Bonaguil Castle & Malbec Wine Tour Private Day Trip from Sarlat
Small Groups ( 2~8 )
- Know before
- Meeting point
- Inc. / Exc.
Select options and Book
- A Full-Day Excursion to Ruins and Vineyards Along The Lot Valley
- Visit one of the last fortified castles built in France
- Explore the original malbec wine region and taste delicious wines
- Tour can be customized to suit your interests
- Local Tour Guide, Expert of the Dordogne & Lot Region
Program & Itinerary
Meet your English speaking local guide, expert of Castles & Wines
Today, we will come and pick you up at your Hotel or accommodation in Sarlat. Meet your English speaking guide who is an expert of the Dordogne & Lot Region and who will go over the itinerary and program of this full day tour with you. Then, board your spacious, comfortable, air conditioned Mercedes minivan and begin to make your way to the Quercy region of France..
Travel in a spacious Mercedes Minivan
Your private Sarlat Sightseeing Tour will take place in one of our very spacious Mercedes Minivans. This vehicle can take up to 8 persons normally but on this occasion, the vehicle will only be for you. This allows you to choose the seat that you think best in terms of social distancing while still enjoying the information passed on by your guide.
All our vehicles are equipped with an on board P/A system that allows you to hear the commentary of your driver/guide no matter where you are seated. Also, there is free Wi-Fi access on all tour vehicles. Bottled water is also available in all our vehicles.
Visit the Mighty Castle of Bonaguil
Considered to be a Gem of military architecture, Bonaguil castle, located near the Lot Valley, was the last of the great fortified castles to be built in France. Classified as a National Monument in 1862, it is without a doubt one of the most impressive and evocative castle ruins of France.
Chateau de Bonaguil is a typical medieval castle with three defensive lines, each inner line higher than the one it overlooks. The first line of defense was the outer wall dedicated to grazing fire, second was the main castle and third was the keep.
Built on a rocky needle surrounded by abrupt terrain, it is really only accessible from one side. A fortified barbican protected the main entrance of the castle, with a deep dry moat carved into the rock separating it from the main castle.
Bonaguil shows us how artillery was incorporated in the defense of a medieval castle. However, with the advancement of more powerful artillery, medieval castles became obsolete. The days of the castle were at an end and the birth of the modern fort had begun.
Follow your guide for a private tour of the castle. Only certified guides can conduct such a tour and you will marvel at all the historical and architectural details your guide will be able to give you on this unique tour.
Free time for lunch (at own expense) in Puy l'Eveque
After the visit of Bonaguil, head south and reach the charming medieval village of Puy L'Eveque where it will be possible for you to have lunch in a nearby restaurant.
Reach the Malbec wine region of Cahors
After the visit, reach the Lot River that is lined with vineyards. This is the original producing area of Malbec! Originally from Cahors, locally known as Cot or Auxerrois, Malbec is the dominant grape variety of Cahors wines. It is supplemented by up to 30% Merlot and Tannat – another local grape variety. As a reflection of the character of the Malbec variety, Cahors wines can be rather tannic when young, and benefit from aging.
There are 4,400 hectares (10,000 acres) of Cahors vineyards. The designation AOC Cahors may only be used for red wines even though there is also some white and rosé wine produced in the same area but it falls under the designation Vin de Pays du Lot instead (Country Wines).
Ideal climate conditions, Oceanic but under a strong influence from the Mediterranean, the climate that can be found around the Cahors vineyard is characterized by less rainfall than in Bordeaux. In the autumn, the Autan wind blows dry hot air coming from the south that provides perfect maturity to the berries whilst the Lot River is a natural thermal regulator.
The terraces of the Lot are divided into three distinct areas composed of alluviums that originated from the Central Mountain range. The more one rises, the more the soils are drained. The terraces adjacent to the river produce subtle and fruity wines. The mid terraces give much more ample type wines.
The higher terraces as well as the Grèzes areas, composed of limestone blocks originating from the Causse plateau, are the ones that give the richer type Cahors that are fit for being laid down. Above 300 meters altitude, on the limestone plateau that is less fertile than the terraces and where the influence of the River is less effective, the wines produced there are less full bodied but of great finesse.
Visit and wine tasting in the Malbec wine region
This afternoon we will take you to a selected winery of the Cahors appellation. Here, you will have the opportunity to learn about the local wine making process. Then, participate in a wine tasting session and taste the local wines guided by a knowledgeable hand.
At the end of the tour, return to Sarlat.
Meet your guide at your hotel, accommodation or dedicated meeting point in Sarlat
Private visit of Bonaguil castle with your guide
Free time for lunch (at own expense)
Follow the Malbec wine route
Visit & Wine tasting in the Cahors wine region
Return to Sarlat
Know before you book
- Tour available from April to October
- 8 hour Private Bonaguil & Malbec wine tour from Sarlat
- Tour is operated in English, other languages on request
- Entrance tickets can be purchased during booking process
- Wine tasting fees can be purchased during booking process
- Tour is not wheelchair accessible
- Prices are per group from 2 to 8 persons - Larger groups please contact us
- Currency is in Euros
COVID-19 SAFETY MEASURES
- Face masks required for travelers in public areas
- Face masks required for guides in public areas
- Hand sanitizer available for travelers and staff
- Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
- Guides required to regularly wash hands
Other possible pick up locations :
- Les Eyzies de Tayac
- Beynac, La Roque Gageac, Domme
Included / excluded
- Guided visit of Bonaguil Castle
- Reservations for a wine tasting in the Lot valley
- English-speaking driver guide, Expert of the Dordogne
- Travel in recent, comfortable & fully equipped minivan
- Bottled water in the minivan
- Free WiFi access on board
- Entrance fees to Bonaguil Castle
- Wine tasting fees
- Entrance fees to monuments & attractions unless specified in program
- Personal insurance and expenses
- Meals, drinks & wine tasting fees
- Gratuities for the driver/guide
Do you organize pick up and return at accommodation for Sarlat private tours?Yes, all private tours include a pick up and drop off at requested location – hotel, AirB&B, or any other accommodation in Sarlat. We also pick up 30kms around Sarlat at no extra cost.
What type of vehicles are used during your private tours from Sarlat?Our company uses only premium cars & minivans that are recent, comfortable and fully equipped including individual A/C, shaded windows and large leg space.
Who conducts these Dordogne private tours from Sarlat?We only employ accredited and licensed tour guides that are also the drivers for all tours that need visits to be conducted by certified guides. Good examples are: the visit of museums, guided walking tours in cities, visit of historical monuments and so on.
In some regions, where wine tours prevail (Bordeaux, Alsace, Burgundy) the tours are conducted by professional local guides or sommeliers, that are experts in Wines. On this particular tour, we will include the services of one of our guides, expert in both medieval architecture & wines.
Is the visit of Bonaguil castle strenuous?Bonaguil castle is a medieval castle which means you will have to walk on uneven grounds, climb stairs and follow a guided walking tour of about 1 1/2 hours. This means that we would not recommend that you take this tour if you have walking issues.
Is lunch included on this private tour from Sarlat?No, we never include lunch on our private tours. If you would like to include lunch then just let us know and our team of travel designers will be happy to select a local restaurant for you and make the necessary arrangements. It is also possible for you to ask your guide for suggestions in the morning, on the day of the tour.
Can we choose which wineries we will visit during the Malbec private wine tour?Yes, absolutely. If there is one or more wineries that you would like to include on this tour, just let our team of travel professionals know and they will do the rest and organize the day accordingly. Please note that all winery visits depend on availability at time of booking and that we only begin to make the winery reservations once you have booked your tour with Ophorus.
Which wineries will we visit on the Malbec wine tour part of the day?Usually, we include one or two winery visits depending on the motivation of the persons that book this tour. We only select wineries that are known for the quality of the wines they produce. There is also a selection of top Cahors wineries that allow us to take our clients only to the best ones.