Road Scholar : Home
Southwest France: Bordeaux and the Perigord

Program Number: 14253RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/16/2014 - 10/31/2014; 4/30/2015 - 5/13/2015; 5/28/2015 - 6/10/2015; 9/17/2015 - 9/30/2015; 10/8/2015 - 10/21/2015;
Duration: 15 nights
Location: France
Price starting at: $3,999.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 35; 14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 8 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Romans of the fourth century tilled the soils around Saint-Emilion and began growing grapes. Today, the region ranks among the world’s foremost red wine producers. From the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, Southwest France resonates with the marvelous consequences of long-ago choices. Discover the Bordeaux wineries with Roman roots, Basque Country traditions and the living museum of Sarlat.




Highlights

• Explore the Dordogne Valley and the prehistoric cave paintings of Rouffignac and Lascaux II.
• Examine a complete retrospective of the works of Toulouse-Lautrec at the museum dedicated to him in Albi.
• Discover each region’s unique cultural, gastronomic and wine heritage in the Program, Basque Country and Bordeaux.



Activity Particulars

Extensive walking on uneven ground and cobblestones. Stairs sometimes without railings.




Date Specific Information

10-16-2014

Arrivals Bordeaux, 3 nights; coach to Bayonne, 3 nights; coach to Pau, 2 nights; coach to Toulouse, 2 nights; coach to Sarlat, 2 nights; coach to Bordeaux Airport, 1 night; departures. Please note this program title has been changed from Southwest France: Bordeaux, Basque Country and the Program to Southwest France: Bordeaux and the Program for 2015.
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4-30-2015, 5-28-2015, 9-17-2015, 10-8-2015

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Itinerary Summary

Arrivals Bordeaux, 4 nights; coach to Sarlat, 3 nights; coach to Rocamadour, 2 nights; coach to Toulouse, 3 nights; departures.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Bordeaux
4 nights

Established under the Romans, Bordeaux is renowned as a region of wines. Lectures and excursions center on this historic, multi-faceted trade. Led by an oenologist, learn about Bordeaux’s vineyards and wine economics during visits to local wineries for private tastings. Explore historic Bordeaux, the Musée d'Aquitaine and the small village of Saint Emilion.



Coach to Sarlat
3 nights

View the largest Paleolithic collection from prehistoric sites on a self-guided visit at the National Prehistory Museum of France. Experience the open air market in Sarlat. Explore the Dordogne valley and discover the Rouffignac cave on an electric train ride.



Coach to Rocamadour
2 nights

Explore Rocamadour, one of the most famous pilgrimage sites of medieval times. Discover Grouffre de Padirac, the medieval village of St. Céré and château de Montal.



Coach to Toulouse
3 nights
Departure

Learn about the region’s architectural splendors of the Middle Ages. Walk the historic streets of Toulouse to Saint-Sernin Basilica, the largest Romanesque church in Western Europe. Explore the medieval fortress of Carcassonne. Enjoy a visit to the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum in Albi and sample cassoulet.






France

The epicurious and the curious find much to admire in Western Europe’s largest nation, whose agricultural riches and terrain of beaches, mountains and fertile fields have drawn residents for thousands of years. The northern region hosts the nation’s Parisian capital, as well as unique Breton culture, while the sun-drenched Mediterranean coast sports the chic beach-goers and the terraced vineyards of the interior.



Accommodations
Bordeaux: Centrally located hotel in an 18th-century building. Sarlat: Hotel with a beautiful garden and pool. Rocamadour: In the heart of the medieval city. Toulouse: Hotel in the heart of Toulouse.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Bordeaux Bayonne Etche Ona
  Bordeaux, France 3 nights
   Best Western Le Grand Hotel
  Bayonne, France 3 nights
   Quality Hotel Pau Centre Bosquet
  Pau, France 2 nights
   Mercure Toulouse Saint Georges Hotel
  Toulouse, France 2 nights
   Hotel la Couleuvrine
  Sarlat, France 3 nights
   Mercure Bordeaux Aeroport Hotel
  Bordeaux, France 1 night
 Hotel Bordeaux Bayonne Etche Ona
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Best Western Bordeaux Bayonne Etche-Ona is a charming boutique hotel, located in the very heart of Bordeaux. With its 18th century facades, this hotel has a unique configuration of two different locations within 40 meters away from each other, each providing you with exceptional living quarters, three conference rooms, a bar and lounge, and tramway access line B stop. The Grand Théatre is 50 meters away.
  Contact info: 15 cours de l'Intendance
Bordeaux,  33000 France
phone: +33 (0)5 56 48 00 88
web: www.bordeaux-hotel.com/
  Room amenities: An LCD TV and a minibar are in all of the rooms.
  Facility amenities: Bar, 24-Hour Front Desk, Newspapers, Elevator, Safe, Soundproof Rooms, Heating, Baggage Storage, All Spaces Non-Smoking (Public and Private), Air Conditioning, Room Service, Meeting/Banquet Facilities, Business Center, Laundry, Dry Cleaning, Ironing Service, Shoeshine, Fax/Photocopying, Concierge Service, Free Wi-Fi is available in all areas.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD Contact Road Scholar Travel Services for rates and bookings.
  Check in time: 1:00 PM

 Best Western Le Grand Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Best Western Le Grand Hotel is 5 km (3 miles) from the beaches of the Atlantic Coast, in the centre of Bayonne, a city with an impressive historical and cultural heritage. Entirely air-conditioned, this Best Western hotel features comfortable and elegant rooms fitted with modern facilities such as flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi access. The English-style pub proposes an elegant setting where you can relax and enjoy a drink.
  Contact info: 21 Rue Thiers
Bayonne,  64100 France
phone: +33 (0)5 59 59 62 00
web: book.bestwestern.com/bestwestern/FR/Bayonne-hotels/BEST-WESTERN-Le-Grand-Hotel/Hotel-Overview.do?propertyCode=93280
  Room amenities: Cable satellite television, Hairdryer, Mini-bar available in some rooms, Iron, ironing board available on request, Dataports, Coffee/tea maker available on request, radio / alarm clock, High-speed Internet access Free, Desk/work area, Air-conditioning, self controlled, In-room safe.
  Facility amenities: Bar, 24-hour front desk, Newspapers, Elevator, Safety deposit box, Heating, Luggage storage, Non-smoking throughout, Air conditioning, Meeting/banquet facilities, Laundry, Dry cleaning, Ironing service, Currency exchange, Fax/photocopying, Multilingual staff, Coffee shop, Free WiFi is available in all areas.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Quality Hotel Pau Centre Bosquet
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Family owned for three generations, the Quality Hotel Pau Centre Bosquet is located in the heart of Pau, a few minutes' walk from the historic Old Town and the Chateau of Pau.
  Contact info: 80, Rue Emile Garet
Pau,  64000 France
phone: +33 (0) 5 59 82 58 00
web: www.hotel-pau-centre.com/index.php
  Room amenities: 70 air-conditioned rooms with direct dial telephone, WiFi access, tea and coffee tray, cable television with English channel, minibar, private bathroom with bathtub or shower and hairdryer.
  Facility amenities: Breakfast room, bar, fitness room and sauna.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Mercure Toulouse Saint Georges Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Located in the historic center of Toulouse, Mercure Toulouse Saint Georges is just 165 ft from Place Wilson. The Saint Georges is near the Capitole (City Hall) and next to Jean Jaurés Metro station, which allows access to all of Toulouse.
  Contact info: rue Saint Jérome
Toulouse,  31000 France
phone: +33 (0)5 62 27 79 79
web: www.mercure.com/gb/hotel-0370-mercure-toulouse-saint-georges/index.shtml
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, Data port in room, Free in-room mineral water, Telephone, Radio, Opening windows, Wi-Fi, Room service, Satellite/cable color TV, Manual temperature control, Work desk, Hairdryer.
  Facility amenities: Bar, 24-Hour Front Desk, Newspapers, Non-smoking, Elevator, Safe, Heating, Baggage Storage, Air Conditioning, Room Service, Meeting/Banquet Facilities, Laundry, Dry Cleaning, Fax/Photocopying, Free Wi-Fi is available in all areas.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel la Couleuvrine
Type: Hotel
  Description: This hotel, located in one of the towers of the old rampart of the city of Sarlat, unites a medieval history with an exceptional art de vivre. In La Couleuvrine, you will find both the charming welcome of the olden days and the well-being provided by modern comfort. Situated within walking distance of the center of the old town, the hotel is ideally located for exploring.
  Contact info: 1 place de la Boucquerie
Sarlat-la-Canéda,  24200 France
phone: +33 (0)5 53 59 27 80
web: www.la-couleuvrine.com/gb/index.htm
  Room amenities: Air Conditioning, Television, Telephone
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Wifi access, Elevator, Bar
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Mercure Bordeaux Aeroport Hotel
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The Mercure Bordeaux Aeroport Hotel is located at Merignac airport and just 10 minutes from the center of Bordeaux.
  Contact info: 1 avenue Charles Lindbergh
Merignac,  33700 France
phone: +33 (0)5 56 34 74 74
web: www.mercure.com/gb/hotel-1508-mercure-bordeaux-aeroport/index.shtml
  Room amenities: Each room at the Mercure Bordeaux Aeroport is decorated in a contemporary style and equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Rooms also include telephone, radio, hairdryer, free wifi, minibar, and airconditioning.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Bar, 24-Hour Front Desk, Newspapers, Terrace, Elevator, Safe, Soundproof Rooms, Heating, Baggage Storage, All Spaces Non-Smoking (Public and Private), Air Conditioning, Restaurant With Dining Menu, Buffet-Style Restaurant, Pool Table, Outdoor Swimming Pool, Room Service, Meeting/Banquet Facilities, Free Airport Shuttle, Business Center, Laundry, Dry Cleaning, Souvenir/Gift Shop, Fax/Photocopying, Free Wi-Fi is available in all areas.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
The program begins with orientation at 5:00 p.m. at the hotel in Bordeaux. You will be staying at Hotel Bordeaux Bayonne Etche Ona that night.
  End of Program:
The program ends after breakfast at the hotel in Bordeaux. You will be staying at Mercure Bordeaux Aeroport Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
n/a
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: High Speed trains from Paris Montparnasse Station to Bordeaux St. Jean station operate multiple times daily. Travel time is 3.25 - 3.75 hours and fare varies.
To Start of Program
  Location:  In flight
  Transportation to site: Independent travelers can get to the Hotel Bordeaux Bayonne Etche-Ona by the Air France shuttle at the airport. Ticket price is 8 euros. Get off the shuttle at the Alles de Tourny stop by the Office du Tourisme/Place de la Comedie. The hotel is only 2 minutes walk from there. Taxis are also available from the airport and cost approximately 50 euros to get to the hotel.
  From End of Program
  Location: In flight
  Transportation from site: A free airport shuttle service is available at the Mercure Bordeaux Aroport Hotel.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departures from the USA
(Thursday, October 16)
   
 In Transit: International flight to France.

Day 2: Arrival in Bordeaux
(Friday, October 17)

Note: The hotel is located in a narrow historic street, therefore the motorcoach drop off point is 300 feet from the hotel entrance. Luggage in and out of the hotel is handled by porters.



   
 Morning: Flight arrivals at Bordeaux airport.
 Afternoon: Transfers to the hotel in the heart of Bordeaux’s historic center. Check-in at the hotel and take some time to relax and freshen up before orientation. We will gather in our private meeting room in the early evening where the Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Bordeaux Bayonne Etche Ona
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Bordeaux: History and the Wine Trade
(Saturday, October 18)

Note: Today's activities include walking up to 2 miles over the course of the day with frequent stops, walking on cobblestone streets in the historic district, and use of public transportation.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: There will be a lecture titled, "Introduction to Bordeaux." We will then take a field trip on foot through Bordeaux’s historic center, which will include Saint-André Cathedral, a UNESCO listed monument. Next, you will enjoy a tasting of canelé, the signature pastry of Bordeaux.
 Lunch: At the Wine Museum in the Chartrons District where you will enjoy a wine tasting and local products.
 Afternoon: We will take a field trip to the Museum of Aquitaine, for a history overview of Bordeaux and its region.
 Dinner: On your own to explore local cuisine.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Bordeaux Bayonne Etche Ona
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Bordeaux’s Wine Region: The Châteaux, Villages, and Vineyards of Medoc and St. Emilion
(Sunday, October 19)

Note: Today's activities include travel by motorcoach and walking up to two miles over the course of the day with frequent stops.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will depart by private motorcoach to the Medoc and Saint-Emilion wine regions. There will be a lecture titled, “Bordeaux Wines: History and Economic Impact on the Region.” Afterwards, we will have a wine tasting in a Medoc region château.
 Lunch: At a château.
 Afternoon: We will take a field trip to Saint-Emilion, to explore the underground cathedral, constructed deep into the limestone. Later, enjoy some free time in the village before we return to Bordeaux.
 Dinner: On your own to explore local cuisine.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Bordeaux Bayonne Etche Ona
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Bayonne: The Capital of Basque Country
(Monday, October 20)

Note: Today's activities include travel by motorcoach, as well as walking and standing on cobblestones and paved streets in the historic center of Bayonne for up to 1.5 hours over the course of the day.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will check-out of the Bordeaux hotel and depart by coach for Bayonne, the capital of the French Basque Country. Upon arrival, we will check-in at the hotel. Afterwards, we will go on a field trip by foot to the medieval district of Bayonne, where you will discover the cathedral, the city’s fortifications, and its timbered houses. There will be a lecture titled, “Basque Country and Culture”.
 Lunch: At a restaurant in Bayonne’s old town.
 Afternoon: Learn why chocolate is an important part of Bayonne’s history at the workshop of an artisanal chocolate maker, complete with a tasting.
 Dinner: On your own to explore local cuisine.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Le Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Basque Villages and Their Traditions
(Tuesday, October 21)

Note: Today's activities include travel by motorcoach, as well as walking and standing on cobblestones and paved streets.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will depart Bayonne by coach and travel along the pilgrimage route of Saint James of Compostela, to the village of St. Jean Pied de Port. We will have a lecture en route titled, “The Phenomena of Religious Pilgrimage in the Middle Ages.” Upon arrival, explore the village with your Study Leader.
 Lunch: Enjoy typical Basque cuisine.
 Afternoon: We will travel along the Nivelle Valley to the village of Espelette, famous for its peppers and Aïnhoa, a “bastide” dating from the 17th century. There will be a lecture en route titled, "The Spanish Basque People." We will then continue to the village of Sare and explore Ortillopitz, a restored Basque house that is a fine example of the typical ancestral farmhouses that are the pillars of traditional Basque culture. We will then return to Bayonne.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
 Evening: Enjoy a private performance of traditional Basque folkdances.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Le Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: The Seaside Resorts of European Aristocracy: Saint Jean de Luz and Biarritz
(Wednesday, October 22)

Note: Today's activities include travel by motorcoach, as well as walking and standing on cobblestones and paved streets.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will depart by coach to Saint Jean de Luz, a seaside resort on the Atlantic Coast. Visit St Jean-Baptiste church, where Louis XIV and the Spanish crown princess, Marie Thérèse, were married in 1660. Explore the old port and the narrow streets where you might come across a fish auction, the Basque game of “pelota” - also known as jai alai, or the passionate fandango dance.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will take an excursion to Biarritz, which was a popular vacation spot of Spanish nobility. Stroll at your leisure and enjoy the magnificent setting; the rocky cliffs and seaside promenade. We will then return to Bayonne.
 Dinner: On your own to explore local cuisine.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Le Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: The Foothills of the Pyrénées: Lourdes and Pau
(Thursday, October 23)

Note: Today's activities include travel by motorcoach, as well as walking and standing for up to three miles over the course of the day.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will check-out of the Bayonne hotel and depart for Lourdes with a lecture en route titled, “The Story of Lourdes." Next, we will go on an excursion where you will explore the Domain; the Sanctuary and Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes independently.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will continue on to Pau where we will check-in at the hotel and then take a field trip on foot through the city center. Visit Pau castle, the birthplace of Henri IV (1553), which holds one of France’s most beautiful tapestry collections, and take in the panoramic views of the Pyrénées mountains as you learn how the city became prized by the British as a tranquil winter resort in the 19th century.
 Dinner: Enjoy a traditional “Poule au pot” the dish of Henri IV, accompanied by Jurancon wine.
   
Accommodations: Quality Hotel Pau Centre Bosquet
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Pastoral Life in the Pyrénées Mountains
(Friday, October 24)

Note: Today's activities include travel by motorcoach with stops en route.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will set out for the glaciated valleys and terraced fields of the Pyrénées National Park. There will be a lecture en route titled, “People and Pastoral Life in the Bearn Region." This region is the largest of the formerly independent Pyrénées states.
 Lunch: At a typical auberge, serving the traditional soup, “garbure,” a ham stew with cabbage and other vegetables, usually with cheese and stale bread added. It was the daily sustenance of Gascon peasants.
 Afternoon: In the village of Lourdios-Ichère, we will visit the eco museum, which presents agriculture today. We will meet a nomadic shepherd and a sedentary farmer. We will then return to Pau.
 Dinner: On your own to explore local cuisine.
   
Accommodations: Quality Hotel Pau Centre Bosquet
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10: Toulouse: Historic Capitol of the Languedoc and Occitania
(Saturday, October 25)

Note: Today's activities include walking and standing for up to two hours. The hotel is located in a pedestrian area, therefore the motorcoach drop off point is 600 feet from the hotel entrance. Luggage in and out of the hotel is handled by porters. The walkway is paved and there is a ramp.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will check-out of the Pau hotel and depart by coach for Toulouse. We will check-in at the Toulouse hotel before departing on foot to the historic center of Toulouse where we will visit the Saint Sernin Basilica, the largest Romanesque church in Western Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will also view the City Hall located within the “Capitole”- referring to Toulouse’s role as a capitol of the Roman Empire as well as the governing magistrates. You will notice its incomparable facades blending brick and stone, its medieval Henry IV courtyard and its magnificent “Salle des Illustres," housing 19th century works of art. We will continue to the church and cloister of the Jacobins, forming one of the most complete groups of monastic structures in France and then onto the 16th century Bernuy Mansion, whose octagonal staircase tower is the highest in the city.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a lecture titled, “Introduction to the Languedoc Region: Occitan People, Land and Culture.”
 Dinner: Delight in a Toulouse-style Cassoulet, a slow-cooked casserole containing meat (typically pork sausages, goose, duck and sometimes mutton) and white navy beans. The dish is named after its traditional cooking vessel, the cassole, a deep, round, earthenware pot with slanting sides.
   
Accommodations: Mercure Toulouse Saint Georges Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: The Toulouse Lautrec Museum of Albi and the UNESCO City of Carcassonne
(Sunday, October 26)

Note: Today's activities include four hours of travel by coach as well as up to two hours of walking on stone pavement and standing. Carcassonne is a walled medieval city with only pedestrian access. There is a slight incline from the entrance gate to the château.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will take a field trip to examine the complete retrospective of the works of Toulouse-Lautrec at the museum dedicated to him in Albi.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will continue to the walled medieval city of Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Individual audio-guides are provided to explore the château at your leisure.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
 Evening: We will return to Toulouse.
   
Accommodations: Mercure Toulouse Saint Georges Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Rocamadour
(Monday, October 27)

Note: Today's activities include travel by motorcoach. Rocamadour is built into the side of a cliff. Some stairs may be avoided by using the escalator, however there are many steps throughout the village that are unavoidable. Most of the village is pedestrian only.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will check-out of the Toulouse hotel and depart by coach for Sarlat, in the Dordogne region via Rocamadour.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will take an excursion to Rocamadour, one of the most famous pilgrimage sites of the medieval times. The charming village sits perched on the rugged face of a cliff rising 492 feet above the Alzou Canyon. Follow the path of pilgrims on the Great Stairway or stroll the narrow, pedestrian-only streets. You will then have some free time in Rocamadour before we continue to Sarlat-le-Caneda, located in the heart of the “black” Perigord, a reference to the dark foliage of the trees that cover the region. Upon arrival, we will check-in at the hotel. Later, enjoy a tasting of locally made cheese.
 Dinner: At a nearby restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel la Couleuvrine
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Lascaux II and Prehistoric Art of the Perigord
(Tuesday, October 28)

Note: Today's activities include travel by motorcoach, as well as walking and standing for up to two hours. The Lascaux II cave is a reconstruction and the walking surface is paved and mostly flat.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will depart on a visit the replica of the famous prehistoric cave, Lascaux II. There will be a lecture en route titled, “Prehistoric Art in the Perigord.” We will then continue to Les Eyzies, along the Vézère Valley.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will discover the Cave of Rouffignac, known as the "Cave of a Hundred Mammoths" on an electric train ride through the caverns. You will view the more than 250 animal figure etchings that are scattered in this underground maze, made over 140 centuries ago. We will then return to Sarlat.
 Dinner: On your own to explore local cuisine.
 Evening: Enjoy a walking exploration of Sarlat at night, when the picturesque stone streets and buildings are illuminated.
   
Accommodations: Hotel la Couleuvrine
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 14: The Dordogne Valley; Regional Gourmet Specialties and Medieval Bastides
(Wednesday, October 29)

Note: Today's activities include travel by motorcoach on a full day excursion with multiple stops en route.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Wednesday is market day in Sarlat, so take some time at leisure to experience the open air market that occupies the main squares of the town. We will later take a field trip by coach to Vitrac, a charming village along the Dordogne River.
 Lunch: Enjoy a gourmet experience of the tastes of the Perigord with a cooking demonstration.
 Afternoon: We will continue to Domme, a typical “bastide” from the 13th Century and medieval village, overlooking the Dordogne Valley. There will be a lecture en route titled, “Introduction to Bastides." We will travel through the Dordogne Valley to La Roque Gageac, a scenic town set in the cliffs dropping to the banks of the Dordogne River. Later, we will take an excursion to meet a truffle hunter and discover the secrets of truffles, a product famous in the gastronomy of the Perigord Region, and taste the “Black Diamond." We will then return to Sarlat.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner.
   
Accommodations: Hotel la Couleuvrine
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: The National Prehistory Museum and Return to Bordeaux
(Thursday, October 30)

Note: Today's activities include walking and standing in the museum at your own pace, as well as travel by motorcoach.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will check-out of the hotel and depart by coach for a field trip to the National Prehistory Museum of France, where we will view the largest Paleolithic collection from prehistoric sites in the Vézère Valley on a self-guided visit.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will continue on the return drive to Bordeaux Martignac Airport, with final discussions en route to summarize all that you have experienced, tasted, and learned.
 Dinner: At the hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Mercure Bordeaux Aeroport Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Departure
(Friday, October 31)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: The hotel operates a complimentary shuttle to the airport terminals. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Traveller's History of France


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Description: This fast-moving survey covers the conquests of ancient Gaul through the heady days of revolution to modern times.



A World Lit Only By Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance, Portrait of an Age


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Description: Organized into sections on the Renaissance, Reformation and Discovery, Manchester's popular history evokes in vivid detail the great figures and daily life of the 16th century, including Henry VIII, Magellan, Borgia, da Vinci and Martin Luther.



Adventures on the Wine Route, A Wine Buyer's Tour of France


Author: Kermit Lynch


Description: A delightful and warmly anecdotal book, highly recommended for anyone touring the wine regions of France. Lynch brings the domains and appellations of French wine to full-blown life, and his portraits of the grand personalities who make the wine are priceless.



Aquitaine Map 524


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Description: A regional map of the Aquitaine region from Arcachon south to Pamplona, including Bordeaux and Biarritz, at a scale of 1:200,000.



At Home in France


Author: Ann Barry


Description: Subtitled "Tales of an American and Her House Abroad," this account of life in a small village in southwestern France is shot through with Barry's irony and New York outlook on life.



Bordeaux Wine Region Map


Author: IGN


Description: A regional map of Bordeaux, shown at a scale of 1:250,000.



Cathedrals and Castles, The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages


Author: Alain Erlande-Brandenburg


Description: This pocket-size encyclopedia of the art, architecture and culture of the Middle Ages features hundreds of drawings, color illustrations and a brief chronology.



Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Four Kings


Author: Amy Kelly


Description: A spirited, meticulously researched chronicle that recreates the life and world of Eleanor of Aquitaine in 12th-century Europe. A Harvard University Press Classic, first published in 1950.



Insight Guide Southwest France


Author: Insight Guides


Description: An illustrated guide to Southwest France from Bordeaux to the Pyrenees, Dordogne and Mediterranean coast.



Lonely Planet French Phrasebook


Author: Marie-Helene Girard, Anny Monet


Description: This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.



Midi Pyrenees Map 525


Author: Michelin Travel Publications


Description: A nicely detailed (1:200,000), frequently updated regional map of the central Pyrenees, centered on Toulouse.



Paris to the Pyrenees, A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of Saint James


Author: David Downie


Description: As much a meditation on history and on what it means to be French as a traveler's account (though it has that too), David Downie's spirited book is haunted by the Gallic chieftain Vercingetorix (say that 10 times fast!) and the Gallo-Roman forbears of modern France. On ancient trails through the forests of the rugged Morvan, they continue across the celebrated wine country of Burgundy and the centuries-old Via Podiensis on the Way of Saint James.



The Basque History of the World


Author: Mark Kurlansky


Description: Popular author Mark Kurlansky offers an engaging portrait of the seven provinces of Basque Land, discussing everything from language to culinary heritage and seafaring traditions.



The Cave Painters


Author: Gregory Curtis


Description: In this tale of art, paleontology and discovery, Curtis introduces the masterworks of cave art in France and Spain, visiting Altamira, Lascaux, Les Trois-Freres, Cosquer, Chauvet and others.



The Road from the Past, Traveling through History in France


Author: Ina Caro


Description: Time travel through France by way of its finest castles, chateaux, cathedrals and monasteries. This unusual travelogue is an invaluable companion for traveling in Paris, southern France, the Dordogne and the Loire Valley, combining personal observation with large doses of well-presented history.



Timeline


Author: Michael Crichton


Description: Crichton's blockbuster fantasy combines time travel and adventures in Medieval France. A fast-paced, remarkably well-researched introduction to 14th-century Dordogne and Perigord.



Wine and War, The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure


Author: Donald Kladstrup


Description: This thrilling account of how the vinters of France saved their crops -- and their bottles -- as the Nazis approached shows that to be French is not just to fight for your country but also for your wine. Kladtsrub, who writes for Wine Spectator, and his wife Peatie, the authors focus on the activities of five winemaking families in Burgundy, Alsace, Champagne, Bordeaux and the Loire Valley.





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