Bordeaux is exemplary French wine country, with access to some of Europe’s finest beaches and perhaps France’s best food. This tour allows you to immerse yourself in the world’s most celebrated red wines. Explore this alluring region from your base in a quaint boutique hotel in central Bordeaux and charming countryside lodgings. A local guide accompanies you through the Marché des Capuchins, southern France’s largest and oldest market, before an oenological brunch. Feast on truffles and climb Europe’s largest sand dune. In the Dordogne region enjoy the distinctive towns and villages, world-class vineyards, and prehistorical cave art. You have the opportunity to share a few hours with winemakers in prestigious Saint-Emilion.
DAY 1 Bordeaux
A chauffeur will meet you for a private transfer between the airport in Bordeaux to your hotel.
Suggestion: Free Day in Bordeaux
Bordeaux is one of France’s most fascinating cities. It lends its name to the renowned Bordeaux wines and is praised for its exquisite cuisine. There is no need to go to a fancy restaurant to find an excellent meal. You’ll find them in cozy inns or small romantic taverns. Not only is Bordeaux France’s uncontested capital of good food and wine, but it also boasts splendid monuments, mansions, and architecture.
Bordeaux is an ideal starting point for exciting excursions into the surrounding countryside and beaches. Wide Atlantic beaches, imposing sand dunes, lush vineyards, and dense fragrant pinewoods dominate the landscape. There are well-marked hiking and biking trails, making this region a paradise for nature lovers!
Night and Breakfast in a Superior Room of a Historic Boutique Hotel in the Heart of Bordeaux
DAY 2 Bordeaux
Morning Guided Tour of the Marché des Capucins and Gourmet Oenological Brunch
Make your way independently to the historic Saint-Michel district to discover the Marché des Capucins, the largest and oldest market in southern France.
Lénaïc, a local passionate wine-lover, is your guide to this emblematic Bordeaux neighborhood. Learn about its fascinating history, while exploring the colorful market. You will stop at three different stalls to hear artisan producers explain their work and techniques and to sample local wines and season products, which could include cheese, oyster, stuffed cod, and more.
Your tour ends in a nearby wine cellar for brunch enjoying wine and other local specialties. Taste six different wines matched with food purchased at the markets. This is a friendly and relaxed experience away from the hustle and bustle of the city above.
Duration: 3 hours
Afternoon Guided Cruise Along on Garonne River
The most charming and comfortable way to discover the historic heart of Bordeaux is on a Bateau Mouche. This tourist boat cruises along the Garonne
River which tranverses Bordeaux before flowing into the Atlantic.
Glide along the river while taking in the panorama of the city’s landmarks and the beautiful Aquitaine, Jacques Chaban-Delmas, and Eiffel stone bridges. Discover the city’s history from the Middle Ages to the 18th century.
Duration: around 1 ½ hours
Meeting Point at Ponton d’Honneur Quai Richelieu, behind the Maison Éco Citoyenne, Passerelle Garonne at 3:00 pm (boarding 30 minutes before departure)
Departure 3:30 pm, return 5:00 pm
DAY 3 Bordeaux – Arcachon
Private Tour of Arcachon and the Dune of Pilat
A chauffeur will meet you for a private transfer between your lodging and the day’s activities.
Arcachon is one of the most popular seaside destinations in all of France. You can find miles and miles of sandy beaches. South towards Biscarrosse the waves are ideal for surfing or body-boarding. The town center’s features
variations of neoclassical, neo-gothic, old-colonial and Swiss-chalet architecture, making it very vibrant with plenty of markets.
This winter town (the ville d’hiver) is home to grand villas dating to the 1860s when the town was promoted as a sanitarium because of its natural beauty and fresh air.
If you crave a tasty treat, try the moules frites (mussels and fries). You’ll find them in any of the beachside restaurants. And just a short walk away from the beachfront you will find more restaurants offering fine great at reasonable prices. France is famous for its oysters. The Oyster House in Arcachon gives insight into oyster farming techniques. All of that learned will certainly whet your appetite for an oyster tasting. The Gujan-Mestras Port is a perfect spot for that!
Interested in seeing the tallest sand dune in Europe? The Dune of Pilat is almost 360 feet (100 m) high and its top invites you to admire the view over the Atlantic Ocean.
Hotel pick-up and drop-off included
Lunch and entrance fees at own expenses Duration: 8 hours
DAY 4 Bordeaux – Sarlat Private Transfer
A chauffeur will meet you for a private transfer from your hotel to the train station in Bordeaux. Upon arrival at Sarlat your driver will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel.
Today you will visit the area known as Périgord Noir.
It is impossible to run out of things to see here with its famous castles and villages set in spectacular locations. Sarlat-la-Canéda was the medieval capital of Dordogne and is one of France’s loveliest towns.
Three of the villages here are classified among France’s most beautiful. The setting along the river, ancient village streets, and castle make Beynac-et- Cazenac a real highlight. La Roque-Gageac is a delight with its ancient riverside stone houses. The hilltop village Domme offers fabulous views of Dordogne.
The Château de Montfort is a fairy-tale castle just a few kilometers from Sarlat. With its close attention to historical detail, the Château de Beynac makes for another worthwhile visit. Château de Castelnaud is both a medieval castle and an extensive museum of medieval warfare. It’s a favorite for kids! The nearby 15th-century Château des Milandes is a charming visit too. It is well-known because Josephine Baker made it her home in the 1940s.
Night and Breakfast at a charming 5-star hotel in Medieval Sarlat
DAY 5 Péchalifour – Sarlat
Discovery Meal and Guided Truffle Hunt
Join a truffle hunt accompanied by the dog Farah before settling in for a memorable meal. Lunch will be prepared with a variety of summer or winter truffles, depending on the season.
Lunch includes an appetizer, truffle toast, scrambled eggs with truffles, truffled foie gras, truffled mashed potatoes, vegetables, salad, a cheese platter, a homemade dessert, coffee, water, and a ¼ liter of wine.
Duration: ½ day
DAY 6 Montignac – Rauzan
One-hour Small Guided Group Tour of the Lascaux Caves
The Lascaux caves are home to hundreds of prehistoric animal paintings dating back more than 17,000 years. They were discovered in 1940 by a group of teenagers looking for their dog. When one considers that prehistoric man created them in almost complete darkness they become even more impressive!
A copy of the caves was created to preserve the originals and make the paintings more accessible. Lascaux II is a reproduction of most of the prehistoric paintings created using the same techniques as the originals. The effect and vibrant colors are stunning.
Duration: 1-hour guided visit Wine tasting and Dinner
Your host and sommelier Nicolas welcomes you for dinner. Learn about wine and share appetizers in the grapevines or the wine cellar before a traditional French dinner.
DAY 7 Saint Emilion – Rauzan
Guided Tour of Saint-Émilion
Join your guide at the Saint-Émilion Tourism Office for a half-day tour of the medieval town and its surroundings.
Your first stop is at a Saint-Émilion AOC winery to taste the local “Grands Crus” and “Premiers Grands Crus”. Become acquainted with viticultural methods during a tour of the winery while enjoying a guided wine tasting. Before your visit comes to an end, join the wine-grower for a charming lunch at his wine estate.
Later that afternoon you discover Saint-Émilion and vineyards, classified as a UNESCO site since 1999. The city center and monolithic church date back to the town’s prosperous Middle Ages.
Your tour ends at the Saint-Émilion Tourism Office in the late afternoon.
Overnight stay including dinner and breakfast at a charming guesthouse near Saint-Émilion
DAY 8 Bordeaux
Your driver will meet you in the lobby of your hotel to transfer you to Bordeaux train station or airport.