Overview

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Duration:
8 Days

Join Rich and Gina Solomon on a remarkable journey across the southwest of France!

We’ll walk through diverse and breathtaking landscapes, marvel at the fascinating culture, enjoy the exquisite food and taste world-class wines from some of France’s legendary vineyards! This distinctive tour starts in the far southwest wine region of Bordeaux, on the windswept Atlantic coast, and winds its way across the entire south of France to the breathtaking Mediterranean coast. This area has an overabundance of natural beauty and historical places, with smaller towns and villages dotting the rugged landscape

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 food, wine, culture, and countryside walks, this journey will make you fall in love with the ambiance of southwest France.

Join us on this special private tour as we explore this amazing destination. Led by Jeff Fafoglia and his team of local guides, we’ll venture off the beaten tourist path (and most likely get lost) to discover the best that Southern France has to offer, at one of the most beautiful times of the year!

(Rich and Gina are only taking a limited number of travelers for this small-group adventure…don’t get left behind!)

Tour Dates & Pricing

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Itinerary

Day 1 - Bienvenue à Bordeaux

Your Go Get Lost adventure starts in the late afternoon today 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. Ask about arriving in France early to experience the exciting Paris and Normandy mini-tour. ) You'll meet your private guide, your traveling companions, and start with a short introductory walk through the charming streets of Bordeaux's old town. Eventually we'll end up at one of our favorite local restaurants for our amazing arrival meal.

Day 2 - The Grande Dune du Pilat

After our delicious French breakfast we'll relax for a scenic drive into the countryside west of Bordeaux, all the way to the Atlantic coast. Here at Pilat we'll find the largest sand dunes in all of Europe, and the site of our coastal walk today. As we hike along the ridges of the massive dunes, we'll enjoy expansive views of the coastline in all directions. Our return path is at sea level along the lovely beach the rings the coast. After our labors we'll sit down to an excellent lunch at one of the area's famed seafood restaurants. Oysters from the nearby bay are prized all over France, so we'll be sure they're one of the options. Washed down with a local white wine, it's a treat not to be forgotten.

After lunch we'll return to Bordeaux, you'll have the rest of the day free to wander, explore and get lost in the streets of this amazing city. Your local guide will offer another casual walking tour to see more of Bordeaux's lovely streets and sites, or you can venture out on your own, armed with nothing more than a city map and a taste for adventure. With its ample supply of shops, bars and restaurants, you'll have no trouble finding the perfect spot for dinner!

Day 3 - Saint Emilion, the Dordogne, and Rocamadour

Today we'll make our way to Saint Emilion, the mythical and quaint medieval village and center of some of the finest wines produced in the "Entre-deux-Mers" region. We'll have time to visit the village and wander a bit before continuing on our journey through the amazingly picturesque Perigord region, with ample forested ridges and gorges, formed over the centuries by the lovely Dordogne river. The idea here is to relax and enjoy the charming scenery as our private coach takes us through this famed region and past 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.
The lively town of Sarlat-la-Caneda will be our venue for lunch in one of the small, local bistros. We'll have time for a leisurely stroll through the historical center before we continue on to our 3 Star inn perched above the stunning village of Rocamadour, a medieval pilgrims site spectacularly built into the rock of a mountain! After checking in we'll embark on a panoramic walk that winds through the gorgeous contryside and through Rocamadour itself. Tonight we'll enjoy a hearty dinner of local dishes at our inn.

Day 4 - Peche Merle and Cahors

After another exquisite French breakfast we'll make our way to one of the world's most famous archaeological sites, the caves of Peche Merle. Famous for its prehistoric cave paintings and one of only a few such sites open to visitors, the caverns extend for more than a kilometer from the entrance, with walls 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...with a beautiful walk through the rural countryside crossing the river on an old railway bridge. Our trail will bring 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, after lunch we'll have yet another excellent walk through the rolling, green hills along the river Lot. The final portion of the hike is a short climb up to the tiny village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie - perched on a cliff three hundred feet above the river and considered to be one of the prettiest medieval villages in France. After a stroll through the town we'll 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.
Cahors old town features half-timbered houses and narrow alleyways, the perfect setting to experience a wine tasting of the local wines, which are dominated by the Malbec grape, and increasingly appreciated in all of Europe.
Later this afternoon we'll arrive at our home for the night..two lovely small farmhouse-style inns. As none of the local rural lodgings are large enough for our group, we'll split into two smaller groups and stay at two different properties, just a few minutes from each other. For dinner we'll gather at one of the guesthouses for yet another wonderful French meal. An after-dinner apéritif on the patio under the stars might be an excellent way to end your very active day.

Day 5 - Cordes-sur-Ciel and Carcassone

After breakfast this morning we head towards Carcassonne, stopping en route at the lovely medieval village of Cordes-sur-Ciel for some exploration. Surrounded by mountains and vineyards, the scent of pine shrubs, spicy herbs, and sweet flowers are carried on the cool winds. Known as the garrigue, it is the signature scent of the south of France. The village itself is a wonder of medieval architecture set amid cobblestone streets lined with shops. It's a pleasure to stroll and explore this delightful and photogenic town.

This area has been producing wines since the Roman times, and is the oldest wine area in southwestern France. Shortly after departing Cordes we'll stop at a small family winery in the Gaillac region, to meet the current owners (14th generation) and taste some of their excellent products. In the early afternoon we reach 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 in the historic center, withing the ancient walls, our guide will lead us on a city walk that winds through the Cite', along the ramparts, and perhaps even across the river into the old town.

You'll have another amazing group meal tonight in one of Carcassone's fine restaurants, and of course French vintages will complement the excellent fare! An after-dinner drink at a sidewalk cafe...or a stroll through the lamplit streets of the old city will be a perfect end to the day.

Day 6 - Galamus Gorge, Cathar Castles, and Fontfroide Abbey

Today is packed with adventure and activity! After breakfast we'll head south into the mountainous region known for its Cathar castles. Enroute we'll have a stop at the famous Gorge de Galamus for a short "warm-up walk" through the amazing scenery. Our next stop will be the picturesque ruins of the Cathar stronghold Peyrepertuse Castle, with its dramatic mountaintop setting. You'll have plenty of time to wander and take pictures in this movie-setting-like ruin. Lunch will follow in one of the local villages at the base of the mountain, but don't stuff yourself as we have an excellent hike this afternoon to visit the ruins of Chateau de Queribus, known as the last Cathar stronghold. With a location that rivals that of Peyrepetuse, Queribus Castle is strikingly isolated and dominates one of the highest peaks of the area.

Tonight we'll have the evening free in Carcassone to explore and find our own bistro or boulangerie for dinner.

Day 7 - Collioure and the Vermillion Coast

This morning we drive to the hilly region southwest of Narbonne to visit the magnificent Cistercian Abbey de Fontfroide. After a morning hike in the captivating scenery around the abbey, we'll venture inside for a tour of the historic building. They have been producing wine as well there for centuries, so after our tour and we will join a wine tasting and enjoy a wonderful lunch. We then continue to our journey's end, the historic village and old fishing port of Collioure on a stretch of the Mediterranean Sea known as the Vermilion Coast. The small town has a strong Catalan culture and is famous for its anchovies and history as an artists colony - Derain, Picasso and Matisse all painted here. For many this is the prettiest place to be found on the French coast west of Marseille. The afternoon leaves some free time for strolling around at your own pace or even for a swim in the usually crystal clear water of the sea.

Day 8 - Banyuls

This morning we mix with the natives and use the local bus to take us out to a particularly scenic part of the coast, where we'll come upon the fascinating remains of one of the largest dynamite factories in France, owned by Alfred Nobel. Here marks the starting point of a relaxing coastal walk along the lovely, rugged Mediterranean shoreline until reaching Banyuls, another nice old fishing village famous for its very particular sweet dessert wines produced only in the hills around the town. You're free for lunch, after which we take the bus back to Collioure and enjoy a wine tasting in a local bodega, featuring some of the very interesting local wines including the Banyuls dessert wines.

Tonight we'll have an amazing farewell dinner in a superbly located restaurant, overlooking the sea. with lots of toasts. laughing, eating, and of course, wine.

Day 9 - Au Revoir

After breakfast today you'll have an early morning group transfer to the Barcelona airport, where your Go Get Lost tour will end. From here you can opt to stay in Barcelona for an extension, catch a flight to somewhere else in Europe, or board your flight to return 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.

Rocamadour - 3 Star Hotel du Chateau Rocamadour: The 3-star Hotel du Château welcomes guests for charming and relaxing stays in Superior rooms, each with a balcony or terrace overlooking the swimming pool or woodlands. The hotel is located in the heart of a wooded park and is ideally situated just 200 meters from the Château de Rocamadour and a few minutes' walk from the lifts that take visitors to the town center. This privileged location makes it easy for guests to discover the many important historical and cultural heritage sites that constitute the beauty and renown of this hillside village overlooking the Alzou valley.

Cahors - Guest House Domaine De Labarthe: About 8 km from Cahors, on the road through the Malbec vineyards, this is an exquisite 18th century manor house hiding among the walnut groves and famous for the welcoming hospitality found only in the finest French guesthouses. Their elegant country house built of Quercy stone has been patiently restored and now offers a cozy setting among the historic castles of the Lot Valley. 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.

OR

Cahors - Guest House Le Mas Azemar: Sabine, Aurore and Claude Patrolin, will welcome you with pleasure in this magical place that is Mas Azemar. Attentive hosts but also talented cooks, they will make you discover this old house restored with respect for tradition, while offering the best comfort. At the foot of Mercuès castle, in the heart of Cahors' vineyards, no matter what season, spend a quiet stay in a XVIII century charming residence. In the park under the shade of a hundred-year old tree, by the fire in the yellow morning-room or around our gourmet table, relish a moment of well being. Enjoy the period furniture, rare or quaint items, works of art, and library with both ancient and modern books. The Park too has its own charming characteristics. The variety of trees and species enable you, whatever the season, to take advantage of a stroll. And alongside the heated swimming-pool nestled lower down the park, you will be able to sunbath in total tranquility.

Carcassonne - 4- Star Hotel Le Donjon:Perfectly located 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.

Collioure - 3 Star Hotel La Casa Païral: This boutique property is in a magnificent town house that was formerly the home of a 19th century Catalan family, a haven of peace and tranquility situated in the heart of Collioure, right on the Mediterranean coast. Each of the 27 rooms is decorated differently in its own unique, appealing style. The hotel’s typical Catalan architecture sits amid beautiful flowers and lush green vegetation. In the breakfast area a fountain splashes softly in the center of a lush, flowered patio shaded by a tall palm tree and a century-old magnolia. Their heated swimming pool is bordered by a beautiful wisteria that provides cool shade in the heat of the day.

What´s Included

  • 7 Nights, Double Occupancy at listed hotels (or similar)
  • 8 Breakfasts
  • 5 Lunches
  • 5 Dinners
  • 5 Wine tastings
  • All entrance fees as listed in itinerary (Peche Merle, etc)
  • All transportation once the tour starts, (Day 7 on local public transport)
  • Group departure airport transfer to Barcelona airport on the morning of Day 8
  • All listed activities, tours, visits, as per itinerary
  • All tips except for your primary local tour leader
  • Local guide for the entire tour
  • Escorted by Rich and Gina Solomon
  • 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 transfers
  • International airfare, tour begins mid-afternoon in Bordeaux, France on Day 1, and ends at the airport in Barcelona, Spain on the morning of Day 8
  • Tip for the primary local guide
  • Any costs associated with options or free time

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