Itinerary Highlights

  • Take a private tour of Cognac, with a tasting at one of its world-renowned houses
  • Float above the vineyards on a hot air balloon ride over Saint- Émilion
  • Explore the “Prehistoric Valley” on a private guided tour of Dordogne’s caves
  • Sail through the small channels of Arcachon Bay on a traditional pinasse boat

What's Included

  • Accommodation Throughout
9 nights from £10,499 per person

Ricky

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect Europe holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.

Truly experience the beauty and culture of Bordeaux on this 10-day tour which begins and ends in the city, and ventures into the scenic countryside, vineyards and coast around it.

You’ll explore the Arcachon and Dordogne regions, taken on private tours to discover the best of this diverse part of France.

As you’d expect from a French tour, world-class wine and gastronomy weave their way through every experience; whether it’s wine tasting as you float in a hot air balloon, riding a tuk-tuk through famous vineyards, or being served a seafood platter as you sail along the coast in a traditional pinasse boat.

You’ll spend a full day in Cognac, learning all about its famous brandy houses and having the opportunity to make your own. And there is a stop scheduled in the stunning world heritage site of Saint-Émilion with its fortified walls encircled by vineyards.

Another destination listed by UNESCO for its heritage status is Vézère Valley, where you’ll be taken on a full day private guided tour to see the prehistoric Dordogne caves, a unique experience to discover the role of early modern humans who lived 20,000-40,000 years ago.

Also worked into the tour, and certain to be a feature of your trip, is a day exploring the coast of Arcachon Bay in a traditional boat. You’ll sail through small channels, navigating your way past oyster beds and picture-perfect beaches before reaching l’Île aux Oiseaux (Bird Island) and the charming villages of Lège-Cap Ferret.

Teamed with luxury hotels, private transfers and expert guides, this Highlights of Bordeaux tour is a fabulous way to experience this intoxicating region of France.

Itinerary

Bordeaux, France
You’ll be collected from the airport after your short flight to Bordeaux, and taken to your hotel in a luxury vehicle. Renowned as a world capital of wine, the city has so much to offer besides, thanks to its hundreds of historical buildings, museums and galleries, plus plenty to explore on its doorstep.
Get your French tour off to a gastronomic start with a morning spent on a private gourmet walking tour. Taking place in Chartrons wine district with its antiques dealers and charming stores, you’ll be talked through the history of wine and food in the region, beginning with a coffee shop stop for a fresh brew with French pastries, and ending with a charcuterie and cheese wine pairing.
In the morning you’ll be collected from your hotel for a full-day private tour of Cognac. This town overlooking the Charente River is famous for its brandy, and your tour will include a private visit and tasting at one of its most famous houses; such as Hennessy, Courvoisier and Remy Martin. You’ll then head to a smaller, local producer to learn about the history of the spirit, and the specific areas in which it must be produced to gain the moniker ‘Cognac’. The experience includes an opportunity to make a bottle of your own cognac to take home.
Saint-Emilion, France
What a treat is in store today as you will experience (either) an early morning or dusk hot air balloon ride over Gironde. From above you’ll float over the vineyards and valleys, spotting castles and learning how the balloon works. Included during the flight will be a wine tasting, with explanations of the wines from a château owner, followed by a delicious brunch or picnic when you’re back on terra firma.
Dordogne, France
Set out on day five for a full day exploring the castles and villages of Dordogne. On this private guided driving tour you’ll first stop at Beynac, home to one of the region’s most famous castles. You’ll then travel to Château des Milandes with its glorious gardens, before driving to La Roque Gageac – a village that grows the most incredible plants alongside one another thanks to its unique micro-climate conditions. The fortified medieval town of Domme on cliffs above the Dordogne River is next, before finishing your private tour at Rocamadour, an important pilgrimage site.
La Cave, France
An unforgettable adventure awaits with a full day private, guided tour in the Vézère Valley. This area is home to some of the world’s finest prehistoric sites, 15 of which are World Heritage Site-listed. Next stop is the interactive, immersive experience of Lascaux IV, famous for its prehistoric caves. You’ll then have time for lunch in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, before spending the afternoon at the National Prehistory Museum.
Sarlat, France
France is famous for her beautiful gardens, and on today’s private guided driving tour you’ll step foot in some of her best. Your driver will collect you from your hotel to take you to your first stop; the water gardens of Carsac, a real aquatic arboretum and a labyrinth of waterways, footbridges and plants. Next is Eyrignac Gardens, considered the most beautiful French-style garden in the Périgord, followed by a visit to the “Gardens of the Imagination,” overhanging the Vézère River. The day ends with the sublime views over the Dordogne Valley from the Gardens of Marqueyssac.
Saint-Emilion, France
You’ll be driven from your hotel in Dordogne back to Bordeaux, with a private visit and wine tasting at Couvent des Jacobins en route. The experience includes a tuk-tuk ride for wine lovers! Step aboard the tuk-tuk on a journey to the cellar of Calicem and through the vineyards, where you’ll enjoy a private tasting session of several rare and vintage wines.
Arcachon, France
Transfer to Arcachon Bay for a day exploring an area which the French see as a luxury seaside retreat. It’s home to expansive golden sandy beaches; the largest sand dune in Europe, Dune de Pilat; and a vibrant town centre with rows of belle époque mansions. In the afternoon board a traditional pinasse boat for a tour of Bird Island and the Lège-Cap Ferret, sailing past oyster beds and pristine beaches. While aboard you’ll be served a seafood platter of local oysters, langoustines, whelks, winkles and prawns.
A chauffeur will pick you up and drive you to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

Ricky

Travel Specialist

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9 nights from £10,499 per person

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