Spend a luxurious week touring France's premier wineries and the picture-perfect villages of Bordeaux and the Dordogne. With enchanting 5-star stays in the region's best hotels, you'll spend your days tasting world-famous reds, such as Margaux, and sampling local gastronomy. Start in Bordeaux, La Cité du Vin, and tour the "Château Route," then it's off to Saint-Émilion for a Grand Cru experience before a sunrise hot-air balloon ride above the Gironde completes your trip.


  • Forage for and taste just-picked truffles in the Dordogne
  • Taste world-renowned wines in France's most prestigious vineyards
  • Discover France's famous "Château Route" with a local sommelier
  • Visit the "Sistine Chapel of Prehistory" with a tour of the Lascaux Caves

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bordeaux, France's "City of Wine"  Bordeaux
Day 2 Truffle Hunt & Tasting, Dinner at Cité du Vin Restaurant Bordeaux
Day 3 All-Day Tour of the Médoc Wine Region Bordeaux
Day 4 Transfer to Saint-Émilion, Full-Day Wine & History Tour Saint-Émilion
Day 5 Sunrise Hot-Air Balloon Flight, Tour of the Lascaux Caves, Transfer to Sarlat Sarlat
Day 6 Tour the Dordogne's Medieval Villages & Castles Sarlat
Day 7 Transfer to Bordeaux, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bordeaux, France's "City of Wine"

Elegant furnishings and a vineyard location sets the tone for your trip (photo courtesy of Les Sources de Caudalie)

Bienvenue en France! Your flight lands in Bordeaux, the undisputed wine capital of western France and gateway to over 6,000 vineyards producing some of the world's best red wines. Upon arrival, your driver will transfer you to Les Sources de Caudalie, a luxury hotel and spa famous for its vinotherapie treatments that incorporate grape and vine essences. Located on the outskirts of the city, it sits across the vineyards of Château Smith Haut Lafitte, a premier wine-growing estate in the Graves region. Guests can dine at the on-site La Grand'Vigne, the hotel's 2-star Michelin restaurant, or Le Table du Lavoir bistrot.

Rooms at Les Sources exude comfort and elegance and combine contemporary decor, antique furniture, and muted colors. Suites are more spacious, featuring exposed beams, deep, rich colors, and vineyard or garden views. Check in and pamper yourself in the hotel's spa or outdoor heated pool, or take a private transfer into the city. Bordeaux's UNESCO-listed center is full of beautifully restored 18th-century buildings, a cutting-edge arts scene, and, of course, plenty of restaurants and bars serving outstanding wine. 

Day 2: Truffle Hunt & Tasting, Dinner at Cité du Vin Restaurant

Truffle tasting in Dordogne
Nothing beats the woody, earthy aroma of freshly foraged truffles

If Bordeaux is famous for its wine, Dordogne is renowned for its gastronomy, particularly its truffles. After breakfast, your driver and guide will pick you up from your hotel for a two-hour transfer east to the region's famed truffle fields, where you'll join a private truffle hunt. Learn from a local expert how their dogs sniff out the precious tubers and discover the terroir, soil type, and climate that truffles need to thrive. After a successful morning's hunting, you'll get to taste the aromatic truffles shaved over toasted French bread with olive oil, accompanied by a local sweet wine. 

You'll return to your hotel in the afternoon, where you'll have time to unwind and get ready for dinner at Bordeaux's acclaimed Le 7 Restaurant on the seventh floor of La Cité du Vin. Start with an apéritif and settle in and enjoy the panoramic views of the city as you work your way through the chef's five-course menu.

Day 3: All-Day Tour of the Médoc Wine Region

Private Tour in the Medoc Wine Region
Spend a day tasting wine in the vineyards of Bordeaux's prestigious "Château Route" 
Plan your trip to France
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Spend today discovering the châteaux responsible for the infamous appellations such as Margaux, Pauillac, and Saint-Julien that have cemented the prestigious reputation of Bordeaux wines over the decades. Accompanied by an expert sommelier, you'll drive through the "Château Route" of the Médoc and visit three classic family-run estates: Château Lamarque, Château Chasse-Spleen and Château Siran, all celebrated for their powerful reds.

Start with a private tour of the vineyards and cellars, and learn about the winemaking process before sampling several vintages served with local delicacies. There's more to come in the afternoon, too, with a tour of one of the Great Classified Growth estates, one of the most prestigious châteaux of Bordeaux. In the early evening, you'll be dropped back at your hotel. 

Day 4: Transfer to Saint-Émilion, Full-Day Wine & History Tour

St Emilion
Admire the views over Saint-Émilion from your hotel's peaceful terrace (photo courtesy of Hôtel de Pavie)

While the Saint-Émilion appellation is renowned for its deep, elegant red wines, the eponymous village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its own fascinating heritage. Today, you'll combine both history and wine as you embark on a tour of a Grand Cru Château and discover the village's medieval monuments and churches. Meet your private guide and drive deep into the picturesque countryside and rolling hills to a carefully selected winery whose vines produce merlot, cabernet franc, and, to a lesser degree, cabernet sauvignon grapes.

After tasting several vintages and enjoying a tour of the estate, you'll make your way to the village of Saint-Émilion in time for lunch at a local restaurant. Afterward, you'll visit several celebrated underground monuments including the Monolithic Church, Trinity Chapel and its medieval paintings, and the Catacombs. Your accommodation for the night is the Hôtel de Pavie, a charming and luxurious 5-star hotel in the center of the village. It's the perfect spot to admire the panoramic views over the rooftops from the hotel's raised terrace before dining at the on-site gourmet restaurant La Table de Pavie

Day 5: Sunrise Hot-Air Balloon Flight, Tour of the Lascaux Caves, Transfer to Sarlat

Saint Emilion Wine Region Shared Hot Air Balloon Flight
Get a bird's-eye view of Bordeaux's vineyards on this morning's special excursion

Admire the vineyards of Bordeaux and Saint-Émilion from a truly unique perspective this morning with a private hot-air balloon flight. It's an early start as you meet your driver for a transfer to the countryside, where you'll hop in the basket and ascend over the beautiful villages of the Gironde and exclusive Grand Cru wine estates scattered below. Back on terra firma, you'll indulge in the traditional "toast of the Aéronautes" with brunch and a sparkling apéritif.

Afterward, you'll transfer to Sarlat, one of the Dordogne's most enchanting towns and a favorite of film directors for its historic medieval beauty. The town is also the gateway to the Lascaux Caves, whose extraordinary paintings date back 15,000 years. While the original caves are no longer open to the public, you'll embark on a guided tour of Lascaux IV (dubbed the "Sistine Chapel of Prehistory"), a perfect reproduction of the original cave with state-of-the-art immersive technology to bring it to life, right down to the damp, muffled atmosphere.

After a long day, you'll transfer to your accommodation for the last two nights: the 15th-century Le Petit Manoir, a romantic castle in central Sarlat with just three suites and six bedrooms combining traditional French elegance with modern comforts in a historic setting. Check into your room or suite, and when you're ready, make the most of Sarlat's gastronomic reputation with dinner at one of the restaurants in town, where specialties including foie gras, duck confit, and oysters await.

Day 6: Tour the Dordogne's Medieval Villages & Castles

More landscapes and castles in the Dordogne region
Discover Monpazier's English roots on today's tour of the Dordogne

This morning, you'll explore the picturesque castles and historic villages along the Dordogne River with a full-day private tour of the area. You'll start in Domme, a fortified medieval town that's one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France (The Most Beautiful Villages of France). Hear fascinating tales from your guide about the town's history, including the imprisonment of the Knights Templar during the Hundred Years' War. Next up is Monpazier. Founded in 1285 by Edward I, King of England, it's considered the best bastide town in France, and you'll have several hours to explore on your own.

Your last stop is a tour of the imposing Château de Biron, the home of the Gontaut-Biron family from the 12th to the 20th century. The family's fortunes were largely squandered on casinos and racecourses by the Marquis of Biron in the 1920s, resulting in the sale of the castle's contents (two religious relics from the château can be found in New York's Metropolitan Museum). From the upper floors, you'll be rewarded with wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. Return to Sarat in the early evening, ready for one last memorable dinner in France's gastronomic heartland.

Day 7: Transfer to Bordeaux, Depart 

Depart France
Leave France with memories of Saint-Émilion vineyards and hopefully a bottle or two in your luggage...

It's time to say goodbye to France. At the appropriate time, your driver will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the airport in Bordeaux. Au revoir! 

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Map of Luxury France for Wine Lovers: Bordeaux, Saint-Émilion & Sarlat -7 Days
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