Our carefully designed itinerary and expert‑guided excursions explore five impressive UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the dramatic cliffside monastic village of Rocamadour, the important archaeological sites of L’Abri du Cap‑Blanc, Rouffignac Cave and Les‑Eyzies‑de‑Tayac-Sireuil and the prehistoric troglodyte village of La Madeleine. Visit the incredible, newly opened International Center for Cave Art at Lascaux to appreciate one of humankind’s earliest artistic creations. Exclusively arranged, enriching presentations and the Village Life® Forum provide personal perspectives on daily life in the villages of Dordogne.
Christine Desdemaines-Hugon, has worked with the scientific community, lectured on prehistoric art, and shared her knowledge and enthusiasm for the Dordogne region of France with visitors for the past 25 years. Her first visits to the caves of the Dordogne sparked an insatiable passion for the subject of Paleolithic art and she returned to the University of Bordeaux to continue her studies, resulting in a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Anthropology. Recently, Christine completed a book abut the five major case sites in the Dordogne and the evolution of Paleolithic cultures.
1 Depart the U.S.
2 Bordeaux, France/Sarlat-la-Canéda (d) – Transfer to Sarlat to check into Plaza Madeleine Hôtel.
3 Sarlat-la-Canéda (b,r) – Walking tour of medieval Sarlat – Afternoon at leisure to peruse the village market of Sarlat.
4 Rocamadour /Souillac (b,l) – Tour of 13th-century Rocamadour. – Visit to quaint Souillac.
5 Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil /L’Abri du Cap‑Blanc (b,l) – Visit to the Jardins d’Eyrignac. – Specially arranged tour of the National Museum of Prehistory in Les Eyzies led by Christine Desdemaines-Hugon. – View cave friezes of L’Abri du Cap‑lanc. – Sarlat Village Life® Forum.
6 Lascaux/Saint‑Amand‑de‑Coly (b,d) – Visit to Saint-Amand-de-Coly. – Specially arranged tour of prehistoric cave art of Lascaux led by Christine Desdemaines-Hugon. – Lecture on the preservation of medieval architecture in Sarlat. – Sample local wines and cheeses.
7 Rouffignac /La Madeleine (b,d) – Specially arranged tour of prehistoric Rouffignac cave led by Christine Desdemaines-Hugon. – Excursion to the prehistoric troglodyte village of La Madeleine. – Morning at leisure to enjoy individual pursuits in Sarlat such as their quaint twice-weekly market. – Private evening folk music performance and dance.
8 Beynac/Domme (b,l,d) – Tour of 12th-century Chateau de Beynac. – Walking tour of historic Domme. – Cruise in a typical gabare on the bucolic Dordogne River.
9 Sarlat-la-Canéda/Bordeaux/Return to the U.S. (b)
Splendors of Bordeaux Saint-Émilion and Médoc Pre-Program Option
Long distinguished as the wine capital of the world, France’s verdant Bordeaux region has been producing, fermenting and bottling the grape since the eighth century. Tucked away in the heart of the rolling French countryside and endless vineyards, visit the charming and legendary village of Saint-Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for the Merlot grape grown here that produces rich, full‑odied red wines. Visit the impressive medieval monuments of Saint‑milion, including the Eglise Monolithe, one of the largest underground churches in Europe. Just north of Bordeaux in the Medoc region, visit a chateau to experience the grand cru classé, Bordeaux’s distinguished wine classification, and enjoy a tasting of their exquisite wines. Accommodations are for two nights in the deluxe Hôtel Burdigala, located in the heart of Bordeaux.