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A TASTE OF THE BORDEAUX REGION

Reference: BRT

Bordeaux Region - Biarritz - Lourdes - Carcassonne - Albi and Sarlat...

  • 9 Day tour
  • 15 passengers maximum
  • Cost per person A$4,010 Twin Share
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Biarritz - Lourdes - Carcassonne - Albi and Sarlat...


MIDI-PYRENEES, SARLAT & SAINT EMILION  

Earthy truffles. Exquisite wines. Time to savour the finer things in life in South West France. As we seek out Bordeaux’s gastronomic gemsand treasured vineyards, we’ll travel over soaring mountains and along the Atlantic coast, into enchanting castles and otherworldly caves.


ITINERARY

Day 1 BORDEAUX – ARCACHON BAY – 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 in a local restaurant. (D)
Overnight: Hotel Georges VI (or similar)

Day 2 BIARRITZ – BAYONNE – BIARRITZ

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. (B)
Overnight: Hotel Georges VI (or similar)

Day 3 BIARRITZ – LOURDES – MIDI-PYRÉNÉES

We turn to the east and briefly on to Pau, focussing 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 en route 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 a real 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. (B, D)
Overnight: Hostellerie des Cedres (or similar)

Day 4 MIDI-PYRÉNÉES – CATHARE COUNTRY – CARCASSONE

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 speciality – sparkling Blanquette. Fully refreshed, our final stop of the day is the feather in the cap of the Langue doc 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. (B, D)
Overnight: Hotel Le Donjon (or similar)

Day 5 CARCASSONE

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 Canaldu Midi, a UNESCO World Heritage site, a short saunter away, it’s ideal for walkers. (B)
Overnight: Hotel Le Donjon (or similar)

Day 6 CARCASSONE – ALBI – 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. (B)
Overnight: Grand Hotel de Sarlat (or similar)

Day 7 SARLAT – VÉZÈRE VALLEY – SARLAT

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. (B)
Overnight: Grand Hotel de Sarlat (or similar)

Day 8 SARLAT – BEYNAC-ETCAZENAC – SARLAT

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. (B, D)
Overnight: Grand Hotel de Sarlat (or similar)

Day 9 SARLAT – SAINTÉMILION – 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 epicentre 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. (B)

The tour finishes at 5:30pm 


Tour Inclusions

  • 8 nights’ accommodation
  • Driver/tour leader
  • Mini-coach transportation
  • European breakfast daily
  • 4 x evening meals
  • 2 x wine tastings
  • Oyster tasting
  • Truffle farm experience
  • Included Entrances: Albi Cathedral, Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, Lascaux Caves II & Chateau de Beynac.