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Bordeaux to the Mediterranean - Suggested Self Drive

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Bordeaux is impressive with its romantic bridges, Gothic gargoyles clinging to limestone walls, and legendary wines. Explore Dordogne River lined with castles and cave art then head to Carcassonne and the Med.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Bordeaux – Saint-Émilion – Bordeaux (96km)
Spend the day in Saint-Émilion, a quaint, medieval, hilltop village and classified as UNESCO World Heritage-site for its natural landscape.

Day 2: Bordeaux – Bergerac – Sarlat-la-Canéda (192km)
Explore the medieval town of Bergerac renowned for its vineyards, castles, historic monuments, cathedral and gardens, en route to Sarlat-la-Canéda.

Day 3: Sarlat-la-Canéda – Rocamadour – Sarlat-la-Canéda (102km)
Take a day trip to breath-taking Rocamadour. It’s a pilgrimage and fortress village set in a gorge above a tributary of the River Dordogne.

Day 4: Sarlat-la-Canéda – Souillac – Lascaux – Sarlat-la-Canéda (96km)
See the Abbey Saint Mary in the Romanesque town of Souillac. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage-site of Lascaux and the Palaeolithic cave paintings.

Day 5: Sarlat-la-Canéda – Toulouse (200km)
Head to Toulouse, and admire the blushing cascade of the terracotta buildings, built from the clay beds of the Garonne River.

Day 6: Toulouse – Castelnaudary – Carcassonne (103km)
Marvel at the 13th century citadel of Carcassonne, it’s perched on the hilltop, with spikey turrets and fortified walls. The UNESCO World Heritagesite of the Canal du Midi is close by.

Day 7: Carcassonne – Collioure (148km)
Down the coast discover the sensational fishing village of Collioure with its old town, gorgeous beaches, and a waterfront castle and church, all set around a beautiful bay.

Continue on to Provence and the French Riviera.
Customise this itinerary to travel at your own pace.


Highlights worth seeing along the way
Saint-Émilion – Be sure to enjoy a wine tasting in the village and also pickup some Macarons, a local delicacy, to take on your journey.

Bordeaux – Book a table at La Brasserie Bordelaise for a bustling and fun evening with yummy food and a great selection of local wines.

Rocamadour – AOC Cheese Rocamadour is a ‘must’ taste – it’s made locally into small white rounds and is creamy and delicious.

Sarlat-la-Canéda – Take a walk in the early morning when the sunshine often catches the light on the gorgeous yellow sandstone buildings that date back to renaissance and medieval times. They are well restored and very beautiful.

La Roque-Gageac – Voted one of the prettiest villages in all of France, this is another ‘must-see’. It is a picture postcard with its white and ochre houses, nestled between the cliffside and the Dordogne River.

Souillac Jazz Festival – If visiting in July, this town comes alive with a weeklong jazz festival. It’s been held now for over 30 years and artists flock to the bars, cafés and squares of the town and surrounding villages.

Castelnaudary – Stop here en route to Carcassonne. On Monday’s they have market day which is packed with local produce including fresh veges, breads and patisseries, charcuterie and preserves. Aim to get there early though, before it is too hot to wander around.

Collioure – See works of Matisse and Derain on the walls throughout town.

Our favourite places to stay 
• Quality Hotel Bordeaux Centre, Bordeaux
• Le Mas de Castel, Sarlat-la-Canéda
• Grand Hotel de L’Opera, Toulouse
• Hôtel de la Cité Carcassonne MGallery Collection, Carcassonne

Choosing your Rental Car
Take into consideration the size of the vehicle you require. We strongly recommend a compact size car for two adults. If the vehicle is to be used for day touring from a central base and not for transporting your luggage, a smaller vehicle may be adequate. We suggest you book your car before leaving home as this will save money and ensure you get the car of your choice.

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