Plan a nine-day Southern France Tour with Tourlane. Explore the historic and culturally rich towns and villages of the south of France on this nine-day group tour. Starting in Biarritz, you’ll seek out the region's gastronomic gems and treasured vineyards, traveling over soaring mountains, along the Atlantic coast, and into enchanting fortified communes and otherworldly caves. Medieval Castles, delicious oysters, and exquisite wines await you. With Tourlane, organize your flights, accommodations, transfers, and guides, all in one place with a Travel Expert!
Your Southern France tour will start in Bordeaux, which has one-stop flights to the USA via Paris. From Bordeaux, you will be taken by premium mini coach to the Atlantic Ocean and Arcachon Bay for a delightful seafood lunch accompanied by traditional local wine. After this, you’ll visit Europe’s largest sand dune: the Great Dune of Pilat. Finally, you’ll head south along the coast to Biarritz, a city on the Atlantic that is popular with surfers, diners, and francophone-lovers alike. End the day with a delicious welcome dinner. This city is a seafood lover’s dream, so get ready—oysters, ceviche, and mussels are the norm here.
Today, you’ll take a day trip to Bayonne - an art and culture center that is also home to the Bayonne Ham Museum! Discover three generations of fine food production during your ham tasting session. After a lovely leisurely morning, it’s back to Biarritz for an afternoon of free time and exploration. Go with a breezy walk on the waterfront, hitting the Rocher de la Vierge—a state-crown that juts towards the sea—and the beaming white lighthouse of the Phare de Biarritz.
Lourdes is your next stop, a famous Catholic pilgrimage destination that will enchant you with its alleyways and churches. Go for a walk and explore the Sanctuaires Notre-Dame de Lourdes, the site of the famous Lourdes water, and see the many pilgrims that travel here as part of the Marian pilgrimage. For an expansive view of this picturesque French town, trek up the Pic du Jer, home to a chateau that works perfectly as a backdrop for a picnic. You’ll then spend the night in a comfortable, rustic accommodation nearby.
4. Cathar Country and Carcassonne
Next, it’s onto Cathar Country, where wine lovers will enjoy a visit to a local winery and tasting the local Blanquette speciality. After this, the premium mini coach will drive you to Carcassonne - one of the highlights of this Southern France tour that will appeal to history lovers in particular. Perched on a craggy hilltop with fortifications, rocky walls, and sharp turrets, there is something magical and otherworldly about the medieval city of Carcassonne. You’ll be able to explore the city at your own pace - be sure to visit the UNESCO-listed citadel, and the Pont-Vieux, which is by far the oldest and prettiest bridge in the city.
Next up on your southern France itinerary is the red city of Albi. On a walking tour, you’ll explore this beautiful medieval city with an English-soeaking guide. Art lovers, rejoice - you will visit the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, which boasts the world’s largest collection of the impressionist artist’s work. After a night in Albi, you’ll take a river cruise along the River Lot in a traditional wooden gabare boat, where you’ll enjoy unrivalled views of the surrounding landscapes. You’ll then head to Sarlat-la-Canéda where you’ll spend three comfortable nights.
6. Sarlat-la-Canéda and Beynac-et-Cazenac
Markets, cobble-stone streets, and gesiers de canard—confit of duck gizzards—await you in the homely, welcoming town of Sarlat located in the Dordogne. It’s back on the premium mini bus for a day trip to Beynac-et-Cazena, where you’ll visit its magnificent medieval château. End the day in Sarlat for a glorious dinner - ask your Tourlane Travel Expert for tips.
7. Vezere Valley
Today, your journey through the Dordogne continues to yet another UNESCO-protected site: Lascaux Cave, which dates from the Palaeolithic cave and has more than 600 wall paintings. After this, food is back on the menu. You’ll get to enjoy another local delicacy—truffles—during a visit to a local truffle farm, where a local guide will give a lesson in truffle hunting. You’ll spend the night in Sarlat, where you’ll enjoy a final farewell meal with the group.
On your journey back to Bordeaux, you’ll spend the last day of your Souterh France Tour in the historic village of Saint-Émilion. Taste the delicious red wines that this region is famous for, and toast to your fantastic French vacation. It’s time to say adieu.
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