Wine & Walks in France: from Bordeaux to the Mediterranean

  • Destination:
  • Duration: 9 days

Enjoy easy walks, great wine and fabulous food on a journey from the shores of the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Sea. Starting out in Bordeaux, we indulge in the first of several included wine tastings and explore the city and nearby coastal dunes on foot. Heading inland, we ramble through beautiful countryside with time to wander in medieval villages. We discover the fabulous fortified citadel of Carcassonne and stroll alongside the Canal du Midi. Reaching the Mediterranean at charming Collioure, we end as we began, with a glass of wine in hand to toast our journey’s end.

Day 1
Bonjour Bordeaux

Arrival at Bordeaux and transfer to hotel.

Day 2
Exploring Bordeaux

We start our day with a walking tour of the city centre. Afterwards, we will visit the Wine and Trade museum, giving fascinating insights into the history of winemaking and its commercial aspects in the Bordeaux region. Later try lunch at the famous food market and discover more of this historical city at your own pace.

Day 3
Wine tasting and dune walks, 4km walking

Today we will drive to the outskirts of town and then walk through countryside for reaching the vineyards of an old chateau belonging to the Graves DO where we will taste their wines. Particularly interesting here are the whites. We then drive to the Atlantic coast and climb the spectacular sand dunes at Pilat. Walking along the top of the dunes we enjoy the views across the Ocean and can have our picnic lunch up here. After a short stop at the pleasant coastal town Arcachon we return to Bordeaux by train.

Day 4
Saint Emilion and wine tasting, 4km walking

This morning we will drive to the Entre-deux-Mers region and once crossed the Dordogne, we visit the small town of Saint Emilion for a short wonder around before we stop at a nearby winery of this top wine region for a tasting of their wines. After lunch we continue by bus, driving through the Perigord with coffee stop at Sarlat Caneda before we reach the pilgrims site Rocamadour for a short late afternoon walk, taking in the dramatic scenery this place is built into – ideal when the crowds have gone. Overnight here next to the castle.

Day 5
Pech Merle cave, 9km walking

Today we will visit the cave of Pech Merle, one of the most famous ones in Southern France for its ancient cave paintings, some estimated to be as old as 29.000 years. After the visit we walk along the hills and later next to the river Lot until reaching Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, one of the prettiest medieval villages of the region. Later the bus picks us up and we drive to our night stop in nearby Cahors, famous for its incredibly well preserved medieval Valentré bridge. We can include a wine tasting here, featuring mainly Malbec wines – the traditional grape of Cahors and surroundings.

Day 6
Walk in citadel along Canal du Midi

In the morning, we will drive to Carcassonne, with a stop in stunningly located hilltop village Cordes-sur-Ciel. In the afternoon we’ll explore Carcassonne on foot and walk to the Canal du Midi. The medieval cité of Carcassonne dominates the surrounding countryside and is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Day 7
Walk near Narbonne, 6km walking

We start our day with a drive towards Narbonne where we will walk near the Cistercian Abbey de Fontfroide. The Abbey can be visited after and as well we can organize a wine tasting here of their interesting local wines. After lunch we continue our journey to our last destination by the Mediterranean coast – the old fishing port of Collioure.

Day 8
Coastal walk, 10km walking

We will take the local bus to Port Vendres and follow the Sentier Littoral along the rugged coast, affording superb views across the Sea and towards the Spanish border. Finally we will reach Banyuls-sur-Mer and after a coffee stop here we drive back to Collioure for a fascinating introduction into local wines of which the Banyuls sweet wine is with no doubt the most interesting one. In the evening we can organize a dinner in one of the lovely restaurants right by the sea.

Day 9
Goodbye Collioure

The trip ends this morning in Collioure.

Tour facts

Grading: easy to moderate
Recommended airports: In: Bordeaux, Out: Barcelona
Highlights: scenic walks, wine tastings, Bordeaux, historic cities and villages, Collioure and the Vermilion coast
Best time to go: May-June + September-October


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