2016 – The 4th Edition of the experience of your life!
Come to Bordeaux, the wine region and taste the world’s finest wines, cheeses, traditional dishes and some incredible desserts.
This trip is customized and may include:
- Eight nights lodging (6 nights in Bordeaux, 2 nights in the Dordogne Valley), double occupancy
- Private guided walking tours. Private motor coach for all sightseeing and transfers
- Cheese and wine tastings, plus samplings of charcuterie, pastries, and more.
- Trips to outdoor markets, cooking class.
- Dining at GCE’s favorite restaurants.
- Tour escort by Kathy Denis, fluent French speaker & Publisher of Restaurant Guide of Kansas City
- And lots more!
Meals included are noted as follows: B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner
Day 1: Monday, September 19, 2016 – Apéritif and welcome dinner in Bordeaux (D), short walk
Our tour starts in the hotel lounge at 5:30pm with a welcome apéritif and a get-to-know your fellow traveler time. We will then take a short walk through bustling downtown to a favorite local restaurant for dinner.
Day 2: Tuesday, September 20 – Médoc via the Route des Châteaux (B, L, D), minimal walking
Meet in lobby at 8:45 departure to Château de Malleret. At the winery, get an overview of Bordeaux wines, enjoy a tour of the winery and follow up with a tasting and lunch. After lunch we take a leisurely drive up the Route des Châteaux stopping for photo opportunities in front of some of the most famous Bordeaux wineries. Later in the afternoon we tour one of the highest classified wineries in the area. We should arrive back at the hotel around 6:00 – 6:15. Meet in lobby at 7:15pm to take a short walk for dinner at one of Bordeaux’s newest bistrots.
Day 3: Wednesday, September 21 – Tram and walking in Bordeaux (B, L-light, D) moderate walking on pedestrian streets and sidewalks
Today you will enjoy a Dine Around of sorts in the town of Bordeaux, interspersed with time on your own to enjoy what the city has to offer. Meet in lobby for 8:00am departure to an artisinal bakery where we savor French breakfast pastries made from a wood-fired oven built under Louis XV in 1765. We will be walking or taking the tram to the bakery, weather depending. After returning to the center of Bordeaux via tram, enjoy a guided walking tour of Bordeaux. At noon we will visit the aging cellars at Jean d’Alos cheese shop where we will sample cheeses for a light lunch. We will then meet pastry chef / chocolatier Thierry Lalet at Chocolaterie Saunion for a tour, tasting and demonstration. You will then have free time in Bordeaux to explore the city and shop. Meet at 6:45pm at the hotel for a short walk to one of Bordeaux’s cutting edge brasseries for dinner.
Day 4: Thursday, September 22 – Dine Around on the Peninsula (B, L), leisurely walking, some walking in sand if you want to get your feet wet!
Meet at 8:45 for 9am departure to discover the treasures of the Atlantic Peninsula with a Dine Around. We start off with a visit and appetizer at one of the oyster farms housed in a line of tightly packed wooden shacks followed by an entrée at a waterside restaurant with spectacular views of Arcachon Bay and Europe’s largest sand dune. After lunch, enjoy a walk on the pier, along the water or among shops. At the last stop on our Dine Around we meet with pastry chef Sebastien Bouillon and enjoy a Café Goumande, sampling some of his most delicious creations while learning about life as the Chef / Owner of a pâtisserie française. We return to our hotel around 7pm so you can find a place for dinner among Bordeaux’ great choices of bistros, cafes and wine bars.
Day 5: Friday, September 23 – Saint Emilion (B, D), walking on some cobblestones and hills
Meet at 8:30 for 8:45am departure to the Saint Emilion area. Saint-Emilion is the oldest wine area of the Bordeaux region, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Before arriving in Saint Emilion we will make a stop at the neighboring Libourne market, where we meet the Chef from our evening restaurant to explore the season’s bounty and see what he chooses to expertly prepare for our dinner. After a guided tour of Saint Emilion’s historic monuments including the impressive monolithic church sculpted out of the limestone hillside, you have time to explore the narrow streets and alleys lined with wine boutiques and find a perfect spot for lunch. We regroup after lunch at 4pm at Les Cordeliers for a lesson on how sparkling wine is made and a tasting combined with the signature cookie of the region – macarons de St. Emilion (no, not the brightly colored ones, and not coconut-flavored but the region’s own version). Following the tour we will once again meet up with our market Chef to hear how he has prepared our special dinner with the ingredients chosen at the market. Upon returning to the hotel, you will need to pack your bags and get ready to leave for the Dordogne in the morning.
Day 6: Saturday, September 24 – Sarlat / Dordogne (B, L, D), some walking
Meet at 8:15am for 8:30 departure to the Dordogne Valley. Following alongside the Dordogne River, we drive through the countryside with views of small towns, wine regions and castles. Our destination is one of the most renowned and visited towns in the Dordogne region, Sarlat. The old town, dating from both medieval and renaissance times, is a pleasure to visit with its outside market being one of the best attractions. You will have time to explore the town and market, meeting back at La Couleuvrine Hotel and Restaurant for lunch at 1pm. After lunch we explore the Paleolithic cave art at Lascaux II (replica of the original cave) which contains some of the best-known Upper Paleolithic art. These paintings are estimated to be 17,300 years old. After checking into our lodging at Combas you have some time to relax and settle in before dinner in the reception hall of the gîte village.
Day 7: Sunday, September 25 – Sarlat (B, L, D), some walking, a few hills
Meet at the bus for a 9am departure. Today begins with a lovely drive with views of picturesque villages, several nestled in the cliffside along the Dordogne River. Admire castles perched above the river as well as present day dwellings in the cliffs behind these beautiful villages. We will visit the manicured boxwood gardens of Chateau Marqueyssac, boasting the most spectacular views of the area, then on to lunch and discovery at a truffle farm. After relaxing back at the gîte, we head into Sarlat at 5:30 for a walk around town and dinner.
Day 8: Monday, September 29 – Dordogne / Back to Bordeaux (B, L, D), minimal walking
Our final day in the Dordogne starts at 9am (with all bags ready to go) when we head out to see the XII century Romanesque church of St. Crépin-et-Carlucet We continue our journey to the outskirts of Bergerac where we enjoy lunch at a rustic local favorite. After lunch we make a stop at Château de Monbazillac, a medieval castle as well as a producer of sweet white wines. We return to the same hotel in Bordeaux at approximately 6pm for our last night. Meet in the lounge at 7:15pm and we are off to our final dinner together.
Day 9: Tuesday, September 30 – Departure (B)
Our tour ends after breakfast today so you are free to continue your travels. Bon Voyage!
Price: $2,800.00 per person, based on two people sharing a room, and twenty participants. Single Supplement: $450.00
All reservations require a deposit: $350 per person
Cancellations and refunds: All cancellations are subject to a $100 administrative fee. Deposit (less administrative fee) is refundable up until Friday, February 5, 2016. Cancellation after Friday February 5, 2016 will result in loss of deposit and any additional payments that were made will be subject to reimbursements recovered from suppliers.
Final Payment Due: Final payment is due on or before 90 days prior to departure – Friday, June 17, 2016. Invoices will be sent out prior to final payment.
Reservation Form: Bordeaux Reservation
Trip Price Does Not Include: Round-trip airfare to France and transportation to Bordeaux, excess baggage fees, forwarding of baggage, baggage loss, medical expenses, travel insurance, items of a personal nature such as laundry, beverages, optional trips, meals away from the group, special arrangements, airport taxes, charges and tips for room services.