Few areas of France can conjure up visions of wine like Bordeaux and the Medoc or Burgundy. So different in atmosphere, cuisine and scenery from one another yet a must experience pilgrimage destination for modern day foodies and wine lovers.
The history of growing grapes to make wine dates from the era of Louis XIV in southwest France near Bordeaux and a drive along the Route des Grands-Crus brings encounters with legendary names like Chateau Margaux, Chateau de Beychevelle, Chateau Mouton-Rothschild and Chateau Lafite. To the north of Garonne river which borders the Medoc is St. Emilion while to the southeast is the region of Graves and Sauterne. South of Bordeaux is the seacoast where oysters and seafood are the delights in Arcachon.
Because of our nearly four decades of personal and professional partnerships with French providers, we are able to not only offer our clients premium value for these indelible Bordeaux and Dordogne and the Lot experiences but also the opportunity to savor them in a highly personalized luxury manner. Whether you are a budget minded traveler or one with Platinum travel tastes, let Endless Beginnings create a luxury custom journey to fulfill your dreams.
From the elegant Place de la Bourse radiating outward to Bordeaux’s palaces encrusted with stone-sculpture and tree lined boulevards fronting the 18th century mansions built for the wine merchants the city you’ll find a UNESCO Heritage city with a fascinating architectural, cultural and oenological history. This Gallo-Roman city’s past has been and remains a city of which Henry James justifiably wrote, “Bordeaux is…dedicated to the worship of Bacchus in the most discreet form.”
Since the Romans first introduced vines, through the 14th century and Hundred Years War the wine trade never slowed. Centered around the Garonne river Bordeaux’s port was one of Europe’s major ports during the Age of Enlightenment exporting the products of its prestigious vineyards. And today both banks of the Garonne, the city’s lifeline, provide riverside trails for bikes or strolling, terraces to relax over drinks or cruises along its waters. This is a wine capital hemmed in by green, sun-drenched vineyards. Viticulture here is an ancient art and tradition bearing its own unique trademarks and no other vineyards in the world produce as much fine wine. Paired with the city's exceptional dining scene – a sassy mix of traditional French kitchens, experimental bistros, creative fusion restaurants, food trucks and barista-run coffee shops - it’s a foodie’s paradise.
Journey any direction from Bordeaux and you’ll find diverse historical, cultural, and ecological attractions that are easily accessible on foot or by bicycle. In the north's Médoc region are the wines of legend. The southeast is the Graves region with many of the world's oldest vineyards for Sauternes and illustrious wines like Chateau d’Yquem. Across the Garonne in the east is the golden jewel of the Saint-Émilion appellation. And to the west lies the Atlantic Ocean with miles of golden sandy beaches and dunes, unspoiled pine forests and the fabulous oysters and seafood of Arcachon. Any or all give more than enough reason for an extended stay.
While Bordeaux and Burgundy are all about the wine, the beautiful countryside of the Dordogne is a pastoral mixture of rolling hills meandering along the banks of dreamily flowing, gentle rivers. You would not find it out of place to spy Cinderella’s coach come rolling down the road from the neighborhood chateau! This region is home to not only castles but gastronomic excellence in foie gras, duck and goose confit, truffles and prehistoric caves hidden deep in the landscape at Lascaux, Pech Merle or Font-de-Gaume. Pilgrimage sites like Rocamadour, sleepy villages like Tremolat where you can stay coddled in rustic country elegance or lofty castles guarding both riverbanks and valleys at Souillac or Cahors make this a magical region for a holiday.
The Lot, a ribbon of turquoise meandering past ever-changing landscapes, is France’s longest river. It is studded with some of the country’s most beautiful villages like red roofed Saint Cirq La Popie overhanging a cliff where its castle ruins offer eye popping views. Man and Nature have both left their imprint on the region and whether you're rambling, kayaking or cycling, the unspoiled, authentic nature of the Lot is evident for all to see. Home to excellent local produce, fine food and wines, the Lot has many treats to offer your taste buds - truffles, foie gras, walnuts, lamb - inviting all gastronomic pilgrims to idle some time away in their enjoyment. In the summer the Lot valley is a hive of village festivals, concerts and wine fairs while autumn is tranquil, cool but sunny and mesmerizingly beautiful as the vineyards turn russet and gold.
France Aquitaine Bordeaux city bridge
Sunset landscape bordeaux wineyard
Cathédrale de Bordeaux
Penne Dagenais Dordogne
The Lot Valley France
Vinotheque Bordeaux city Center
La Cité du Vin
Porte Cailhau at night, Bordeaux
Vineyards of Saint Emilion, Bordeaux
Sur le Pont Vieux,Espalion, Aveyron, Lot
A gentle cruise on a hotel barge is the perfect way to discover the very soul of Europe, exploring its idyllic pastoral countryside and historical treasures, discovering unknown France experienced only from the intimate access a barge can offer. Far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, hotel barge voyages allow you to travel in luxury without the strains of packing and unpacking all the while enjoying a blend of daily excursions, fascinating cruising, exceptional Cuisine and phenomenal wine.
Imagine a romantic hot air balloon flight in France. Floating majestically and effortlessly over the prettiest regions including Paris, Loire Valley, Provence, Burgundy, Auvergne. Hot air balloon flights can be enjoyed by everyone as there are no particular age or physical requirements. Take flight in the early hours just after dawn or later in the day just before sunset when the air is still and the light is perfect for drifting gently, gazing down at the countryside carpet below, including châteaux, medieval villages, and vineyards. Finishing up with the traditional Champagne "toast aux Aéronautes" at the landing.