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9 Days / 8 Nights

Day 1 - Bordeaux - Arcachon Bay - Biarritz
In a region of outstandingnatural beauty, where better tobegin our sojourn through SouthWest France than in Atlantic-Ocean-fringed Arcachon Bay?Towns and villages are dottedalong
the coastline, but wemake a beeline for La-Teste-de-Buch. After stopping to see theGreat Dune of Pilat - Europe'shighest sand dune - we get ourfirst taste of coastal cuisine. Andwhat a way to start: with freshoysters and a glass of local winefrom one of the port's traditionalcabins. Appetites whetted, it'stime to go south to Biarritz.With its sublime beaches and spectacular medieval churches,this bayside city is sheerelegance - and our home forthe night. To round off our firstday, we gather together fora welcome dinner
Overnight: Hotel Georges VI (or similar)

Day 2 - Biarritz - Bayonne - Biarritz
Time now to indulge ourcultural sides in Bayonne, justa short drive from Biarritz.This handsome fortified cityis brimming with heritagesites, so it's little wonder it wasnamed ‘City of Art and History'in 2012. Peruse it at yourown pace before we return toBiarritz together. With so manyrestaurants to entice everypalate, relish an evening at yourown pace. (B)
Overnight: Hotel Georges VI (or similar)

Day 3 - Biarritz - Lourdes - Midi-Pyrénées
We turn to the east andbriefly on to Pau, focussingour camera lenses on thistown's postcard-worthy goodlooks and majestic castle. Ourjourney then carries us throughthe peaceful Midi-Pyrénéesregion, pausing en route at thespiritual town of Lourdes that'sbeen a pilgrimage point formany years. This close to thePyrénées, you'll be forgiven forthinking we've stumbled acrossa film set. With rivers deep andmountains high, swathes offorest and hidden waterfalls,this dramatic landscape is areal heart-stealer. And we'll nodoubt reach for our camerasonce
more to capture our view.In keeping with the spirit of oursurroundings, we settle down forthe night into comfortably rusticaccommodation before tuckinginto dinner. (B, D)
Overnight: Hostellerie des Cedres (or similar)

Day 4 - Midi-Pyrénées - Cathare Country - Carcassone
On the trail of knights, wecontinue our own crusadethrough the Midi-Pyrénées andits picture-perfect Bastides.These character-filled townsare one of the biggest andbest-preserved collections ofmedieval townscapes anywherein Europe. Onwards throughCathar country and we reacha sociable hour for a glass ofwine. And what better placeto choose than with a localproducer of this region'sspeciality - sparkling Blanquette.Fully refreshed, our final stopof the day is the feather in thecap of the Languedoc region- Carcassonne. As the sky darkens, the towers and turretsof this magnificent fortified citylight up, taking on a magicalair. We're lucky enough to bestaying within the castle walls,beginning with a group dinner ina local restaurant. (B, D)
Overnight: Hotel Le Donjon (or similar)

Day 5 - Carcassone
Medieval-style market stalls,rampart walkways, lookout postswith eye-popping views - with awhole day to play with, you canuncover Carcassonne's chivalricsecrets at your own pace. Justbe sure to step outside the oldcity walls. With the idyllic Canaldu Midi, a UNESCO WorldHeritage site, a short saunteraway, it's ideal for walkers. (B)
Overnight: Hotel Le Donjon (or similar)

Day 6 - Carcassone - Albi - Sarlat
A small town that's big oncharm, historic Albi is thismorning's first stop. We'll lookout for the 13th century GothicSainte-Cécile Cathedral beforestepping inside Toulouse-Lautrec Museum. By the timewe get to Sarlat-la-Canéda andcheck in to our hotel for thenight, we'll have entered theDordogne region. (B)
Overnight: Grand Hotel de Sarlat (or similar)

Day 7 - Sarlat - Vézère Valley - Sarlat
Sublime scenery scattered withhandsome château, medievaltowns and quaint villages isthe Dordogne's calling card.Our travels across it take in theprehistoric painted Lascaux IICaves and the pretty Les Eyziesvillage, curled up in the heart ofthe Vezere Valley. The route wetake follows the ‘Royal Road',winding between craggy rocksand flowing river until we getto a local truffle farm. Localguides will give us an exclusivelesson in seeking out these raredelicacies. That brings us toSarlat and bags of time to lingerover its charms with an eveningof leisure ahead of us. (B)
Overnight: Grand Hotel de Sarlat (or similar)

Day 8 - Sarlat - Beynac-Etcazenac - Sarlat

Visitors to Sarlat come awaycalling it one of the mostbeautiful cities in all of France.But we'll find out for ourselves.It's an architectural treasuretrove, with buildings craftedfrom honey-hued local stonethat have stood the test of timedespite a turbulent history. Oneof the best places to appreciatethem is in the Old Town.Golden-stone houses pop upin riverside Beynac-et-Cazenactoo. Looking down over themall is a grand cliff-top chateau,from where we have spectacularDordogne Valley vistas. On this,our last night together, a finalfeast awaits in a local
restaurant.(B, D)
Overnight: Grand Hotel de Sarlat (or similar)

Day 9 - Sarlat - Saintémilion - Bordeaux
Before we set our sightson home, we make timefor Saint-Émilion. Here, oldtimber-framed houses of yellowlimestone line narrow streets, ina town wrapped in grape-ladenvineyards. This is the epicentreof Bordeaux's world-renowned‘heavy reds' and our chance tosample some of the region'sbest wines - saying a final“santé” before it's back toBordeaux. (B)

Pick-Up & Drop-Off
This tour commences from the Grand Hotel Francais, 12 Rue du Temple, 33000 Bordeaux at 8.30am. Please ensure you are at the meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure. The tour finishes at 5:30pm at Grand Hotel Francais, 12 Rue du Temple, 33000 Bordeaux.

         
    2017    
         
    Departure : April to October, 2017  
         
    Departure Dbl Occ Sgl Occ
    Jun 14, 28 $4,000 $5,020
    Jul 05, 19, 26 $4,000 $5,020
    Aug 09, 23 $4,000 $5,020
    Sep 06, 13, 20 ,27 $4,000 $5,020
    Oct 04, 11 $3,945 $4,675
         
         
         
         
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.
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