoyed a wine tasting in a vineyard that has been family owned for generations. Plus, they got a ton of knowledge about Burgundy wine straight from the makers themselves.
When it came to French Gastronomy, let's just say our travelers didn't go hungry!
Escargots, Beef Bourguignon, confit of Duck, Pork ribs, quiche Lorraine…
Our passionate and hilarious French Chef, Alexandre, prepared us delicious dinners and gave a cooking class to our new chefs who learned many tips and tricks to execute new recipes at home!
Beaune & Dijon
The two main Burgundy towns, Beaune and Dijon, are very famous for their terroir –one is respectively the capital of Burgundy wine and the other the capital of mustard.
In Beaune, the group wandered the streets, had the option to visit the Hospices de Beaune, a charity hospital, and did all their wine shopping. Some of them also decided to get a second and unforgettable wine tasting session with a very funny and energetic French man who shared his passion for wine to us.
It was personally one of the best wine tastings I’ve ever had in my life (and being from France, I've had a lot!).
Dijon is famous in the world for its mustard but it is also a town of history and culture.
We started the day by climbing the 316 steps of the Tower of Philippe The Good, one of the Burgundy Dukes in the 15th century. Once we reached the top, we enjoyed a panoramic view of the whole town. Beautiful!
Adventure Biking in the French countryside!
On a beautiful sunny day, we biked along the Canal of Burgundy exploring the French countryside. A few travelers pushed their limits and conquered their fears of riding a bicycle. We all had a lot of fun and it was a great activity balancing between physical challenges and be fully immersed in the countryside and see what Burgundy had to offer.
The whole group enjoyed their lunch by one of the docks of the Canal in a restaurant where all the staff are volunteers. Their goal is to revitalize the area by relying on its natural and cultural resources while preserving them. How cool is that?
What makes Under30Experiences different and so unique is that we provide a cultural and authentic experience while supporting small family businesses & the local economy.
I’m happy to say that this first France trip with Under30Experiences was a real success!
We had a kick-ass group full of happy, funny, awesome people and I want to thank every traveler who came on this trip for all the memories and new friendships. Don't forget that you can also attend meet-ups and connect with new travelers in your U.S. city.