Detailed Itinerary (or download a PDF copy here)
Day 1 (Sunday, September 16)
From our meeting point, the lobby of the Hotel Novotel Bordeaux Aéroport, it's a one-hour drive to the Médoc wine region of Bordeaux, world famous for its reds. In late morning we arrive in Pauillac and visit the venerable and highly respected winery of Château Lynch-Bages. After lunch we visit a wine information center in Pauillac. Later in the day we make our way to lovely St. Emilion, a hill village occupying a privileged position. After checking into our hotel, we take a get-acquainted stroll around town, followed by DINNER. OVERNIGHT ST. EMILION
Day 2 (Monday, September 17)
This morning, after an orientation to the historical land of Dordogne and to our tour, we visit St. Emilion's Monolithic Church Europe's largest church carved out of living rock. After LUNCH in the village, a treat is in store – a tour of the Pottery Museum with an introduction to the land of Aquitaine and its fabled duchess, Eleanor. You'll find the talk by museum owner Alain Querre fascinating. OVERNIGHT ST. EMILION
Day 3 (Tuesday, September 18)
Leaving St. Emilion, we head to lovely Brantôme. We check into our riverside hotel, then stroll the lively streets before taking a cruise on the placid Drônne River. Later there is free time to enjoy charming Brantôme. OVERNIGHT BRANTOME
Day 4 (Wednesday, September 19)
In the morning, we tour the magnificent Château of Hautefort, perched on a lofty ridge and surrounded by beautiful gardens. The castle is so perfectly Renaissance that it served as the setting of the film Ever After, with Drew Barrymore. After lunch we visit the pretty village of St. Jean-de-Côle, officially classed as one of the most beautiful villages of France. Back in Brantôme, we enjoy free time before DINNER in our hotel's highly rated restaurant. OVERNIGHT BRANTOME
Day 5 (Thursday, September 20)
This morning we visit Brantôme's abbey, founded by Charlemagne in 769. Around noon we make the drive just a few minutes downriver to the lovely village of Bourdeilles, boasting a château, a panoramic park and a humpback bridge over the Drônne River. Our visit includes the château, the village church and LUNCH. OVERNIGHT BRANTOME
Day 6 (Friday, September 21)
IIt's time to leave Brantôme. In late morning we arrive in lively Périgueux, the chief town for the region. There will be time for lunch as well as strolling in the old town, window shopping and visiting the curious, domed cathedral. Then we head south into the heart of Périgord, stopping along the way to experience a site inhabited in prehistoric and medieval times – the remarkable cliff of Roque St. Christophe. Near day's end we come to pretty Sarlat-la-Canéda, a magical town of authentic Renaissance architecture. Our six-night stay in the exceedingly comfortable hotel Villa des Consuls allows us to relax and enjoy Sarlat. Do make time to stroll the cobbled streets after dark, when old Sarlat is illuminated by gaslight. OVERNIGHT SARLAT
Day 7 (Saturday, September 22)
Sarlat-la-Canéda has what many consider France's most renowned outdoor market. Along with the imposing church and the ancient town, the market is well worth a a half-day's exploration. We shop in the market for a gourmet picnic lunch, then head for the magnificent gardens of Marqueyssac, where we picnic before touring the grounds. Later we enjoy DINNER in Sarlat. OVERNIGHT SARLAT
Day 8 (Sunday, September 23)
The wild country to the east is on our agenda as we make a day trip to the area's most revered pilgrimage site medieval Rocamadour. Here we visit the astounding village, clinging to the face of its cliff, as well as the site of several pilgrimage churches. In the afternoon we descend to the Dordogne River and the pretty village of Carennac. OVERNIGHT SARLAT
Day 9 (Monday, September 24)
This morning we learn why this part of France has been called the World Capital of Prehistory. Our first visit is to the cave of Rouffignac, which contains more than 250 engravings and paintings dating back some 13,000 years. Then we arrive in the dramatic village of Les Eyzies for LUNCH and to visit the National Museum of Prehistory, which chronicles 500,000 years of human habitation in these valleys. OVERNIGHT SARLAT
Day 10 (Tuesday, September 25)
This morning we pass through beautiful and unspoiled back country, then cross the Dordogne River to the Château of Les Milandes, once owned by American singer-dancer Josephine Baker. After a visit, we climb to the perched village of Domme, which enjoys a view over miles of Dordogne River countryside. Following LUNCH and free time in Domme, we descend to the Dordogne and the remarkable village of La Roque Gageac. Here, we board a boat, a replica of the old river craft called a garbare, for a cruise. OVERNIGHT SARLAT
Day 11 (Wednesday, September 26)
Our first stop today is Lascaux IV, a new (late 2016) interpretive center containing an exact replica of the cave of Lascaux, whose 15,000-year-old paintings have made it what has been called "the Sistine Chapel of prehistoric art." After our thorough visit, we return to Les Eyzies to visit the rock shelter that started it all – Cro Magnon, lying at the foot of a limestone cliff, which gave its name to modern humans. OVERNIGHT SARLAT
Day 12 (Thursday, September 27)
Leaving the Dordogne, we head west, back toward Bordeaux. By 10 a.m. we are in the bastide (walled town from the 1200s) of Monpazier, with time to explore its old streets on the village's market day. After a special LUNCH at the Michelin-starred restaurant La Tour des Vents, we continue on, arriving late in the day at the Bordeaux airport and checking into the comfortable, convenient Novotel. OVERNIGHT BORDEAUX AIRPORT
Getaway day (Friday, September 28)
It's time to say au revoir to France as you take the hotel shuttle to the nearby Bordeaux airport for your flight home.
MEALS Tour includes breakfast every day, as well as eight other meals (lunches and dinners), as indicated in BOLD CAPS on the itinerary.
Auberge de la Commanderie, St. Emilion
Hôtel Frères Charbonnel, Périgueux
Villa des Consuls, Sarlat
Hôtel Novotel Bordeaux Aeroport
HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS Subject to change according to availability.
TOUR PRICING Price of $3,995 could change, thought this is unlikely, due to fluctuations in foreign currency rates. Call us for details- (800) 676-1247.
ITINERARY Details of this preliminary itinerary could change. A final itinerary will be issued closer to trip departure.
SIGHTSEEING All sightseeing listed in itinerary is included as part of the tour.
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