Day 1: Overnight Flight
Allons-y! Ignite the senses on a journey to Bordeaux and the Dordogne Valley – two of the world’s most decadent wine regions – and continue through the French countryside to chromatic Provence.
Day 2: Bordeaux, France – Tour Begins
Welcome to Bordeaux, a region known as much for its vibrancy and dynamism as its world-renowned wine. A local restaurant famous for its sélection de vins and locally-sourced meat invites you for a gastronomic adventure expertly pairing locally sourced foods and wine to mark the beginning of your journey through the south of France.
Day 3: Bordeaux – Medoc – Bordeaux
This morning, explore Bordeaux through a local’s perspective during a guided city tour. Embark on an interactive journey through a world of wine and culture at La Cité du Vin. Referred to as the “Guggenheim of wine,” this sensory adventure takes you on a fascinating discovery of wine culture and history. Next, travel the stunning “Route des Châteaux,” viewing the historic wine estates of the Medoc region. Complete today’s adventure with a walk through a winery to absorb the atmosphere of the vineyards, smell the grapes and taste the wine. Enjoy the evening at leisure to take in the sights and sounds of Bordeaux.
Day 4: Bordeaux – Saint-Emilion – Monestier (Dordogne Valley)
Today it’s your choice! Take a tuk-tuk through the charming medieval village of Saint-Émilion, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Bordeaux’s largest winemaking areas -OR- take a guided walking tour of the Old Town featuring a visit to the underground Monolithic Church. After getting acquainted with the city, enjoy time to explore this perfectly compact French village. Then it’s on to the Château Des Vigiers, known as “Petit Versailles,” your home for the next two evenings. Tonight, enjoy a fine dining experience in this 16th-century estate.
Day 5: Dordogne Valley
Venture to the countryside for a vibrant local market experience. Stop in Eymet, one of Southern France’s iconic “bastides” (fortified towns) before visiting the Château Monbazillac – a wine cooperative and symbol of the Bergerac region since the 16th century – best known for its dessert wine. This afternoon, explore the château grounds at leisure. Take in a round of golf or relax and enjoy the luxurious spa.
Day 6: Dordogne Valley – Carcassonne
Bid adieu to the Dordogne Valley and make your way to Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage site and virtual storybook replete with drawbridges, towers and cobblestone streets. This afternoon, step back to medieval times on an independent exploration of this breathtaking city.
Day 7: Carcassonne – Provence – Pont du Gard – Avignon – Saint-Remy
Journey from Carcassonne to Provence. En route, marvel at the Saint-Benezet Bridge and the Pont du Gard, a surviving stretch of aqueduct built in the 1st century A.D. In the incredible village of Avignon, often called the “City of Popes,” gain an inside look at all this village has to offer during a walking tour with your local expert guide. End with a visit to the dramatic Popes’ Palace, a center of European religion since the Popes moved there in 1309.
Day 8: Saint-Remy
France’s famed lavender fields wait for you in Gordes. Visit the museum and learn the origin of this beautiful, fragrant flower. Next, let an unforgettable epicurean adventure commence with a truffle hunt led by a local chef and trained, truffle-sniffing dogs. Après hunt, savor the unique experience of farm tastings throughout the countryside, among landscapes said to have inspired Van Gogh, Picasso, and Renoir!
Day 9: Saint-Remy
Enjoy a day at leisure to explore the charming beauty of Saint Rémy. Or you may choose an optional tour to the hilltop town of Les Baux-de-Provence where you have time to explore before experiencing one of the world’s most impressive multimedia presentations, the Carrières de Lumières; making use of a former quarry, art-based images are projected onto the surrounding rock and are accompanied by stirring music. Tonight’s farewell dinner leaves you to compare notes and experiences with fellow travelers as you say au revoir to the magic of Southern France.
Day 10: Saint-Remy – Tour Ends
Your tour comes to a close today.