There are few places in the world that connect you with history more profoundly than regional France.
The lavish chateaux, unchanged medieval villages, renowned artworks, artisan foods and epic landmarks engulf you, transporting you back in time.
Layer that sensory palette with wine-touring through one of the most famous growing regions in the world and you have the ultimate tour of indulgence.
The Bordeaux region in southwestern France is an acclaimed gastronomic haven where the finer things in life are celebrated in considered style. Guaranteed to create memories of a lifetime, Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours Tour Designers have captured the very best of this sublime part of the world in a sumptuous 11-day sojourn.
Beautiful Bordeaux celebrates the grand chateaux and the internationally famous food and wine using the Gironde, Dordogne and Garonne rivers as exploratory pathways through the region.
Guests board the beautiful Scenic Diamond in Bordeaux to enjoy dinner ahead of the first day’s sailing to the 13th century port of Libourne and onward to gorgeous Saint-Émilion – the stunning medieval village named after a Benedictine monk who lived in a cave here from AD750.
Take time to explore this untouched, captivating town and you’ll even have the chance to head underground to discover the catacombs of its Monolithic Church.
That evening, the exclusive Scenic Sundowners experience is a very special wine-tasting set amongst the vines of the estate of the jaw-dropping Château de la Rivière.
FUN FACT – Built in 1577 and restored in the 19th century, this palatial property includes 60 hectares of vineyards and an underground wine-cellar that’s three hectares wide!
After your luscious evening in the heart of wine country, wake the following morning for a Scenic Freechoice tour of the 16th century townhouses and Gothic church in Libourne or perhaps continue your enjoyment of the region’s grand castles and estates by visiting Château Franc Mayne to taste its Grand Cru class wine or even visit Bergerac to sample foie gras at a local farm.
While you’re immersed in this epicurean wonderland, it makes perfect sense to enhance your own skills by joining the optional Scenic Culinaire onboard cooking classes hosted by expert chefs who reveal the secrets of great French cooking and focus on regional specialties.
After overnighting in Pauillac, day four is spent enjoying Médoc where the Scenic Freechoice experience follows the wine route considered to be the ultimate journey for red wine-lovers in particular. You’ll also get to sample some of the region’s finest reds at the fabled Château Gruaud-Larose estate.
The Scenic Enrich experience in the Médoc countryside is a showstopper – an evening concert at the breathtaking 13th century Château Agassac (main image) is a once in a lifetime moment.
Sailing from Pauillac to Cadillac along the Garonne is one of the most picturesque stretches of waterway in Europe and what lies ahead is a very tasty treat indeed. Connoisseurs of dessert wine will understand immediately why visiting Sauterne is momentous and later, the second Scenic Freechoice excursions to either historic Roquetaillade Castle, founded by Charlemagne, or a visit to truffle farm or beautiful 7.5-mile round trip hike caps off an unforgettable day.
In Bordeaux, you’ll have the opportunity to shop with a chef at a local market, enjoy a guided tour of the city or cycle around it at your own pace.
That evening a glorious dinner onboard celebrates regional Bordeaux specialties.
From the jewel of France’s western coastline, Arachon, to Bourg on day eight, another dizzying array of choices awaits from walking tours to interactive wine museums, chocolate and wine pairing and culminating in an evening of jazz back on board Scenic Diamond.
What visit to Cognac would be complete without a visit to Rémy Martin? Your Scenic Freechoice takes you there for a private tasting after a day spent exploring the ancient fortified town.
Alternatively, you might choose to see the revered Carriages Museum in the enchanting Bourg Castle which includes access to the 16th-century passageway to the guards rooms and immense WWII oil tanks.
On the penultimate day of the Beautiful Bordeaux cruise, you’ll head to the remarkable Blaye region established to protect Bordeaux from invasion.
Stroll through the charming Citadel of Blaye, or take a more active walk through the town. There’s also a 19-mile roundtrip cycle tour offered along the Captain’s Road – named in honour of the WWI Captains who purchased properties along the waterway.
Your Captain’s farewell dinner in this cherished gastronomic pocket of France is a fitting farewell to an incredible trip that concludes with a transfer to Bordeaux Airport or Bordeaux Train Station.
DID YOU LIKE THIS STORY?
Subscribe to Mature Travel Magazine today and receive 120-pages of travel inspiration, plus save up to 60% off your subscription!