- Atlantic Coast to Mediterranean Sea -
A Sightseeing Escapade from Bordeaux to Barcelona

Explore the Best of Southern France in 9 Days

Explore the Wine Region of Bordeaux

Visit the Quaint Towns of the Dordogne Region

See UNESCO World Heritage Sites Dating Back to Prehistoric Times

Discover Picturesque Villages and Historic Monuments

Learn About the Places that Inspired France’s Greatest Artists

Hand-Picked Guides Only. English-Speaking, Local Experts

Trip Details

Prices:

3200€ Per Person
Single supplement: 950€


When:

TOUR DATES
– From April 22nd to April 30th, 2018
– From May 13th to May 21st, 2018
– From June 3rd to June 11th, 2018
– From July 1st to July 9th, 2018
– From September 9th to September 17th, 2018
– From October 7th to October 15th, 2018


Duration:

9 Days/8 Nights


Trip Style:

Sightseeing Tour.
Group Size: maximum 18 persons
Fully Escorted tour


Meeting Point:

Hotel Pick Up in the different cities.


Inclusions:

2-night accommodation in 4* hotel in central Bordeaux
3-night accommodation in 3* hotel in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil
1-night accommodation in 4* hotel in central Albi
1-night accommodation in 4* hotel in Carcassonne
1-night accommodation in 5* hotel in central Barcelona

– Breakfast from day 2 to 9
– Travel in a recent, comfortable and fully equipped minibus
– Services of an expert English speaking accredited guide
– Welcome dinner in Bordeaux on day 1
– Private guided gourmet walking tour in Bordeaux
– Wine & cheese pairing lunch in Bordeaux on Day 2
– Exclusive visit and vertical tasting at Château du Tertre winery
– “Wine Lover” Tour visit at Chateau Siran winery
– Guided walking tour of Saint Emilion including the underground monuments
– Visit and tasting at Château Siaurac winery
– “Back from the Market” lunch at Château Siaurac winery on Day 3
– Dinner at your hotel in Les-Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil on Day 3
– Private guided walking tour of Sarlat, Rocamadour, Albi and Carcassonne
– Visit of Beynac, La Roque-Gageac and Cordes sur Ciel villages
– Boat ride on the Dordogne River
– Visit of Rouffignac cave and Lascaux IV center for Parietal Art
– Dinner at a local rustic inn in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil on Day 5
– Lunch in Cahors on Day 6
– Guided tour of the Toulouse Lautrec museum in Albi
– Lunch in Castres on Day 7
– Private guided walking tour of Collioure fishing village
– Farewell lunch in Collioure on day 8
– All entrance fees for activities, monuments, museums, wine tastings mentioned in program
– Bottled water in the minibus


Exclusions:

– Meals, drinks unless specified in itinerary
– Social drinks, items of personal nature, room service in hotels
– Laundry costs, shipping charges including for the return of lost items
– Personal travel insurance
– Entrance fees to monuments, museums, attractions unless specified in itinerary
– Driver/Guide gratuities at your own discretion

Nine Day Guided Excursion Through Southern France

From the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, come and discover some of the most beautiful provinces of southern France on this unique 9-day tour that will take you from Bordeaux to Barcelona. Meet in Bordeaux, one of the most vibrant French towns classified a “City of Art and History” and home to one of Europe’s largest collection of 18th-century architecture. The area is also world famous for the quality of its wines and the tour includes visits and tastings in carefully selected Châteaux. Then discover the exquisite Dordogne region. Scattered with quaint villages and mighty medieval fortresses, the area also offers breathtaking landscapes and is a major destination for viewing Paleolithic Art. Move on to the Languedoc area to discover Albi and its remarkable Toulouse-Lautrec museum as well as the medieval fortress of Carcassonne surrounded by 2000-year-old ramparts. Finally, after visiting one of the most beautiful coastal villages of France, renowned for its natural ‘light’ that has attracted painters such as Henri Matisse or André Derain, reach Barcelona one of the most exhilarating cities of Europe.

From the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, come and discover some of the most beautiful provinces of southern France on this unique 9-day tour that will take you from Bordeaux to Barcelona. Meet in Bordeaux, one of the most vibrant French towns classified a “City of Art and History” and home to one of Europe’s largest collection of 18th-century architecture. The area is also world famous for the quality of its wines and the tour includes visits and tastings in carefully selected Châteaux. Then discover the exquisite Dordogne region. Scattered with quaint villages and mighty medieval fortresses, the area also offers breathtaking landscapes and is a major destination for viewing Paleolithic Art. Move on to the Languedoc area to discover Albi and its remarkable Toulouse-Lautrec museum as well as the medieval fortress of Carcassonne surrounded by 2000-year-old ramparts. Finally, after visiting one of the most beautiful coastal villages of France, renowned for its natural ‘light’ that has attracted painters such as Henri Matisse or André Derain, reach Barcelona one of the most exhilarating cities of Europe.

Day 1 > Meet In Bordeaux / Welcome Dinner

Welcome dinner in Bordeaux with your guide

7.30pm meet your guide in the hotel lobby and depart for dinner in a local restaurant. This festive welcome dinner will be the perfect opportunity for you to meet the other travelers and go through the itinerary of the tour with your guide.

10.00pm return to your hotel and night in Bordeaux.

Day 2 > Bordeaux Walking Tour / Medoc Wine Tour

Breakfast at your hotel.

10.00am Pick up at your hotel.

Bordeaux gourmet guided walking tour & wine and cheese tasting lunch

This morning, depart for a guided walking tour of Bordeaux featuring a mix of historical landmarks and local culinary delights. Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the port city boasts more protected buildings than any other French city after Paris. Discover big-ticket attractions such as Saint Andrew’s Cathedral or the neoclassical Grand Theater. Between landmarks you will have the opportunity to stop and savor some regional delicacies, including the famous canelé pastry. After the tour, your guide will lead you to lunch at a local restaurant specializing in French cheese where you will have the opportunity to sample several varieties along with wine pairings.

Medoc region winery visits & tastings

In the afternoon, head towards one of the most renowned wine producing areas of Bordeaux, the Medoc. As you follow the ‘Château Road’ that is lined with some of the most famous wineries of Bordeaux, stop and participate in a visit & wine tasting session at a Château in the Margaux appellation. The winery is one of sixty in the Medoc region that was classified as a Bordeaux ‘Grand Cru’ in 1855 at the request of Emperor Napoleon III for the World’s Fair in Paris, a status still retained today. Upon arrival, enjoy a private visit of the Château as you tour the grounds, see the vines, discover the Vat House and the cellar. This exclusive visit also includes a tasting of several vintages of wines from the Château. Our next stop will be at a second Château also located in the Margaux area. Here, you will follow a tour to discover the old wine cellar, today an exhibition area for a superb family collection of over 300 wine-related objects. Then visit the Château’s personal wine collection that spans from 1912 to 2012. Your visit will end with a comparative tasting of several different wines.

6.30pm Return to Bordeaux and night at your hotel.

Day 3 > St Emilion Wine Region Full Day Tour

Breakfast at your hotel and check out.

9.00am Pick up at your hotel.

St. Emilion village visit & underground monuments

Today the wine region known as the Libournais is on your program. Located on the right bank of the River Garonne, you will discover the beautiful region and village of Saint Emilion, a UNESCO world heritage site also famed for its Merlot based wines. Upon arrival in one of the most charming villages of the region, follow your guide on a unique tour of the underground monuments of Saint Emilion including the Monolithic Church. The tour covers several centuries of history and legend from the time of the monk Saint Emilion to the carving out of the amazing monolithic church. During your visit, admire the medieval paintings in the Trinity Chapel and learn the secrets of the catacombs. Finally, the underground monolithic church will be yours to discover and it will probably be the most rewarding moment of your visit.

Lalande-de-Pomerol region winery visit, tasting & lunch

After leaving the village of Saint Emilion, you will visit a Château located on one of the most stunning estates in the Lalande-de-Pomerol area. The Château itself is protected as an historical monument and was inspired by the works of renowned French architect François Mansart. It is surrounded by a garden designed by the same landscape architect as Bordeaux’s own exquisite public gardens. Landscaped in the English tradition, these stunning grounds consist of vast lawns, ponds, and winding paths that feature over 40 different species of trees. A genuine family run estate, everything is designed to project an air of French elegance. Following a visit of the winery and a tasting of two wines, you will enjoy a leisurely lunch either in the Orangery or under the shade of the nearby trees.

Transfer to the Dordogne

After lunch, reach the Dordogne region, which is renowned for its numerous medieval castles and magnificent caves housing prehistoric works of art. By late afternoon you will reach the town of Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil where you will be based to discover this fascinating area.

5.00pm Arrive in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil and check in at your hotel.

7.30pm Dinner with your guide at your hotel.

Day 4 > Sarlat Market & The Dordogne Valley

Breakfast at your hotel.

9.00am Pick up at your hotel.

Sarlat guided walking tour and market

This morning, depart for a guided walking tour of Sarlat. A picturesque tangle of honey-colored buildings, alleyways and secret squares make up the lovely town which boasts some of the region’s best-preserved medieval architecture.  Today is also market day in Sarlat, a perfect opportunity for you to taste and shop for local specialties that will be enjoyed later in the day during a picnic lunch. After free time for shopping at the market, head for the Dordogne valley to view some of the most beautiful villages of the area.

Villages of the Dordogne valley, picnic lunch & Gabarre boat ride

Arrive in the village of La Roque Gageac and settle down in a shaded area for a picnic lunch to enjoy the local delicacies that you bought during your Sarlat market tour. The setting is perfect with the Dordogne River on one side and the medieval village, built alongside the steep limestone cliff, on the other. After lunch, embark on a traditional Gabarre, or flat-bottomed boat, that was used for transporting goods along the Dordogne since the Middle Ages. As you slowly cruise down the Dordogne River, admire the Castles of La Malartrie, Castelnaud as well as the Gardens of Marqueyssac. After the boat ride, you will be taken to the village of Beynac.

Beynac village, classified as one of the most beautiful villages of France, has managed to retain all of its medieval charms. As you stroll through the paved and steep little lanes, reach the top of the village where the imposing medieval fortress of Beynac awaits. Here, as you walk along the ramparts you will certainly be stunned by the amazing view over the Dordogne Valley, probably one of the most emblematic the region has to offer. Here you will have some free time for personal discovery.

5.00pm Return to Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil and night at your hotel.

Day 5 > Paleolithic Art In The Vezere Valley

Breakfast at your hotel.

9.00am Pick up at your hotel.

Rouffignac cave visit

Our first stop of the day is the Rouffignac Cave that possesses original and authentic etchings and drawings. Famous archaeologists like Henry Breuil, André Glory and Martel had visited the cave in the early 20th century, but it was only in 1956 when Louis-René Nougier and Romain Robert visited the cave that the Paleolithic Art was confirmed. Here, you will be taken to the prehistoric art on an electric train, a journey deep into the cave that lasts about an hour. The most striking aspect of the art in this cave is the sheer number of mammoths. In Europe, there are about 350 caves with prehistoric art in them – about a third of all depictions of mammoths are in the cave of Rouffignac.

Village of Montignac and Lascaux IV

Arrive in the town of Montignac and enjoy some free time for personal discovery and lunch. Then depart for the nearby Lascaux IV, which has been initiated to conserve the integrity of the original cave complex, permanently closed to the public since 1963, while ensuring that visitors can still appreciate the remarkable Paleolithic paintings within. Inaugurated at the end of 2016, the reproduction of the cave of Lascaux is the focal point of the International Center for Parietal Art in Montignac, in which state of the art digital technologies are used for presentation and interpretative purposes. Begin the tour on the observation deck located on the roof of the building where you will appreciate expansive views over Lascaux’s surroundings. From here you will follow a slightly sloping path as if walking on the edge of the forest until you arrive at the entrance to the replica, which has been designed to reproduce the setting and experience of the four teenagers when they found the cave in 1940. Then reach the actual replica that covers 100% of the original cave. Inside it is dark, damp and the sound is muffled; just as it is in the real cave. The visit ends with the Cave Art World Tour gallery where images from painted caves around the World are projected onto interlocking domes and an interactive gallery that explores the link between cave art and modern art.

4.00pm Return to Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil.

7.30pm Meet in the lobby of your hotel and depart for dinner at a nearby local restaurant.

10.00pm Return to your hotel and night in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil.

Day 6 > Rocamadour / Cahors / Cordes / Albi

Breakfast at your hotel and check out.

8.30am Pick up at your hotel.

Rocamadour, Cahors & Cordes sur Ciel village visit

Today you leave the Dordogne region to discover some of the most charming villages that the Midi-Pyrénées region has to offer. Your first stop will be in the breathtaking village of Rocamadour that has attracted visitors because of its incredible setting in a gorge above a tributary of the Dordogne River. The village is renowned for its historical monuments and its sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which for centuries has brought pilgrims from every country.

Then, depart for the town of Cahors for lunch at a traditional restaurant serving local specialties. With its dramatic location on a U-shaped bend in the Lot River, Cahors has a long history with roots dating back to Celtic times before the Romans conquered it around the year 50 BCE. It quickly became one of the largest Roman cities and contains many ancient ruins that can still be seen today. Nowadays the town is also appreciated for its delightful medieval quarter whose highlight is the fortified 14th-century Valentré bridge, which you will have the chance to see before heading to your next destination.

Your final visit will be that of Cordes sur Ciel. The village is a living piece of history and art, holding alive in its stones the memory of all those who have passed through it since its creation in 1222 by the Count of Toulouse. Its exceptional site and remarkable architectural heritage make it one of the most significant medieval cities of France.

5.30pm Arrive in Albi and check in at your hotel.

Day 7 > Albi / Castres / Carcassonne

Breakfast at your hotel and check out.

9.00am Pick up at your hotel.

Albi & Toulouse Lautrec Museum guided tour

This morning, follow your guide on a private walking tour that will take you through the Episcopal City of Albi centered around two immense medieval buildings: The Saint-Cecile Cathedral, the largest brick-built cathedral in the world, and the Berbie Palace, the former fortified residence of the bishops of Albi now the home to the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, the largest public collection of the artist’s work. More than 1,000 works, including his famous posters, are housed in this impressive ‘palace’ museum. Follow your guide for the visit of the museum and then stop for lunch in the town of Castres before departing for the walled city of Carcassonne.

4.00pm Arrive in Carcassonne and check in at your hotel.

Carcassonne guided walking tour

While your luggage is being brought to your hotel, follow your guide on a private walking tour of the Carcassonne Citadel – one of the most striking walled settlements in the whole of Europe – during which you will discover the amazing stained-glass windows of the Saint Nazari Basilica, the lists, the Roman walls… You will also have the opportunity to follow your guide along the ramparts to discover the Cité from above with the visit of the Counts castle included. Afterward enjoy some free time for personal discovery and dinner on your own, perhaps sampling the local dish known as cassoulet.

Day 8 > Collioure Village / Barcelona

Breakfast at your hotel and check out.

9.00am Pick up at your hotel.

Collioure village discovery and arrival in Barcelona

This morning, depart for French Catalonia and arrive in the small fishing village of Collioure. The small Catalan port is sheltered by a creek where the waters of the Mediterranean meet the rocks of the Pyrenees mountain chain. An exceptionally sunny climate ensured by the Tramontana wind from the north makes Collioure a unique location that has inspired many painters and artists. Picasso, Derain, Dufy, Chagall, Matisse and Marquet have all stopped in Collioure to capture its special light and to immortalize the small harbor in their works. Called the City of Painters, the village continues to host artists from all backgrounds and is home to more than 40 art galleries.

After a guided walking tour of the village, we have organized a special farewell lunch as the end of the tour approaches. Celebrate the culmination of your journey while dining on fresh seafood in an exceptional location overlooking the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean with a direct view of the magnificent Royal Castle of Collioure. After lunch, depart for Barcelona.

4.30pm Arrive in Barcelona and check in at your hotel.

Day 9 > Barcelona

Breakfast at your hotel and end of our services.

Good to Know

  • Tour is operated in English unless otherwise stated.
  • This tour is not wheelchair accessible.
  • Program and Prices are listed as a guide only.
  • Prices are per person double room sharing.
  • Currency is in Euro.
  • Our standard cancellation policy applies to this tour – Read More Here.

Terms

Prices are per person based on double/twin room sharing. Guaranteed departure with a minimum of 10 participants. Subject to availability. The hotels have been carefully selected and are centrally located. Hotels may vary to those listed in this itinerary due to unforeseen reasons or in case of unavailability at time of booking. Please be aware that European hotel rooms, especially those in major urban centers or older cities, may be smaller than what you are used to in other parts of the world even though the rooms selected are of a higher standard than the classic room option. Standards and ratings may also be different to your home country. Each person is welcome to bring with them 1 suitcase and 1 small handbag or purse. Owing to limited capacity of the luggage storage areas on the mini-bus and in order to prevent weight issues, we regret that we do not accept more than 1 suitcase per person.  All of our tours involve some walking and require our guests to board and disembark our vehicles several times a day making this tour unsuitable for those with reduced mobility. For more information concerning our General Terms and Conditions don’t hesitate to contact us.

The Ophorus Difference

Contagious Enthusiasm – ‘We had the most terrific guide! Very knowledgeable and enthusiastic’ – Virginia B. (Delaware, US)

Flexibility – ‘The guides really took an interest in what WE wanted to do’  Paul C. (UK)

Area Locals – ‘He was so much more than a driver. He really added local color and local flavor.’ Daniel W. (Georgia, US)

Read more about the Ophorus experience.