Biarritz & Five-Star Bordeaux and Dordogne Cruise
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before 28th May 2019
Superb sandy beaches, a mild climate and delightful ocean promenade have drawn visitors to Biarritz for years, then swap the sea for two of France's most scenic rivers and cruise through one of Europe's famous wine regions. This tour is operated by our sister company Great Rail Journeys.
Meet your group and Tour Manager at our dedicated Departure Office at St Pancras International ahead of your journey to Paris on the Eurostar. Once in Paris join the TGV service right through to Biarritz, checking into the 4-Star Mercure Biarritz Centre Plaza Hotel on arrival.
Your first full day in Biarritz is free to begin exploring. The resort, with its sweeping promenade and vast beaches, offers a range of activities for you to enjoy. You might like to try your luck in the casino, or visit the town's lighthouse. If you're feeling energetic, you could perhaps take a stroll past the atmospheric Old Port to Rocher de la Vierge, a statue on a rocky headland said to protect the safe return of local fishermen, now connected to the town by a footbridge.
On today's excursion, travel by coach to Col de Saint-Ignace and connect with the superb Petit Train de la Rhune. This classic rack-and-pinion railway takes you through the dramatic Atlantic Pyrenees in lovingly restored wooden carriages - overcoming a height difference of 2,415 feet during the journey. Before long you'll arrive at the summit of La Rhune, which not only marks the border between France and Spain, but at 3,000 feet also offers a magnificent views over the Bay of Biscay. Continue by coach to the lively fishing port of St Jean de Luz. Here you have a little time to explore; perhaps take a stroll along the promenade, and watch the charming fishing boats bring their catch back. Otherwise, the medieval centre is a delight to wander around. A three-course lunch with wine is included at a local restaurant before you return to Biarritz.
Following breakfast in the hotel, make your way back to the railway station in time for our train to Bordeaux. From here we join our cruise ship, the MS Cyrano de Bergerac, enjoying a welcome cocktail on embarkation.
This morning cruise into the scenic Gironde Estuary and moor in Pauillac. Following lunch on board, visit the renowned Médoc wine region on an included excursion. Follow the famous Châteaux Route, with views of the area's noted stately homes, including the spectacular château of Lafite-Rothschild.
Spend a leisurely morning cruising further into the Gironde Estuary, passing ancient Troglodyte dwellings and Meschers-sur-Gironde. Arrive in Blaye this afternoon, starting point for an afternoon of possible excursions. Your first option is a trip along the Route de la Corniche and a visit to the walled village of Bourg. Otherwise you could choose to take a tour of Blaye Citadel, including a tasting of local specialities.
Early this morning leave Blaye and join the peaceful Dordogne River on the way to the wine town of Libourne. Disembarking, travel to St Emilion for a guided tour before visiting the exceptional Troglodyte cave of St Emilion himself. You'll then call at a family-run vineyard for a tasting of the popular regional wine. Arrive in Cadillac on Day 8 for a tour of the Roquetaillade Chateau.
Following a leisurely morning on board, this afternoon we arrive back in Bordeaux, a beautiful city brimming with 18th century grandeur. We take a guided city tour for a deeper insight into Bordeaux and its history. Back on board this evening, sit down to a gala dinner.
After a final breakfast on board, this morning we disembark and transfer to Bordeaux station. Here we take the high-speed train to Paris, where we connect with the Eurostar service back to London St Pancras International.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.
Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
Swap the sea for two of France’s most scenic rivers