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Southern France Self-drive: Bordeaux, Lourdes, Carcassonne and Montpellier

Duration
10 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,249

Venture off the beaten track on this 10-day self-drive through Southern France. Start in Bordeaux, the world-renowned wine city, before connecting to the famous pilgrimage site of Lourdes. Continue to Carcassonne to discover a stunning medieval walled city before ending in Montpellier on the coast.


This 10-day French self-drive takes you to Bordeaux, Lourdes, Carcassonne, and Montpellier. It features moderate and first-class accommodations, a car rental, and independent touring that lets you travel at your own pace. 

Your journey begins in Bordeaux, the gastronomic centre famous for its wine regions and celebrated eateries. You’ll pick up your rental car and have several days to explore the city and the surrounding wine regions. One day, explore the city itself with visits to the former royal palace Place de la Bourse, the Gothic Bordeaux Cathedral, and the greenspaces and trendy shops along the Garonne River. Cap off the day at La Cite du Vine for an immersive wine experience. The next day, venture out of town to explore a wine region, whether St. Emilion and Pomerol, which are known for their Merlot and Cabernet, or Medoc with its Cabernet Sauvignon. You can also head to the Bay of Arcachon to see the Dunes of Pilat and feast on fresh oysters. 

Drive south and detour into French Basque Country on your way to the holy city of Lourdes. This famous pilgrimage site draws over 5 million pilgrims each year who come to be blessed at the basilica or find healing in the baths and holy waters. Join a candlelight procession, see mass at the sacred cathedral, or simply enjoy the stunning architecture. From Lourdes, continue on to Carcassonne, stopping in Toulouse along the way if you wish. Carcassonne is France’s most famous medieval walled city. Marvel at the castle walls and parapets that surround the entire medieval town. Visit the Basilica of Saint-Nazaire or head to nearby Perpignan to explore medieval palaces along the Mediterranean.

The final leg of your journey takes you along the coast to Montpellier. You can stop at Narbonne along the way to see the Roman ruins and stunning promenades along the Canal du Robine. In Montpellier, you can explore the charming central squares of this university town, visit the Place Royale du Peyrou, or take advantage of the sunny beaches along the Mediterranean. 

At the end of your stay, drop off your rental car and head to the train station or airport to connect to your next destination. 


 

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Duration
10 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,249

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive Bordeaux

Upon arrival in Bordeaux, pick up your car and drive to your hotel. Enjoy the next 3 days at your leisure exploring the city and surrounding areas.

Meal Plan Room Only
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Best Western Grand Hotel Francais

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  • starstarstar

    Best Western Grand Hotel Francais



    At the Best Western Grand Hotel Francais, tranquil and comfortable fully-renovated 18th century mansion, you will enjoy the heart of Bordeaux, registered at the world patrimony by UNESCO, its business centre and cultural life. Our location is superb. We are in heart of city between …

    At the Best Western Grand Hotel Francais, tranquil and comfortable fully-renovated 18th century mansion, you will enjoy the heart of Bordeaux, registered at the world patrimony by UNESCO, its business centre and cultural life. Our location is superb. We are in heart of city between Cathedral, Gambetta Square and Grand Theatre, near walking street Porte-Dijeaux and Ste-Catherine, and tramway stop.

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Day 2

Bordeaux

Today, enjoy the beautiful city of Bordeaux at your leisure.  Known for it's rich history culture, gastronomy, art and architecture, start at the Place de la Bourse, the symbol of Bordeaux and former Royal Palace. Visit the gothic Bordeaux Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site and designated Route of Santiago de Compostela in France. Wander along the beautiful Garonne river, explore its large greenspaces and old warehouses converted into trendy shops, cafes and restaurants. See the modern La Cite du Vine, for an immersive and cultural experience dedicated to wine.

Day 3

Bordeaux and the wine regions

Head outside the city and discover world-renowned famous wine regions. From the Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomeral, where grape blends of Merlot and Cabernet are dominant. Or, try the Left Bank and Medoc region where Cabernet Sauvignon reigns supreme, also home to the the official 1855 Classified Bordeaux wines. Other regions include Sauternes (sweet white wine), Entre-Deux Mers and Cognac.

Another option is to visit the Bay of Arcachon and Dunes du Pilat, located on the coast of the Atlantic ocean. Enjoy natural landscapes, oyster farming ports, white sandy beaches and climb the highest dune in Europe for panoramic views of the entire bay.

Day 4

Bordeaux to Lourdes

Say goodbye to Bordeaux and drive south towards the beautiful city of Lourdes. Perhaps take a small detour and explore the French Basque cities such as Bayonne, St. Jean de Luz and Biarritz. Bordering Spain and the Pyrenees, these unique cities are charming and rich in history.

Arrive in Lourdes and spend the next 2 days in this fascinating city!

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Panorama

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    Panorama



    Completely refurbished in 2012, the Hotel Panorama boasts one of the best locations in Lourdes with close proximity to the shrines. The hotel is located just 50 metres from St Joseph's gate and the starting point of torchlight processions at the foot of the statue …

    Completely refurbished in 2012, the Hotel Panorama boasts one of the best locations in Lourdes with close proximity to the shrines. The hotel is located just 50 metres from St Joseph's gate and the starting point of torchlight processions at the foot of the statue of the crowned Virgin. All rooms are comfortable and spacious with large Italian showers, private lounge, mini-bar, air-conditioning and wireless access, a refined and elegant decoration. Some rooms provide views over the Lourdes Sanctuaries..

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Day 5

Lourdes

At your leisure discover this world-famous city and its religious history at The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes. Every year, more than 5 million pilgrims come to visit the sanctuaries, the Massabielle grotto, the fountains and the baths and experience the healing waters in Lourdes. Try to attend the evening candlelight procession and the multi-language Mass in the underground basilica. If time permists, take the funicular to the Pic de Jer for the best views of Lourdes.

Day 6

Lourdes to Carcassonne

Depart Lourdes and head to medieval city of Carcassonne. Enroute, stop in Toulouse, the 4th largest city in France. Break for lunch, explore the city's beautiful cathedrals or visit one of its various art museums.

Meal Plan Room Only
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Best Western Hotel Le Donjon

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Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Best Western Hotel Le Donjon



    You will have the unique privilege of staying in the heart of Carcassonne's medieval Citadel, a fortified town listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Best Western Hotel Le Donjon offers you the luxury of staying in the only 4-star hotel in the centre …

    You will have the unique privilege of staying in the heart of Carcassonne's medieval Citadel, a fortified town listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Best Western Hotel Le Donjon offers you the luxury of staying in the only 4-star hotel in the centre of the medieval Citadel. Once over the drawbridge and across the moat, within the ramparts of the Medieval Citadel, turning down old, narrow and winding streets, you will discover a sheltered haven skillfully combining authenticity and comfort. As honoured guests, the Medieval Citadel is yours for the night: as traffic regulations restrict vehicle movement to preserve this historic site, the porters will take care of you from the moment you arrive by meeting you with a shuttle.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Concierge
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Multi-lingual Staff
    • Restaurant
    • Tennis Court

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Day 7

Carcassonne

In Carcassone, explore the most famous medieval walled city in France as you admire its dominating castle and ramparts, the Cathedral and the Basilica of Saint- Nazaire and la porte Narbonnaise, which was the principal entrance to the Cité.

In the afternoon, get off the beaten path and head further south to the city of Perignan, located only 1.5 hours from Carcassonne. Situated on the Mediterraean coast, the city if filled with medieval palaces from historical times, winding streets in the old town and lively squares.

Day 8

Carcassonne to Montpellier

Enroute to Montpellier, perhaps stop in Narbonne, a lesser-known city rich in history, Roman architecture and lovely promenades along the Canal du Robine.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Grand Hotel Du Midi

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  • starstarstarstar

    Grand Hotel Du Midi



    This hotel is a very good 4 star property, which has been totally refurbished, Although a restaurant is not available for meals, there are plenty of alternatives within short walking distance. (0708/ss) The hotel is situated in front of the Opera, in the centre of …

    This hotel is a very good 4 star property, which has been totally refurbished, Although a restaurant is not available for meals, there are plenty of alternatives within short walking distance. (0708/ss) The hotel is situated in front of the Opera, in the centre of the town. It is on one of the most lively roads of the town, only minutes away from the train station and very close to lots of monuments and other touristic activities. n/a

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Day 9

Montpellier

Traditional and modern, the city of Montpellier enjoys a close proximity to the Mediterraean coast (10km).  This university city has something for everyone, starting your visit at central square, Place de la Comédie, the ideal spot for people watching and shopping. Get around the city by using its convenient tram system, designed by Christian Lacroix and visit the Place Royale du Peyrou or head out to the Mediterrean sea (only 10km by car) and discover fantastic beaches.

Day 10

Depart Montpellier

Drop off your car or extend your stay and depart home or onwards to your next destination.

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Daily: January to December

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 11-day car rental with automatic transmission
  • 3 nights moderate accommodation in Bordeaux
  • 2 nights first class accommodation in Lourdes
  • 2 nights first class acccommodation in Carcassonne
  • 2 nights first class accommodation in Montpellier
  • Meals as per itinerary

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Excursions and sightseeing
  • All other meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

DP BODSD10DMONFR
2 Aug 2021
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