Overview

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Duration:
8 Days

Join Erin and Chris Stone 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 cosmopolitan city of Toulouse. 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 one of our favorite European 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!

(Erin and Chris 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 4-Star hotel in Bordeaux. (You'll be provided with detailed arrival and departure instructions to help you coordinate your flights and travel.) 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 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 that rings the coast. After our labors we'll sit down to an excellent lunch at one of the area's restaurants. Oysters from nearby Archacon 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 visit 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 one of them today, for a tour and tasting.

In the late afternoon 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. 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 Sarlat

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. Here you'll have time to visit the village, wander a bit and have lunch on your own 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.
Late afternoon will find us arriving in the lively town of Sarlat-la-Caneda, our home for the next two days. After checking into our 4-Star hotel, we'll have time for a leisurely stroll through the historical center before we settle in to dinner at one of our favorite local brassiere.

Day 4 - Rocamadour

You have the morning free today, to sleep in or perhaps wander the town as it awakens. Later in the morning we will depart on our private coach for a visit to the stunning village of Rocamadour, a medieval pilgrims site spectacularly built into the rock of a mountain! Here we'll embark on a panoramic walk that winds through the gorgeous countryside and through Rocamadour itself. After lunch at a local bistro we'll have time to explore the quaint medieval town of Rocamadour before we return to Sarlat. Tonight is free to explore the town and find the perfect dinner spot.

Day 5 - Peche Merle, Saint Cirq and Mercues Castle

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 some time to explore the town we'll drive to our home for the night...and what a treat it is! A medieval fortified chateau renovated to luxury standards, featuring a Michelin starred restaurant and a renown chef! We'll indulge ourselves here with an exceptional meal, featuring wine pairings for each course, selected by the chef. An after-dinner apéritif on the patio under the stars might be an excellent way to end your day.

Day 6 - 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 our 4-Star hotel near the old historic city, 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.

Tonight is free to wander, explore and get lost in Carcassone's winding cobblestone streets to find our own bistro or boulangerie for dinner. .

Day 7 - 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.

You'll return to Carcassone and have time to clean up before your last amazing group meal tonight in one of the town'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 8 - Au Revoir

After breakfast today you'll have a morning group transfer to the Toulouse airport, where your Go Get Lost tour will end. From here you can opt to stay in Toulouse for a day or two, catch a flight to the French Riviera for an optional 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 Hotel de Seze: Located in the heart of Bordeaux, the Hôtel de Sèze, a well-known local landmark, is delighted to welcome you to their 4-star universe. The beautiful 18th century Hôtel de Sèze, with its illuminated façade, splendid corbels and wrought-iron balconies, proudly stands out from surrounding buildings. This discreetly elegant hotel has 55 rooms that combine beautiful 18th century decor with exclusive furniture. The rooms are decorated in a colour to match the audacious wallpaper to create an intimate, cosy ambience thanks to the muted colour of the fabrics. The establishment also offers a refined, yet relaxed atmosphere in their restaurant Le Comptoir de Sèze, private dining rooms, spa, smoking room/lounge, and private golf course only 10 minutes from the hotel. 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. (Interestingly, during WWII the hotel was equipped with secret hatches and rooms where Jewish families were hidden, along with weapons for the French Resistance.)

Sarlat-la-Caneda - 4 Star Plaza Madeleine Hotel: Around the Vézère and Dordogne valleys, the Plaza Madeleine Hôtel & Spa is a charming establishment located in the center of the old town, a historic and cultural site in the Dordogne, in the Périgord Noir. The hotel 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.
Staying at the Plaza Madeleine Hôtel & Spa is also the privilege of enjoying, in the heart of the city, a heated swimming pool with terrace and solarium, a wellness area with hammam, jacuzzi, sauna and themed shower, for an extraordinary experience.

Mercues - 4 Star Château de Mercuès: Be transported by the unique feel at the four-star Château de Mercuès, a wine-estate hotel in the Relais & Châteaux group. This beautiful medieval castle perched on a rocky outcrop overlooks the picturesque Lot valley and Cahors vineyards, giving exceptional views from every vantage point. Stroll along the castle’s wide halls to find a small chapel hidden away inside one tower, or down the immense staircases to the underground cellar where their wine is aged. A perfect combination of elegance, gastronomy, fine wines and the beauty of nature.

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. Thanks to its ideal location, the Hôtel le Donjon is part of the heritage of the medieval citadel of Carcassonne. Come and enjoy the green garden, a true haven of peace. A 1-minute walk from the Château Comtal and 3 minutes from the Basilica, it has a perfect location for discovering the old town of Carcassonne. The hotel is made up of three different houses spread across the Medieval City. With its history combining tradition and trend, modern comfort and medieval inspiration, this place will offer you more than a family and professional welcome, it will offer you an allegory of good times, in the full sense of the term.

OR

Carcassonne - 4 Star Pont-Levis Hotel: In Carcassonne, the Pont-Levis Hotel gives you an appointment with the charm of an 18th century building today a 4-star hotel. First an inn and then a museum, the building was completely renovated and modernized to become a high-end hotel in 2013. In 2016 famed two-Michelin-starred Chef Franck Putelat became the owner and began to exert his influence on the facility, adding imposing Corten steel elements to the north facade of the original building, bringing a contemporary signature to the hotel entrance. On the south side, a light crossing enlivens the breakfast area and the bar. The hotel is located 50 meters from the "Porte Narbonnaise", the main entrance to the Medieval City of Carcassonne. In fact, at the Pont-Levis Hotel, you will enjoy an exceptional view of the Medieval City at all hours of the day.

What´s Included

  • 2 Nights, double occupancy at a 4 Star hotel in Bordeaux
  • 2 Nights, double occupancy at a 4 Star hotel in Sarlat
  • 1 Nights, double occupancy at a 4 Star hotel in Mercues
  • 2 Nights, double occupancy at a 4 Star hotel in Carcassone
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 4 Lunches
  • 4 Dinners
  • 2 Wine tastings
  • All group meals include water and local wine
  • All entrance fees as listed in itinerary (Peche Merle, etc)
  • All listed activities, tours, visits, as per itinerary
  • All transportation once the tour starts
  • Group departure airport transfer to Toulouse airport on the morning of Day 8
  • Local guide for the entire tour
  • All tips except for your primary local tour leader
  • Escorted by Erin and Chris Stone

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 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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