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Self-drive journey through California's wine regions

9 days from £5,200pp

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Tour highlights

  • Stay at luxurious hotels throughout, each with their own focus on food or wine

  • Wander the urban wine trails of Carmel and Santa Barbara

  • Meet local winemakers with an experienced guide on a private tour of Sonoma

  • Visit the Santa Ynez wine region on a privately guided bike tour

Price includes:

  • Scheduled international flights
  • Fully insured vehicle hire
  • All accommodation
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

  • Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Forestville. Upon arrival in Sonoma, relax and unwind in your room before heading to the nightly wine tasting in reception. Spend the evening enjoying a decadent dinner in the hotel's Michelin starred restaurant, which uses local and organically produced ingredients to create a unique culinary experience.

  • This morning, you will be picked up for a private wine tasting tour by your experienced guide. You will visit four boutique wineries and have the chance to meet with local winemakers and vineyard managers who will talk you through the history of their own wines. Enjoy a picnic lunch under the shade at one of the wineries and swap stories with your guide before being transferred back to your hotel for the evening.

  • Today, we recommend spending the day at leisure. Indulge in a luxurious spa treatment, relax poolside or visit some more wineries in the area. There are a number of complimentary tastings at nearby vineyards you can take advantage of if you wish.

  • Today, you will wave goodbye to the lush vineyards of Sonoma and head to the coast. Upon arrival in Carmel, take the time to settle into your Relais & Chateaux hotel. After a long drive and a short walk to the sea to stretch your legs, we recommend dining at the hotel's award-winning restaurant, on their leafy outdoor terrace.

  • Spend the day at leisure exploring the Carmel Wine Walk on a self-guided tour. The town is dotted with a number of boutique wine tasting rooms and enjoying them at your own leisure is the best way to experience the town's local wines. Alternatively, you may wish to head out into the countryside and explore Carmel Valley or Monterey's River Road Wine Trail. Whatever you fancy, your Audley specialist can recommend some of the most unique.

  • This morning, we recommend getting up early and starting your drive to Santa Barbara. Heading down the Pacific Coast Highway, spend the day stopping off at view points and admiring the dramatic scenery. A stop at the Big Sur Bakery is a must for any foodie. Upon arrival in Santa Barbara, enjoy some downtime in your room before walking out to State Street for dinner.

  • After a busy day sightseeing yesterday, take the day to relax and explore at your own pace. We have hand-picked Hotel Californian for its location and proximity to local wineries and restaurants. We recommend wandering the Urban Wine Trail to sample the local grape. However, with over 200 wineries in the county, you will be spoiled for choice whether you wish to explore the towns tasting rooms or head out to nearby vineyards. Your specialist will be able to advise how best to spend your day.

  • On your final day, you will enjoy a private bicycle tour of the Santa Ynez wine region. Your driver-guide will pick you up from your hotel so you can enjoy a full day of tasting. A deli-style picnic lunch is included and will be enjoyed at one of the wineries. Upon return to your hotel, visit the Funk Zone this evening for farm-to-table food in a stylish setting.

  • After a leisurely breakfast, leave Santa Barbara for your onward arrangements. Your return flight will arrive the same day.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodation, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

What our clients say about us

Audley Travel specialist Victoria

Contact a California specialist

The specialist who designs your trip to California will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip.

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When to go

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Place Daily max temperature (°C) Monthly rainfall (mm)
Sonoma
 
Carmel
 
Santa Barbara
 

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