This south west of France offers an endless feast for all the senses. From the world renowned wines, to stately architecture, quaint historical towns and villages and the verdant Dordogne valley scattered with castles and hilltop settlements. Start your exploration of the area in Bordeaux city known as "The Sleeping Beauty" - or "La Belle au Bois Dormant" and discover this UNESCO designated city with its splendid gothic cathedrals and 18th century mansions as well as its superb vineyards and wineries. Head directly west to the Dordogne valley for a change of pace and submerge yourself in this magical pocket of France. Known for its foie gras, the Dordogne has such magnificent sites such as Rocamadour, the pre-historic caves of Lascaux II, majestic castles galore and the Dordogne River which meanders pleasantly through the region.
Meet your driver for a private train station transfer.
A welcome package with your vouchers, and itinerary, city map(s) and train tickets (where relevant) and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
The Quality Sainte Catherine Hotel (3*) has a fantastic location in the heart of Bordeaux and just off Sainte Catherine Street, which is said to be the longest pedestrian street in Europe. It is set in an attractive 18th century building with modern decor throughout. Adjacent to the Grand Theatre, many attractions and famous restaurants are nearby the hotel. The on-site bar and restaurant provide excellent meals and drinks, ensuring a comfortable and pleasant stay for guest who base themselves in the hotel as they explore Bordeaux and its surroundings.
Enjoy visiting various vineyards and tasting some of the wines of this world-famous region on a 4.5 hour shared tour with a Driver-Guide. Begin with a visit and wine tasting session in a prestigious Classified growth chateau (1855 & Cru bourgeois) of the Margaux or Saint Julien appellations. Then follow the castle road to admire some of the most famous castles such as Margaux, Palmer or Beychevelle. Finally experience a wine tasting at "La Winery" set in the heart of a 26-hectare park. Discover 5 different Bordeaux wines during a personalized wine tasting. (includes wine tasting & a small bottle of water per person).
Depart for Saint Emilion on a shared full day (8hr) tour with a driver-guide today. St-Emilion is a beautiful medieval town with steep hilly cobbled streets running through ancient limestone buildings. It is a large wine producing area, and due to the number of notably good small vineyards, and the diversity of the terrain, there are many different styles. However, on the whole St-Emilion wines are rich, warm wines which have an easier charm to some who are beginning to appreciate Bordeaux wines. They have a high concentration of the Merlot grape which leads to a round, fruity and often alcoholic wine (sometimes 1% stronger than Medoc wines). Upon arrival in Saint Emilion, you'll get to enjoy a guided visit of the village. Then there is some free time for lunch and to explore the town independently. This afternoon you'll get to visit another Classified Chateau of the appellation and do some wine tasting. (includes wine tasting fees and a small bottle of water per person) before being returned to Bordeaux at days end.
Enjoy the train ride from Bordeaux to Sarlat in the heart of the Dordogne valley today. The direct train route should take approximately 2.5hrs and there are a number of departures throughout the day.
Half-way up a cliff in the deep and abrupt canyon of the Alzou stream, the spectacular setting of Rocamadour is hard to beat. For nearly a thousand years, the narrow, lonely canyon of the Alzou has been home to a cluster of buildings clinging to the rock half way up the sheer cliffs. From very early times, a chapel dedicated to Our Lady existed here, looked after by a few Benedictine monks, but it was only after the discovery of the perfectly-preserved body of Saint Amadour in 1166 that a pilgrimage began to develop. Visit the breathtaking village of Rocamadour on a half day tour shared tour with a driver-licensed guide. Enjoy a guided walking tour and some free time for personal discovery.
The hotel de Selves (3*), built round a beautiful park, is located in the heart of medieval Sarlat, in the Périgord region. The hotel offers 40 air-conditioned and soundproofed rooms, all equipped with private facilities, separate bathroom and toilet, direct dial telephone, alarm, safe, mini-bar, satellite and cable TV. Some rooms have a terrace. The hotel also offers a lounge, a swimming pool - open-air in summer and covered and heated in winter - with its adjoining sauna and bar, a patio with fireplace.
Take in the top sites of the Dordogne today on a full day (9hr) shared tour with a driver-guide. Start the day with a guided walking tour of Sarlat, the most famous town in the region and one of the most renowned and visited in France. It is also one of the most attractive, and the old town, dating from both medieval and renaissance times is a pleasure to visit. Then depart for a visit of Beynac village. The site of Beynac and its castle is undoubtedly one of the finest in France. The village was built in stages above the water's edge, at the bottom of a 150 metre cliff, topped by an impressive fort. The strategic location of the castle meant that it was totally protected by the sheer drop on the side facing the river and its northern defenses were reinforced around 1598. A double surrounding wall, two rows of moats and two barbicans were built. From the top of the tower there is a breathtaking view over the whole of the valley and the surrounding Châteaux of Castelnaud, Fayrac, and Marqueyssac. On the edge of the cliff is the stone-roofed Romanesque castle chapel, the location of the famous scene from the 1978 version of "Les Miserable". After visiting Beynac, you'll get to take a boat ride on the Dordogne river in La Roque Gageac, another one of France's most beautiful villages. In a stunning position on the north bank of the Dordogne River, and backed by a steep cliffs, with little to suggest that much has changed there in the last 300 years, La Roque-Gageac is truly the perfect picture postcard village.The golden yellow houses with their traditional perigord rooves, line the river and spread up the hill behind. Arrive in Les Eyzies de Tayac and enjoy a guided visit of the National Prehistory Museum. Finally, an introduction to the area would be incomplete without a visit of Lascaux II - a perfect reproduction of the original cave. (includes entrance to Prehistory museum and Lascaux II).
Explore the region today and see some of the most majestic castles in the Dordogne valley on a shared, full day (8hr) tour with a driver-licensed guide. First discover and visit the mighty castle of Castelnaud a medieval fortress overlooking the Dordogne river. This splendid château is a reconstructed medieval castle dating back to the 12th century and situated in a majestic position overlooking the Dordogne and facing the Château Marqueyssac. It is child oriented with nooks and crannies to explore, hands on opportunities with audio visual and computerised displays as well as demonstrations of medieval sword fights.
Then visit the Milandes castle that once belonged to Josephine Baker, an American dancer, singer, and actress who found fame in her adopted homeland of France in the '20's. The gardens, laid out in the 15th Century, were also reorganized in the 19th. The farm on the site of the present gardens was removed and a new one built a bit further away. It was reputed to be a model' farm, extremely modern for its time. Making use of the additional space available and the perspectives opened up, Monsieur Claverie laid out a new garden "a la française".
Finally end the day with a visit of the Castle and Gardens of Marqueyssac: it offers more than 6 kilometres of shaded paths, edged with 150, 000 hand-pruned hundred year old boxwoods. (includes entrances).
Relax on the train ride from Sarlat to Bordeaux today. The direct train route should take approximately 2.5hrs and there are a number of departures throughout the day.
Citizens of other countries may require a visa. Please ask your Sales Advisor. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of France for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is recommended. Medical facilities are good quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/france.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Paris. Government: Republic since 1792. Language: French is the official language. Many people speak at least some English. Religion: Approximately 83% Roman Catholic; Protestant 2%; Muslim 5% Time: GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October). Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin plugs are widely used. Telephone: Country code +33. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is excellent. Internet: Public access is available at Internet cafes in most cities.
Stay in the know: Subscribe to our newsletter to have our hand-picked trips & specials delivered to you!
Please enter a destination