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Exploring Bordeaux & the Dordogne 

A tour hosted by Tony Aspler, and escorted by Stephen Pauwels & Cathy Martin

Wednesday, May 18, to Saturday, May 28, 2016

Tour Cost: $6,995 per person double occupancy,
Land only: $6,605
Single Supplement: $1,295

Download the application form and full terms and conditions

PROPOSED ITINERARY:

Day 1 – Wednesday, May 18:
Departure for Paris from Toronto with Air France at 6:30 PM.

Day 2 – Thursday, May 19: [B, D]
Via connection in Paris, 11:10 AM arrival in Bordeaux. Immediate transfer to our hotel for the next 5 nights, the Grand Hotel de Bordeaux (www.ghbordeaux.com), Bordeaux's top address with an unbeatable location in the heart of the city's historical centre, the "golden triangle." Free time to relax after the long journey. In late afternoon or early evening we will enjoy a welcome cocktail on our hotel's famous rooftop patio, to be followed by a welcome group dinner in a specially selected bistro nearby.

Day 3 – Friday, May 20: [B, L]
Late morning visit to Chateau Smith Haute Lafitte in Pessac-Léognan, an appellation in the southern outskirts of the city and part of the Graves region of Bordeaux. Unlike most Bordeaux appellations, Pessac-Léognan is equally famous for both red and (dry) white wines. It includes the only red-wine producer outside the Haut-Médoc classified in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, the "primordial" and prototypical premier cru, Château Haut-Brion. Lunch with Smith Haute Lafitte's owners Daniel and Florence Cathiard at the Two-Michelin-starred restaurant on the premises, La Grande Vigne. Late afternoon return to Bordeaux and free evening.

Day 4 – Saturday, May 21: [B, D]
Morning guided sightseeing tour of Bordeaux, including the Place de la Comédie, which sits atop the ancient Roman forum, the beautiful Grand Théatre, built in the late 1700s and now a venue for opera and events, the striking Place de la Bourse, and the ethereal 11th century Cathedral Saint-André. Free time for lunch. In the afternoon, optional tasting session in the Conseil des Vins du Médoc. Group dinner this evening in our hotel's fine restaurant, Le Pressoir d'Argent, recently taken over by Chef Gordon Ramsay.

Day 5 – Sunday, May 22: [B]
Free morning to relax and enjoy the city at your leisure. Afternoon excursion to the Sauternes/Barsac region in the southern Graves, the only appellation in Bordeaux exclusively devoted to the production of white wine. The most famous wines of the area are the complex, sweet wines derived from grapes affected by a benevolent fungus known as Botrytis or "noble rot." The luxurious, concentrated wines that result are the most labor-intensive and expensive wines in all of Bordeaux to produce! Visit to one of Sauternes top producers for a tour and tasting. Return to Bordeaux and free evening.

Day 6 – Monday, May 23: [B, L]
A full day of tasting visits at specially selected estates in the Médoc sub-region of the Bordeaux, with famous villages such as Margaux, St. Julien, Pauillac, and St. Estèphe; details TBA.

Day 7 – Tuesday, May 24: [B, D]
Departure after breakfast. We cross the "Entre-Deux-Mers" region between Dordogne and Garonne, tributaries of the Gironde Estuary, then motor eastward into the magnificent Dordogne River Valley and via the town of Bergerac, to our base for the next two days, the Vieux Logis Relais & Chateaux in the tiny town of Tremolat (www.vieux-logis.com). In the afternoon we explore fairytale castles, storybook villages, and idyllic countryside that make the "Dordogne" region one of the most appealing in France. Dinner this evening in our hotel's acclaimed restaurant in arguably the most beautiful dining room in the Dordogne region.

Day 8 – Wednesday, May 25: [B, L]
Further explorations through the Dordogne countryside including the beautiful medieval towns of Sarlat and the amazing medieval castle of Beynac. Group lunch in a specially chosen restaurant before visiting the spectacular village of Rocamadour, defying the laws of gravity on its clifftop perch 1,500 feet above the Alzou River gorge. Late afternoon return to hotel and free evening.

Day 9 – Thursday, May 26: [B, D]
Departure from the hotel after breakfast. We return to the Bordeaux region in order to spend our final two days exploring the "Right Bank," a region that is very different from the "Left Bank" of the Médoc Peninsula. Our base will be the historic Grand Chateau Barrail (www.grand-barrail.com), located just outside the incredibly charming town of St. Emilion. A brief tour of the town with free time for lunch and further explorations before a late afternoon tasting visit at one of St. Emilion's top estates. Group dinner this evening.

Day 10 – Friday, May 27: [B, D]
Visits in St. Emilion and neighbouring Pomerol (Vieux Château Certan and Château Figeac confirmed to date). Farewell group dinner this evening at the legendary, Michelin-starred Hostellerie de Plaisance in St. Emilion.

Day 11 – Saturday, May 28: [B]
Transport to Bordeaux Airport to catch the 10:20 AM flight for Toronto via Paris.

Tour Cost: $6,995 per person double occupancy,
Land only: $6,605
Single Supplement: $1,295

Included in the price are:

  • Return flight on Air France
  • Accommodation, based on double occupancy, in 4 & 5 star/first-class hotels – the surcharge for single use of a double room is $1,295
  • Buffet breakfast daily and a total of eight dinners (or full lunch)
  • All drinks with lunch or dinner
  • Transfers and all visits and sightseeing as described in the itinerary
  • Gratuities to guides

Not included:

  • ***The usual combination of airport taxes, fuel surcharges, and security fees, presently (November 2015) approximately $625. but subject to change
  • All items of a personal nature
  • Travel Insurance now available with Manulife Insurance Company, please call for rates

Download the application form and full terms and conditions

 

 

 

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