9 Nights / 10 Days
10 days, 13 meals.
Vine-gilded vistas and majestic groves dotting the landscapes. An idyllic countryside said to have inspired the Masters. The axis of universally-renowned cuisine and nave for some of the world’s finest and most exclusive vintages. This is Southern France, also known as le Midi, where a kaleidoscope of colours paint a vivid panorama, and the notes of fine vintages and heady culinary alchemy is a common seduction. Walk into a living storybook at the UNESCO-designated village of Carcassonne, and venture to the iconic bastides and wine cooperatives of the Dordogne Valley. Take in the pastoral splendour of Saint Rémy’s lavender fields. Follow your smell for adventure on a chase for truffles during a chef-led, dog sniffing journey. Savour a Grand Cru in the region it was born, break bread amongst the vineyards of 16th architectural titans, and toast à votre santé inside the grape-festooned region of Bordeaux as you embark on a discovery of Southern France you’ll never forget.
Day 1: Overnight Flight
Allons-y! You’re on your way to Bordeaux and the Dordogne Valley, two of the world’s most renowned wine regions, before it’s on to chromatic Provence.
Day 2: Bordeaux, France - Tour Begins
Welcome to Bordeaux, a region known as much for its vibrancy and dynamism as its world-renowned wine. A local restaurant famous for its sélection de vins and locally-sourced meat invites you for a gastronomic adventure expertly pairing locally sourced foods and wine to mark the beginning of your journey through the south of France.
Day 3: Bordeaux - Medoc
This morning, explore Bordeaux through a local’s perspective during a guided city tour. Embark on an interactive journey through a world of wine and culture at La Cité du Vin. Referred to as the “Guggenheim of wine,” this sensory adventure takes you on a fascinating discovery of wine culture and history, ending with a glass of wine while overlooking a 360-degree view of Bordeaux. Next, travel the stunning “Route des Châteaux,” viewing the historic wine estates of the Medoc region. Complete your journey today with a walk through a winery to absorb the atmosphere of the vineyards, smell the grapes and taste locally grown wine. Enjoy the evening at leisure to take in the sights and sounds of Bordeaux.
Day 4: Bordeaux - Saint Émilion - Monestier (Dordogne Valley)
A tuk-tuk vehicle brings you through the charming medieval village of Saint Émilion, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Bordeaux’s largest winemaking areas. After getting acquainted with the city, enjoy time to explore this perfectly compact French village. Then it’s on to the Château Des Vigiers, known as “Petit Versailles,” your home for the next two evenings. Tonight, enjoy a fine dining experience in this 16th-century estate.
Day 5: Dordogne Valley
Venture to the countryside for a charming local market experience. Stop in Eymet, one of Southern France’s iconic “bastides” (fortified towns) before visiting the Chateau Monbazillac – a wine cooperative best known for its dessert wine and a symbol of the Bergerac region since the end of the 16th century. This afternoon, it’s your choice how you would like to explore the Dordogne Valley. Pedal the ancient narrow streets on a bicycle tour for an up close and personal view the valley; OR, relax while enjoying the spa* your chateau has to offer.
Day 6: Dordogne Valley - Carcassonne
Bid adieu to the Dordogne Valley as you make your way to Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage site and virtual storybook that comes to life, replete with drawbridges, towers and cobbled streets. This afternoon step back centuries to medieval times when you explore this breathtaking city independently.
Day 7: Carcassonne - Pont du Gard - Avignon - Saint Rémy
Journey this morning from Carcassonne to Provence. En route, marvel at the Saint-Benezet Bridge and the Pont du Gard, the greatest surviving stretch of aqueduct to have remained since Roman times. In the incredible village of Avignon, often called the “City of Popes,” you’ll gain an inside look at all this village has to offer during a walking tour with your local expert guide. End with a visit to the dramatic Palace of the Popes, a centre of European religion since the Popes moved there in 1309. This evening, sip on locally crafted cocktails followed by dinner.
Day 8: Saint Rémy
A visit to Gordes yields a sojourn to France’s famed lavender fields and museum, where you’ll learn the origin of this beautiful and fragrant flower. An unforgettable epicurean adventure commences with a truffle hunt led by a local chef and trained truffle dogs. Après hunt, savour the unique experience of farm tastings throughout the countryside, among landscapes said to have inspired Van Gogh, Picasso, Renoir, and other master artists.
Day 9: Saint Rémy - Les Baux-de-Provence - Saint Rémy
Navigate the winding medieval streets in the hilltop town of Les Baux-de-Provence where you have time to explore. Experience one of the world’s most impressive and beautiful multimedia presentations, the Carrières de Lumières, set in the ancient quarries of the Alpilles Mountains. With cavernous sound and a spectacle of light complemented by fortress views on the Alpilles mountain range, you’ll notice immediately why this is one of the most acclaimed attractions in the region. Later, take time to relax or explore the charming village of Saint Rémy. Tonight’s farewell dinner leaves you to compare notes and experiences with your fellow travellers as you prepare to bid au revoir to the magic of Southern France.
Day 10: Saint-Rémy - Tour Ends
Your tour comes to a close today.