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Adventures in the South of France

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From prehistoric caves to Medieval villages and more

Venture beyond the typical tourist itinerary and immerse yourself in the history, picturesque towns and amazing food of Southern France. Travel independently with a pre-planned itinerary to one of the most fascinating regions of France. Reach the less well traveled sights with the help of a private driver and enjoy the insights of our local guides.

Drop off the rental car at Zagreb airport. Depart home.

Day 1: Bordeaux

Arrival at Bordeaux airport and transfer to your accommodation.

Explore the city’s Golden Triangle, a UNESCO designated world heritage site. The cheese and chocolate shops, gourmet delis offering a range of local specialties, such as cannelés and escargots, wine tasting rooms and Michelin-starred restaurants make for a perfect sensorial introduction to the South of France.

Overnight at a 4-star hotel in Bordeaux.

Day 2: Saint Emilion

Experience the magic of the Bordeaux wine country. Visit the charming Medieval village of Saint Emilion (also UNESCO designated) located in the midst of vineyards and home to beautiful buildings and historic wineries. The partly underground Monolithic Church was carved in a rocky hillside by monks fleeing persecution in the 12th century.  Its bell tower is the tallest structure in the village. Lunch break and optional wine tasting, then transfer to Sarlat-la-Caneda in the Dordogne region.

Overnight at a 4-star hotel in Sarlat.

Day 3: Medieval castles and merchant towns

Lying between two picturesque valleys, Sarlat is one of the best-preserved Medieval towns in France, whose importance expanded in the 18th century when it became a rich merchant hub. In the company of your guide, discover the historic homes and public buildings designed in Gothic and Renaissance style, and learn about Sarlat’s very famous culinary attraction, black truffles. This is a place where the produce market is an institution and dining out is always a gourmet experience.

Enjoy a leisurely walk in magnificent Domme, a fortified Medieval town built on a hilltop that was a strategic point of defense in the Hundred Years War.  A cave underneath the town center served as a prison where you can see graffiti from the Knights Templar carved on the prison walls.

Take a scenic boat tour on the Dordogne River to enjoy the best views of La Roque Gageac, a village with ancient stone buildings squeezed between the river bank and a steep cliff. Your last stop is Beynac, home to one of the most impressive medieval castles in the region. Built over 900 years ago, the fortress is carved out of the cliff rock overlooking the picturesque Dordogne Valley.

Overnight at a 4-star hotel in Sarlat.

Day 4: Prehistoric cave art

Explore the unique Paleolithic caves of the Dordogne. Discovered mostly by chance at various times in the 20th century the Dordogne cave complex is an unparalleled treasure that gives us a glimpse into the life of prehistoric humans. As a first step, get an introduction at the national Prehistory Museum, then visit the amazing Rouffignac Cave where you can see the original engravings of mammoths, bison, horses and rhinoceroses. Next head to Montignac where the Lascaux caves were discovered. Near the original caves, which are closed due to the fragility of the wall paintings, experience an interactive tour in a perfect cave replica with precise reproductions of the original art representing large animals, various symbols and even a human.

Overnight at a 4-star hotel in Sarlat.

Day 5: Stunning gorges top to bottom

Experience one of the most extraordinary natural phenomena of the region as you plunge into an unexpected underground world. The Padirac Chasm is a 338 ft deep canyon with a diameter of approximately 115 ft. Descend two thirds of the way via elevator to the entrance of an amazing cave system. At the floor of the gorge enjoy a peaceful boat ride on a mysterious subterranean river. Walk along a footpath passing under large grottoes boasting gigantic limestone formations.

From the depths of the canyon ascend to the hilltop village of Rocamadour, the sacred pilgrimage stop for kings, bishops and nobility. The location is so dramatic that the village became a marketing symbol often seen in photographs of the region.

Overnight at a 4-star hotel in Sarlat.

Day 6: The Pink City

Take a private transfer to the train station and travel to Toulouse, one of France’s most vibrant cities. On a leisurely walk through the beautiful Old Town admire the typical bright pink brick façades that earned the town the nickname of Pink City. Your local guide will take you to the most interesting monuments including the Basilica, Jacobins Church, City Hall and Assezat Hotel all of which were built from the reddish bricks characteristic of Toulouse. Learn all about the pink building fashion and much more.

Overnight at a 4-star hotel in Toulouse.

Day 7: In the footsteps of Cathars

Make your way to Carcassonne, the fortified Medieval city and a stronghold in the Albigensian Crusade. The religious war between the Catholic Church and the Cathars marks an important period in the history of Southern France, one you can discover in the company of your local guide. Inside the nearly 2 mile long city walls explore the castle, cathedral and basilica, marvel at the 52 defense towers, and take a look at the Narbonnaise gate, the main entrance to the Cité. At your own pace, explore the twisted alleys with their medieval charm, the authentic shops selling everything from books to antiques and enjoy the local bean-based specialty, a bowl of cassoulet.

Overnight at a 4-star hotel in Toulouse.

Day 8: Magnificent Albi and wine tasting

Explore the stunning Pays de Cocagne starting with the beautiful town of Albi. The birthplace of Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi is home to the largest collection of art by the painter. The striking town standing on the banks of the Tarn River is also home to many fine examples of delicate Gothic stone and woodwork and a remarkable fortified cathedral built out of traditional brick, not stone.

Next reach Cordes sur Ciel, a beautiful medieval village with more than 120 Gothic homes dating back to the 13th century and a number of art and artisanal stores, which make it the perfect place for souvenir shopping.

Your last stop is at a winery in one of the oldest winegrowing regions of France dating back to the 2nd century B.C. While the region produces a large range of wines, the most famous is the Perlé, a faintly fizzy white wine which you will have the chance to taste.

Overnight at a 4-star hotel in Toulouse.

Day 9: Return Home

Private transfer to Toulouse airport or train tickets to Bordeaux. Depart for home.

Book this itinerary for $2,990.00/person.

Pricing is based on double room occupancy. Other options (i.e. single supplement, family rates) are available on request. Rates valid for travel in 2021. Trip is customizable for an extra fee.

Package includes:

  • 4-star accommodations with breakfast
  • Private tour of Saint Emilion
  • Private tour of Toulouse
  • Private tour of Carcassonne
  • Private tour of Albi
  • Small group tour of Sarlat
  • Small group tour of Dordogne villages
  • Small group tour of Rouffignac and Laxcaux IV caves
  • Small group tour of Padirac and Rocamadour
  • Private transportation in Bordeaux and Occitanie
  • Shared transportation by minivan in Dordogne
  • Train tickets Souillac-Toulouse
  • Entrance fees to prehistoric caves
  • Entrance fees to Prehistory Museum
  • Emergency customer support

Package does not include:

  • International airfare
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Entrance fees to other attractions
  • City tax (approx. €3/person/night)
  • Wine tasting fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Gratuities

Payments

  • Deposit 35% of total – paid at booking
  • Trip balance – 60 days before travel date

Cancellation and Refund Policy

  • Cancellable and refundable up to 60 days before trip start date
  • Refunds are subject to 10% administrative fee