WINE TOUR Coast to Coast - Bordeaux to Nice
English speaking Private tour NEW!
Bordeaux-Saint Emilion-Sarlat-Dordogne-Lascaux-Rocamadour-Saint Cirq Lapopie-Cordes sur Ciel Villages-Albi-Millau Viaduct-Tarn Canyon-Provence-Pont du Gard-Avignon-Baux de Provence-Gordes-Aix en Provence-Cassis-Corniche des Maures-Nice
2016 depart daily: Apr-Oct
Discover the most beautiful regions of southern France through this exclusive and unique tour that will take you from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. Departing from Bordeaux “The Little Paris”, to Nice “La Belle”, you will come across some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes, visit some of the most beautiful villages of France, plunge to the origins of Art and be in awe facing some of the most impressive architectural achievements ever made by man whether it be modern or more than 2000 years ago.
You will also follow the trail of famous painters, experience scrumptious foods and delicate wines as you traverse the Aquitaine, Dordogne, Languedoc, Provence and Cote d’Azur regions. But not only! Your tour will be led by your own English speaking accredited Guide/Driver that will not only conduct all the visits and give you all the (local) insights, he will also handle all technical details and assist you with any requirement. Finally, all accommodation has been carefully selected for its comfort, location and professionalism. This tour is without a doubt a fantastic overview of all the best southern France has to offer!
Day 01 Bordeaux - Arrival
Arrival transfer in Bordeaux from Airport or Train station and check in at your centrally located hotel. Enjoy a private guided walking tour of Bordeaux with your English speaking licensed tour guide. During your tour you will discover the most famous monuments and landmarks that the city has to offer. Bordeaux has been classified a “City of Art and History” and is home to one of Europe’s largest collection of 18th-Century architecture. As you walk through imposing squares and handsome avenues, you will see big-ticket attractions such as the neo-classical Grand Théâtre or Saint Adrews Cathedral where young Eleanor of Aquitaine married Louis VII. After your tour, experience a typical dinner in one of the famous restaurants of Bordeaux to discover some of the local food and wines! D
Day 02 Great Cabernets of The Medoc 1855 Classification Wine Tour
This morning your tour will depart for the left bank of the Garonne River towards the Medoc wine producing region. Your day will include the visit and wine tasting in 3 carefully selected 1855 Classified Growth Chateaus known for the quality of their wines. Your Chateau tours will begin with the visit of the technical installations so as to better understand the chemistry & technical complexity involved in the wine making process. The visits also point out the importance of the soil and weather conditions, which the French translate into one word: Terroir. All tours are private and will be for our small group only. Lunch will be taken in a carefully selected local restaurant. Your day will also take you along the ‘Route des Chateaux’ so that you may admire some of the most famous estates such as Chateau Palmer, Chateau Margaux or Chateau Pichon Longueville for great photo opportunities. BL
Day 03 Merlot Wines of Saint Emilion-Sarlat
Today the wine region known as the Libournais is on your program. Located on the right bank of the River Garonne, you will discover the beautiful region of Saint Emilion, a UNESCO world heritage site also known for its Merlot based wines. Here you will first enjoy a private visit and tasting in a carefully selected Classified Growth Chateau. Then arrive in the village of Saint Emilion and enjoy a unique private visit of the underground monuments of the village including the Monolithic Church. The tour covers several centuries of history and legend from the time of the monk Emilion to the carving out of the amazing monolithic church. You will be able to see paintings in the Trinity Chapel and learn the secrets of the catacombs. After some free time for lunch and personal discovery, you will be transferred to your hotel in Sarlat la Canéda, in the heart of the Dordogne region. B
DAY 04 Sarlat-Dordogne Valley
Few regions sum up the attractions of France better than the Dordogne. With its rich food, heady history, château-studded countryside and picturesque villages, the Dordogne is without a doubt one of the most enchanting provincial destinations. This morning, follow your guide to discover the historical town of Sarlat. A picturesque tangle of honey-coloured buildings, alleyways and secret squares make up the beautiful town which boasts some of the region's best-preserved medieval architecture. After some free time for lunch, your afternoon will take you along the Dordogne valley. Here, you will encounter Medieval Fortresses such as Castelnau and Beynac, visit some of the most beautiful villages such as Domme or La Roque Gageac and enjoy a relaxing boat ride along the River. B
Day 05 The Vezere Valley
Some 15,000 years B.C. unknown artists created breathtaking cave paintings 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 made it. Begin the day in Les Eyzies de Tayac for a guided visit of the National Prehistory Museum. Opened in 2004, this national museum possesses the largest collection of prehistoric artifacts in the world. Continue to Montignac where you will visit Lascaux II cave, a perfect reproduction of the original cave. Opened in 1983, Lascaux II is a triumph of technology, as rigorous scientific and artistic methods were used to recreate the incomparable atmosphere of the original cave. Finally, end the tour with the visit of Rouffignac Cave that possesses original and authentic etchings and drawings. 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 pre-historians from the Pyrenees, rediscovered and confirmed the cave art. B
Day 06 Rocamadour-Saint Cirq Lapopie-Cordes Sur Ciel Villages
Today you leave the Dordogne region to discover some of the most beautiful villages that the Midi Pyrenees region has to offer. Your first stop will be in the breathtaking village of Rocamadour that has attracted visitors for its setting in a gorge above a tributary of the River Dordogne. The village is renowned for its historical monuments and its sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which for centuries has brought pilgrims from every country. After some free time for lunch and personal discovery, depart for the village of Saint Cirq Lapopie. Elected as the preferred village of the French in 2012, its position, originally selected for defense, perched on a steep cliff 100 m above the river Lot has helped make it one of the most well preserved in the area. Your final visit will be that of Cordes sur Ciel. The village is a living piece of history and art, holding alive in its stones the memory of all those who have passed through it since its creation in 1222 by the Count of Toulouse. Its exceptional site and remarkable architectural heritage make it one of the most significant medieval cities of France. Tonight you will settle in a Luxury Bed & Breakfast and participate in a homemade dinner prepared by the owners. BD
Day 07 Albi Unesco Visit-Roquefort Cheese-Millau Viaduct
After a short drive, arrive in the town of Albi. Follow your guide on a private walking tour that will take you to the Episcopal City centered round two immense medieval buildings: The Saint-Cecile Cathedral, the largest brick-built cathedral in the world, and the Berbie Palace, the former fortified residence of the bishops of Albi, and now the home of the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, home to the largest public collection of the artist’s work. More than 1,000 works, including his famous posters, are housed in this impressive ‘palace’ museum. Paintings from his youth, portraits of friends and family, the famous paintings of brothels and prostitutes – alongside his advertisements for bicycles, restaurants, and cabarets - as well as his lithographs, make this collection exceptional. After a private visit of the Museum, enjoy some free time for lunch and personal discovery. In the afternoon, en route for Roquefort to visit the installations of a famous cheese making complex. Roquefort is a sheep milk blue cheese aged in the natural Combalou caves of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. Your visit will enlighten you as to the way the cheese is made and you will end the tour with a tasting session. Finally, reach the Millau viaduct that opened to traffic in December 2004. Designed by British Architect Norman Foster, the 2.4 km cable-stayed bridge has been consistently ranked as one of the great engineering achievements of all time. Here you will enjoy a stop right next to the bridge for an amazing vista. You will also be able to understand all the construction phases thanks to the visit of a dedicated area. B
Day 08 Tarn Canyon-Uzes & Pont Du Gard-Provence
This morning drive through the Tarn Canyon. With each turn the drive becomes more beautiful, never monotonous. The road cuts through the Canyon, hugging its walls, in sight of picturesque villages, clusters of stone buildings that nestle above the shores of the Tarn River. Reach Uzes where you will have some free time for personal discovery and lunch before heading to visit one of the most prestigious Roman monuments still standing, the Pont du Gard. A true masterpiece of ancient architecture, the aqueduct is one of the most beautiful Roman constructions in the region. It is the principal construction in a 50 km long aqueduct that supplied the city of Nîmes with water. The figures are impressive: over 21,000 cubic meters of rock, weighing 50,400 tonnes! Moreover, archaeologists also uncovered evidence of how well organized the project was. They found numbering on the stones, points of support for scaffolding, and evidence of the use of hoists. After the visit, depart for Avignon and check in at your hotel. B
Day 09 Avignon-Les Baux De Provence-Gordes-Roussillon
Provence and all its highlights are on your program today. Start your day with a guided walking tour of Avignon including the Popes Palace. The city is one of few in France to have preserved its ramparts. In addition, its historic center, the palace of the popes, Rocher des Doms, and the bridge of Avignon are well-preserved. After your visit, depart for the Provence countryside to visit some of the most beautiful villages of the area. Begin with the visit of Les Baux a hilltop village that has retained its historical center with beautiful house of the 16th century, the St Vincent Church and delightful Romanesque buildings. Then head for Gordes, another perched village in the Luberon, one of «the most beautiful villages in France », famous for its dry stone architecture. Finally, end the day with the visit of Roussillon, another «most beautiful villages in France» famous for its red and yellow ochre cliffs, and unusual natural landscape. Return to your hotel in Avignon. B
Day 10 Aix En Provence-Cassis-Corniche Des Maures
This morning experience Aix en Provence one of the Jewels of southern France. Known as the town of water and art it was founded in 123 BC on a natural spring water site. Numerous fountains can be seen all over the town, the most famous being located on the main street “Cours Mirabeau”. Your tour will also take you to the elegant residential area of the Quartier Mazarin where sumptuous private houses were built in the mid 1600's. In the old town you will discover a warren of pretty winding streets with everyday markets, shops, fountains and squares. After the tour, depart for Cassis. This small fishing port, nestled between two natural sites (the famous Calanques and the majestic Cap Canaille) offers visitors a concentrate of Provence and the Mediterranean. After some time for lunch, enjoy a boat ride that will take you along the sheltered inlets called Calanques that are one of the natural wonders of the area. After the boat ride, enjoy some free time and personal discovery. Check in at your hotel in the Bandol area and enjoy a dinner in a carefully selected local restaurant. BD
Day 11 Corniche Des Maures Coastal Road-St Maxime-St Raphael-Nice
Today your day is dedicated to visiting the small villages located along the Mediterranean coast before reaching the city of Nice. You will travel along the most scenic parts of the coastal road known as the “Corniche des Maures” to admire the most breathtaking landscapes and natural environment that this part of France has to offer. Your guide will give you the opportunity to stop in some of the most beautiful villages of the region so as to experience the local feel. Lunch will be taken along the way. Finally arrive in Nice and check in at your hotel. BL
Day 12 Nice
Breakfast at your hotel and end of our services. Own arrangements for departure. We can organise a private transfer to the airport or train station on request.
Inclusions: twin share in a 4 star hotel and 1 night in luxury B&B (near Cordes-sur-Ciel), daily breakfast, 2 lunch, 3 dinners including the welcome dinner, arrival transfer, English speaking driver guide, private guided tur as per itinerary, transportation in comfortable & fully equipped vans, bottles of water in the minivan.
Sightseeing: walking tour in Bordeaux, Sarlat, Rocamadour, Albi and Carcassonne, Margaux half day wine tour with 2 “Classified Growth Chateau” visits, Saint-Emilion wine tour with 1 “Classified Growth Chateau” visit, wine tasting, boat ride on the Dordogne river, visit of Rouffignac and Lascaux II caves, National Prehistory Museum in Les Eyzies, visit of the Toulouse Lautrec museum in Albi, visit of the Minervois region with Olive oil and wine tasting, Cathar Castles including 2 Cathar Castle visits, visit of Blue Cheese making installations in Roquefort, Millau Viaduct, Pont du Gard, visit of Uzes, Avignon and Aix-en-Provence, boat ride in the Calanques at Cassis 22.
Excursions: entrance fees not mentioned in the program, meals and drinks, insurance, gratuities, luggage handling
Note: Maximum of 6 participants