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Bordeaux & Saint-Émilion

5days from
£1,279*per person


5 Days - European Tour

The sand-coloured streets of Bordeaux's historic centre beg to be explored, with 362 historic monuments to uncover - some dating as far back as Roman times - and stunning architecture. As a region that’s famous for its wine-production, Bordeaux is one of the best places in the world to learn about wine more. We'll visit a family-run chateaux in Saint-Émilion - an area that is home to award-winning wine- and travel through the tunnels under the cloisters of Les Cordeliers to find out more about the unique sparkling wine its famous for. And, of course, there'll be plenty of opportunities to taste the wine. Finally, we visit the City of Wine - this fascinating architectural feat houses interactive exhibits that teach you everything you need to know about growing, producing and yes, even drinking wine. If you haven't guessed by now, this tour is for people who love wine - you don't have to be a connoisseur, but we recommend you at least like wine.


  • Those travelling by train will get to enjoy the changing scenery as you travel from London to Bordeaux. When you start to see vineyards, you'll know you're only about an hour away. And you'll arrive in Bordeaux in style too, disembarking in the magnificent Saint-Jean train station - a beautifully restored, cathedral-like building designed by the legendary Gustave Eiffel (yes, that Eiffel). However you arrive in Bordeaux - whether by train or air - we'll transfer to our hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Known as the "Pearl of the Aquitaine", Bordeaux is one of the largest UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world. It has a rich and varied history spanning 2,000 years. For 300 years it was ruled by England, creating an inextricable link between the city's history and our own. Most people know it for its wine-producing areas and the city is a gateway to some of the world's most famous vineyards - so you'd better believe that the wine on offer is some of the best around. However, you can't have the best wines in the world without food to match - and the gastronomy here is also top-notch. You almost can't go wrong on the hunt for dinner this evening. After dinner, you could take a star-lit stroll to the Port of the Moon - a part of the city created during the Enlightenment with so many preserved buildings it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. 
  • Deemed "the very essence of elegance" by Queen Elizabeth II, time in Bordeaux promises graceful streets, great food and even better drinks. Just a stroll here is a pleasure in itself. A perfume of jasmine and orange blossom settles over the city in the mornings. (Our Product Manager, Claire, claims Bordeaux is the best-smelling city she's visited - and she's very well-travelled!) The paved streets that weave through the city are lined with 18th-century, yellow-stone buildings. And yet, you'll notice there are no crumbling facades here. The buildings are pristine. That's thanks to extensive restorations carried out in the mid-1990s and the city's UNESCO World Heritage status. You won't find high-rises on the left bank of the Garonne (which splits the city in two). We wouldn't blame you for wondering if you've accidentally stepped back in time. This morning, we’ll tour the city - on foot and by coach - stopping at the riverside to admire the aristocratic grandeur of Place de la Bourse and the famous Miroir d'Eau, one of the city's main attractions. Adored by adults and children alike, this magical display rhythmically changes from a pool of water that reflects the 18th-century facades of the surrounding buildings to an eerie mist to a shallow pool - and back. As we continue on our tour, we'll stop to appreciate the colonnaded Opera House and the merchant's houses that line the riverside. And see the quayside - it's considered one of the most magnificent waterfronts in the world thanks to the beautiful historic buildings that line the river. The rest of the day is free for you to explore. Although the area is known as a wine region – there is still so much to see in the city. Its four-line tram system is made up of carriages that are 98 per cent recyclable - and with so many pedestrian-only zones, it's the quickest way to get around. There are plenty of museums to see throughout the city, including the Musée d’Aquitaine - one of the largest French regional history museums outside of Paris. Here, you can learn more about Bordeaux's history, from the three centuries it was British-owned to its complex role in France's slavery-based commerce – the darker side to the city’s maritime history – and, more recent history, with exhibits on the 20th and 21st century. Looking to do a bit of shopping? The Triangle d'Or and lined with high-end boutiques, and the trendier St. Pierre district provides options for those not up to such ambitious price tags. Signature Experience: This afternoon, we'll enjoy a wine-tasting like never before at an organic, biodynamic wine merchant. We'll taste wine at its purest - no chemical pesticides or herbicides - and learn more about the organic farming techniques that make this possible. Will this be the future of winemaking? You decide. 
  • Wine enthusiasts need no introduction to Saint-Émilion (for those not in the know, it's known for some of the most famous wines – using predominately merlot and cabernet sauvignon grapes). This small village is known as one of France's most beautiful villages – the village and surrounding area is UNESCO-protected too. Here, the rolling hills are covered in family-run vineyards and quaint little chateaux. And today we'll visit one of those chateaux for a tour and tasting. Follow a guide as they tell you about the history of the chateaux, the terroirs and the grape variety - everything that makes Saint-Émilion the best place to make merlot and cabernet franc. Finally, you'll be able to taste the final product for yourself and draw your own conclusions - we think you'll agree this is some of the best merlot you've tasted. Afterwards, there'll be time to explore Saint-Émilion at leisure and grab lunch. The village is full of golden-hued, shuttered buildings –emblematic of the French countryside. As you explore, turning a corner means unveiling new sights - statues, fountains and other interesting architecture. It's easy to see why it was awarded "Les Plus Beaux Villages de France". Next, we'll visit the old cloisters of Les Cordeliers. Maintaining much of its historic structures, you can imagine the religious order of the Franciscans strolling through the honey-coloured cloisters in their knotted robes and brown cloaks. As part of our guided tour, we'll venture underground to see the 3km of tunnels that run under much of Saint-Émilion citadel and the surrounding vineyards (don't worry, we won't make you walk all of it). At 20m underground, they are dark and have a near-constant temperature of 12 degrees - the perfect conditions for ageing wine. And, in the magnificently restored 15th-century church, you can taste their bubbly crémant - and buy a bottle to sneak home in your suitcase. After a fascinating day in the heart of some of the world's most famous vineyards, we return to Bordeaux this afternoon and spend the rest of the evening at leisure. Signature Experience: In the beautiful surroundings of a typical Saint-Émilion chateau, enjoy a delicious lunch made with fresh, locally grown ingredients and seasonal produce - along with a glass of their famous wine, of course. 
  • Of course, the region renowned for wine has a wine museum - and everyone agrees it's not to be missed. Inspired by the movement of wine when it's swirling in a glass, the sight of La Cité du Vin is one that will stay with you long after you leave Bordeaux. If you love hands-on learning, you'll love this immersive interactive experience. You'll learn about the history of wine through the ages - in France and worldwide. You can (digitally) tour vineyards in far-flung destinations - including hard-to-reach vineyards clinging to a South American cliff-side or basking in the Australian sunshine. There are even bell jars full of seemingly random items to teach you about the tastes and textures of wine with hands-on - or rather nose-on - examples. You could begin a new career as a sommelier. After thoroughly exploring the exhibits, the visit ends at the top of the building where you can taste wine while looking out at stunning views of the Garonne River and Bordeaux. Choose one wine to try from a wide range of local and international options - is there a wine you've always wanted to try? Just ask. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore Bordeaux as you please. If you're stopping for a sweet treat before continuing to explore this afternoon, we recommend trying a canelé. It's a soft rum and vanilla pastry filled with a custard centre and a thick caramelised crust - and a local favourite. Trust us, it's delicious. Signature Experience: Hidden in Bordeaux's former submarine base is Bassins des Lumières - a mesmerising digital art centre featuring high-quality visual and audio exhibitions. Projected onto the concrete wall - and reflected in the tranquil water of the wet dock - are some of art's most iconic pieces. It surrounds you. You'll really feel like you've stepped into the painting. 
  • Raise one last glass of wine on your plane or train journey home as we transfer to the airport or train station and return to the UK.

What's Included

Holiday Highlights

  • Journey around the world, throughout the ages and across countless civilisations to discover more about wine at the City of Wine – a museum dedicated to the living heritage of wine.  
  • Wander through the sand-coloured streets of Bordeaux to see highlights such as Place de la Bourse and the famous water mirror. 
  • Tour a quintessential chateau and winery in the renowned Saint-Émilion for a tour and tasting.  
  • Venture underground in Les Cordeliers to see the impressive tunnels where their sparkling wine has been aged for centuries and taste their crémant wine.  
  • The Signature Tour option includes all of the above as well as:
  • Enjoy a delicious lunch at a historic chateau in the Saint-Émilion region featuring fresh local produce. 
  • Step into the art on a visit to Bassin des Lumières, a fascinating art exhibit in an ex-submarine base. 
  • Taste the future of winemaking on a visit to an organic, biodynamic vintner for a tasting. 
  • Enjoy the more exclusive atmosphere of travelling in a small group with an average of 22 guests.

Our Price Includes

  • The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Sole occupancy rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement. The price includes:  
  • 4 nights in four-star accommodation 
  • Daily breakfast 
  • Return standard class reserved seat on Eurostar and return coach transfer from Saint-Jean station to your hotel or return flights and transfers 
  • All tours as listed 
  • All local accommodation taxes 
  • The services of a Riviera Travel tour manager 
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Dates and Prices

September 2024
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  • Limited Availability
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Price from:£1,279
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Novotel Bordeaux Centre Gare Saint Jean -


The Novotel Bordeaux Centre Gare Saint Jean is located in the Saint-Jean district – part of the Port of Moon UNESCO World Heritage Site that encompasses half of the city. It has excellent transport links. It’s just a few hundred meters away from the beautifully restored Gare St Jean Station and right outside is a tram stop. You’re just 3 stops away from the heart of Bordeaux – perfect for exploring the city during time at leisure. In the evenings, it’ll be easy to find bars and restaurants for dinner. There are many in the nearby train station and in the neighbouring St Michel and St Croix districts. This hotel is just 40 minutes from Saint-Emilion – it's the perfect base from which to explore the city and surrounding countryside. The hotel is recently refurbished with a modern comfortable style. You can enjoy a drink in the hotel’s laid-back bar which looks out over the restaurant’s patio. Your rooms are comfortable - with an understated elegance – featuring a double bed and ensuite bathroom. You room also includes tea & coffee making facilities, a desk, phone, fat screen TV with satellite channels and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Mercure Bordeaux Château Chartrons Hotel -


Located in the historic Chartrons area of Bordeaux, the hotel has easy access to the tram system – perfect for exploring the city on your own during time at leisure. Just a short walk away is the Quai des Chartrons with a waterside promenade leading to some of the city’s most popular meeting spots and attractions. And with a selection of local bars and restaurants just a stroll away, you’re never far from a fantastic spot for dinner. At just 40 minutes from Saint-Emilion, we think it’s the perfect base from which to explore the city and surrounding countryside.  The Mercure Bordeaux Château Chartrons Hotel has been completely renovated to ensure you have everything you need to recharge your batteries after a day exploring the region. You can enjoy contemporary cuisine based on fresh and seasonal produce in the restaurant, followed by an après-dinner drink in the hotel bar – or, if the weather cooperates, out on the terrace - before retreating to your spacious, air-conditioned room. With stylish modern décor your room features a double bed and ensuite bathroom as well as a safe and flat screen TV. And for those energetic few, the hotel also features a state-of-the-art fitness centre.

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Holiday provided by Riviera Travel

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE: change your booking for free, Covid-19 cancellation protection included as standard and 100% protection with ABTA & ATOL. This holiday is sold and operated by Riviera Travel (ABTA V4744, ATOL 3430). These ABTA and ATOL bonds mean that, when you book a Riviera Travel holiday, you can be 100% sure that your money is safe.

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