Coast to Coast – Bordeaux to Barcelona English speaking - small group tour max 16
Bordeaux-Saint Emilion-Sarlat-Dordogne Valley-Rocamadour-Cahors-Cordes -Albi-Carcassonne-Minervois-Cathar Castles-Collioure-Barcelona
2019 departs: Apr 21. May 12. Jun 02, 30. Oct 06
Cost from: : $5267 pp twin share
Single supplement: on request
Day 1 Meet In Bordeaux
Arrive in Bordeaux on and check in at your hotel located in the center of the city. Enjoy a dinner on your own in the lively streets of Bordeaux.
Day 2 Bordeaux Gourmet Tour / Medoc Wine Tour
Breakfast at your hotel.10.00am Pick up at your hotel.
Experience Gastronomical Pleasures & Cultural Highlights of Bordeaux
This morning, depart for a guided walking tour of Bordeaux featuring a mix of historical landmarks and local culinary delights. Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the port city boasts more protected buildings than any other French city after Paris. Discover big-ticket attractions such as Saint Andrew’s Cathedral or the neoclassical Grand Theater. Between landmarks you will have the opportunity to stop and savor some regional delicacies, including the famous canelé pastry. After the tour, your guide will lead you to lunch at a local restaurant specializing in French cheese where you will have the opportunity to sample several varieties along with wine pairings. Discover the Magic of the Medoc Wines In the afternoon, head towards one of the most renowned wine producing areas of Bordeaux, the Medoc. As you follow the ‘Château Road’ that is lined with some of the most famous wineries of Bordeaux, stop and participate in a visit & wine tasting session at Château du Tertre in the Margaux appellation. This winery is one of sixty in the Medoc region that was classified as a Bordeaux ‘Grand Cru’ in 1855 at the request of Emperor Napoleon III for the World’s Fair in Paris, a status still retained today. Upon arrival, enjoy a private visit of the Château as you tour the grounds, see the vines, discover the Vat House and cellar. This exclusive visit also includes a vertical tasting of three vintages of Château du Tertre wines.
Our next stop will be at Château Siran also located in the Margaux area. Here, you will follow the “Wine Lover” tour to discover the old wine cellar, today an exhibition area for a superb family collection of over 300 wine-related objects. Then visit the “Bacchus Bunker” and discover the Château’s wine collection that spans from 1912 to 2012. Your visit will end with a comparative tasting of 3 different wines. 6.30pm Return to Bordeaux and night at your hotel.
Day 3 St Emilion Wine Region Full Day Tour
Breakfast at your hotel and check out. 9.00am Pick up at your hotel. Concerning the wines of Saint Emilion, known as the right bank, the Romans were the ones who originally planted the vineyards as early as the 2nd century. Reminders of the Roman techniques of wine planting can be seen in some of the estates such as chateau Bellevue, owned by world famous Angelus winery. Begin your tour with the visit of a carefully selected Winery that elaborates complex Merlot based red wines. After a short introduction about the history of the domain, you will follow a short tour through the technical installations of the winery, ending with an explanation about the oak barrels and the aging process. Your tour of the winery will end with a commented tasting of the Chateau wines that will reveal the different characteristics and aromas of the wines produced here. Continue to one of the most charming villages of the region, enjoy a tour on your own. The history of the village goes back to medieval times and the whole jurisdiction is classified as UNESCO World Heritage for its natural landscape. St Emilion is made up of fascinating Romanesque churches and ruins stretching all along steep and narrow streets. The village was named after the monk Émilian, a traveling confessor, who settled in a hermitage carved into the rock in the 8th century. Enjoy a lunch at leisure in the village. After lunch, reach the Dordogne region, which is renowned for its numerous medieval castles and magnificent caves housing prehistoric works of art. By late afternoon you will reach the town of Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil where you will be based to discover this fascinating area. 5.00pm Arrive in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil and check in at your hotel. 7.30pm Diner at your hotel.
Day 4 Sarlat Market & The Dordogne Valley
Breakfast at your hotel. 9.00am Pick up at your hotel. This morning, depart for a guided walking tour of Sarlat. A picturesque tangle of honey-colored buildings, alleyways and secret squares make up the lovely town which boasts some of the region’s best-preserved medieval architecture. Today is also market day in Sarlat, a perfect opportunity for you to taste and shop for local specialties that will be enjoyed later in the day during a picnic lunch. After free time for shopping at the market, head for the Dordogne valley to view some of the most beautiful villages of the area. Arrive in the village of La Roque Gageac and settle down in a shaded area for a picnic lunch to enjoy the local delicacies that you bought during your Sarlat market tour. The setting is perfect with the Dordogne River on one side and the medieval village, built alongside the steep limestone cliff, on the other. After lunch, embark on a traditional Gabarre, or flat-bottomed boat, that was used for transporting goods along the Dordogne since the Middle Ages. As you slowly cruise down the Dordogne River. After the boat ride, you will be taken to the village of Beynac, classified as one of the most beautiful villages of France, that has managed to retain all of its medieval charms. Reach the top of the village where the imposing medieval fortress awaits. Here, as you walk along the ramparts you will certainly be stunned by the amazing view over the Dordogne Valley, probably one of the most emblematic the region has to offer. 5.00pm Return to Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil and night at your hotel.
Day 5 Paleolithic Art In The Vezere Valley
Breakfast at your hotel. 9.00am Pick up at your hotel. Our first stop of the day is the 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 visited the cave that the Paleolithic Art was confirmed. Here, you will be taken to the prehistoric art on an electric train, a journey deep into the cave that lasts about an hour. The most striking aspect of the art in this cave is the sheer number of mammoths. In Europe, there are about 350 caves with prehistoric art in them – about a third of all depictions of mammoths are in the cave of Rouffignac. Arrive in the town of Montignac and enjoy some free time for personal discovery and lunch. Then depart for the nearby Lascaux IV, which has been initiated to conserve the integrity of the original cave complex, permanently closed to the public since 1963, while ensuring that visitors can still appreciate the remarkable Paleolithic paintings within. Inaugurated at the end of 2016, the reproduction of the cave of Lascaux is the focal point of the International Center for Parietal Art in Montignac, in which state of the art digital technologies are used for presentation and interpretative purposes. Begin the tour on the observation deck located on the roof of the building where you will appreciate expansive views over Lascaux’s surroundings. From here arrive at the entrance to the replica, which has been designed to reproduce the setting and experience of the four teenagers when they found the cave in 1940. Then reach the actual replica that covers 100% of the original cave. Inside it is dark, damp and the sound is muffled; just as it is in the real cave. The visit ends with the Cave Art World Tour gallery where images from painted caves around the World are projected onto interlocking domes and an interactive gallery that explores the link between cave art and modern art. 4.00pm Return to Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil. 7.30pm Meet in the lobby of your hotel and depart for dinner at a nearby rustic inn that offers local, homemade cuisine in their restaurant situated next to an old mill and a babbling brook. 10.00pm Return to your hotel and night in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil.
Day 6 Rocamadour / Cahors / Cordes / Albi
Breakfast at your hotel and check out 8.30am Pick up at your hotel. Today you leave the Dordogne region to discover some of the most charming villages that the Midi-Pyrénées region has to offer. Your first stop will be in the breathtaking village of Rocamadour that has attracted visitors because of its incredible setting in a gorge above a tributary of the Dordogne River. 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. Then, depart for the town of Cahors for lunch at a traditional restaurant serving local specialties. With its dramatic location on a U-shaped bend in the Lot River, Cahors has a long history with roots dating back to Celtic times before the Romans conquered it around the year 50 BCE. It quickly became one of the largest Roman cities and contains many ancient ruins that can still be seen today. Nowadays the town is also appreciated for its delightful medieval quarter whose highlight is the fortified 14th-century Valentré bridge, which you will have the chance to see before heading to your next destination. 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. 5.30pm Arrive in Albi and check in at your hotel.
Day 7 Albi / Castres / Carcassonne
Breakfast at your hotel and check out. 9.00am Pick up at your hotel. This morning, follow your guide on a private walking tour that will take you through the Episcopal City of Albi centered around 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 now the home to the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, 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. Follow your guide for the visit of the museum and then stop for lunch in the town of Castres before departing for the walled city of Carcassonne.
4.00pm Arrive in Carcassonne and check in at your hotel. While your luggage is being brought to your hotel, follow your guide on a private walking tour of the Carcassonne Citadel – one of the most striking walled settlements in the whole of Europe – during which you will discover the amazing stained-glass windows of the Saint Nazari Basilica, the lists, the Roman walls… You will also have the opportunity to follow your guide along the ramparts to discover the Cité from above with the visit of the Counts castle included. Afterward enjoy some free time for personal discovery and dinner on your own, perhaps sampling the local dish known as cassoulet.
Day 8 Collioure Village / Barcelona|
Breakfast at your hotel and check out. 9.00am Pick up at your hotel. This morning, depart for French Catalonia and arrive in the small fishing village of Collioure. The small Catalan port is sheltered by a creek where the waters of the Mediterranean meet the rocks of the Pyrenees mountain chain. An exceptionally sunny climate ensured by the Tramontana wind from the north makes Collioure a unique location that has inspired many painters and artists. Picasso, Derain, Dufy, Chagall, Matisse and Marquet have all stopped in Collioure to capture its special light and to immortalize the small harbor in their works. Called the City of Painters, the village continues to host artists from all backgrounds and is home to more than 40 art galleries. After a guided walking tour of the village, we have organized a special farewell lunch as the end of the tour approaches. Celebrate the culmination of your journey while dining on fresh seafood in an exceptional location overlooking the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean with a direct view of the magnificent Royal Castle of Collioure. After lunch, depart for Barcelona. 4.30pm Arrive in Barcelona and check in at your hotel.
Day 9 Barcelona
Breakfast at your hotel and end of our services.
Inclusions: 8nights in twin share in 4*& 5* accommodation, breakfast daily, 3 lunches, welcome dinner in Bordeaux and 2 dinners on day 05, arrival & departure transfers, English speaking driver guide, comfortable & fully equipped vans, bottles of water in the minivan. Wine & cheese pairing lunch in Bordeaux on Day 2, exclusive visit and vertical tasting at Château du Tertre winery, “Wine Lover” Tour visit at Chateau Siran winery, Visit and tasting at Château Siaurac winery, Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil on Day 3, Private guided walking tour of Sarlat, Rocamadour, Albi and Carcassonne, visit of Beynac, La Roque-Gageac and Cordes sur Ciel villages, boat ride on the Dordogne River, visit of Rouffignac cave and Lascaux IV center for Parietal Ar, guided tour of the Toulouse Lautrec museum in Albi, private guided walking tour of Collioure fishing village, all entrance fees for activities, monuments, museums, wine tastings mentioned in program, bottled water in the minibus
Exclusions: entrance fees other than mentioned in the program, meals and drinks, personal expenses and insurances, gratuities for the drive/guide.
Note: maximum of 16 participants