Leading Specialists in European Barge Cruises

Spectacular South West

 

Spectacular South West

Tour Summary

In 2019, Toujours France celebrates its 20th anniversary – 20 years of wonderful travels, many destinations, and the birth of life-long friendships. On this tour we explore the stunning Dordogne region, and as it is a short tour of just one week, you can combine this with other travel arrangements in Europe, or may we suggest a beautiful barge cruise afterwards?! 

The south western French region of Perigord, or as many of us know it, the “Dordogne”, is a feast of historic sites, perched villages, deep river valleys and the “land of 1,000 chateaux”. Duck, goose, foie gras, walnuts and truffles are just some of the highlights of the cuisine of this stunningly beautiful region, and the full bodied red wines of Bordeaux the perfect accompaniment. Our tour embraces the history of the Hundred Years’ War, the ancient castles, prehistoric cave art and some of the most picturesque medieval towns and villages of France. Our first stay is in a beautiful country setting, a gorgeous Relais & Chateaux hotel in the tiny village of Tremolat, on the banks of the Dordogne River. Our next location in the perfectly preserved town of Sarlat-La-Caneda, with its honey coloured stone and lauze rooves, each evening is a treat as we wander among cobbled streets, discovering shops, restaurants and truly awe-inspiring buildings.

You may already have other arrangements planned in Europe; but after the Dordogne tour how about a week of cruising on one of our luxury hotel barges?! Fascinating excursions; plenty of relaxation time spent cruising, bike riding or walking; and fabulous food and wine – provided by our talented on-board chef, each meal is a new and exciting gourmet treat, accompanied by delicious French cheeses from a variety of regions! Enjoy your first drink of each evening on deck, with the sun setting over the river – a relaxing, delightful end to your day of barging…

We can suggest available barge cruises at time of booking!

2019 TOUR DATES:
26th May – 2nd June, 2019

TOUR PRICE:
€3,980 euros per person twin/double share
€1,340 euros single supplement

TOUR INCLUSIONS:
Meals as per itinerary (all include wine), breakfasts throughout the tour, private air conditioned buses on day tours, accommodation in luxury hotels, all entries and excursions, the full time services of your tour director Sue Heine.

Detailed Itinerary

Detailed Itinerary

Sunday 26th May

Our tour begins with an afternoon pick up at a centrally-located hotel in Bordeaux. To get to Bordeaux, we recommend either flying or taking the train from Paris; alternatively, a few days in Bordeaux is a delightful stay and we can recommend some fabulous hotels! After meeting at the designated pick up point, we continue on to the tiny village of Tremolat, home to “Le Vieux Logis”, a beautiful Relais & Chateaux hotel chosen so that we can spend an idyllic couple of days enjoying a countryside surrounding. The hotel offers two beautiful restaurants, a bistro in a little square near the hotel, and a Michelin starred restaurant set in a charming setting in a former tobacco drying house. This evening we’ll enjoy dinner in the bistro. (D)

 

Monday 27th May

The charming little village of Limeuil is located at the confluence of the Vezere and Dordogne rivers, with streets winding through the village between the honey-coloured houses and scattered pretty gardens. Classified as one of the most beautiful villages of France, we’ll enjoy a taste of the Dordogne here before returning to the hotel and enjoying a free afternoon relaxing. (B, L)

 

Tuesday 28th May

The Dordogne region is famous for its prehistoric caves and cave paintings, and today we visit Grotte de Font de Gaume, one of the only remaining original caves open to the public. After visiting this amazing site, we continue with a visit to La Roque St Christophe, the largest cave site in Western Europe which was once inhabited by a whole village of people. Dinner this evening in the Michelin starred restaurant at Le Vieux Logis. (B,D)

 

Wednesday 29th May

This morning we continue to our second stop for the week, the exquisite town of Sarlat-La-Caneda. Due to impeccable restoration after WW2, Sarlat has remained preserved and one of the towns most representative of 14th century France. It is absolutely stunning and a delight to wander in, especially in the evenings when the stone buildings of the old town are beautifully illuminated, creating a magical ambience. After our arrival we’ll settle in to our hotel, which is located just on the edge of the old town, and then discover the history, beauty and wonderful architecture of Sarlat on a walking tour of the historic centre.

 

After our tour, free time for lunch and a relaxing afternoon to explore Sarlat further – the tiny laneways and hidden corners are some of the most beautiful in France. During this stay in Sarlat, we have deliberately left most of the evenings free so that you can wander and enjoy the diverse range of dining options in the old town. However this evening we will begin our stay here with dinner at the renowned Le Presidial, seat of the royal court in the 17th century. (B, D)

 

Thursday 30th May

Today we will discover more of medieval France with a visit to the 12th century Chateau of Castelnaud, with its fascinating medieval military museum and stunning views over the Dordogne Valley. Lunch at a local restaurant before taking the scenic route along the Dordogne River to the feudal village of Beynac. Beynac castle is ancient – it was built in the time of Richard the Lionheart, and it has undergone a fantastic restoration which enables visitors to see it in all its glory, filled with colourful tapestries, frescoes and fireplaces. Looking out from the castle ramparts you’ll see several other castles close by, a reminder that during the Hundred Years War more than 1000 castles were built in the Dordogne to support the fight against the British. Beynac has featured in a couple of well-known films set in the Dordogne, including Chocolat and The Joan of Arc Story. (B, L)

 

Friday 31st May

Today we visit the perched village of Rocamadour, which boasts one of the most fascinating histories in France. Rocamadour has been an important pilgrimage destination for 1000 years – built on the site of an original shrine to a Madonna, the shrine became famous for its healing powers, and soon became a stop on the pilgrimage path to Santiago de Campostela. Another reason for our visit is because of the beautiful and dramatic setting of the village, tumbling down the cliff side.

On our return home, we will stop for lunch in a fabulous country setting at a renowned local restaurant. Free evening this evening. (B, L)

 

 

Saturday 1st June

Today is the Saturday Market in Sarlat – this is one of the most picturesque markets of the region. Afterwards we enjoy local produce bought at the market, on the banks of the river by the beautiful riverside village of La Roque Gageac, classified as one of the “plus beaux villages de France” (as is Beynac). We’ll then spend an hour cruising on a “Gabare” or traditional Dordogne river boat, enjoying the wonderful views of the village and castles from the river. (B, L)

 

Sunday 2nd June

Today our tour in the south-west ends and we will arrange your transfer return to Bordeaux, or help you make arrangements to your next destination!

Dordogne Photo Gallery