14253
France
Southwest France: Bordeaux and the Perigord
Savor history as you enjoy oenologist-led lectures, gastronomic heritage, ancient villages and prehistoric cave paintings in the timeless regions of Southwest France.
Rating (4.93)
Program No. 14253RJ
Length
14 days
Starts at
3,849
Flights start at
875
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
14 days
13 nights
30 meals
12 B 11 L 7 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In flight
DAY
2
Arrive Bordeaux, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Bordeaux
D
Hotel Bordeaux Bayonne Etche Ona

Activity note: Hotel check-in at 3:00 p.m. 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.

Afternoon: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Please note that there are many opportunities for wine tasting on this program. During tastings you are not obligated to consume the wine, and always have the option to spit it out after tasting. The Group Leader is a certified guide and will provide expert lectures and commentary throughout the program. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Bordeaux History, The Wine Trade
Bordeaux
B,L
Hotel Bordeaux Bayonne Etche Ona

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles over the course of the day; standing for up to 2 hours at a time during visits; possible use of public transportation; cobblestone streets, uneven terrain, flat ground; when sampling wines during a tasting, participants have the option to swallow or spit.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: The Group Leader will give an expert lecture on Alienor d'Aquitaine to gain some background on this renowned region. We will then head out on foot to discover Bordeaux’s historic center. One of the sights we will see is the Saint-André Cathedral, a UNESCO monument. We will enjoy a tasting of cannelé, the signature pastry of Bordeaux.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we'll learn about the importance of the wine trade while enjoying a wine tasting and meal featuring local products.

Afternoon: We will go on a field trip to the Museum of Aquitaine for an overview of the history of the city of Bordeaux and the region.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
St. Emilion, Free time
Bordeaux
B,L
Hotel Bordeaux Bayonne Etche Ona

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 54 miles (about 1.5 hours); walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; cobblestone streets, inclined terrain, uneven ground; some steps in the village of St. Emilion are unavoidable; when sampling wines during a tasting, participants have the option to swallow or spit.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Via motorcoach, we will head to Saint-Emilion, to discover the underground cathedral there, constructed deep into the limestone. We'll also have the chance to visit and taste the wine of a château in St. Emilion.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in St. Emilion.

Afternoon: Free time to explore Bordeaux on your own. The Group Leader would be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you would like.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
The Châteaux, Villages & Vineyards of Medoc
Bordeaux
B,L,D
Hotel Bordeaux Bayonne Etche Ona

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 50 miles throughout the day (about 2 hours) with stops; walking up to 2 miles; standing for up to 2 hours during visits; when sampling wines during a tasting, participants have the option to swallow or spit.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will depart by motorcoach to explore the Medoc wine region. Along the way, we will learn about the history and economic impact of the wine industry on the region of Bordeaux with our expert Group Leader. We will have a chance to try some wines of Medoc at a château.

Lunch: At a château in the Medoc Region.

Afternoon: We will continue to explore the vineyards of the Medoc region, and have the opportunity to taste more wine along the way.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
The Rouffignac Cave, Sarlat
Sarlat
B,L,D
Best Western Le Renoir

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 126 miles (about 2 hours 40 minutes) with stops along the way; walking up to 2 miles on even and uneven ground; standing for up to 2 hours during visits; getting on/off a small electric train.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will depart via motorcoach for Sarlat with an en-route discussion on the history and culture of the Perigord with the expert Group Leader. We will make a stop along the way to discover the Cave of Rouffignac. We will explore this "Cave of a Hundred Mammoths" on an electric train ride through the caverns and view more than 250 animal figure etchings that are scattered around this underground maze made over 140 centuries ago.

Lunch: Everyone will be given “tickets restaurant” (or meal vouchers) that can be used at select restaurants, bakeries, brasseries and cafes. Choose what you would prefer to eat from any eatery that has a "TR" sticker on the front window to designate that they accept meal vouchers. Change is not given back if your meal cost is less that the value of the voucher provided. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and directions.

Afternoon: Free time to discover Sarlat. The Group Leader would be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Dordogne Valley, Region Specialties, Medieval Bastides
Sarlat
B,L
Best Western Le Renoir

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; walking up to 2 miles throughout the day on even and uneven terrain, cobblestone streets; standing for up to 2 hours during visits.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Wednesday is market day in Sarlat! Take some free time to experience the open air market that occupies the town's main squares on your own. Together, we'll then take the motorcoach to Vitrac, a charming village along the Dordogne River.

Lunch: We'll enjoy the gourmet tastes of the Perigord through a cooking demonstration at a chef-owned restaurant.

Afternoon: On our way to explore Domme, a typical "bastide" from the 13th century, we will hear an expert lecture from the Group Leader. The Group Leader will provide an intorduction to bastides. At the medieval village of Domme, which overlooks the Dordogne valley, we'll come to a better understanding of why this location was chosen for the construction of a bastide. We will proceed through the Dordogne valley to La Roque Gageac, a scenic town set in the cliffs that drop off into the banks of the Dordogne River. We will also enjoy an excursion to meet a truffle hunter, discover the secrets of truffles, a product famous in the Perigord region's gastronomy, and taste the "Black Diamond."

Dinner: On your own in Sarlat.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Lascaux II, Prehistoric Art of the Perigord
Sarlat
B,L,D
Best Western Le Renoir

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 48 miles (about 1.5 hours) with stops; walking up to 2 miles on even and uneven ground; standing for up to 2 hours throughout the day.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will depart via motorcoach to see the replica of the famous prehistoric cave, Lascaux II. En-route, we will listen an expert lecture by the Group Leader on prehistoric art in the Perigord.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will continue on to Les Eyzies, along the Vézère valley. Here we'll participate in a self-guided visit of the National Prehistory Museum of France. We'll see the largest Paleolithic collection from prehistoric sites in the Vézère Valley.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: We'll go on a walking exploration of Sarlat at night, when the picturesque stone streets and buildings are illuminated.

DAY
9
Gouffre de Padirac, Medieval St-Céré
Rocamadour
B,L,D
Best Western Hotel Beau Site Notre Dame

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; walking up to 3 miles on cobble stone streets and even ground; standing for up to 2 hours during visits; many unavoidable steps; the Gouffre de Padirac is a deep shaft accessible via elevator; elevator takes visitors down to the cave and back to the surface; from where the elevator stops at the bottom, further descent is required to the cave river; board boats on the river to reach the Salle du grand Dôme.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will take the motorcoach to the medieval village of St. Céré to see its preserved architectural heritage in the form of old houses, mansions and the beautiful Mercadial square. Once we discover this old village, we will go to the Jean Lurçat Museum to learn about and admire Lurçat's artistically woven tapestries.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will board the motorcoach and head to Gouffre de Padirac to explore this natural wonder. The Gouffre was created when the vault of an old underground chamber was eroded over many years by water pushing through the limestone rock. Eventually, the vault collapsed and left a gaping hole that we will see today. Scientists are not sure when the Gouffre was created, but they believe is has existed for several hundreds of thousands of years.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Cave Painting of Pech Merle and Rocamadour
Rocamadour
B,L
Best Western Hotel Beau Site Notre Dame

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; walking up to 3 miles throughout the day in uneven ground; Rocamadour is built into the side of a cliff and is primarily a pedestrian only village; some stairs may be avoided by using the escalator, but in the village there are many unavoidable steps; uneven and inclined terrain.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Via motorcoach, we will go to Pech Merle. Here, we will discover authentic prehistoric paintings that are over 20,000 years old conserved on the walls of the Pech Merle cave. Some of the figures we will see include mammoths, bison, and horses depicted in their natural habitat.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will go to Rocamadour to explore this exceptional place that was one of the most famous pilgrimage sites of medieval times. This charming village sits perched on the rugged face of a cliff rising 492 feet above the Alzou Canyon. We will have the opportunity to follow the path of pilgrims on the Great Stairway or stroll the narrow, pedestrian-only streets. Free Time in Rocamadour to explore on your own.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you would like. The Group Leader is happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Toulouse, Albi, Toulouse-Lautrec
Toulouse
B,L,D
BW Collection Domaine de Montjoie

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 153 miles (about 3 hours 10 minutes) with stops; standing for up 2 hours during visits.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Via motorcoach, we will go to the small city of Albi. During our ride, the Group Leader will speak about Toulouse Lautrec and the post- Impressionism. Albi was the capital of the Gallo-Roman Albigenses and later of the viscounty of Albigeois. After the Albigensian Crusade in 1209, and later the Inquisition, it was captured by bishops of the crown and established as a Christian city. In more contemporary history, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was a native of Albi and still has a presence there today.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will examine the complete retrospective of Toulouse-Lautrec's works at the museum dedicated to him in Albi.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Toulouse, Historic Capitol of the Languedoc & Occitania
Toulouse
B,L
BW Collection Domaine de Montjoie

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles and standing for up to 2 hours during walking Toulouse visit; cobblestone and even terrain.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We'll hear a lecture from a local expert on the Languedoc Region in general and learn about the Occitan People and culture.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: On foot, we will explore the sights of the historic center of Toulouse in the local expert. Some of the places we will see are the Saint Semin Basilica, the largest Romanesque church in Western Europe and an UNESCO World Heritage site, the City Hall located within the "Capitole", referring to Toulouse’s role as a capitol of the Roman Empire and the governing magistrates, the medieval facades blending brick and stone of Henry IV's courtyard, and the 16th century Bernuy Mansion, whose octagonal staircase tower is the highest in the city.

Dinner: On your own to discover the local fare.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Carcassonne, Free Time
Toulouse
B,L,D
BW Collection Domaine de Montjoie

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 116 miles (about 2 hours 20 minutes) round trip; walking up to 2 miles on uneven ground.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will head out on the motorcoach to explore the Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne. On the way, the Group Leader will give an expert lecture on the Cathars. Carcassonne is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This old village has been a fortified settlement since the pre-Roman period. Over the years settlements withered and new ones were built. What we will see today is the remains of a medieval era fortified town.

Lunch: In Carcassonne, we'll enjoy 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.

Afternoon: Free time to explore Toulouse at your leisure. The Group Leader would be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
Program Concludes
In flight
B

Activity note: Check-out by 12:00 Noon. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers.

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoyed your Road Scholar learning adventure and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Click here to provide website feedback
Website Feedback