FRANCE: Bordeaux - French Art of Living - Gourmet Indulgence Tour - 4 Days
Destinations: Paris, Bordeaux, Saint Emilion, Pomerol, Médoc and Paris
Tour Grading EASY: Suitable for travellers with an average level of fitness and mobility
Tour Commences In: Paris
Number of Days: 4 days / 3 nights
Accommodation: 5 & 4 Star Modern & Boutique Hotels
Leaders: Professional wine specialist
Tour Concludes In: Paris
Tour Style: Luxury Small Group Tour
Meals: Breakfasts; 3: Lunches; 3: Dinners; 3:
Transportation: Luxury private chauffeur driven air-conditioned vehicles
Bordeaux wine comes from around Bordeaux region in the South West of France and this wine growing region covers 117,500 acres and is ranked as the third wine producing department of France. The red wines are based on the grape varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit-Verdot, whereas the white wines use three main varieties of grapes: Sauvignon, Sémillon and Muscadelle.
There are six main wine growing regions in Bordeaux:
(1) Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superior,
(4) Médoc from Haut-Médoc, Margaux, Listrac, Moulis, Saint Julien, Paulliac to Saint-Estèphe,
(5) Libournais which comprises the Saint Emilion, Pomerol, Lalande de Pomerol, Côte de Castillon and Francs (6) L’Entre-deux-Mer – the region between the rivers of Dordogne and Garonne within the department of Gironde
- A wine specialist will accompany you during your entire time in Bordeaux and guide you through your discovery of the regions wines
- Bordeaux is a city designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site
- Be captivated with the city of Bordeaux; with its neoclassical Opera house on the Place de la Comédie, the lovely horse shoe square, Place de la Bourse with its reflection in the water, the Parliament Square, the 15th century stone gateway, (Porte Cailhau)
- the quarter of Pey Berland with its Tower and St André Cathedral and pass by the Rohan Palace (City Hall today) surrounded by the many art museums of Bordeaux
- Walk along the historic pedestrian shopping street of Rue Saint Catherine
- Stop at a pastry shop famous for a Bordeaux speciality called the ‘Canalé’
- Discover the world renowned wines of Saint Emilion; Le Clos Fourtet and participate in a tasting of their wines
- Walk the beautiful medieval city of Saint Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage site
- Visit the underground caves of the Saint Emilion monks, the catacombs, the paintings of the Trinity chapel and the unique Monolithic church
- Stroll along the ancient cobblestone streets of this charming village soaking up its ambiance
- Climb the 187 stairs up to the bell tower of the Monolithic church for a spectacular panoramic view of the vineyards and monuments
- Enjoy a degustation of its wines at Lalande de Pomerol
- Experience the château life by staying at the 4 star Hotel and Spa, situated amongst famous vineyards
- Savour the wines of the estate of the Margaux appellation
- Walk Paulliac, this pretty port town is the capital of Médoc
- Tour the Château Mouton Rothschild, this famous estate and museum is dedicated to the art of wine that has been created in the cellars of this estate
- Visit Saint Estèphe to visit the Roman church with its baroque interiors and is located in the centre of vineyards.
- Château de Pichon Longueville for a visit and a tasting of their wines.
- Relax with a spa treatment of 2 hours (moisturising scrub + oil massage)
- Or participate in a cooking lesson with our famous French chef who introduces you to the secrets of gourmet cuisine during his cooking classes from 10:00am to 12:30pm. You return from the classes with a recipe book.
- Or visit Château of Lynch Bages vineyards and cellars and for a degustation of their wines
- Private international airport arrival and departure transfers for all guests
- 5 & 4 star modern & boutique accommodation as per your choice
- Hotel porterage (1 bag per person)
- Chauffeur driven luxury air- conditioned private vehicles for all transfers & sightseeing
- Fully escorted by our experienced professional wine expert & tour guide
- Meals as indicated in Itinerary; B = Breakfast: L=Lunch: D=Dinner:
- Entrance fees to all sights, monuments, activities and excursions as per the itinerary
- Bottled water whilst touring in vehicle
- An exclusive BT&T travel information booklet
- Day 1: Tuesday: Bordeaux: City of wine, art, culture and gastronomy:
- Day 2: Wednesday: Saint Emilion and Pomerol:
- Day 3: Thursday: Visit the famous wineries of Médoc:
- Day 4: Friday: Cooking classes or Spa and return via the other wine regions of Médoc:
All our hotels are excellent four and five star boutique hotels. We highly recommend our hotels as they have excellent services and facilities. All rooms have modern facilities, private bathrooms with double or twin beds.
Climate & Clothing:
In summer the weather in France is mild to warm, the temperature average between June and July is about 78°F - 26°C. Summers are relatively dry, but rain does occur all year round. The general rule is to bring comfortable clothing including lightweight cottons. Comfortable walking shoes are essential as is a light waterproof jacket.
Currency & Money Matters:
The official currency in France is EURO (€). On January 1, 2002, the Euro became the official currency for 300 million Europeans, in use in 12 countries of the European Union. ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas.
The electrical current in France is 220 volts AC, 50Hz. The European two-pin plug is standard.
You must obtain Comprehensive Travel Insurance as a condition of travelling with Boutique Tours & Travel. We recommend that you purchase insurance at the time of Booking.
French is the official language, but English is widely understood in the main tourist areas.
Our hotels offer a wonderful selection of dishes at their buffet breakfasts with a wide variety of both menu and venue for lunches and evening meals.
Medical Services & Facilities:
Our hotels have access to a doctor if required. They can also assist guests with purchasing of medicine. The international hospitals in France are very good and have western trained medical and surgical specialists. Dental care is also available.
Passports & Visas:
To enter France you require a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry and with at least two blank pages. No visa is required for tourists.
Pre & Post Tour Accommodation:
Boutique Tours & Travel suggests that you may like to arrive a day before the start of your tour to allow time to relax and refresh. You are also very welcome to linger longer after the tour is completed.
Please ask for details at time of booking. Local tour guides are also available on request.
We welcome single travellers and we are able to arrange single accommodation. We negotiate strongly to keep single supplements at a reasonable cost. If you wish to share a room, we will endeavour to match you with another single guest and adjust the costs accordingly and refund any costs after you return home. We accept no responsibility for the suitability of a room partner.
Specific requests such as adjacent or connecting rooms, bedding requests, smoking or non-smoking rooms and special dietary needs or any other arrangement should be advised at time of booking. Please note that every effort will be made to secure your special request; however, they cannot always be guaranteed.
France Standard time is GMT +1 (GMT + 2 during Summer Daylight Saving Time)
Our small group tours provide you with a good balance of group activity and personal discovery.
We generally use modern deluxe minibuses for tours. We also walk where and when it’s suitable.
Water & Beverages:
Our hotels offer bottled water and bottled water is provided throughout the day. Alcoholic beverages are not included in the cost of this tour.
- City of Bordeaux
- The Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion and its historic vineyard landscape
The estate of Château Margaux has been occupied since at least the 12th century, with the site occupied by a fortified castle known as Lamothe or La Mothe (from motte, a small rise in the land), and wine under names such as "Margou" and "Margous" was known in the 15th century, but it was with the arrival of the Lestonnac family in the 16th century that wine production became of particular importance, and in the 1570s Pierre de Lestonnac expanded the property and cleared many of the grain fields to make way for vines.
In 1771, wine from the estate became the first claret to be sold at Christie's,and upon visiting Bordeaux in 1787, Thomas Jefferson made note of Château Margaux as one of the "four vineyards of first quality".
Large portions of shares in the estate were bought by the Bordeaux wine merchant Fernand Ginestet in 1925. In 1965, his son, Pierre Ginestet controversially declared a new estate policy that the vintage year would only be affixed to great vintages, while selling the wine of lesser years as non-vintage wine, like the customary practice of Champagne.
Following the Bordeaux economic crisis of 1973, the Ginestet family were forced to sell Château Margaux.
In 1976 it was purchased by a French grocery and finance group Félix Potin, headed by Greek André Mentzelopoulos. In 1978 and 1979 vintages were declared "exceptional". In 1980, Château Margaux was considered substantially restored to its former reputation. In 2003, Corinne Mentzelopoulos bought back the majority stake and became the sole shareholder of Château Margaux.
Margaux Hemingway received her given name from this wine.
A bottle of Château Margaux 1787 holds the record as the most expensive bottle of wine ever broken, insured at $225,000.
Day 1: Tuesday: Bordeaux - wine, art, culture and gastronomy: (L/D)
This morning we transfer by private vehicle to the train station ‘Gare de Montparnasse’ to take a 1st class TGV train to Bordeaux (Approximately 3 hours). A wine specialist will accompany us during our entire journey in Bordeaux and guide us through our discovery of the regions wines. On arrival we will stopover at our hotel to drop of our bags. Bordeaux is a city that is listedas a UNESCO World Heritage site. Lunch will be at a Michelin 1* restaurant After lunch, we have a guided walking tour of the captivating city of Bordeaux to see the neoclassical Opera house on the Place de la Comédie, the lovely horse shoe square; Place de la Bourse with its reflection in the water, the Parliament Square, the 15th century stone gateway, (Porte Cailhau) the quarter of Pey Berland with its Tower and St André Cathedral, then passing by the Rohan Palace (City Hall today) that is surrounded by the many art museums of Bordeaux Later this afternoon, we have free time to wander around Bordeaux on our own or perhaps shop for luxury brands or walk along the pedestrian shopping street of Rue Saint Catherine. We recommend that you stop at a pastry shop famous for a Bordeaux speciality called the ‘Canalé’. Return and check in to your 5 star hotel, in the heart of the Château de Haut Smith Lafitte vineyards (First growth wine from Graves). The hotel is well known for the wine based treatments of its SPA. Dinner this evening is at the lovely bistro of the hotel.
Day 2: Wednesday: Saint Emilion and Pomerol: (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we check out of our hotel and set off to discover the world renowned wines of Saint Emilion. We visit the First Growth vineyard, Le Clos Fourtet and participate in a tasting of their wines. Lunch will be at a gastronomy restaurant in the village of Saint Emilion. Walk off lunch with a guided visit of this beautiful medieval city which is also listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. We tour the underground caves of the Saint Emilion monks, the catacombs, the paintings of the Trinity chapel and the unique Monolithic church. We have free time to stroll along the ancient cobblestone streets of this charming village soaking up its ambiance or for the courageous, climb up the 187 stairs up to the bell tower of the Monolithic church for a spectacular panoramic view of the vineyards and monuments. We continue on to Pomerol or Lalande de Pomerol to visit another vineyard from this region, (example: Château Beauregard) followed by a degustation of its wines. Experience the château life by staying at our Hotel and Spa that is situated amongst the vineyards of Saint Emilion. Dinner this evening is at the hotel.
Day 3: Thursday: Visit the famous wineries of Médoc: (B/D)
This morning after we check out of the hotel, we depart for the “‘Route des Châteaux” which passes by the famous wine villages of Margaux, Saint Julien, Paulliac and Saint Estèphe. The first stop will be at the wine estate in the Margaux appellation to visit and savour the wines of this estate. Continue on along the scenic countryside passing by Saint Julien with its renowned wines such as Château Lagrange, Léoville, Talbot and Beaucaillou to name a few, until you arrive at the capital of Médoc; Paulliac. We have free time to wander around this pretty port town and have lunch on your own. After lunch, we drive on to the Château Mouton Rothschild to visit the chai of this famous estate and museum dedicated to the art of wine that has been created in the cellars of this estate. Then continue on the wine road passing by Château Lafite Rothschild and the 19th century Indian Pagoda edifice created by the founder of the Château Cos-d’Estournel, until we arrive in Saint Estèphe where we will stop to visit the Roman church with its baroque interiors, located in the centre of the vineyards. We return to Paulliac and stop at the Château de Pichon Longueville for a visit and a tasting of their wines. We check in to our Relais and Château Hotel and relax by the pool until dinner. Dinner is at the gastronomy restaurant of the hotel.
Day 4: Friday: Cooking classes or Spa and return via the other wine regions of Médoc: (B/L)
In the morning after breakfast, choose between a spa treatment of 2 hours (moisturising scrub + oil massage) or a cooking lesson. The chef of your hotel Jean-Luc Rocha introduces you to the secrets of gourmet cuisine during his cooking classes from 10:00am to 12:30pm in the village of Bages. You return from the classes with a recipe book. For those not interested in cooking or a spa treatment, it is possible to visit the Château of Lynch Bages vineyards and cellars and for a degustation of their wines or just relax by the pool. After checking out of our hotel, we then travel to Saint Laurent-Médoc. From there we continue on to Château Mayne Lalande at Listrac Médoc for lunch in the vineyards. we tour the vineyards and cellars with the wine owner. Pass by Moulis-en-Médoc and Castelnau-de-Médoc on our way to the train station St Jean in Bordeaux to take the TGV (1st class) back to Paris. Three hours later, we are transferred from Montparnasse train station in Paris and to our hotel in Paris. This tour concludes when you arrive at your Paris hotel. Some guests may wish to stay another day or more in this amazing city; please don’t hesitate to contact Boutique Tours and Travel for further travel arrangements.