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8 Day Dordogne & Bordeaux Small Group Tour
Begin your tour in Bordeaux
Follow us on a thrilling 8-day France vacation package that will take you from the world-famous vineyards of Bordeaux to one of the most unique regions of France: the Dordogne.
Start the tour based in recently declared UNESCO city of Bordeaux where your local driver/guide will make you discover the best of the Bordeaux vineyards. Pick up will be in front of centrally located Bordeaux tourism Office and you will depart towards all the main Bordeaux wine regions that are famous worldwide.
Then reach the Dordogne region
We will then transfer you privately to the Dordogne region where you will be based in Sarlat. Pickup will be at centrally located Place Pasteur bus stop. Small traditional villages, incredible medieval castles and stunning cave paintings will be on your program in that beautiful part of France.
Accommodation is included with a selection in either 3* or 4* hotels in Bordeaux and Sarlat.
3 or 4 star hotel option is available for option. Please enquire with us [email protected]
Slow Tours offers a range of other Small Group Tours in Europe
ARRIVAL IN BORDEAUX / PRIVATE HOTEL TRANSFER Pick up at Bordeaux Airport or Train Station. Transfer to your centrally located hotel and check in.
Enjoy some free time to discover the lively city of Bordeaux!
Bordeaux is classified "City of Art and History" and has been inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List as "an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble". It is home to one of Europe's biggest 18th century architectural urban areas and stands out as one of the first French cities to have entered an era of urbanism and metropolitan big scale projects, with the team Gabriel father and son, architects for King Louis XV, under the supervision of two Governors, first Nicolas-François Dupré de Saint-Maur then the Marquis de Tourny
SAINT EMILION WINE TOUR SHARED DAY TRIP FROM BORDEAUX Breakfast at your hotel.
9.30am Pick up at the Tourist Office of Bordeaux
Discover the Magic of the ‘Right Bank’ Wine Region of Bordeaux
The wine region of Libournais encompasses much of what is referred to as the Right Bank. Named after its historical capital, the expression Right Bank typically refers to wines from the Pomerol and St-Emilion areas of the Libournais. There are several villages around the region that share the Saint-Émilion name, such as Montagne-Saint-Émilion and St-Georges-Saint-Émilion that are named the satellite appellations.
The area is bordered to the west by Pomerol. Merlot is the dominant grape in this area, followed by Cabernet Franc and a very small quantity of Malbec that is tending to disappear. The climate and damp, cool soils of the area make it difficult for Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to fully ripen and, as such, they are less often used.
Mix Incredible Wineries with the Enchanting Village of Saint Emilion
Today, depart for the Saint Emilion wine region and enjoy a visit and wine tasting in a famous Classified growth Chateau of the Saint Emilion appellation or surrounding (Pomerol, Fronsac, Lalande de Pomerol…).
Then, arrive in the village and participate in another visit of a Classified Growth Chateau, followed by some free time for personal discovery and lunch. In the afternoon, after a walking tour of the village, experience another visit and wine tasting session in a local winery of the Saint Emilion appellation or surrounding (Pomerol, Fronsac, Lalande de Pomerol…). The wine tasting fees, the guided walking tour of the village and bottled water in the minivan are all included.
5.30pm return to Bordeaux
MEDOC WINE TOUR FULL DAY TRIP FROM BORDEAUX Breakfast at your hotel.
9.30am Pick up at the Tourist Office of Bordeaux
A Full Day Including Visits to 3 Renowned Estates
The Medoc area covers approximately 5,700 hectares of declared vineyards, annually producing on average 300,000 hectoliters of wine. Of the grape varieties permitted, 50% of the viticultural area is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and to a lesser extent Petit Verdot and Malbec. Also allowed within the AOC regulations are the varieties Cabernet Franc and Carménère.
Taste Fabulous Wines, Guided by a Knowledgeable Hand
This morning, head towards the famous Medoc wine region with your small group tour. On this full day tour, experience 3 visits and wine tasting sessions in Classified Growth or Cru Bourgeois Wineries that have been carefully selected for their exceptional setting and quality of wine.
During these visits you will learn all there is to know about the history of the estates, the wine making process as well as the techniques used during the winemaking. The visits are followed by a wine tasting session. The wineries are usually located in Margaux, Saint Julien, Pauillac or the Haut Medoc appellations.
Stop along the famous Route des Chateaux for great photo opportunities
During the day you will inevitably drive along the D2 road or Route des Chateaux as it is known locally. It is along this route that some of the most famous Wineries such as Chateau Margaux, Chateau Palmer, Chateau Latour or Chateau Pichon Longueville are located. Depending on the timing of the tour, your tour guide will certainly make a stop in front of one of these world renowned wineries so that you may have the opportunity to take some photos.
6.00pm return to Bordeaux
PRIVATE TRANSFER FROM BORDEAUX TO SARLAT LA CANEDA Pick up at your hotel in the course of the day, to be confirmed.
Private Transfer from Bordeaux To Sarlat
This morning we will come and pick you up at your centrally located accommodation in Bordeaux and transfer you to the Dordogne region. Upon arrival in Sarlat, check in at your accommodation and rest of the day is at leisure
SARLAT GOURMET WALKING TOUR / VILLAGES OF THE DORDOGNE VALLEY SHARED DAY TRIP FROM SARLAT Breakfast at your Hotel.
9.20am Meet your guide at the meeting point Place Pasteur
9.30am Begin your Gourmet walking tour
The medieval town of Sarlat hosts one of the biggest and best food markets in the Dordogne. On this 2 hour tour, visit on market day to experience the town at its most atmospheric. Meet your English speaking local guide, expert in Dordogne Culinary specialties.
Start your visit of the Market
Walk towards the Market and begin your discovery of the best produce of the Dordogne region. Then your first stop will be at a family run local delicacies shop. Here, we will stop to taste small toasts spread with patés or foie gras from either duck or goose. Then taste a Top rated Foie Gras from a local producer that has obtained many rewards at the Paris Exhibition.
Finish this tasting stop with a local cheese called Trappe d'Echourgnac. Trappist cheese is pressed, uncooked, fermented by retro-rubbing or by using the “morge” scrubbing technique. Then walnut liqueur is added. How much? And, then what? Well, that’s a secret never to be told! All this will be rinsed with a tasting of a White & Red Bergerac wine.
Continue nibbling as you stroll the medieval streets
Then follow your guide through the medieval streets of Sarlat. This walking tour allows your guide to point out all the local products of the season that arrive from all corners of the Dordogne. If you are lucky, it might be the season of strawberries, of which the Dordogne is famous for, and your guide will make sure that you have the opportunity to sample some.
Another very popular stop is at a local walnut cake producers stall. Walnut is a true specialty of the Dordogne. It is said that there are as many recipes as there are ducks and gees in the Dordogne, and that's a lot! Let your guide take you to his / her prefered producer.
Visit a Church that has become a Market
Your next stop will be inside St Mary's church which houses the covered market. Even though this market is accessible on the other days as well, we stop here as there is a great opportunity to taste very different specialties. As a starter you will get to taste half-cooked Foie Gras accompanied by a glass of Bergerac white wine. This will be followed by dried magret (duck breast) with pepper.
Finally, listen to your guide as your are introduced to the the king of mushrooms, the black truffle. If you would like to buy some, then this is the place. You can also purchase black truffle oil that makes for a great seasoning.
End with a total walnut experience
Back through the market to make our way to our final stop. On the way there will be a few more stops along the way before reaching your final tasting session. Here it will be all about walnuts!
Taste the local walnut oil, the croquants - a dry and crunchy caramelised sugar biscuit like treat. End the tasting with a shot of walnut liquor to rinse all these delicious treats right down.
Enjoy some free time for personal discovery and lunch (at own expense)
In the afternoon, visit the village of Domme
Drive to the beautiful village of Domme. With its trapezoid city plan, Domme is a bastide, or a fortified medieval town, adapted to the surrounding terrain, and thus falling short of the rectangular city plan characteristic to bastides. The village is classified as one of the "Plus Beaux Villages de France" ("The Most Beautiful Villages of France").
In 1307, Knight Templars were imprisoned in Domme while during the Hundred Years' War, the bastide was coveted by the English who first took the town in 1347 and repeatedly changed rulers throughout the war until 1437 when it finally fell under French rule again.
Enjoy a peaceful Boat Ride
Then drive to La Roque Gageac and enjoy a peaceful cruise on the the Dordogne River on board an authentic Gabarre to admire mighty castles that loom over the riverside. The Gabarres are traditional flat-bottomed boats that have been used for transporting goods along the Dordogne since the Middle Ages.
A trip on one of the Gabarres offers a relaxing way to enjoy the sight of some of the many Dordogne chateaux and villages from the perspective of the river. Various sights and wildlife are pointed out to you as you meander slowly down the river as well as the history of the Gabarres.
Visit the village of Beynac
Finally, reach Beynac to admire the village and the Castle. This Middle Ages construction, with its austere appearance, is perched on top of a limestone cliff, dominating the town and the north bank of the Dordogne River. The castle was built in the 12th century by the barons of Beynac (one of the four baronies of Périgord) to close the valley.
The sheer cliff face being sufficient to discourage any assault from that side, the defenses were built up on the plateau: double crenelated walls, double moats, one of which was a deepened natural ravine, double barbican. See architectural phenomenon, aided by nature, and discover more about the history of this unusual city on this half-day tour!
After the visit it will be time to return to Sarlat.
6.00pm drop off in Sarlat
PALEOLITHIC ART OF THE DORDOGNE SHARED FULL DAY TRIP FROM SARLAT Breakfast at your hotel.
8.50am Meet your guide at the meeting point Place Pasteur
9.00am Depart from Sarlat
Depart for the Unesco World Heritage Site of the Vézère Valley
Some 15,000 years B.C. unknown artists created breathtaking paintings, drawings and etchings inside caves of which the most extraordinary examples are found in the Dordogne area. During this day you will be introduced to this fascinating art and to the people who created it.
Guided visit of the National Prehistory Museum
Established in July 2004, the museum houses some 18,000 pieces and a collection of six million artifacts. The museum’s collections were established as early as 1913, when indefatigable researcher Denis Peyrony convinced the French state to acquire the Château des Eyzies, built at the end of the 16th century, and to transform it into an excavation warehouse that could double up as a museum.
Follow your guide and discover the main chapters of the Hominids’ development through an anthropological frieze and a brief reminder of Africa’s history, starting with the early Australopithecines. Many themes are explored, including the legendary “Lucy”, the small 3.5-million-year-old woman discovered in Ethiopia in 1974. You will then visit the permanent exhibit galleries that will plunge you into the mists of time, revealing seven sequences that cover the entire Paleolithic era through an “ideal historiography”.
Free time for lunch in a local restaurant (at own expense)
Enjoy some free time for lunch in Montignac or a village of the Dordogne region. Ask your guide for recommendations.
Visit Rouffignac Cave
Continue to Rouffignac Cave. This cave possesses original and authentic etchings and drawings. The Rouffignac cave was already mentioned in 1575 by François de Belleforest. In his ” Cosmographie universelle” he cites “paintings and animal traces”. In the 19th century, the cave was known as a tourist attraction. Famous archaeologists like Henry Breuil, André Glory and Martel had visited the cave in the early 20th century, but it was only in 1956 when Louis-René Nougier and Romain Robert, two prehistorians from the Pyrenees, rediscovered and confirmed the cave art.
Visit the International Center of Parietal Art - Lascaux IV
Finally, end the tour with the visit of brand new Lascaux IV cave – open since December 2016. For the first time, all of Lascaux is revealed. A complete new replica retraces the discovery of the famous decorated cave. But that’s not the end of the adventure: the entire site inquires into the position that Lascaux occupies in cave art and its relation to contemporary creation. The opening of the International Center for Cave Art marks the beginning of a new adventure combining the emotion of ancestral art and an important technological achievement.
After the visit, return to Sarlat.
6.00pm drop off in Sarlat
PADIRAC CHASM & ROCAMADOUR VILLAGE SHARED FULL DAY TRIP FROM SARLAT Breakfast at your hotel.
8.50am Meet your guide at the meeting point Place Pasteur
9.00am Depart from Sarlat
One of the most stunning visits of the area: Padirac Chasm
After a drive of just over an hour, arrive in Padirac. Experience a unique visit of one of the most extraordinary natural phenomena of the region as you plunge in an unexpected underground world. The chasm itself is 103 m (338 ft) deep, with a diameter of approximately 35 meters (115 ft). The flooded network of Padirac Chasm is the second longest in the world after those located in the Yucatan province of Mexico.
The visit of this vertiginous chasm begins with a 75 meter descent via a lift before actually entering the cave system. Following the descent, enjoy a peaceful boat ride on the mysterious subterranean River. Then, disembark and walk along a path that will take you through large caves decorated with stunning gigantic limestone concretions. After the walk, you will return by boat to your original departure point and take the lift back up to reach the outside world.
Rocamadour: A Castle set above a sanctuary set above a village
After the visit of Padirac, board the minivan and head to the nearby village of Rocamadour. Miraculous rock, collection of tales, legends and beliefs, sanctuary of the Black Virgin, pilgrimage site: the Village of Rocamadour is all of this at the same time. The old medieval houses, the towers and fortifications, the oratories all tumble along the steep cliff that dominates the Alzou Canyon. The whole site is topped off by the castle and its dungeon and the seven sanctuaries. Your guide will certainly stop here for a breathtaking view of the whole site that make for fantastic photo opportunities.
Depending on your time of arrival, you will either follow a guided walking tour of the village or enjoy some free time for lunch. Rocamadour is without a doubt one of the most beautiful villages of the area. Classified as a Unesco World Heritage site as it is located on the way to Santiago de Compostela (St James Way), the main attraction of the village lies in its sanctuaries especially that of Notre Dame that bears a statue of the Black Virgin.
The visit of the village can be painful for those with walking problems but please note that there is a possibility of accessing the sanctuaries by lift (tickets not included in price). For lunch, there are many restaurants & snacks to be found in the village and your guide will make the adequate suggestions depending on what type of meal you are looking for.
5.00 pm drop off in Sarlat
SARLAT Breakfast at your hotel and end of our services.
If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.
Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote
Shows in English in Paris: Paris offers a wide variety of shows accessible to English-speakers. One-man shows, classic & modern theatre, musicals, cabarets and more are all performed in the city every night. You can get the full programme of shows in Paris to fit your city break dates by emailing [email protected]