8 Day Bordeaux/Dordogne Tour

2024 Daily Itinerary

8 Day Bordeaux & Dordogne Tour

Daily Itinerary

Day 1- Welcome to Bordeaux!

Welcome to magnificent Bordeaux! Known worldwide for its exceptional wines, Bordeaux is also one of the most popular cities in France thanks to its idyllic lifestyle and abundance of cafés, restaurants and more. This elegant city resembles a smaller Paris, with glamorous 18th-century architecture gracefully spanning the Garonne river. Read our blog here to see why we love Bordeaux so much!

Your Bordeaux adventure will begin between 11am-4pm when we pick you up from either the Bordeaux airport or train station. We'll drive you to the lovely Chartrons neighborhood to check in to the 4* Hotel Vatel, your home for the next four nights. After unpacking and relaxing, we'll gather again for a happy hour to enjoy some drinks and snacks while mingling and getting to know each other before our Welcome Dinner at a traditional French restaurant.

Tip: If you have the option, we recommend arriving 1-2 days early in Bordeaux in order to adjust to the time difference and have a buffer in case you encounter travel delays. During our trip you will enjoy a walking tour of the city center, a Medoc wine masterclass at the Vin & Negoce museum, and a visit to Les Bassins de Lumieres. You will also have 3 free evenings in Bordeaux to explore restaurants and wine bars. With extra days before the tour you could visit the Cite du Vin museum, Medoc wineries, spend extra time shopping in Bordeaux, and more! Feel free to email us if you would like us to arrange an extra night at Hotel Vatel for you and send you a list of additional activities and sightseeing recommendations.

Pick up from 11am to 4pm, Hotel Check in - Happy Hour, Welcome Dinner - 4* Hotel Vatel Bordeaux

Vatel Bordeaux Hotel
Bordeaux dinner cruise small group tour France

Day 2- Wine Country & Saint-Émilion

Today we will explore the exquisite world of Bordeaux wine. After crossing both the Garonne and the Dordogne river, we will arrive at a lovely boutique winery where we will visit the estate and sample the wines while the owner tells us her inspiring story. The real treat of this stop is having a delicious lunch together overlooking the endless vineyards of Bordeaux, carefully prepared just for us by the owner. A perfect time to relax and enjoy the beautiful countryside.

Next we'll take a short 30-minute drive to the picturesque village of Saint-Émilion for a walking tour of this medieval gem. Here you will wander cobblestone streets and soak in fascinating history, legends, and architecture like the 12th-century underground church and catacombs- a highlight most visitors miss. The postcard-worthy scenery of vineyards and limestone buildings surrounding this countryside village will be sure to impress!

Our last stop of the day will be at a family-run winery to discover Saint-Émilion's famed wines - some of Bordeaux's most renowned and coveted reds. Tour the vines and old underground quarry cellars of this storied region, whose winemaking pedigree dates back to Roman times. We will finish with a tasting of their delicious wines.

Later, we'll return to Bordeaux for a free evening. Stroll Bordeaux's streets under twilight or relax at a sidewalk café with a glass of Bordeaux. However you spend it, you'll sleep well after a day blending past and present in Saint-Émilion.

Winery Visit & Lunch, St-Émilion Tour, Winery & Underground Tunnels - Free evening - 4* Hotel Vatel Bordeaux

bordeaux dordogne small group tour
Small Group Tour Dordogne Bordeaux Wine
Underground Tunnel Winery St Emilion

Day 3- Highlights of Bordeaux & Medoc Masterclass

Today you'll become intimately acquainted with magnificent Bordeaux on a walking tour of the city's landmarks and historical sites. We'll stroll the Garonne riverfront quai, learning about Bordeaux's Roman settlers and its rise as a port town. You'll admire some of the most famous landmarks of the city including the Miroire d'eau, Porte Cailhau, Eglise St Pierre, Place du Parlement, Rue St Remi, and the Gallerie Bordelaise. We will finish our walk by the Sculpture Sanna in front of the historic Grande Theatre and reward ourselves with a delicious lunch at one of our favorite restaurants in Bordeaux. 

After a lunch break, we'll head to the Musee du Vin et du Negoce for a Médoc wine masterclass and tasting. We will discover the nuances of Médoc wines and explore this small but fascinating museum filled with artifacts chronicling Bordeaux's wine commerce history (This museum is not La Cite du Vin)

Tonight, enjoy your first free evening in glamorous Bordeaux and discover the city's vibrant restaurant scene. We will email you a Bordeaux guide with restaurant recommendations to try, or you can grab some treats from a local bakery for a light dinner or snack and relax in your comfortable hotel room.

Bordeaux: walking tour, lunch, wine museum and Medoc masterclass - Free Evening - 4* Hotel Vatel Bordeaux

Bordeaux, One of the Most Elegant Cities in France
Wine tasting Bordeaux Small Group Tour

Day 4- Art, Countryside, Food & Wine

Before we head back to the countryside, we will visit one of the city's most in-demand attractions: Les Bassins de Lumieres. Culturespaces is a company known for converting abandoned buildings into immersive light show art galleries. Bassin de Lumieres is their most interesting and largest one yet, as they converted an old German U-Boat base into an art center! The unique light show showcases art from the most famous artists in history and integrates music into the show for an unforgettable immersive experience. 2024 Program: From Vermeer to Van Gogh - The Dutch Masters (Read More)

Next we will get on the bus and dive into the UNESCO-recognized savoir-faire of the French Baguette making at a historic water mill. The experience starts with a fascinating bread-making demonstration followed by a guided tour of the mill, where the rhythmic symphony of ancient machinery reveals the intricate process of transforming grains into flour. Discover the captivating tales of the mill's historical significance within the local community and unveil traditional techniques passed down through generations, a highlight of the tour!

For our last stop of the day, get ready for a fun and convivial moment in the company of like-minded new friends on the tour! The workers at a local château will take you on wine-making adventure as you get to participate hands-on in the fascinating process of creating your own personal blend to take home (1/2 bottle).

Tonight is your final free evening in Bordeaux - make it memorable! Savor one last magical night at a Michelin-starred restaurant or cozy French bistro. The perfect finale to your Bordeaux experience.

Bassins de Lumieres, Bread Mill, Lunch, Blending Activity  - Free Evening - 4* Hotel Vatel Bordeaux

Bread making demonstration 8 day Bordeaux & Dordogne Tour
Wine country St Emilion

Day 5- Dordogne, Prehistoric Cave &
Medieval Sarlat-la-Canéda

Embark on the next leg of your journey, venturing into the captivating region of Dordogne, famously known as "the valley of 1,001 castles." This enchanting area, sculpted by the meandering Dordogne River, stands as one of the most picturesque landscapes in all of France and will be your home base for the 3 next nights.

Along our scenic drive, we'll pause at Roque St Christophe, offering a glimpse into prehistoric times. Our exploration continues with a visit to the prehistoric site of Le Moustier, followed by a delightful lunch in the charming village.

We'll then delve into the fascinating Grotte de Rouffignac, known for its prehistoric art. An electric train ride will guide us through its intricate cave systems, where genuine Paleolithic cave art, over 15,000 years old, adorns the limestone walls. Your expert tour guide will provide insights as you witness these remarkable drawings from our ancestors, preserved in their original setting, creating an incredible life experience that establishes a profound connection to our shared prehistoric heritage

Following our explorations, we'll check into the beautiful 4-star Domaine de Monrecour in the annex building. You will have some free time to enjoy the beautiful grounds and heated pools before heading out to Sarlat-la-Caneda for dinner. After a short guided tour, meandering through its historic streets adorned with well-preserved medieval architecture, we will finish the day with a group dinner in the heart of the medieval town. A perfect way to end the day indulging in Périgord cuisine in this picturesque town often referred to as a jewel.

Check-out, Roque St Christoque, Rouffignac Cave, Check-in, Sarlat-la-Caneda - Group Dinner in Sarlat, 4* Hotel Domaine Monrecour Annex Building

Rouffignac Prehistoric Cave Tour Dordogne
Sarlat la Cadena Dordogne
Bordeaux Dordogne 8 day tour accomodation

Day 6- Dordogne's Castles & Gastronomy

Today after a short 10 minute drive we will reach one of our two favorite selected Dordogne castles for the tour: Château des Milandes. Built around 1489 by a Caumont Lord in the Renaissance style to impress his wife, this fairytale castle continues to impress with its timeless looks and most gorgeous gardens. It housed the Caumont family until the French Revolution, after which it eventually became the home of the famous American-born French entertainer and activist Josephine Baker who lived an interesting life and even was a member of La Resistance in WW2! The castle is certainly worth a visit for its rich history and beautiful gardens.

Next, since Dordogne is known for its gastronomic culture and being the foie gras, duck, and truffle capital of France, it only makes sense that we would take you to a truffle farm! We will meet with one of the employees of this local truffle farm and walk amongst the trees while they share their passion and knowledge of cultivating and locating these delicacies with beloved dog Noxo. We will finish this special encounter with a tasting of their homemade truffle butter.

Following some free time at your hotel, our journey continues to our other favorite castle in Dordogne: the majestic Beynac Castle. Perched dramatically on a limestone cliff, this 12th-century fortress offers breathtaking valley views that are nothing short of awe-inspiring. The medieval charm and incredible vistas of Beynac Castle promise an unforgettable experience. After the tour, we'll gather for dinner in the village, savoring a delightful Perigord meal together to conclude a day filled with history, culture, and culinary delights.

Chateau des Milandes, Truffle Farm, Chateau de Beynac, Beynac Village - Group Dinner in Beynac, 4* Hotel Domaine Monrecour Annex Building

Les Milandes Castle, Dordogne, France, Small Group Tour
Truffle farm tour Dordogne
Dordogne Beynac Small Group Tour France Off Beaten Path

Day 7- Cliff-Hanging Villages of Dordogne

Today we will retrace the steps of centuries of countless pilgrims with a walking tour of Rocamadour, a medieval hillside village that seems straight out of a postcard. You will be amazed at the harmony of man’s creation and nature as the buildings and landscape complement each other perfectly. Notably recognized as a site of pilgrimage and also an alternative route on the Santiago de Compostela Road, Rocamadour holds spiritual significance. During our visit, we'll delve into the fascinating history of the village, particularly focusing on its revered relics. Read more about Rocamadour fascinating history here.

Following the walking tour, you’ll have some free time to explore the village before we drive to our lunch spot—a refined restaurant with an incredible view of the cliff-hanging village of Rocamadour.

On the way back to your hotel, we will make a stop at the picturesque village of La Roque Gageac, which is labeled as "one of the most beautiful villages of France". You will have some free time to wander around and explore this picture perfect village by the Dordogne river, gaze up at the limestone cliff, and see remnants of a troglodyte fortress above the town before we head back to our beautiful hotel.

Tonight is a free evening. Unwind on our hotel's lovely grounds, get dinner at the hotel restaurant, or take a taxi into charming Sarlat for a night out if you have the energy! We will stop at a bakery on our way back for the ones that don't wish to dine at the hotel restaurant.

Rocamadour, La Roque-Gageac - Free Evening, 4* Hotel Domaine Monrecour Annex building

Rocamadour Cliff village
Rocamadour small group tour (1)
Dordogne Valley France must see

Day 8- French Market, Lascaux Cave & Farewell Dinner

On our last full day, we'll live out a dreamy French experience - visiting a local village market! We will return to Sarlat-la-Canéda for their famous market day. You will be able to use your maps that we give you to explore the town and the bustling market stalls filled with regional delicacies, fresh produce, artisans and more. 

Last but certainly not least, we cannot leave Dordogne without visiting the fascinating Lascaux IV museum containing an exact replica of the prehistoric cave paintings discovered here in 1940 by four local teenagers. This immersive exhibit lets you relive the wonder and excitement the four adventurous boys must have felt when they made the original discovery of the Lascaux cave and stumbled upon hundreds of 15,000 year old paintings. We will have a quick lunch here on site before the guided tour. 

After the cave tour, we'll bid adieu to idyllic Dordogne and drive to Bordeaux. Late afternoon you will check into the Sheraton Hotel at the airport where you'll have free time to refresh and relax before we gather one last time for our farewell dinner. Over a gourmet meal, we'll reminisce on our week of food, wine, history, culture and camaraderie. It's been a trip to remember!

The next morning, head home (or continue your adventures!) with hearts full of memories, already dreaming of your next visit. Au revoir for now, France!

Check-out, French Market in Sarlat, Lascaux IV, Check-in - Farewell Dinner, Sheraton Hotel Bordeaux Airport

Sarlat Small Group Tour Dordogne Perigord France
Sarlat-la-Caneda, one of the most beautiful villages of France
small group tour dordogne bordeaux

Day 9- Departure

The time to say goodbye to beautiful Bordeaux and newfound friends. The hotel shuttle will take airport-departing guests to catch their flights home. For those leaving by train, we'll arrange transportation to the St Jean train station.

We hope you've enjoyed experiencing France as a local thanks to our carefully crafted itinerary and intimate small group travel.  Wherever your next destination, may it be filled with more French joie de vivre. Safe travels and au revoir! Departure for your train or plane before noon.

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