Explore the South West of France: fortresses clinging to the cliffs in the Cathar Country and Dordogne, many “most beautiful villages of France”, and a very rich and unique gastronomy. This is where to experience the authentic France.
based on double occupancy.
Step by step
Carcassonne Medieval Heritage
- Carcassonne and the Cathar country are quite unknown but are very worthy of a visit. Carcassonne's medieval “Cité” will amaze you by its size and conservation.
- You will reside downtown Carcassonne lively “Bastide St Louis”, a short walk to the UNESCO Medieval city. Your lovely and international hosts have a wonderful taste for welcoming and decoration which makes this place very special.
- After Carcassonne day crowds, enjoy the quietness of the walled garden and refresh in the swimming pool. In the evening, you have a vast choice of nearby restaurants a few minutes walk - we will provide recommendations.
- In the Cathar country, walkers/hikers will be rewarded with breath taking landscapes and fortresses such as Quéribus or Perpeytuse. History lovers will be intrigued by the Cathar history.
- Wine lovers will spend a morning in Carcassonne bastide enjoying the local wines and chocolates. A must for gourmet travelers !
- On the 4th day, you will drive about 3hrs along the Pyrenees Mountains to get to the Basque Country.
Le Pays Basque: regional culture between ocean and mountains
- From the Atlantic coastline, its waves and tanned surfers, to the rugged Pyrenees mountains . . . from the peacefulness of the Basque untouched villages to the lively nightlife in Saint Jean de Luz . . . the Basque Country will not disappoint.
- Stay 5 nights in a lovely town nestled in the Basque Country. This 4 star family boutique-hotel is a perfect place to enjoy the area from ocean to mountain.
- We will craft your days so you get a feel of everything the Basque culture has to offer, and there is a lot: taste the local Bayonne ham after strolling a valley to discover the traditional and still alive mountain pig farming, get acquainted with the Basque weaving tradition, try to make your own Basque cake or stroll one of the many farmers markets.
- Get introduced to one of the most famous games of the Basque culture: la pelote. Meet a former international player who will explain to you all about the history of this mythical game, the different variants . . . and then get on the ground and play. A very fun & cultural experience!
- Several “most beautiful villages of France” will be on your scenic drives. Nature and outdoors lovers will enjoy endless walks and hikes in the Pyrenees foothills, occasional walkers will relax on the walks along the beaches and enjoy a coffee on a terrace watching surfers.
- We will also plan for you to explore the very near Spanish Basque Country and spend some time in San Sebastian.
- On the 9th day, drive North to Dordogne. We will plan for a nice stop along the way.
Dordogne: ducks, knights & nuts
- You will end your sightseeing expedition in the Dordogne region. In Black Perigord, stay in a restored stone house for 4 nights and share a mouth-watering dinner with your hosts. They will happily share with you tips and hints to help you make the most of your journey.
- Dordogne is famous for the prehistoric caves in Lascaux and we'll recommend to you a much more intimate visit, in a 20,000 year old cave. If you are interested in history or if you are a JM Auel reader, this is a must! Visit the old city of Sarlat and feel the buzz of activity on market days.
- There is a lot to do in this region: medieval castles to visit, wonderful food to taste - we'll tell you where to find the most typical goat cheeses - and if you like outdoor activities, you'll be in paradise.
- You may return the rental car in Toulouse or Bordeaux airports or train stations – less than 3 hrs drive from your last B&B.
A great trip to get off the beaten path and explore these culturally rich regions!
Pelote Game with a Player
Get introduced to one of the most famous game of the Basque culture: la pelote. Meet with a former international player you will explain you about this mythical game history, the different variants…and then get on the ground and play: A very fun & cultural experience!
Wine & Chocolate
Spend a morning in Carcassonne bastide enjoying the local wines and chocolates with a guide and fellow travelers. A must for gourmet travelers !
Walk back on the prehistoric men footsteps, in 20,000 year old painted caves - access is limited to 40 person per day.