Occitanie, The Dordogne & Bordeaux

Embark on a connoisseur journey beginning with the Occitanie region uncovering some of the most astonishing medieval towns, exemplary wines of Cahors & the Lot Valley and then a less-trodden sojourn into the civilizations along the Dordogne before a fitting finale in Bordeaux on this Signature Wine, Food and Heritage Journey. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Experience the magical landscapes of the Occitanie & Dordogne

Savour exquisite wines of Cahors & Bordeaux and gastronomy 

Stay in refined chateaus and the remarkable Les Sources de Caudalie

Enjoy an insightful experience of the wine country of France

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE TOULOUSE / MONTAUBAN / THE LOT VALLEY

Arrive into Toulouse Blagnac Airport from your domestic flight from Paris and then begin a short and scenic drive to the medieval city of Montauban, nestled on the banks of the Tarn River and an important trading city during the Wars of Religion period. Enjoy a walkthrough of the historic old town lined with distinctive pink buildings before a stop at the picturesque Old Bridge, built in the early 14th Century with its iconic seven arches. Thereafter, continue our drive into the heart of the Lot Valley where you will arrive at the incredibly-beautiful Chateau de Mercues, a 13th Century chateau and former residence of the Counts and Bishops of Cahors. 

Overnight: Chateau de Mercues, Lot Valley

Meals: NIL

DAY 2: THE LOT VALLEY

A fresh day begins as a short drive arrives in the romantic city of Cahors, meandered by the stunning Lot River. Be greeted by the spectacular sight of Cahor's unmistakable icon, the 14th Century UNESCO World Heritage-listed Valentre Bridge with the backdrop of the fortified towers. We take a walk into the old town to marvel at the medieval streets revealing the charming squares and arcades of boutiques, restaurants and shops before arriving for an insight into the atmospheric Cahors Market (opens every Wednesdays and Saturdays) - showcasing regional produce such as the Rocamadour cheeses, Quercy farm-reared lamb, Perigord walnuts, foie gras, Quercy melon and of course the exceptional range of Cahors Malbec wines.

 

 

Thereafter, continue to one of the most beautiful villages in France, Saint-Cirq Lapopie, perched majestically above the Lot River. Learn about the feudal dynasties that created the fortified medieval village characterised by the Lapopie, Gourdon and Cardaillac clans. Not far away, we arrive at the fortress village of Rocamadour, nestled in a gorge above a tributary of the River Dordogne, renowned for its historical monuments and the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin as well as the 13th Century Notre Dame Chapel, perched on a cliff. We then return back to Chateau de Mercues. 

Overnight: Chateau de Mercues, Lot Valley

Meals: Breakfast 

DAY 3: LOT VALLEY / THE DORDOGNE 

We leave Chateau de Mercues today and head north to the beautiful town of Domme, lined with beautiful 13th Century buildings and renowned for the Grotte de Domme - caves which provided shelter for inhabitants during the Hundred Years War. Thereafter, a short drive takes us to the beautiful Dordogne River where we then arrive at the stunning town of La Roque Gageac - classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Here, we hop onboard our private "Gabares" boat - medieval-styled flat bottomed boats that used to transport goods and especially wine from the vineyards which run along the length of the Dordogne since the Middle Ages.

 

 

Enjoy a wonderful and sensory ride meandering through the spectacular scenery before arriving at the 12th Century medieval fortress of Chateau de Castelnaud where we enjoy a fascinating visit of this amazing historical monument.

 

 

 

 

Later, a short drive takes us to the stunning and photogenic village of Beynac-et-Cazenac - site of many period films and Hollywood productions. Spend some time to enjoy the medieval charm of the village before arriving at the exceptional Le Vieux Logis. This evening, enjoy a fine degustation dinner at its 1 Michelin Star restaurant by Chef Vincent Arnould who specialize in traditional Perigord cuisine using the region's specialities such as the black truffles, foie gras, walnuts and cheese. 

Overnight: Le Vieux Logis, Tremolat

Meals: Breakfast & Degustation Dinner

DAY 4: THE DORDOGNE / SAINT EMILION / CHATEAU SMITH HAUT LAFITTE

Spend a leisure morning soaking to the beautiful gardens and surroundings of the Le Vieux Logis and later, we continue our journey west to the important wine town of Saint Emilion where vineyards has been grown since Roman times and renowned for producing some of the world's most prestigious and expensive wines. We visit the remarkable Chateau Cheval Blanc visiting its cellars and tasting of some of its exceptional vintage such as the Dom Perignon 2002 and the 2000 Chateau Cheval Blanc Premier Grand Cru Classe amongst the many that you will sample today before sitting down for an amazing lunch paired with the classic vintages.

 

Next, we visit another remarkable winery, the Chateau Figeac where we will sample its amazing vintages. Finally, a short drive takes us to a most sensational stay at the Les Sources de Caudalie, nestled in the vineyards of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte

Overnight: Les Sources de Caudalie

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 5: CHATEAU SMITH HAUT LAFITTE (ROUTE DES CHATEAUX)

A leisure day begins with a walking tour of the Graves vineyards at Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, some of the oldest in Bordeaux for an insightful understanding of the legendary vines or consider a visit to the owners' private cellar and taste the estate's first wine. Later, a short drive takes us to Medoc on the famed Route des Chateaux where some of the best wines are produced in estates such as the Cos d'Estournel and the Chateau Lafite Rothschild.

 

 

Thereafter, we drive to Pomerol, smallest of all Bordeaux wine producing appellations but home to some of the most sought-after and expensive wines in the world. Have the opportunity to visit some of the uncharted estates for a complete wine education journey before returning to Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte where this evening, enjoy a degustation dinner at its 2 Michelin Star La Grand'Vigne Restaurant headed by Chef Nicolas Masse savouring the amazing flavours of the Atlantic Coast and the Dordogne. 

Overnight: Les Sources de Caudalie

Meals: Breakfast & Degustation Dinner

DAY 6: CHATEAU SMITH HAUT LAFITTE / BORDEAUX 

Today, you will be transferred to Bordeaux Merignac Airport or to the heart of Bordeaux for your onward journey. 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

Be transported by the unique feel at the Chateau de Mercues, a Relais & Chateaux wine estate hotel perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the picturesque Lot Valley and Cahors vineyards where you will immerse in the wonderful surroundings and gastronomic experience in this former medieval castle. 

Chateau de Mercues, The Lot Valley

Enter a unique residence steeped in charm and elegance. Le Vieux Logis is a Relais & Chateaux hotel that was formerly an estate dedicated to tobacco production. Today, it is an exceptional hotel situated in Tremolat, along the Dordogne River offering a sensory experience combined with gastronomic treats at its 1 Michelin Star restaurant. 

Le Vieux Logis, The Dordogne

Les Sources de Caudalie is located among the vineyards of Chateau Smith Haute Lafitte, a Graves great growth established in 1999 and features the world's first Vinotherapy Spa, making use of a natural spring 540m underground as well as vine and grape extracts. Enjoy a spectacular gastronomy journey at its 2 Michelin Star La Grand'Vigne Restaurant headed by Chef Nicolas Masse. 

Les Sources de Caudalie, Chateau Smith Haute Lafitte

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