Castles in the Dordogne
Wednesday 11 September to Tuesday 17 September 2013
We take an interesting and unusual look into the Dordogne area of France, the old market towns of this area are fascinating. The medieval castles and prehistoric caves give a wonderful insight into the world of years gone by.
Day 1 Bordeaux
Day 2 Onwards to Sarlat
After breakfast we head inland to the market town of Sarlat where we transfer to our hotel for a 5-night stay. After check-in we have a free afternoon to explore this beautiful town.
Day 3 Lascaux Caves
We take a day trip to the famous Lascaux Caves near the village of Montignac. A guided tour has been arranged to view replicas of the Paleolithic paintings which are estimated to be over 17,300 years old. The caves, and paintings within, were discovered in 1940 by four teenagers and were opened to the public in 1948. By 1963 the paintings had been so visibly damaged by the constant stream of visitors that it was decided to close the caves and restore the art. In 1983 the replica we see today was opened and regularly gets 2000 visitors a day.
Day 4 La Roque and Castelnaud
Today we have a morning cruise in a replica 18th Century gabares on the river Dordogne. The gabares were the traditional flat-bottomed boats used on the Dordogne for transporting goods between the Massif Central and the ports of Bergerac, Libourne and Bordeaux. In the afternoon we move on to Castelnaud, this 13th Century castle now houses a very interesting museum of medieval warfare. We take a guided tour followed by a demonstration of a one third scale trebuchet, laying siege on the castle.
Day 5 The Truffadou Railway
This morning our coach will collect us from the hotel and take us to Martel where we will take a ride on the Chemin de Fer Touristique du Haut Quercy. This 13km steam railway runs partway along the old Bordeaux to Aurillac line and, in the late 19th Century, competed with the gabares taking produce down the Dordogne valley. In the years between the two world wars the railway was mainly used for transporting truffles from Martel market, this gave the railway its nickname, the Truffadou Railway.
Day 6 Bergerac and Monbazillac
Bergerac is our next port of call. This harbour town, situated on the banks of the Dordogne, was originally built around an 11th Century castle which, unfortunately, no longer exists. The old town, which has been lovingly restored is a pleasure to walk round and the impressive Maison du Vin, with its internal balconied cloister, is a highlight. After exploring this picturesque town we cross the river to Chateau Monbazillac, where we explore the 16th Century Chateau, set in in the heart of a prestigious vineyard. As part of our visit we will indulge in tasting some of the Monbazillac sweet wine.
Day 7 Homeward Bound
We make a morning coach transfer to Brive where we join a train to Paris and transfer to Eurostar arriving in London late afternoon.
|Single room supplement:||£205|
|Deposit for this holiday:||£100|
Rates of exchange used are as at 1st August 2012