Octane magazine Hotel de France tour

5th – 9th October

Join Octane editorial team members as well as their celebrity contributors for a convivial tour to La Sarthe, Le Loir & La Loire. You will be escorted on what promises to be an unforgettable experience, to enjoy your car on fabulous roads with like-minded enthusiasts.

We will take three nights at the famous Hotel de France at La Chartre-sur-le-Loir…..

Tour itinerary

5th October

The tour departs from Portsmouth docks at 19.00 hrs, having checked in you will be shown to the dedicated loading line for the ‘Octane tour’ participants.

Once on board you can find your commodore (based on availability) cabin before heading up to our private reception room for a welcome cocktail. We can make our way to our reserved tables for dinner when ready. Having got to know your fellow travelling companions you can retire to your comfortable cabins after dinner.

6th October

Driving distance 220 miles

Driving time 4 hours

This morning breakfast will be bought to your cabin, to enjoy before our arrival into St Malo at 08.00 hrs. Your detailed route maps and itinerary are provided giving you easy to follow routes via excellent and empty roads.

Upon leaving the port we head south to our first rendezvous point of the day just South of Rennes. Coffee and croissants await us at the fabulous Manoir de l’Automobile, which houses one man’s personal collection, which never fails to amaze those that view it. Once suitably refreshed we will take to the private circuit situated next to the museum. The circuit is ours for the morning to have a play before we head East to the Hotel de France, our base for the next three nights.

This evening we convene for welcome drinks before dinner in the hotel’s restaurant.

7th October

Driving distance 130 miles

Driving time 4 hours

After a traditional French continental breakfast at the hotel we head out of the Loir and into the Loire, tackling some classic French D roads enroute to a coffee stop by the river side. We then board our private boat for a tour of the Loire river with light lunch onboard.

At the end of the afternoon we will board the hotels people mover (captioned pic of H van here) to take us to our local wine producer’s caves. This visit never fails to entertain and the proprietor will offer some of his finest and oldest product during our tasting.

Following the tasting we will take you back to the hotel’s restaurant where dinner will be served.

8th October

Driving distance 80 miles

Driving time 3 hours

Today we take a relaxed breakfast at the hotel there is time to fettle the cars before we drive the route to the Le Mans 24 hours circuit. The very route used by the team cars driving to and from the circuit between 1953 and 1963, including the 1959 winning cars. On arrival at the circuit we will be given a guided tour of the museum by the curator. The fascinating museum chronicles the history of the race from 1923 to date.

From here we will then be given a behind the scenes tour of the circuit and have a special photo opportunity lined up. We will enjoy a light lunch overlooking the circuit before returning to the hotel.

As the afternoon ends we don our finery and board our bus to be taken to the private Chateau du Lude. Upon arrival we park the cars in their courtyard, where the bubbly awaits. The Count and Countess will personally guide us around the hotel. We then take our seats in the Chateau’s magnificent reception room for the finale dinner.

At the end of the evening we will leave our cars securely in the courtyard whilst we are whisked back to the hotel in our own private carriage!

9th October

Driving distance 150 miles

Driving time 3 hours

After breakfast you have time to relax in the bar or wander around the town. Participants can take a light lunch at the hotel before departing back for the port of Caen to check in for the 16.30 hrs sailing. You will have a cabin on board to relax in whilst we cruise back to Portsmouth, arriving at 21.15 hrs.

Tour prices

What is included

    • Return sailing with Brittany Ferries with commodore cabin on the outward crossing
    • 3 nights at the Hotel de France on bed and breakfast basis
    • Track time at Loheac
    • Dinner with wine on all five evenings including the ferry each way
    • All visits and transfers described in the itinerary
    • Services of an experienced tour manager


  • £1395 per person bases on two in a car sharing a twin/double room
  • £200 single room supplement


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  • Just wanted to say thanks for the great organisation, we had a very good time at the event and it all ran very smoothly. You choices for Lunch and Dinner were great.A Blatherwick, Spa Classic 2012
  • Just a short message to say very many thanks to Thomas and Nick for a fantastic trip to Angouleme for the races. Your organisation was faultless and we can honestly say that this was the best motoring trip we have ever participated in. The food, wine and accommodation was second to none and we made many new friends as well as meeting up with old acquaintances. We have been on quite a few motoring trips/rallies over the last few years, but this has to be the best so far. We hope to join you all again in 2014. Thank You once again.Mike & Jennie Buttle, Angouleme
  • Just a short note to personally thank you for your excellent organisation of the Spa Classic tour last weekend. I will certainly recommend your services to friends and hopefully join you on another tour in the future. Well done and thank you again.S Toyne, Spa Classic 2012
  • Thanks for a great trip which we did enjoy and particular thanks for the handbag rescue...impressive running! You may quote us !J Williams, Retromobile 2012
  • Hannah and I had a great time with you all at Classic Le Mans. La Beuneche was just the most perfect retreat from the (wonderful) aural barrage of the track, and with your know how, contacts and great company it made a great and memorable trip.J Gibson, Le Mans Classic 2012
  • Want to tell you we returned ok and to thank you for an excellent trip, it exceeded my expectations and thought your organisation, eating establishments, events , hospitality, hotels etc. were excellent, a great crowd of people all which made the trip so enjoyable , you have a great formulae so congratulations.Angoulême 2013, Angoulême
  • Want to tell you we returned ok and to thank you for an excellent trip, it exceeded my expectations and thought your organisation, eating establishments, events , hospitality, hotels etc. were excellent, a great crowd of people all which made the trip so enjoyable , you have a great formulae so congratulations. You can sign me up for next year I will drag Di to the next one and stay on the week afterwards.Eddy Spires
  • Just a quick note to say a big thank you for all your help and organisation for our Italy trip. We have had some really positive feedback since everyone got back and I think they all had a really amazing time. You even managed to arrange an earthquake for the last night I believe!C Bate, Emblem Sports Cars, Bespoke Factory our in Italy
  • returned safely- Great event-Great Locations-Fantastic meals- Will tell all my Friends- Well done and best regards to you and NickJ Chatley, Pau 2011
  • Seems like we have been away for months, now back to reality! Just a quick note of thanks from Aly & myself for an amazing time, a brilliant event, the best of the weather and really good company.J Harris, Algarve Historic 2011