paris & dordogne

Day 1  Overnight flight

Day 2  Paris

Ruijs Travel France - Paris Opera Garnier 2

Bienvenue en France! Arrival at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. Meet your driver and tour escort and transfer to the city centre. Get your cameras ready for a coach tour of the most photogenic city on earth. A local guide will show you the treasures of Paris, including views of the Eiffel Tower,  Notre Dame cathedral, the Opera Garnier, Arc the Triomphe, the Champs Elysees and the Place de la Concorde. After this first acquaintance with “the City of Lights”, check in at the hotel and have some time to relax before dinner.
Welcome dinner and overnight in Paris.

Day 3  Paris

Ruijs Travel France - Paris Seine River Cruise 3

This morning, enjoy a guided walk through the characteristic neighbourhood Montmartre. A district full of authentic charm, famous for the Sacré-Cœur. This Basilica, consecrated in 1919, is one of the most iconic monuments in Paris. Standing at the top of Montmartre Hill, it has one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the capital from 130 metres above ground. A short walk from the Sacré-Cœur is Place du Tertre and the district of Abbesses with its steep, winding roads and at the bottom of the hill, the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret. In the afternoon you will visit the most famous museum of the world; Musée du Louvre. Your local expert guide will guide you through the different wings of the museum. Besides the most famous artworks in the world, like the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci and the Grecian Venus de Milo, you will also see masterworks by Michelangelo, Botticelli, Raphael, Caravaggio, and Veronese. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure to explore this enchanting city on your own. Overnight in Paris.

Day 4  Paris – Château Versailles – Paris

Ruijs Travel-France-Versailles 4

After breakfast you will leave the city and travel to Versailles. Enjoy a guided tour of Château de Versailles. Visitors passing through the rich interior and vast gardens will understand why it was the glory of the Sun King’s reign. Louis XIV built the largest Palace in Europe beginning with his father’s modest hunting lodge. You will see the Grand Apartment, the Hall of Mirrors and King’s and Queen’s suites. The magnificent palace offers architectural splendour and artworks from 17th and 18th century and has been a UNESCO World Heritage site for over 30 years. Besides the Château, you can marvel the Trianon Palace, the musical garden and the  palace park gardens as well. After this mesmerising visit you will travel back to Paris. The remainder of the afternoon at leisure. Enjoy a memorable dinner at the Eiffel Tower this evening. Enjoy the food and the spectacular view over Paris.
Overnight in Paris.

Day 5  Paris – Bordeaux

Ruijs Travel-France-Bordeaux-Pont de Pierre 5

Following breakfast you will travel from Paris to Bordeaux by highspeed train (TGV). Bordeaux is the largest urban UNESCO World Heritage Site in the world. Bordeaux is also famous for its great wine production. The Vinexpo, the largest wine fair in the world, is held here every year in May. This elegant city is full of architectural treasures with over 375 buildings classified as historical monuments like the Grand-Théâtre, the Saint-André Cathedral and Palais Rohan.  The city is also home to some remarkable contemporary architecture, like the Bordeaux Law Court and the Cite du Vin. After a joint lunch, enjoy a guided city tour of Bordeaux. You will see a fine mix of the city’s historical and contemporary architecture. Afterwards, enjoy leisurely time in this enchanting city. At the end of the afternoon you will gather again for a memorable wine and cheese tasting in a underground vaulted cheese cellar.
Overnight in Bordeaux.

Day 6  Bordeaux – Saint-Émilion –  Bergerac –  Dordogne region –  Sarlat-la-Canéda 

Ruijs Travel-France-Saint Émilion 6

Your today’s journey will take you through the stunning Dordogne region from Bordeaux to Sarlat-la-Canéda. Your first stop will be in Saint-Émilion, one of France’s most charming towns and world-famous for its wines. The UNESCO World Herigae listed Saint-Émilion boasts a very long and rich history from a pilgrimage site to a powerful economic hub. A local expert guide will take you on a walk through this magnificent town. You will see the ‘underground Saint-Émilion’ which consists out of the hermitage of Émilion, the Trinity Chapel and its medieval paintings, the catacombs as well as the underground Monolith church. All carved out of solid rock in the hillside. You will walk the city walls and see Porte Brunet, the wash houses, Place du Marché with the market hall and Couvent des Cordeliers, and many more. Travel onwards to Bergerac. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch together at the atmospheric Place Pelissiere. Afterwards you will have some free time to explore Bergerac’s old town, a medieval district with cobbled paving and pretty half-timbered houses. Continue your journey to Sarlat-la-Caneda, where you will arrive in the late afternoon. Overnight in Sarlat-la-Canéda area.

Day 7  Sarlat-la-Canéda – Cooking class – Sarlat-la-Canéda

Ruijs Travel - France - Dordogne Cooking Class 7

After breakfast you will you will soak up local flavour at the Sarlat market (Wednesday and Saturday). Afterwards, enjoy  a guided walking tour of Sarlat. Sarlat is one of the most attractive and alluring towns in the south western part of France. Its classification as a ‘City of Art & History’ is a testament to its rich cultural and architectural heritage. Enjoy strolling through picturesque alleyways, the magnificent Medieval structures, slate roofs and the unique atmosphere. Spend the rest of the afternoon at your leisure in Sarlat. At the end of the afternoon, gather again for a cooking class. You will work on a beautiful and tasteful dinner. This workshop is all about experience, tasting, learning different techniques and dinning together in a relaxed atmosphere.
Overnight in Sarlat-la-Canéda area.

Day 8  Sarlat-la-Canéda – Château de Hautefort – Lascaux Caves – Sarlat-la-Canéda

Ruijs Travel-France-Sarlat 8

Following breakfast you will travel north and visit Château de Hautefort. This castle is perched high above the surrounding countryside and offers commanding views from every angle. The Château is still inhabited and has a magnificent French formal garden and landscaped park.  Enjoy a guided tour of this superb site. Your journey continues into the UNESCO World Heritage listed Vézère Valley, a prehistoric treasury, with no fewer than 147 excavations and 25 caves decorated with prehistoric cave paintings, including the famous Lascaux II cave in Montignac. In 1940, the Caves of Lascaux were discovered by four young boys. The paintings inside are estimated to be 17,000 years old. In order to protect the very rare original paintings, replicas have been made of the two most famous galleries; the Hall of the Bulls and the Axial Diverticulum. The reproduction is acclaimed by scholars as a masterpiece.  
Overnight in Sarlat-la-Canéda area.

Day 9  Sarlat-la-Canéda – Rocamadour – La Roque-Gageac – Sarlat-la-Canéda

Ruijs Travel - France - Dordogne - Rocamadour 9

This morning you will visit Rocamadour, which is a spectacularly located fortified town built into a giant rock face overlooking the Alzou River. Enjoy a morning at leisure exploring this pilgrimage town, founded at the grave site of hermit Saint Amadour. Many pilgrims come to the town and negotiate the 216 steps of the Via Sancta on their knees and with heavy chains around them. There are many small chapels to explore, including the Chapelle de Notre Dame with its famous Black Madonna. Afterwards, you will travel back to Sarlat, southbound, with a stop in La Roque-Gageac. Enjoy walking through this picturesque fortified town at your own pace. Many of the houses date back to Medieval times, though there are some Renaissance mansions among the honey-toned limestone townhouses. The cliffside location of the town, protects it from the northern cold with the rock face soaking up the southern sun and giving La Roque-Gageac an unusual micro climate. Stroll through the village streets as they blossom with tropical and Mediterranean plants. Overnight in Sarlat-la-Canéda area.

Day 10  Sarlat-la-Canéda – Rocamadour – La Roque-Gageac – Sarlat-la-Canéda

Ruijs Travel - France - Medoc castle & wine cruise 10

This morning you will travel back to Bordeaux. In the afternoon, enjoy a half day wine and castle tour through the Médoc region. Firstly you will follow the Wine Castle route by coach. Admire the spectacular scenery of the vineyards and castles. After a guided visit and wine tasting at a wine estate, you will board a cruise boat at Fort-Médoc, a Vauban fortress listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. You will cruise the Gironde Estuary back to Bordeaux.  Enjoy a guided wine tasting on-board whilst admiring Bordeaux’s UNESCO World Heritage listed waterfront, ‘the Port of the Moon’. Conclude your wonderful tour through the Dordogne with a farewell dinner in Bordeaux.
Overnight in Bordeaux.

Day 11 Departure

Ruijs Travel - France - Dordogne 11

After breakfast transfer to Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport for your flight back home.