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Small Group Tours

Explore Bonaguil Castle and Enjoy a Malbec Wine Tour on a Private Day Trip from Sarlat

8 Rue Gabriel Tarde, 24200 Sarlat-la-Canéda, France

Activity provided by Ophorus

8 hours (approx.) - English

Ophorus

A Full Day Excursion to Ruins and Vineyards Along The Lot Valley on this small group private day trip from Sarlat. Visit mighty Bonaguil castle one of the last standing medieval fortress. Visit Cahors wine region and taste delicious Malbec.

Highlights
  • Meet your English speaking local guide, expert of Castles & Wines
  • Travel in a spacious Mercedes Minivan
  • Visit the Mighty Castle of Bonaguil
  • Visit and wine tasting in the Malbec wine region
  • Free time for lunch (at own expense) in Puy l’Eveque
Description

Meet your English speaking local guide, expert of Castles & Wines 

Today, we will come and pick you up at your Hotel or accommodation in Sarlat. Meet your English speaking guide who is an expert of the Dordogne & Lot Region and who will go over the itinerary and program of this full day tour with you. Then, board your spacious, comfortable, air conditioned Mercedes minivan and begin to make your way to the Quercy region of France.. 

Travel in a spacious Mercedes Minivan 

Your private Sarlat Sightseeing Tour will take place in one of our very spacious Mercedes Minivans. This vehicle can take up to 8 persons normally but on this occasion, the vehicle will only be for you. This allows you to choose the seat that you think best in terms of social distancing while still enjoying the information passed on by your guide.

All our vehicles are equipped with an on board P/A system that allows you to hear the commentary of your driver/guide no matter where you are seated. Also, there is free Wi-Fi access on all tour vehicles. Bottled water is also available in all our vehicles.

Visit the Mighty Castle of Bonaguil

Considered to be a Gem of military architecture, Bonaguil castle, located near the Lot Valley, was the last of the great fortified castles to be built in France. Classified as a National Monument in 1862, it is without a doubt one of the most impressive and evocative castle ruins of France.

Chateau de Bonaguil is a typical medieval castle with three defensive lines, each inner line higher than the one it overlooks. The first line of defense was the outer wall dedicated to grazing fire, second was the main castle and third was the keep.

Built on a rocky needle surrounded by abrupt terrain, it is really only accessible from one side. A fortified barbican protected the main entrance of the castle, with a deep dry moat carved into the rock separating it from the main castle.

Bonaguil shows us how artillery was incorporated in the defense of a medieval castle. However, with the advancement of more powerful artillery, medieval castles became obsolete. The days of the castle were at an end and the birth of the modern fort had begun.

Follow your guide for a private tour of the castle. Only certified guides can conduct such a tour and you will marvel at all the historical and architectural details your guide will be able to give you on this unique tour.

Free time for lunch (at own expense) in Puy l’Eveque

After the visit of Bonaguil, head south and reach the charming medieval village of Puy L’Eveque where it will be possible for you to have lunch in a nearby restaurant.

Reach the Malbec wine region of Cahors

After the visit, reach the Lot River that is lined with vineyards. This is the original producing area of Malbec! Originally from Cahors, locally known as Cot or Auxerrois, Malbec is the dominant grape variety of Cahors wines. It is supplemented by up to 30% Merlot and Tannat – another local grape variety. As a reflection of the character of the Malbec variety, Cahors wines can be rather tannic when young, and benefit from aging.

There are 4,400 hectares (10,000 acres) of Cahors vineyards. The designation AOC Cahors may only be used for red wines even though there is also some white and rosé wine produced in the same area but it falls under the designation Vin de Pays du Lot instead (Country Wines).

Ideal climate conditions, Oceanic but under a strong influence from the Mediterranean, the climate that can be found around the Cahors vineyard is characterized by less rainfall than in Bordeaux. In the autumn, the Autan wind blows dry hot air coming from the south that provides perfect maturity to the berries whilst the Lot River is a natural thermal regulator.

The terraces of the Lot are divided into three distinct areas composed of alluviums that originated from the Central Mountain range. The more one rises, the more the soils are drained. The terraces adjacent to the river produce subtle and fruity wines. The mid terraces give much more ample type wines.

The higher terraces as well as the Grèzes areas, composed of limestone blocks originating from the Causse plateau, are the ones that give the richer type Cahors that are fit for being laid down. Above 300 meters altitude, on the limestone plateau that is less fertile than the terraces and where the influence of the River is less effective, the wines produced there are less full bodied but of great finesse.

Visit and wine tasting in the Malbec wine region

This afternoon we will take you to a selected winery of the Cahors appellation. Here, you will have the opportunity to learn about the local wine making process. Then, participate in a wine tasting session and taste the local wines guided by a knowledgeable hand.

At the end of the tour, return to Sarlat.

Itinerary

– Meeting an English speaking local guide who is an expert of Castles & Wines
– Traveling in a spacious Mercedes Minivan
– Visiting the Mighty Castle of Bonaguil
– Free time for lunch (at own expense) in Puy l’Eveque
– Reaching the Malbec wine region of Cahors
– Visit and wine tasting in the Malbec wine region
– Return to Sarlat

Starting Location
8 Rue Gabriel Tarde, 24200 Sarlat-la-Canéda, France.
Itineraries are subject to change.
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