Medoc, Midi-Pyrenees, Sarlat & St Emilion - Uncover the delights and secrets of the south west of France on this very special tour. Enjoy wonderful cuisine, unwind while travelling along the Atlantic coast and marvel at the prehistoric art of the Lascaux Caves and the mighty medieval stronghold of Carcassonne. This tour would of course not be complete without a taste of what Bordeaux is perhaps most famous for today – the majestic wines of Medoc and St Emilion... Enjoy a taste of the real France!

A Taste of Bordeaux

Land Only Small Group Tour

Duration : 9 DAYSPrice : FROM $3495Country : FRANCE
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Saint Emilion, town, France,crédit © Anne Lanta
Carcassonne, France © Atout France , Catherine BibolletThe Historic Centre of Albi, France ©CRT Midi-Pyrenees D.VietFontaine, Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux ©Office de Tourisme de Bordeaux (Bordeaux Tourist Office) /  T.SANSONTerraces, Bordeaux © Office de Tourisme de Bordeaux (Bordeaux Tourist Office) /F.POINCETTorchlight procession, Lourdes, France ©CRT Midi-Pyrenees D.VietWineyard, France, crédit © Heurisko

Medoc, Midi-Pyrenees, Sarlat & St Emilion - Uncover the delights and secrets of the south west of France on this very special tour. Enjoy wonderful cuisine, unwind while travelling along the Atlantic coast and marvel at the prehistoric art of the Lascaux Caves and the mighty medieval stronghold of Carcassonne. This tour would of course not be complete without a taste of what Bordeaux is perhaps most famous for today – the majestic wines of Medoc and St Emilion... Enjoy a taste of the real France!

Included in the price

  • 8 nights’ accommodation
  • Driver/tour leader
  • Mini-coach transportation
  • European breakfast daily
  • 4 x evening meals
  • 3 x wine tastings
  • Truffle tasting
  • Included Entrances: Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, Lascaux Caves & Chateau de Castelnaud

Day 1: Bordeaux – Medoc

Added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2007, Bordeaux’s historic sector offers stunning classical and neoclassical architecture, charming squares and fantastic museums and art galleries. This morning our tour leader will introduce us to some of the highlights of Bordeaux before we head out of the city and in to wine country. We venture through Medoc, where you will have the opportunity to try exceptional local wines and learn about the history of this region. (B) Accommodation: Hostellerie des Criquets, Blanquefort (3-star) or similar

Day 2: Medoc – Bayonne - Biarritz

Today we travel south to Bayonne, the cultural capital of the Basque country. This beautiful fortified city is rich in history, heritage and culture. We then make our way to the nearby beach resort of Biarritz, one of Europe’s most stylish cities, offering fine beaches, medieval churches, and numerous restaurants. (B) Accommodation: Hotel Edouard VII, Biarritz (3-star) or similar [Certificate of Excellence 2013 Winner Trip Advisor]

Day 3: Biarritz – Midi-Pyrenees

From Biarritz we head east stopping in Pau, a charming town with an impressive castle, where we will make a quick stop for photos. We then travel through the peaceful Midi-Pyrenees region, stopping en route in the spiritual small town of Lourdes. We arrive in the evening at our characteristically rustic accommodation. (B, D) Accommodation: L'Hostellerie des Cedres, Villeneuve-de-Rivière (3-star) or similar

Day 4: Midi-Pyrénées –Carcassonne

Continuing through the Midi- Pyrenees this morning we arrive at some picturesque “Bastides”. These medieval towns, in the south west region of France, are one of the largest collections of well-preserved medieval townscapes still to be found anywhere in Europe. Driving through the Cathare country, we will sample the local “Blanquette” fizzy wine, before we reach Carcassonne, a mighty fortified city that stands majestically overlooking the landscapes of the Languedoc region and the distant Pyrenees. (B, D) Accommodation: Le Donjon, Carcassonne (4-star) or similar

Day 5: Carcassonne

Today is entirely yours to discover Carcassonne at your own pace. Explore this magical town and everything it has to offer or simply relax in a street-side cafe enjoying the sights and sounds of this beautiful town. From the Bastide Saint-Louis to the medieval walls, Carcassonne offers a wealth of monuments to visit and explore. (B) Accommodation: Le Donjon, Carcassonne (4-star) or similar

Day 6: Carcassonne – Albi –Sarlat

This morning we make our way to the historic city of Albi. This small town is famous for its 13th century gothic Sainte Cecile Cathedral and the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum. We continue on to Cahors, home to the famous 14th century Pont Valentre Bridge. From here we drive to the delightful town of Sarlat-la-Caneda, our base for the next three nights. (B) Accommodation: De Selves, Sarlat-la-Canéda(4-star) or similar

Day 7: Sarlat – Vezere Valley - Sarlat

Today we go further into the Dordogne, a beautiful region full of chateaux, medieval towns and villages. We head first to the prehistoric Lascaux Caves, then we continue our explorations to the delightful village of Les Eyzies, in the heart of the Vezere Valley. For an unforgettable glimpse into our distant past, we follow the ‘Royal Road’, which winds between the river and the rocks, making a final stop at a local truffle farm. (B) Accommodation: De Selves, Sarlat-la-Canéda(4-star) or similar

Day 8: Sarlat

Sarlat is one of the most beautiful cities in France. An architectural gem, built in the golden stone of the surrounding countryside, it has stood the test of time despite a long and troubled history. Today we visit the old town lined with impeccably restored stone buildings. This afternoon discover the city at your leisure; relax over lunch, enjoy a glass of local wine or stroll down the medieval lanes. This evening we meet up for a final dinner together. (B, D) Accommodation: De Selves, Sarlat-la-Canéda(4-star) or similar

Day 9: Sarlat – Saint Emilion –Bordeaux

Before we make our way back to Bordeaux, we visit the impressive Chateau de Castelnaud. Built in the 12th century, this fascinating castle has a dramatic history. We then travel to Saint Emilion, an attractive little town of yellow limestone with narrow streets and old timberframed houses. Surrounded by vineyards this region is renowned for its ‘reds’ and you will have the opportunity to taste local wines before we arrive in Bordeaux where our tour comes to an end. (B) [Pick-Up: The tour commences from Grand Hotel Francais, 12 rue du Temple, 33000, Bordeaux, France at 9:30am. Please ensure you are at the meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure.] [Drop-off: 5:30pm at Grand Hotel Francais, 12 rue du Temple, 33000, Bordeaux, France. Please bear in mind that drop-off time is an estimate only – traffic can be unpredictable!]

Bordeaux: World wine capital

Bordeaux: World wine capital

Bordered to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, Bordeaux, the capital of Southwest France has changed beyond all recognition in recent years and was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2007, the largest urban area ever to receive this acclaim. The heart of the historical sector offers a stunning beauty and unity of architectural style, with charming squares and parks, absorbing museums, and highly cultivated and bustling places of entertainment. It is a focal point of fine dining and shopping with fine cuisine in top class restaurants and friendly bistros at every turn inviting visitors to linger. High-fashion boutiques are situated in pedestrian streets featuring many famous international and well-known French brands. The name “Bordeaux” is always synonymous with quality, and often outstanding quality, for wine lovers. The largest and oldest fine wine vineyard in the world covers some 115,000 hectares of vines in 60 appellations. Bordeaux, the gateway to the most famous vineyards in the world…
Biarritz

Biarritz

As ritzy as its name suggests, this stylish coastal town, 8km west of Bayonne, took off as a resort in the mid-19th century when Napoléon III and his Spanish-born wife, Eugénie, visited regularly. Along its rocky coastline are architectural hallmarks of this golden age, and the belle époque and art deco eras that followed. Although it retains a high glamour quotient (and high prices to match), it's also a magnet for vanloads of surfers, with some of Europe's best waves.
Lourdes: Sanctuaires Notre Dame de Lourdes

Lourdes: Sanctuaires Notre Dame de Lourdes

If you've ever wondered what a Catholic version of Las Vegas might look like, chances are it'd turn out pretty close to Lourdes. This sprawling town, 43km southeast of Pau, has been one of the world's most important pilgrimage sites since 1858, when 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous (1844–79) saw the Virgin Mary in a series of 18 visions in a rocky grotto. The visions were subsequently confirmed by the Vatican, and Bernadette was beatified in 1933. Now known as the Sanctuaires Notre Dame de Lourdes, the grotto is considered to be one of the holiest sites in Christendom. Over six million people arrive in Lourdes every year, to pray, pay homage and be doused in the suposedly miraculous waters, but in contrast to its spiritual importance, the modern town of Lourdes itself is a pretty dispiriting experience, with a tatty tangle of neon-signed hotels and souvenir shops selling everything from plastic crucifixes to Madonna–shaped bottles (just add holy water at the shrine).
The fortified city of Carcassonne

The fortified city of Carcassonne

Perched on a rocky hilltop and bristling with zig-zag battlements, stout walls and spiky turrets, from afar the fortified city of Carcassonne looks like something out of a children's storybook. It's most people's perfect idea of a medieval castle, and it's undoubtedly an impressive spectacle – not to mention one of the Languedoc's biggest tourist draws.
Sarlat

Sarlat

Beautiful Sarlat is a medieval town that developed around a large Benedictine abbey of Carolingian origin. The medieval Sarlat Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Sacerdos. Because modern history has largely passed it by, Sarlat has remained preserved and is one of the towns most representative of 14th century France. It owes its current status on France's Tentative List for future nomination as a UNESCO World Heritage site to the enthusiasm of writer, resistance fighter and politician André Malraux, who, as Minister of Culture (1960–1969), restored the town and many other sites of historic significance throughout France.
The Episcopal City of Albi

The Episcopal City of Albi

Situated in the Midi-Pyrénées region, along the river Tarn, the city of Albi conceals an Episcopal City home to Sainte-Cécile cathedral, the biggest brick cathedral in the world, and the fortified Berbie Palace.
LaCity Travel - Traveller Tips for France    

VISAS: France tourist visa is not required for citizens of Australia for a stay up to 90 days, although you will need to have a return ticket. All passports must be valid for 6 months from the date of the arrival. Some other nationalities may require a visa. For further information please contact the French consulate website or your travel consultant   

MONEY: 1 AUD = 0.65 € (20/02/2014). You always get a better exchange rate in-country, though it’s a good idea to arrive with enough local currency to take a taxi to a hotel if you have to. Carry as little cash as possible while travelling around. In Paris, exchange bureaux (bureaux de change) are faster and easier, open longer hours and give better rates than most banks. In general, post offices in Paris can offer the best exchange rates and accept banknotes in various currencies as well as American Express and Visa travellers cheques. The commission for travellers cheques is 1.5% (minimum about €4). Familiarise yourself with rates offered by the post office and compare them with those at exchange bureaux. On small transactions, even exchange places with less-than-optimal rates may leave you with more euros in your pocket.   

ELECTRICITY: Type C (European 2-pin), Type E (French 2-pin, female earth)   

CLIMATE / WEATHER: France has several climatic zones and substantial variations in its weather due to its great size and location on the western edge of Europe. The north and northeastern areas have predictably warm summers and cold winters with abundant rainfall while the Atlantic Ocean provides cooler summers from westerly winds and warmer winters along the western coast. South of the Loire river is where the weather becomes significantly warmer. The Mediterranean zone in the south and southeast has hot and somewhat dry summers, mild winters, and low, yet unpredictable rainfall. The south is also subject to the formidable mistral (violent winds) and sudden storms, but generally has reliable weather for visitors. The mountainous zones are in the Pyrénées, Alps, and Massif Central and have heavy winter snowfall, yet cool and sunny summers with abundant rain.   

TIME DIFFERENCE: (GMT+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris   

BEST TIME TO VISIT FRANCE: Depending on what you want to get out of your trip, there is always a good time to visit France. Winter is a great time to enjoy snow sports in the Alps and Pyrenees, while the summer is great for soaking up the sun on the beaches of the Cote d’Azur. Generally, France enjoys a temperate climate with cool winters and warm summers, except for the Mediterranean areas that bask in warm temperatures most of the year. Popular tourist spots can get crowded during the peak holiday periods of Christmas, Easter and the school holiday months of July and August; if travelling during these times, be prepared to share France with many other travellers and holidaying locals.   

LANGUAGE: French is the official language but English is widely spoken.    

ACCOMMODATION: Travelling with LaCity Travel is a little bit different. We endeavour to provide travellers with an authentic experience to remember so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.   

FOOD / DRINK: LaCity Travel believes that one of the best ways to experience a country is by eating! Whether you're sampling street food, savoring a cheap eat or indulging in a banquet, there are endless options to choose from wherever you are in the world. The gastronomic pleasures of France are world-renowned, so travellers won’t be disappointed with the food of France. There’s something to suit all budgets here, from Michelin star restaurants to humble cafes and market stalls.   

RELIGION: 63% of French people consider themselves Catholic, 30% declare themselves without religion.   

HISTORY: 
New Early History: France has a fascinating history marked by war, invasion, imperialistic expansion and revolution. Enduring the ravages of the Black Death, and the uncertainty of political upheaval and civil unrest, it's probably these events that give the modern French people their passionate, fighting spirit. 
Recent History: France’s recent history is as interesting as its beginnings. Invaded by Germany during World War I and World War II, France suffered many losses during both of these wars. Civilian and military lives were lost, strict rationing created harsh living conditions, and regular airstrikes and shelling created a climate of fear. The French Resistance has been the subject of many books and movies, mainly because it’s such an interesting example of the French spirit. The French Resistance is the name given to pockets of men and women who rallied against the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. Using guerrilla tactics, as well as underground press and other means, these groups provided safe houses and escape networks for Allied soldiers trapped behind enemy lines. They also provided intelligence and other information to the Allies, as well as committed acts of sabotage against the German military. Visitors to France can choose to see many sites that reflect these times including the beaches of Normandy and the battlefields of Ypres and the Somme. 
More recently, France has enjoyed the stability that comes with being a part of the European Union and NATO; even though unemployment remains high, France is currently enjoying more peaceful times than it has had in the past.
  

SHOPPING:  Home to designer fashion houses, luxurious perfumeries, exclusive boutiques and antique merchants, France isn’t a great shopping destination for those on a budget. Regardless, there’s much fun to be had whether you’re window shopping or indulging in the real thing. It's a good idea to check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country. Australia and New Zealand generally have strict quarantine laws.   

TAXIS: You should only use licenced, official taxis in France, as assaults and robberies have occurred in unlicensed taxis. Unlicensed taxis often target high traffic destinations such as airports, train stations, theatres and nightclubs. In Paris, licenced taxis have the sign ‘Taxi Parisien’ located at the top of the car. Private car companies are legal but must be pre-booked.   

DRIVING: Australians wanting to drive in France must have a valid Australian driver's licence and a valid International Driving Permit (IDP), issued by the relevant IDP authority in your state before leaving Australia. The minimum age to drive a vehicle is 18. Australians resident in France may exchange their Australian driver licence for a French licence within the first 12 months of their residency. It is obligatory for all vehicles to carry a reflective vest and warning triangle for use in case of breakdown.   

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS:  
Wednesday 01 January - New Year's Day 
Sunday 20 April - Easter 
Monday 21 April - Easter Monday 
Thursday 01 May - Labour Day 
Thursday 08 May - VE Day - WWII Victory Day
Thursday 29 May - Ascension Day 
Sunday 08 June - Whit 
Sunday 
Monday 09 June - Whit Monday
Monday 14 July - Bastille Day 
Friday 15 August - Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
Saturday 01 November - All Saints' Day 
Tuesday 11 November - Armistice Day 
Thursday 25 December - Christmas Day   

HEALTH: No vaccinations are required to travel to France.   

SAFETY / SECURITY: France is generally a safe place in which to live and travel, but crime has risen dramatically in the last few years. Property crime is a major problem but it is extremely unlikely that you will be physically assaulted while walking down the street. Always check your government’s travel advisory warnings.   

IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY:
SAMU (medical emergencies): 15 
Police emergencies: 17 
Fire Service emergencies: 18 
European emergency line: 112 
SOS Médecins (Paris – emergency doctors): +33 (0) 1 47 07 77 77 or +33 (0) 820 332 424 
SOS Dentistes (Paris – emergency dentists): +33 (0) 1 43 37 51 00   

TIPPING: it is usual to leave a tip.   

TRAVEL INSURANCE: All passengers must have comprehensive travel insurance. You can complete this with LaCity Travel if you wish. Check your Travel Insurance Policy for an Emergency number and details of services to be provided, Carry these details with you.   

Australian Embassy 
4, rue Jean Rey 
75015 Paris Métro 
Ligne 6 Station Bir-Hakeim 
RER C Station Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel
PROVENCE AND COTE D’AZUR

11 DAYS FROM $4,075PP

Monaco, Cannes, Avignon & Arles - Discover the charm of Provence and the Côte d’Azur (French Riviera) on this incredible 11 -day tour of southern France. Soak up the atmosphere of historical medieval towns, explore Roman ruins and taste regional wines at a private vineyard. In contrast to the sleepy hill-side villages of Provence, the French Riviera boasts some of the most famous resorts in the world, including Monte Carlo and Cannes. Lovers of good French food will also be wowed by the fabulous Mediterranean cuisine you will find here – this tour truly has it all.

Contact us for departure dates

$3495

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Optional
Single room: from $4285


Terms and Conditions

1. Price are in AUD, subject to the availabilities and per person twin-share price.
2. Valid for sale & departure until 16 October 2019
3. LaCity Travel reserves the right to adjust the itinerary as it sees fi­t to ensure the smooth running of the tour and to substitute hotels of a similar standard if the hotels listed in our brochure are not available.