Overview

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Duration:
8 Days

Join us on a remarkable journey across the south of France!

We’ll ramble through breathtaking landscapes, marvel at the fascinating culture, enjoy the exquisite food and taste world-class wines from some of France’s best producers! This distinctive tour starts in the famed wine region of Bordeaux, near the windswept Atlantic coast, and winds its way across the entire southwest of France, exploring the enchanting small towns and marvelous landscapes this region is known for, ending in the charming city of Toulouse, known as the “Pink City” for its abundance of buildings made with terra cotta-bricks.

Along the way we’ll explore natural parks, discover beautiful historic cities and wander into picturesque villages full of culture and charm. Ideal for those who enjoy superb food, exquisite wine, amazing scenery, and immersing themselves in the local culture. This journey will make you fall in love with the ambiance of southern France.

Tour Dates & Pricing

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Itinerary

Day 1 - Bienvenue à Bordeaux

Your Go Get Lost adventure starts this afternoon at our meeting point, the lobby of our centrally-located hotel in Bordeaux. (You'll be provided with detailed arrival and departure instructions to help you coordinate your flights and travel. If you're arriving by train from our Paris & Normandy tour, you'll be met at the train station and transferred to the hotel.) You'll meet your private guide, your traveling companions, and start with a walk to an ancient merchants storehouse close to the river in the Chartrons district. Here we'll have a lovely introduction to the history of the wine trade in Bordeaux, a trade which has existed since Roman times and has been the principal industry ever since. We'll enjoy a tasting of the local vintages, then depart for a short walk through the old city to our dinner spot.

Tonight we'll roll up our sleeves for a private cooking class to learn from some true experts in French cuisine. Of course afterwards we'll relax and enjoy the fruits of our labors, and have a very special group arrival dinner! A perfect way to end your first day in Bordeaux!

Day 2 - The Medoc Region

After our delicious French breakfast we'll relax for a short, scenic drive into the countryside north of Bordeaux. This enchanting landscape is renown for its classic French wine estates, dotting the countryside in every direction. We'll pass chateau after chateau as we wind through one of France's most highly regarded wine regions, the Medoc. Covered with pine forests and blessed with a mild climate due to the nearby ocean, the Medoc's gravel soil allows for good drainage, heat retention and extensive root systems. The result is an abundance of wine estates producing some of the finest vintages in Europe. We'll visit two of them today, for tours and tastings, and have an excellent regional lunch at the latter.
After lunch we'll return to Bordeaux, you'll have the rest of the day to free to wander, explore and get lost in the streets of this amazing city. With its ample supply of shops, bars and restaurants, you'll have no trouble finding the perfect spot for dinner!

Day 3 - Saint Emilion and the Dordogne

Today's journey is a cross-country odyssey, winding our way through the stunning French landscape of the "Entre-deux-Mers" region, stopping regularly to visit the charming villages and towns we pass. Our first stop will be Saint Emilion, the mythical and quaint medieval village and center of some of the finest wines produced in the area. We'll have some time to wander and explore the village before we head to a nearby winery for a tour and tasting. Lunch will follow and then we're off again, enjoying the charming scenery as our private coach takes us through the Perigord region and along some of the prettiest villages on the Dordogne. This pastoral landscape might seem peaceful today, bit there are ample remnants of the medieval times when war was raging between the English and the French. The Périgord is said by locals to have “1001 fortified castles”, which still dot the countryside and contribute to the history and ambiance of the area.

Late afternoon will find us in the delightful town of Sarlat-la-Caneda, our home for the evening. The rest of the afternoon and evening is free. You'll want to stroll through the cobblestone streets of the historical center to shop, explore, and find a good place for dinner. You'll find plenty of options in this town...relax and enjoy! n

Day 4 - Rocamadour, Peche Merle and Cahors

After another typical French breakfast we'll make our way to the stunning village of Rocamadour, a medieval pilgrims site spectacularly built into the rock of a mountain! We'll have time to explore the village before heading south to visit the cave of Peche Merle, famous for its prehistoric cave paintings and one of only a few such sites open to visitors. Extending for more than a kilometer from the entrance are caverns whose walls are painted with murals dating back to 25,000 B.C.! Since our morning will be spent partially underground, it's only fitting that our lunch be spent in the sunshine...our private coach will whisk us to a scenic spot where we can enjoy a picnic and a wine tasting of some other French varieties. To make up for our indulgence we'll have an easy walk through the rolling, green hills along the river Lot to the tiny village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie - perched on a cliff three hundred feet above the river, the town is considered to be one of the prettiest medieval villages in France. After a stroll around here we drive to medieval Cahors, known for its deep red wine, elaborate municipal gardens and the Pont Valentré, a medieval bridge with 3 towers, considered the best preserved fortified, medieval bridge in France. Time permitting we'll have a stroll on the bridge before venturing into the nearby countryside for our stay at a rustic, but elegant country inn outside the hamlet of Mercues.

Dinner tonight will be at the hotel, where we'll enjoy a meal of typical French country dishes. An after-dinner apéritif on the patio under the stars might be an excellent way to end your day.

Day 5 - Carcassonne

After breakfast this morning we drive toward Carcassonne, stopping en route at a couple of lovely medieval villages for wandering and exploring. First we come to picturesqe Cordes-sur-Ciel, a Cathar stronghold in the middle ages. Cordes is perched on a mountaintop, surrounded by mountains and vineyards, with the scent of pine shrubs, spicy herbs, and sweet flowers carried on cool winds through the village. Known as the garrigue, it is the signature scent of the south of France. After leaving Cordes we'll make a stop to visit a small vineyard that's been In the same family for 14 generations! Here you'll get a chance to taste some typical country vintages that have been produced in this area for centuries. Later you can relax and enjoy the drive through the scenic countryside as we make our way to Carcassonne. The medieval walled city sits in the picturesque valley of the Aude river—the gap between the Pyrenees and the Massif Central. With its extensive ramparts and myriad turrets, the citadel of Carcassonne dominates the surrounding countryside. It's a UNESCO- listed World Heritage Site and embodiment of a fairy-tale castle. After checking into the hotel we enjoy a stroll through the town center of this magical fortified city.

Tonight we'll have an excellent group dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants. As always, regional specialties will dominate the menu, with plenty of the incredible wines from the surrounding vineyards to complement the delicious cuisine.

Day 6 - Cathar Country...Peyrepetuse and Fontfroide

This morning we venture forth from Carcassone into the rugged landscape of the French Pyrenees mountains to visit some of the most impressive and historical sites of the area. We'll stop at the photogenic Gorges de Galamus, a stunning natural site with vertical limestone cliff faces extending for over a mile in each direction! This place typifies how harsh and difficult the landscape in this area can be, especially during the many wars and battles that occurred in the middle ages. Continuing on, we'll walk up to the amazing ruins of Peyrepertuse castle, a 11th century fortress and one of the Cathar castles of the Languedoc region. The castle was built on a site dominating the Corbières and the sea. The main part, resembles the prow of a ship, running along the top of a 2,600 foot high crag. It was a powerful and pivotal stronghold for numerous factions over its long history...from Cathars to Crusaders to the prince of Castille.

After drinking in the views of...and from Peyrepetuse, we'll retire to a small village nearby to enjoy lunch and some local vintages. This afternoon we'll enter the nearby Narbonne region to visit the magnificent Cistercian Abbey de Fontfroide. Built in 1093, the abbey is an impressive structure that has been expanded many times since its humble beginnings. By the 13th century it was vitally important to the area, and became the center of the Crusade against the Cathars, an upstart Christian religion of southern France. We'll have a tour of this historic facility before returning to Carcassonne.

Day 7 - Toulouse

Only an hour from Carcassone is the exciting French city of Toulouse. Ochre rooftops and blushing brick churches earned Toulouse the nickname ‘La Ville Rose’ (The Pink City). Its enchanting Vieux Quartier (Old Quarter) is a dreamy jumble of coral-colored shopfronts and churches. Beyond the old town, Toulouse sprawls into France’s fourth-largest city, home to the largest university outside of Paris, and the quintessential French company Airbus. It’s an animated, hectic place, but Toulouse – nestled between a bend in the Garonne River and the mighty Canal du Midi – is invigorated and defined by its waterways. Toulouse also knows how to have a good time, whether in teeming food markets, plentiful bistros or in the thick of its smouldering jazz and rock music scenes.

This morning we'll enjoy a walking tour of Toulouse, then have the rest of the day free to explore and get lost. Tonight we'll have an amazing farewell dinner in a superb local restaurant. Expect lots of toasts. laughing, eating, and of course, wine.

Day 8 - Au Revoir

Your Go Get Lost tour ends today after breakfast. Your tour leader can help you arrange a taxi to the airport for your flight home.

HOTELS

Due to availability at the time of booking, hotels listed may change to similar hotels

Bordeaux - 4 Star Aparthotel Adagio Gambetta:This modern apartment-style hotel has a superb location in the city center of Bordeaux. Spacious kitchenette rooms are perfect for relaxing with a bottle of wine after a long day exploring.

Sarlat-la-Caneda - 4 Star La Madeleine Hotel and Spa: Located in the center of the old town. La Madeleine is ideally located at the entrance to the medieval city of Sarlat la Canéda with its listed monuments, markets and shops, numerous restaurants, street entertainment and shows. The hotel boasts a heated pool with terrace and solarium, a wellness area with sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, and a theme shower ... for an extraordinary experience.

Cahors - Domaine de Labarthe Guesthouse:About 8 km from Cahors, on the road through the Malbec vineyards, an exquisite 18th century manor house hides among the walnut groves just waiting to show you the welcoming hospitality only found in the finest French guesthouses. The elegant country house built of Quercy stone has been patiently restored and now offers a cozy setting for quiet holiday breaks. Their seven guest rooms have been renovated and tastefully decorated. In summer, delicious breakfasts are served on the terrace facing the ancient olive trees. Wooded gardens, a heated swimming pool and a lovely view of the countryside are a perfect setting for a calm, peaceful holiday.

Cahors - Le Mas Azemar GuesthouseThe ambiance of this quiet 250 year old manor house is divine. With an abundance of antiques, paintings, and period furnishings, complemented by modern amenities and even a pool, the family-run guesthouse is a true oasis of comfort in the French countryside.

Carcassonne - 4- Star Hotel Le Donjon:Location, location, location. Perfectly situated inside the walls of the medieval city, this old-world property combines the feel of stepping back in time with the amenities and comforts of a modern room. Comfort and elegance combine to make your stay in the medieval city a pleasant experience.

Toulouse - 4 Star Hotel Mercure Wilson Capitole:: In the heart of the city center, the Mercure Wilson Capitole is an example of characteristic Toulouse architecture, with classic red-brick construciton. Enjoy fully equipped rooms, some with balconies. In the evening, relax in the lounge bar of the hotel or take advantage of being close to the city center. The hotel is close to Place du Capitole, Place Wilson and the Basilica of Saint-Sernin. Find an abundance of shops, bistros, and brasseries within walking distance.

What´s Included

  • 7 Nights, Double Occupancy at listed hotels (or similar)
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 4 Lunches
  • 4 Dinners
  • 5 Wine tastings
  • Cooking class in Bordeaux
  • Entrance fees to Museum of Wine and Trade, Peche Merle cave
  • All transportation once the tour starts,
  • All listed activities, tours, visits, as per itinerary
  • All tips except for your primary local tour leader
  • Local guide for the entire tour
  • Go Get Lost tour leader

What´s not Included

  • Meals not specified in itinerary
  • Beverages at meals unless specified in itinerary (all group meals include water and local wine)
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption and Medical Insurance (strongly recommended), call for details
  • Single supplement charge
  • Items of a personal nature; phone calls, laundry, etc.
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • International airfare, tour begins in the afternoon in Bordeaux, France on Day 1, and ends after breakfast at the hotel in Toulouse, France on the morning of Day 8
  • Tip for the primary local guide
  • Any costs associated with options or free time

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