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Jewels of South West France 2020 (in May - Oct 2020)

Price: R 43,289.00

9 nights, Bordeaux round-trip tour.

Visiting 1 country: France.

Delicious oysters. Exquisite wines. Take time to savour the finer things in life on this journey of discovery through Southwest France. Starting in Bordeaux (just a two-hour train journey from Paris), we'll seek out the region's gastronomic gems and treasured vineyards - travelling over soaring mountains, along the Atlantic coast, and into enchanting castles and otherworldly caves as we go.

Worth Noting: This tour was previously called 'A Taste of Bordeaux'.

The Back-Roads Difference

  • Taste fresh oysters, Bayonne ham, Blanquette de Limoux wine and world-famous Bordeaux reds.
  • Sleep beneath turrets and towers with two nights in the romantic walled city of Carcassonne - and travel the scenic roads made famous by the Tour de France.
  • Join the hunt for black truffles at a traditional truffle farm.

Booking Details for this Small Group Tour

Specific departures between: Prices per person sharing from:
  • 24 September - 07 October 2020 
R 43,289.00 pps 
  • 24 June -19 August 2020 
R 47,669.00 pps 
  • 06 May - 10 June 2020
  • 26 August - 17 September 2020 
R  48,529.00 pps

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 - Bordeaux - Arcachon Bay - Biarritz

Where better to begin our journey than Bordeaux? After meeting the group, we'll move on to Atlantic Ocean-fringed Arcachon Bay, where we'll get our first taste of coastal cuisine with fresh oysters and a glass of local wine from one of the port's traditional cabins. We'll then stop to see the Great Dune of Pilat – Europe's highest sand dune, with panoramic views over the bay. Then: to round off our first day, we'll gather together in Biarritz for a welcome dinner.

Accommodation: Hôtel Georges VI (or similar)
Meals: Dinner

Day 2 - Biarritz - Bayonne - Biarritz

Today we’ve a full day to spend taking in the beauty of the French Basque Country. First, we’ll indulge our cultural sides in Bayonne – an art and history hub just a short drive away from Biarritz. While we’re here, we’ll discover a local family business going back three generations at the Bayonne Ham Museum – where we’ll indulge in a ham tasting before returning to the hotel for an afternoon of leisure time.

Accommodation: Hôtel Georges VI (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 - Biarritz - Lourdes - Midi-Pyrenees

Today we'll turn to the east - and (briefly) on to beautiful Pau. We'll then travel through the Midi-Pyrénées region (along roads made famous by the Tour de France), pausing en route at the spiritual town of Lourdes - where we'll see the likes of the Sanctuaires Notre-Dame de Lourdes and the Massabielle Grotto. In keeping with the spirit of our surroundings, we'll check into comfortable rustic accommodation before tucking into this evening's dinner.

Accommodation: Hostellerie des Cèdres (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast | Dinner

Day 4 - Midi-Pyrenees - Cathare Country - Carcassonne

Following the trail of knights, we’ll continue our own crusade through the Midi-Pyrénées and past picture-perfect bastides. In Cathar country, we’ll visit a local winery and enjoy a glass of the region’s speciality – a sparkling Blanquette. Our final stop of the day will be medieval Carcassonne, where we’ll enjoy an included dinner together before resting our heads in our hotel – one of only two that lie within the old city walls.

Accommodation: Hôtel Le Donjon (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast | Dinner

Day 5 - Carcassonne

Today you’ll be free to discover Carcassonne’s chivalric secrets at your own pace. From the alleys, passageways and 52 towers of the UNESCO-listed medieval citadel (which dates back two millennia) to the Château Comtal and its ramparts, there’s plenty to keep you occupied.

Accommodation: Hôtel Le Donjon (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 - Carcassonne - Albi

Today we’ll leave the stronghold of Carcassonne behind and make tracks to the ‘red city’ of Albi. Here, we’ll get our bearings on a walking tour with a local guide – stopping off at the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum on the way. Set within the Palais de la Berbie, this fascinating museum houses the largest public collection in the world devoted to the Albi painter. Later on this evening, we’ll tuck into an included dinner.

Accommodation: Hostellerie Saint-Antoine (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast | Dinner

Day 7 - Albi - Sarlat

This morning we’ll take to the water for a cruise on the River Lot in a traditional wooden gabare boat – enjoying unrivalled views of the clifftop village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie (recently voted ‘France’s favourite village’) as we go. Later, we’ll move on to Sarlat – one of the most beautiful towns in the Dordogne.

Accommodation: Grand Hôtel de Sarlat (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 - Sarlat - Beynac-et-Cazenac - Sarlat

On the itinerary today: a stroll through stunning Sarlat, followed by a delightful visit to the riverside town of Beynac-et-Cazenac and its magnificently well-preserved medieval château – which has kept watch over the Dordogne from its clipptop position for nine centuries. Afterwards, we’ll return to Sarlat to enjoy our final dinner together.

Accommodation: Grand Hôtel de Sarlat (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast

Day 9 - Sarlat - Vezere Valley - Sarlat

Today our travels through the Dordogne will take in the prehistoric paintings of the UNESCO-protected Lascaux Cave – which was discovered when it was happened upon by a group of teenagers back in 1940. After a stop at pretty Les Eyzies village, we’ll follow the ‘Royal Road’, winding between craggy rocks and flowing rivers until we get to a local truffle farm – where local guides will give us an exclusive lesson in seeking out the rare delicacies.

Accommodation: Grand Hôtel de Sarlat (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast | Dinner

Day 10 - Sarlat - Saint-Emilion - Bordeaux

We’ll spend the final day of our tour in historic Saint-Émilion, a village perched above beautiful rolling countryside and countless vineyards. Here, we’ll have the chance to sample some of the region’s ‘heavy reds’ and say a final santé. We’ll then return to Bordeaux, where our tour will end.

Meals: Breakfast

Validity Specific departures between May - October 2020.
Currency NB. Our prices are quoted in ZAR, and subject to exchange rate fluctuations.
Operator Back-Roads Touring
Tour Identifier/s BEHTBBB-0
Inclusions • 9 Breakfasts & 5 Dinners.
• 9 nights in boutique accommodation.
• Premium mini-coach transportation.
• Experienced Driver and Tour Leader.
Exclusions • Flights and taxes.
• Visas (if required)
• Travel insurance.
• Transfers other than mentioned above.
• Anything of a personal nature.
• Driver/tour leader gratuity is at your discretion.
• Lunches (unless otherwise stated), social drinks, meals on free nights.
• Entrance fees when not listed in the schedule of inclusions.
• Occasional optional evening theatre/festival visits and entrances not detailed in the tour inclusions.
• Incidental expenses, such as room service incurred at hotels. All expenses are to be settled prior to leaving the accommodation.
• Laundry costs and any shipping charges for the return of purchases made on tour, or for the return of property lost on tour.
• Pre and post tour accommodation other than mentioned above.
T's & C's • Prices per person and subject to change due to availability and exchange rates.
• Deposits: R3000 deposit to secure booking.
• Final Payment: 65 days prior to departure.
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