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A Taste of Bordeaux France Back Roads: Bordeaux to Bordeaux

Duration
9 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,929

Experience the many attractions of South West France offering important wine producing regions, medieval towns and villages, the sophisticated resort of Biarritz, fortified towns and a stay in spiritual Lourdes. All this adds up to a well rounded tour of a fascinating part of France.


Join one of our unique small group Back-Roads touring experiences (maximum 18 participants) that includes specially selected accommodations, transportation in purpose built Mercedes Benz Sprinters, sightseeing, special culinary experiences and a knowledgeable Tour Leader. Click here for all the EXCLUSIVE DIFFERENCES.

Your journey through South West France begins at Bordeaux, an impressive city with attractive classical and neoclassical architecture. Have a tour of the highlights of the city then travel to Medoc, the well known wine producing region and learn about the exceptional wine made here. Overnight here in the village of Blanqufort.

Continue to Bayonne, the cultural capital of the Basque country and a fortified city. Later, arrive in Biarritz, the chic, sophisticated resort on the Bay of Biscay with its excellent beaches and many amenities for overnight.

The next day, head to the charming town of Pau in the lower Pyrenees with its impressive dominating castle. Afterwards, arrive at Lourdes, the spiritual town where the apparition appeared in 1858. You will have stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Overnight in Lourdes.

Continue to Bastides, one of many well preserved medieval towns in the area. En route to your next destination, Carcassonne, stop to enjoy a sample of Blanquette, a fizzy French wine. Spend 2 nights in Carcassonne.

The next day is at leisure to explore this atmospheric fortified city and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The highlight is its very large and impressive medieval fortress.

From Carcassonne, travel to Albi with its 13th Century gothic Ste. Cecile cathedral and its Toulouse- Lautrec museum. Continue to the delightful town of Sarlat in the Dordogne region, your home for the next 3 nights.

The Dordogne region is full of chateaux, medieval towns and villages. Visit the prehistoric Lascaux Caves, the attractive village of Les Eyzies and stop at a local truffle farm.

Enjoy a day in Sarlat to discover its charms as it is one of France’s most beautiful cities, an architectural gem with an old town of impeccably restored stone buildings. Also take a trip to Beynac-et-Cazenac with its chateau perched high on a cliff overlooking the Dordogne countryside.

Your final day brings you to St. Emilion, an attractive town of narrow streets and timber-framed houses. St. Emilion is renowned for its red wines which you will taste after which return to Bordeaux to end your stay in South West France.


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Duration
9 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,929

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Bordeaux to Arcachon Bay and Biarritz

In a region of outstanding natural beauty, where better to begin our sojourn through South West France than in Atlantic-Ocean-fringed Arcachon Bay? Towns and villages are dotted along the coastline, but we make a beeline for La-Teste-de-Buch. After stopping to see the Great Dune of Pilat -- Europe's highest sand dune -- we get our first taste of coastal cuisine. And what a way to start: with fresh oysters and a glass of local wine from one of the port's traditional cabins. Appetites whetted, it's time to go south to Biarritz. With its sublime beaches and spectacular medieval churches, this bayside city is sheer elegance -- and our home for the night. To round off our first day, we gather together for a welcome dinner.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Georges VI

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Location View map
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    Hotel Georges VI



    The Georges VI is a pleasant hotel in Biarritz' city center, situated only a few meters from the beach. Thanks to its enviable location, this magnificent 3-star hotel offers guests easy access to the major attractions of the city, such as the Rocher de la ...

    The Georges VI is a pleasant hotel in Biarritz' city center, situated only a few meters from the beach. Thanks to its enviable location, this magnificent 3-star hotel offers guests easy access to the major attractions of the city, such as the Rocher de la Vierge rock, Musee de la Mer, beautiful sandy beaches and many shopping venues. Numerous restaurants are within 0.5 km (0.3 mi). This brand-new accommodation also provides the perfect spot for guests wishing to start their sightseeing in the Basque country. With a friendly atmosphere, helpful staff and state-of-the-art facilities, the Georges VI hotel is definitely the right place to stay for an unforgettable holiday on the Atlantic coast.

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Reception
    • Babysitting Service
    • Bar
    • Concierge
    • Internet Access - Wireless
    • Laundry facilities
    • Lounge
    • Multi-lingual Staff

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Day 2

Bayonne

Time now to indulge our cultural sides in Bayonne, just a short drive from Biarritz. This handsome fortified city is brimming with heritage sites, so it's little wonder it was named 'City of Art and History' in 2012. Peruse it at your own pace before we return to Biarritz together. With so many restaurants to entice every palate, relish an evening at your own pace.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Day 3

Biarritz to Midi-Pyrenees

We turn to the east and briefly on to Pau, focusing our camera lenses on this town's postcard-worthy good looks and majestic castle. Our journey then carries us through the peaceful Midi-Pyrénées region, pausing enroute at the spiritual town of Lourdes that's been a pilgrimage point for many years. This close to the Pyrénées, you'll be forgiven for thinking we've stumbled across a film set. With rivers deep and mountains high, swathes of forest and hidden waterfalls, this dramatic landscape is areal heart-stealer. And we'll no doubt reach for our cameras once more to capture our view. In keeping with the spirit of our surroundings, we settle down for the night into comfortably rustic accommodation before tucking into dinner.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

L'Hostellerie des Cedres

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    L'Hostellerie des Cedres



    Formerly owned by the Montespan family, and frequently visited by the Marchioness, a mistress of Louis XIV, the manor was turned into a hotel-restaurant in 1950. Guests are welcomed to a pleasant setting at the heart of an estate with three hundred year old cedar ...

    Formerly owned by the Montespan family, and frequently visited by the Marchioness, a mistress of Louis XIV, the manor was turned into a hotel-restaurant in 1950. Guests are welcomed to a pleasant setting at the heart of an estate with three hundred year old cedar trees, where many birds have discovered a pleasant place to nest. Meals are served around the swimming pool in summer and by an open fire in our brightly-lit dining room the rest of the year. The ideal location for a restful, gastronomic break. Leisure activities close at hand include golf in Lannemezan, tennis, horse-riding and fine walks in the Comminges region.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Internet Access - Wireless
    • Parking
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant

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Day 4

Midi-Pyrenees to Carcassonne

On the trail of knights, we continue our own crusade through the Midi-Pyrénées and its picture-perfect Bastides. These character-filled towns are one of the biggest and best-preserved collections of medieval townscapes anywhere in Europe. Onwards through Cathar country and we reach a sociable hour for a glass of wine. And what better place to choose than with a local producer of this region's specialty -- sparkling Blanquette. Fully refreshed, our final stop of the day is the feather in the cap of the Languedoc region-- Carcassonne. As the sky darkens, the towers and turrets of this magnificent fortified city light up, taking on a magical air. We're lucky enough to be staying within the castle walls, beginning with a group dinner in a local restaurant.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Le Donjon

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Location View map
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    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 5

Carcassonne

Medieval-style market stalls, rampart walkways, lookout posts with eye-popping views -- with a whole day to play with, you can uncover Carcassonne's chivalric secrets at your own pace. Just be sure to step outside the old city walls. With the idyllic Canal du Midi, a UNESCO World Heritage site, a short saunter away, it's ideal for walkers.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 6

Carcassonne to Albi and Sarlat

A small town that's big on charm, historic Albi is this morning's first stop. We'll lookout for the 13th century Gothic Sainte-Cécile Cathedral before stepping inside Toulouse-Lautrec Museum. By the time we get to Sarlat-la-Canéda and check in to our hotel for the night, we'll have entered the Dordogne region.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Au Grand Hotel de Sarlat

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  • starstarstarstar

    Au Grand Hotel de Sarlat


    Welcome to Au Grand Hotel de Sarlat. Just steps from the medieval city with it's monuments, markets and street entertainment, you will enjoy your stay in Sarlat. Au Grand Hotel in Sarlat, is an exceptional calm place in the city center with elegant and contemporary ...

    Welcome to Au Grand Hotel de Sarlat. Just steps from the medieval city with it's monuments, markets and street entertainment, you will enjoy your stay in Sarlat. Au Grand Hotel in Sarlat, is an exceptional calm place in the city center with elegant and contemporary rooms that you will enjoy in a family or professional context.

    Facilities

    • Indoor Pool
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Meeting/ Banquet facilities
    • Parking
    • Restaurant
    • Spa
    • Sundeck
    • Terrace

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Day 7

Vezere Valley

Sublime scenery scattered with handsome château, medieval towns and quaint villages is the Dordogne's calling card. Our travels across it take in the prehistoric painted Lascaux II Caves and the pretty Les Eyzies village, curled up in the heart of the Vezere Valley. The route we take follows the 'Royal Road', winding between craggy rocks and flowing river until we get to a local truffle farm. Local guides will give us an exclusive lesson in seeking out these rare delicacies. That brings us to Sarlat and bags of time to linger over its charms with an evening of leisure ahead of us.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 8

Sarlat and Beynac-et-Cazenac

Visitors to Sarlat come away calling it one of the most beautiful cities in all of France. But we'll find out for ourselves. It's an architectural treasure trove, with buildings crafted from honey-hued local stone that have stood the test of time despite a turbulent history. One of the best places to appreciate them is in the Old Town. Golden-stone houses pop up in riverside Beynac-et-Cazenactoo. Looking down over the mall is a grand cliff-top chateau, from where we have spectacular Dordogne Valley vistas. On this, our last night together, a final feast awaits in a local restaurant.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 9

Sarlat to Saint Emilion and Bordeaux

Before we set our sights on home, we make time for Saint-Émilion. Here, old timber-framed houses of yellow limestone line narrow streets, in a town wrapped in grape-laden vineyards. This is the epicenter of Bordeaux's world-renowned 'heavy reds' and our chance to sample some of the region's best wines -- saying a final "santé" before it's back to Bordeaux.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2017: Apr 19; May 10, 24; Jun 14, 28; Jul 5, 19, 26; Aug 9, 23; Sep 6, 13, 20, 27; Oct 4, 11. 

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 8 nights' accommodation
  • Driver/tour leader
  • Mini-coach transportation
  • European breakfast daily
  • 4 evening meals
  • 3 wine tastings
  • Truffle farm, and entrance fees (ToulouseLautrec Museum, Lascaux Caves and Chateau de Beynac).

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not specifically indicated
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Pre and post tour accommodation
  • Arrival and departure transfers

OTHER INFORMATION:

The Back-Roads Difference

  • Taste delicious wines from Medoc and St Emilion.
  • Travel through the picturesque "Bastides" and discover their history.
  • Stay two nights in the fortified city of Carcassonne.
  • Learn how to find black truffles at a traditional truffle farm.
  • Drive through spectacular mountainous scenery and take in the stunning varied landscapes.

TERMS & 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 enquire.

TB BACKROABOR16SG: BRSBORD17
11 Oct 2017
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