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The South of France from West to East

£3308 pp

Bordeaux, France, Provence

10 Days

Private Tour for 2 People

The South of France from West to East

What You'll Do

This all-encompassing tour of the south coast of France covers the beautiful Chateaux and wine region of the Dordogne, medieval fortified cities and incredible architecture all the way to Avignon, the olive groves and ancient abbeys of Luberon, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Provence. Along the way you'll discover incredible hidden local gems, immerse yourself in the stunning local culture and cuisine, and get off the beaten track with the help of your local guide for an adventure that will stay with you forever.

Your journey starts in the beautiful city of Bordeaux, and heads all the way from east to the west by train and by private transfer, showing you all the highlights of the beautiful regions you pass through as well as some hidden gems known only by the locals.

With friendly, English-speaking guides and drivers, you will see the landscape brought to life – medieval castles and fortified cities with tales of siege and war, and ancient Roman ruins and Gothic cathedrals with stories of religious leaders and quirky, little-known anecdotes.

From the sun setting over impossibly picturesque villages to sipping wine in a buzzing little square in the French countryside, these unique moments will shape a tour that showcases the very best of the region and helps you truly get to know it like a local.

This tour gives you the opportunity to travel in an environmentally sustainable fashion, taking the train from London to Paris and then on to Bordeaux for your journey southwards, and the same for your return.

The train journeys on this adventure represent some of the most memorable moments on your holiday; enjoy the comforts and luxury of first-class tickets and sweep through the gorgeous French hills and forests.

By the time you return home, you’ll have experienced the very best of the region, and have seen it in a fashion that has had minimal impact upon our planet.

Experience
Highlights

Explore one of the most beautiful hilltop villages in France in Gasgone

Wander through vineyards and travel by first class train on a luxurious journey through France

Get a unique local perspective of some of France's most historically rich towns and cities

Your Local Host:

Pierre

I was born in Paris and lived there for most of my life until I moved to Bordeaux for a new job to work for a wine company. During my time here, I completely fell in love with Bordeaux and truly discovered what we call in French art de vivre (the art of living).

Experience Itinerary

Arrival into Bordeaux

Arrive into Bordeaux, and we recommend you do this by train. By travelling from London St. Pancras, you can take the Eurostar to Paris followed by a high-speed train from the French capital all the way to Bordeaux.

A comfortable and environmentally friendly way to travel, taking airport transfers and waiting time into account the train journey adds a negligible amount of time to your overall journey.

Once you arrive, you’ll get a private transfer from the station or airport to your hotel, where you can spend the rest of the day exploring the city at your leisure, ready for the adventure to come.

A Day in the Dordogne Region

After a leisurely breakfast in your hotel, your first full day in France will be spent on a private tour with a friendly, English-speaking guide to the Dordogne Region.

Start by heading 10km south of Sarlat to the banks of the Dordogne to discover the incredibly imposing Beynac-et-Cazenac, a medieval castle once besieged by Richard the Lionheart. Surrounded by lush forest and lauze-roofed houses, it’s a truly inspiring sight and a magnificent way to begin the tour.

Next you’ll head to La Roque-Gageac, and wander through this incredibly picturesque village that encompasses everything you’d come to expect from rural France, with an old-world kind of charm and stunning views at what seems like every corner.

Finally, you’ll explore the precipitously located village of Domme, perched on a cliff edge with sweeping views of the Dordogne Valley, dotted with other idyllic little villages.

Bordeaux to Carcassonne

This morning, enjoy another breakfast at your hotel, and then check out to travel via 1st class train to Carcassonne.

After a beautifully scenic journey in true comfort and luxury, you’ll jump in your private transfer to your next hotel.

In the afternoon you’ll enjoy a private walking tour of this most magical of fortified cities, one of the best-preserved in Europe and steeped in history and archeological beauty.

The narrow lanes and imposing fortifications will transport you back to the time of the Cathars, and your guide will bring the city to life with stories of invasions and battles throughout the city’s history.

The backdrop for so many films and TV series, Carcassonne is one of the highlights of the south of France.

The Cathares Castle

After another hotel breakfast, make your way to the jaw-dropping Cathares Castle, one of the most iconic sights in all of France.

Immersed in deep forest and atop a sheer limestone cliff, the castle offers incredible panoramic views of the region, and is a site that allows your imagination to run wild.

Your entrance fee to the castle is all organised and paid for, so you can simply relax and explore this incredible fortress, a place to truly get lost in and learn the stories that have taken place in the atmospheric hallways and chambers.

Carcassonne to Avignon

Check out of your hotel in Carcassonne, then get your private transfer to your next 1st class train, this one travelling from Carcassonne to Avignon. Yet again you’ll be travelling in extreme comfort and through magnificent scenery.

At Avignon a private transfer will be arranged to take you to your next hotel.

In the afternoon you’ll enjoy a walking tour around the ‘city of the Popes’, and get to know a city that boasts as much history and culture as any in Europe.

From the Pope’s Palace to the stunning city walls, the cobbled streets of Place de l’Horloge to the natural beauty of the Rhône, there is a huge amount of atmosphere and aesthetic beauty to explore in Avignon.

Nimes, Uzes and the Pont du Gard

After you’ve had breakfast at your hotel, you’ll embark on a full-day private tour of three of the most compelling sites around Avignon.

Start at Nimes, a beautiful city that mixes Romanesque and Gothic architecture to dramatic effect, before heading to Uzes, a beautiful little hidden gem in the south of France overlooked by far too many visitors.

You’ll also drink in the majesty of the Pont du Gard, a stunning Roman three-tiered bridge that you’re sure to have seen photos of, but will be blown away by when you see it in person.

Full Day Exploring Luberon

Today you’ll get to spend a full day exploring the wonderful Luberon region, an area famous for its olive groves, Roman ruins, vineyards, lavender fields, and the orange-red cliffs near the village of Roussillon.

Continue to Gordes, ranked as one of the most beautiful villages in all of France, built entirely from dry stones and perched atop of hill giving it wonderful views of the surrounding landscape.

If you pick the right time of year (mid-June to mid-July), then there will be a stop at Senanque Abbey to drink in the famous sight of the lavender fields, and if you time your visit to land on a Sunday, you can also visit L’Isle sur la Sorgue, a village famous for its quirky antique markets.

Avignon to Aix en Provence

Today you’ll hop into a private transfer from Avignon to Aix en Provence, checking into your final hotel for your adventure around this incredible stretch of southern France.

Drink in the elegant facades and the 17th and 18th-century charm of the city, and discover a little French cuisine, which in itself has been declared a “world intangible heritage”.

You’ll have a food tour in Aix and enjoy tasting classic French Patisserie and other snacks, to top of an authentic trip around this Provence gem.

Free Day to Explore

After eight days of activities and exploring, it’s time to simply relax and unwind on your last day, where you can explore at your leisure, kick back in a park or a cafe, and watch the world go by.

Make the most of your last day with us, as Aix en Provence holds plenty of hidden gems and great museums and galleries, and your local guide will be more than happy to provide you with recommendations of what to do or where to go on this day.

Departure Day

Enjoy a final French breakfast in your hotel before getting your final transfer to the TGV Station, where you can take the train back to Bordeaux and either catch your train or flight home.

We hope you have had an unforgettable time in the south of France and will travel with us again soon!

Location Information

The tour begins in Bordeaux. You can choose to fly to or get two high-speed trains from London via Paris. We would recommend taking the train as its not only environmentally friendly, its a relaxing and efficient travel option.

The tour progresses from Bordeaux eastwards, finishing in Aix en Provence, where you will be taken via transfer to the nearest high-speed train station.

  • Accommodation for 9 nights in 4* hotels
  • All private transfers as mentioned above
  • 1st class train tickets on days 3 and 5
  • Private tours with English speaking guides