Detailed Itinerary (or download a PDF copy here)
Day 1 (Sunday, September 5)
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 at the venerable and highly respected winery of Château Pichon Longueville Baron for a tour and tasting. After a drive through the Médoc, passing many lovely wine estates, we enjoy LUNCH and then make our way to beautifull St. Emilion, a hill village occupying a privileged position. After checking in at our hotel, we take a get-acquainted stroll around town. OVERNIGHT ST. EMILION
Day 2 (Monday, September 6)
This morning, after an orientation to the historic land of Dordogne and to our tour, climb aboard St. Emilion's little tourist train for a spin through the old streets and surrounding vineyards. Then we walk to a fine LUNCH at an excellent bistro. In the afternoon we take a guided tour of St. Emilion's Monolithic Church Europe's largest house of worship carved out of living rock. Late in the day, enjoy free time or come along for sparkling wine enjoyed in a courtyard next to a ruined church. OVERNIGHT ST. EMILION
Day 3 (Tuesday, September 7)
Leaving St. Emilion, we head to pretty 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 8)
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 9)
This morning we visit Brantôme's abbey, founded by Charlemagne in 769. Around noon we make a short drive to the restaurant Moulin du Roc. The restaurant and surrounding gardens will linger in your memories. Late in the day, come along as we drive a few minutes downriver to the lovely village of Bourdeilles, boasting a château, a panoramic park and a humpback bridge over the Drônne River. OVERNIGHT BRANTOME
Day 6 (Friday, September 10)
It'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 11)
Sarlat-la-Canéda has what many consider France's most colorful 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 castle garden and grounds. Later, after strolling the medieval streets of Beynac, we enjoy DINNER in Sarlat. OVERNIGHT SARLAT
Day 8 (Sunday, September 12)
This morning we learn why this part of France has long been called the World Capital of Prehistory. Our first visit is to the cave of Rouffignac, where we take an electric train to access galleries filled with prehistoric images dating back around 12,000 years. Then we travel deep into the Dordogne countryside for an authentic country LUNCH. Later, in the dramatic village of Les Eyzies, we visit the National Museum of Prehistory, which will put the Dordogne's many prehistoric discoveries into perspective. OVERNIGHT SARLAT
Day 9 (Monday, September 13)
The wild and untamed 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 10 (Tuesday, September 14)
Our first stop today is Lascaux IV, a recent (late 2016) interpretive center containing an exact replica of the cave of Lascaux, whose 15,000-year-old paintings have been called "the Sistine Chapel of prehistoric art." Returning to Les Eyzies, we visit the rock shelter called Abri de Cro-Magnon, lying at the foot of a limestone cliff. Cro-Magnon gave its name to modern humans. Late in the day, back in Sarlat, you'll have a chance to say goodbye to one of France's loveliest towns. OVERNIGHT SARLAT
Day 11 (Wednesday, September 15)
This morning we pass through beautiful and unspoiled back country, then cross the Dordogne River to the Château des Milandes, once owned by American singer-dancer Josephine Baker. After our visit, we climb to the perched village of Domme, which enjoys a view over miles of Dordogne Valley 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 12 (Thursday, September 16)
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 17)
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, Brantôme
Villa des Consuls, Sarlat
Hôtel Novotel Bordeaux Aéroport
HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS Subject to change according to availability.
TOUR PRICING Price of $4,295 could change due to fluctuations in foreign currency rates, though this is unlikely. 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.