Stay at an authentic chateau dating from 1597 set in 450 acres of stunning countryside, in the heart of the wine districts of the Dordogne. Whether you prefer touring, playing a few rounds of golf, spa treatments, swimming, cycling, kayaking or just being pampered and eating the rich local fare to your heart’s delight, your stay will be made as enjoyable as possible.
Day One. Bergerac, the Purple Perigord
Upon arrival at Bergerac airport or Libourne TGV station late morning, you will be met by your driver /guide. Embark on a tour of the Purple Périgord, which takes its name from the vine leaves that turn purple in the autumn. Enjoy a city tour of Bergerac; a visit to one of the castles in the area, the Château of Monbazillac; and finally, a wine tasting of a rich palette of red, rosé and white wines from the region. Evening free at your chateau-hotel.
Day Two. Dordogne Valley
Your driver-guide will meet you after breakfast to visit the Black Périgord, where several of the most beautiful villages in France are found. First stop is a visit to a magnificent village that has managed to retain all of its medieval charm. Navigate up paved and steep little lanes and take time-worn stone stairways to be able to admire the unhindered views of the Dordogne. Visit several medieval castles from the 12th and 13th centuries. These feature dungeons, spooky passages and period rooms from medieval times. After lunch, enjoy a boat cruise down the Dordogne River in a traditional flat-bottomed boat past the Pendoïlles cliffs. Stop in the charming village of Dome on your return transfer to your Chateaux-hotel, where you can enjoy the evening off.
Day Three. Le Périgord préhistorique/Prehistorical Perigord
Today you’ll visit some of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed prehistoric sites and caves dating from the Palaeolithic era. The Grotto of Font-de-Gaume, has dozens of polychrome paintings by Stone Age men from 25,000 BC. The most stunning painting is a frieze of five bison discovered in 1966 during cleaning operations. The Proumeyssac Caves, also known as the Crystal Cathedral, are a dense and varied underground vault of stalactites and stalagmites and are the largest developed cave in the Périgord. Although the famous Lascaux Caves are closed to the public, a replica ‘cave' has been created at Montignac, 200 metres from the original cave, where two of the galleries have been reproduced: the Great Hall of the Bulls and the Painted Gallery. After lunch, visit the recently renovated National Prehistoric Museum to learn about the amazing discoveries that were made in this region.
Day Four. Sarlat and the Erygnac Gardens
The last day will be a little less hectic with plenty of free time to explore Sarlat. From the 8th century – it is the jewel in the crown of the Périgord Noir – famous for medieval art, and has the highest number of listed buildings per square metre in Europe. Every Wednesday and Saturday, there are markets in Sarlat featuring specialties of the region. After lunch, visit the Gardens of Eyrignac Manor. The gardens, among the most stunning in France, were laid out in the 18th century and transformed in the 19th century into an English garden. Time permitting, stop at a truffle farm.
• Return transfers from Bergerac airport or Libourne TGV station
• Three and a half days of private touring in a sedan or minibus
• Three nights in an authentic and renowned Chateau des Vigiers
• Breakfast and Taxes
France Experience Reservations