This tailor-made package includes executive coach travel throughout the holiday and from four nights’ accommodation in France on a half board basis at a 3* or 4* hotel to suit your group’s requirements. The content of your preferred itinerary will be discussed with you at the time of enquiry.
•Our suggested itinerary could include:
- Rochefort en Terre
- Medoc – Pauillac - Château Lynch Bages - Chateau Gruaud-Larose
- Cruise from Fort Medoc
- The City of Bordeaux
- Saint-Émilion & The Great Vineyards Tourist Train
- Chateau Rochebelle
- Wine Tastings & Vineyard Visits to suit your group
•Group Organiser benefits
•No single room supplements (selected tours only)
To tailor-make your tour or for a personalised quotation call 01943 605999.
Day 1 – Departing your local area we travel to Portsmouth where you may choose to visit to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. This is a working naval base and is also home to a collection of fantastic attractions, historic ships and museums. A visit to the Dockyard takes you on a journey through time, allowing you to step onboard historic ships and understand the Royal Navy, past, present and future. Discover why the ships built and harboured at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard led the way in terms of technology and innovation and how they changed the world. A ‘6-attraction’ ticket is included which allows you access to HMS Victory, HMS Warrior 1860, Mary Rose Museum, National Museum of the Royal Navy, Action Stations & HMS M.33 There may also be time for you to visit Gunwharf Quays before boarding your ferry around 7pm for the overnight sailing to France. Dinner is included on board this evening.
Day 2 – A full breakfast is included on board in the restaurant before disembarking in St Malo. we will make a stop in Rochefort-en-Terre this morning, which has been voted one of France’s most beautiful villages and one of Brittany’s most visited sites. Here, you can explore the narrow streets filled with artist studios and workshops, admiring the geranium-bedecked houses along the way. Rochefort was put on the map after a wealthy French-born American painter called Alfred Klotz bought the local château in 1907. Klotz encouraged the local residents to dress their houses with geraniums, a tradition which continues, leading to Rochefort winning many awards for being one of France’s most beautiful villages in bloom. You will have some free time in this picturesque and historic town where you can purchase an early lunch before we continue our journey south to the Bordeaux region, where you will be based for 4 nights.
Day 3 – Today is dedicated to the Medoc peninsular. Our first visit will be to Pauillac, where we visit the Château Lynch Bages. Although there are records of the Bages territory as far back as the 16th century, the history of wine production in the area really began in the 18th century. From 1749 to 1824, the vineyard was owned by Thomas Lynch, the son of an Irishman from Galway who worked as a merchant in Bordeaux. Thomas Lynch managed the land wisely and produced high quality wines under the name of ‘Cru de Lynch'. The old vat-house here represents a rare example of traditional winemaking equipment the Médoc area. Its slatted flooring which introduced the advantages of gravitational design, now used in modern vat-houses, was invented by Skawinski in 1850. Your 1hr visit here will include a tasting of 2 wines.
We continue next to Chateau Gruaud-Larose, where from the top of the tower dating from the 18th century, you will enjoy an unobstructed view of the Medoc hills, vineyards and estuary. Looking into the distance, you will plunge into the fabulous history of the chateau, its terroirs and its wines. After a quick tour in the vines, you will discover some of the secrets behind this classified Grand Cru through an exploration of the magnificent vat house and cellars. The tour ends with a visit in the exceptional underground facilities and with a tasting of 2 wines and chocolate.
Next we visit Fort Medoc where we will embark on an included leisurely cruise (with English audio commentary), during which you can enjoy a tasting of 3 wines from the Bordeaux region.
Day 4 – Today is dedicated to the City of Bordeaux, where we begin with a guided tour both by coach and on foot. See the famous Place De La Bourse which took 20 years of hard work in the 18th century to build. Boucher had tried to convince the town aldermen and the parliament to create the square and open up the city walls since 1720. Jacques Gabriel, Louis XV's "First architect" was given the task of designing this rectangular square with beveled corners, as well as constructing the famous buildings decorated with mascarons and wrought iron. The equestrian statue of the king was briefly replaced by one of Napoleon, followed by the Fountain of the Three Graces in 1869. Located across from Place de la Bourse, between Quai de la Douane and Quai Louis XVIII, is the famous Water Mirror. This spectacular pool, designed by landscape artist Michel Corajoud, alternates a mirror effect and artificial misting in an extraordinary way. The rhythmic changes in 2 cm of water on a gigantic slab of granite make this a truly magical contemporary World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This afternoon is at your leisure to explore the city of Bordeaux at your own pace, when you can marvel at the beautiful buildings which line the quays and visit the historic heart of Bordeaux located behind the 18th century Place de la Bourse. A walk along the left bank overlooking the Garonne river highlights the city’s 2000 year-old history as a port city.
Day 5 – This morning we travel to Saint-Émilion which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and famous for the catacombs under the town which is built on a beautiful spot overlooking the Dordogne valley. The steep cobblestone streets are lined with charming houses, fascinating Romanesque ruins, and an underground monolithic church carved into the limestone. This is one of the principal red wine regions located 35km northeast of Bordeaux. The town is named after a traveling monk, Émilion, whose followers began producing commercial wine here in the 8th Century. The Romans planted vineyards here in the 2nd Century, and the main grape varieties now are Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with a sprinkling of Cabernet Sauvignon. You will have some free time to explore the town at your leisure and purchase lunch before taking a leisurely 35 minute ride on the ‘great vineyards tourist train’. You will then be accompanied to the Chateau Rochebelle for a 2 hour visit, during which you will see the stunning and beautifully lit monolithic cellars where of course wine-tasting is included.
Day 6 – Checking out of the hotel this morning we retrace our steps through France making a mid-way stop in Nantes, where you will have a couple of hours free time to explore and and purchase lunch. One of the main attractions in Nantes is the restored medieval Château des Ducs de Bretagne, where the Dukes of Brittany once lived. This castle is now a local history museum with multimedia exhibits and it also has a walkway on top of the fortified ramparts (entrance payable locally). Continuing onto St Malo we will check in for our return overnight sailing which is scheduled to depart at 8.30pm. Once on board, your group evening meal is included before you retire in your ensuite cabin accommodation.
Day 7 – Breakfast is included on board before we disembark at around 7.45am as we retrace our steps homewards.
Simply Groups reserve the right to make minor changes to to this itinerary due to circumstances beyond our control.
With all packages we supply a tailor-made flyer to assist in the promotion of your group holiday, along with a booking form which provides us with all the details we require from each participant.