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21-day Small Group Tour of Bordeaux, Cognac, Dordogne

  • 21days
  • France

Single bed room:
Twin bed room:
Double bed room:
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Small Group Tours Europe

Explore the Bordeaux, Cognac and Dordogne regions of France

The city of Bordeaux is the hub of France’s best known red wine region, situated on the banks of the Garonne with its beautiful cathedral, the easily recognisable Bourse built in the 1700's and pedestrian shopping centre surrounded by 18th and 19th century mansions.

Near the Atlantic and the oyster-producing bay of Arcachon this region boasts many chateaux and vineyards, its wines complementing the region’s cuisine: eels, mussels and oysters from the coast; salt lamb and goat’s cheeses from the inland pastures.

Among the highlights, an expert brandy-maker will show us around stunning vineyards where the region’s revered, twice-distilled brandy is made (yes, there’ll be tastings!), and we will taste a little of the famous Bordeaux reds at different wineries.

After the Bordeaux/Cognac regions, we head to the Dordogne river. In the heart of the Perigord region famed for its prehistoric caves, spectacular limestone cliffs, medieval villages and castles, narrow gorges and tumbling waterfalls, the delightful Dordogne valley will enchant you. From one of the best markets in France at Sarlat, to the rocky peak of Rocamadour, this region is filled with ancient stories of pilgrims and miracles.

Specialties of the region include truffles and wild mushrooms, walnuts and cheeses. The most celebrated wine is Monbazillac, a slightly sweet white wine which is an excellent accompaniment to the region’s signature ‘foie gras’.

Included in the Small Group Tour:

  • Transfers from Bordeaux airport or train station on arrival
  • Transfer to Toulouse airport or train station on departure
  • Fully escorted tour in a comfortable vehicle
  • Welcome and farewell dinners with drinks
  • 20 nights 3* and 4* accommodation
  • 20 breakfasts, 19 x 3-course meals (either lunch or dinner) with a glass or two of wine or beer
  • Excursions as per the itinerary
  • Entry fees to all sites, wine-tastings included
  • Visitors taxes
  • Bike and canoe hire for the energetic
  • Boat trips as per the itinerary

Not included in the tour:

Meals not mentioned above
Drinks not mentioned above
Travel insurance
Travel to Bordeaux and from Toulouse
Gratuities

Maximum 14 people

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  • Day 1

    Arrive at Bordeaux train station or airport for transfer to your hotel, with time to relax before the welcome dinner

  • Day 2

    Morning in Bordeaux for shopping, cathedral and city tour. Your choice of joining the group or enjoy the day visiting this famous city on your own, with maps and a meeting point provided. In the afternoon we will visit one of Bordeaux' most famous chateaux for a visit and wine-tasting

  • Day 3

    Visit the charming old village of St Emilion for wine-tasting and lunch then explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site with a history going back to prehistoric times. There are fascinating Romanesque churches and ruins stretching all along the steep and narrow streets.

    The Romans planted vineyards in what was to become Saint-Émilion as early as the 2nd century. In the 4th century, the Latin poet Ausonius lauded the fruit of the bountiful vine. The town was named after the monk Émilion, a travelling confessor, who settled in a hermitage carved into the rock there in the 8th century. It was the monks who followed him that started up the commercial wine production in the area.

  • Day 4

    A trip through the vineyards for a day of surprises, including Fronsac, a quiet village and hidden gem, and the interesting small village of Bourg which has its own wine appellation and a co-operative for tasting the regions wines.

  • Day 5

    Discover the Medoc region with chateau visits and wine-tastings at some of the world's best known wineries. This region has beautiful countryside and chateau architecture, including Chateau Margaux, with its Palladian style and Chateau Latour. Arrive at our hotel near Gaillan for a sumptuous dinner.

  • Day 6

    An excursion and ferry to visit the Vauban Citadelle at Blaye, built on 38 hectares between 1685 and 1689 under Vauban's supervision. The Fortifications of Vauban are twelve groups of fortified buildings that form a defensive ring around France. They were constructed by Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban (1633-1707), military engineer of King Louis XIV and influential far beyond the French borders. A walk to the village where we will have an excellent lunch and wine-tasting of the local appellation before returning by ferry and vehicle to our hotel.

  • Day 7

    We leave our chateau hotel for a trip by ferry to the other side of the Garonne estuary. Excursion to Talmont sur Gironde, one of France’s most beautiful villages perched on a rocky outcrop and protected by fortifications protecting it from the sea - and any invaders! Settle in to your hotel near Cognac

  • Day 8

    A free morning for discovering the town of Cognac, a canoe ride on the Charente, bike ride through the vineyards, or rest and enjoy reading a good book In the afternoon we visit Chateau Cognac, birthplace of King Francois II of France.

  • Day 9

    Today we drive to the small village of Jarnac, where Francois Mitterand was born and raised. We visit two brandy distilleries, a small award-winning family business and the large producer Courvoisier. . Learn a little about this fascinating region, its history, some second world war stories and enjoy real cognac tastings.

  • Day 10

    We leave for the Dordogne river and our farmhouse near Sarlat. A visit to the medieval town of Sarlat in the afternoon for shopping, cathedral and free time to explore. Dinner in Sarlat before returning to our hotel

  • Day 11

    A boat trip on the Dordogne river starts the day, with a visit to the very popular old town of La Roque Gageac. Lunch in the Marqueyssac chateau gardens and free time to explore its 6 kms of walking paths and stunning views over the Dordogne river and its villages.

  • Day 12

    Today we go back into history with a visit to the world-renowned prehistoric cave of Lascaux and the fascinating Roque Saint Christophe.

  • Day 13

    This morning we go into Sarlat for the best markets of this region. A free afternoon for a bike ride or canoe on the Dordogne river, then we discover the village of Domme where we enjoy a delicious dinner at a very special inn.

  • Day 14

    Today we go on an excursion to one of the beautiful chateaux of this region, with a private tour of the 10-hectare garden and lunch in the chateau restaurant. Return to your hotel with some free time to enjoy the hotel pool and garden.

  • Day 15

    One of the best prehistoric museums is in Les Eyzies, which is where we go this morning. Les Eyzies de Tayac is a pretty town which at first glance, appears to be crushed under the cliff. The town is littered with numerous grottos, caves and troglodyte dwellings whose history dates back to more than 28,000 years. We stop for a relaxed lunch near the river before heading to the chateau Milandes and its gardens, once the home of Josephine Baker.

  • Day 16

    Today we head off to the other side of the autoroute, to the Gouffre de Padirac in the morning, followed by lunch and a free afternoon to explore Rocamadour, one of the most visited sites in France. We will settle into our hotel with a little free time before dinner

  • Day 17

    The wine region of Monbazillac and Bergerac is our destination today. Bergerac, in the heart of the Périgord Dordogne region, is an ancient and compact city, characterised by its elegant medieval and Renaissance buildings. Gourmet restaurants, street entertainment and the fact that the whole city can be explored on foot are all part of its charm. Bergerac is renowned for its wine, and a short trip to the outskirts of the city reveals a landscape of vineyards that produce some of the world’s finest vintages.

    In the afternoon, we visit an organic vineyard in Monbazillac, housed in a spectacular chateau that dates back to the 13th century. They produce wines of exceptionally high quality on their 14 acres of land, and the lovely staff are happy to show you around and teach you all about their process

  • Day 18

    We leave our farmhouse today and head south towards St Cirq-la-popie, our detaination today. A free day to explore this fascinating tiny village built on a cliff.. At lunchtime, guests have the choice of meeting for lunch or lunching on their own. We meet in the afternoon for a drive to our hotel.

  • Day 19

    The Dordogne region is known for its signature foie-gras. Today we discover how the farms raise ducks and geese, and we learn some of the secrets of making a good foie-gras. We will taste some of the strong red wine from the Cahors region. The red wines of the Lot Valley vineyards have such a deep colour that they are commonly known as the Black Wines of Cahors. Loved by Roman Emperors, who authorised the vines to be planted some 2000 years ago, Cahors wine was on the tables at the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry Plantagenet in 1152.

  • Day 20

    Our final day in the Dordogne is a free choice day. Guests may relax before heading to their next destination, or back home. Walking, cycling, shopping are all possibilities to make the most of this last day, and you will have time to pack ready for the morning departure. A farewell dinner will leave you with happy memories of this delightful corner of France.

  • Day 21

    After breakfast, transfer and departure to Toulouse airport or train station.

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Tours marked with are special prices.

Start End Max. No. Guests Accommodation Price p.p.
May 04 2020 May 25 2020 14 Single rooms 7,495€
Double rooms 7,375€

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