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Overview

Culinary Vacations in Southern France

One of Albi's signature bridgesThe South of France contains so many charming towns, villages, and landmarks, it can be difficult to choose just one place to visit. This tour is an opportunity to explore the South of France in style and enjoy the luxurious offerings of these three historic destinations. You will have the opportunity to discover the local culinary traditions by learning about the production of regional delicacies, and through two hands-on classes with professional chefs. You will also experience charming estates and boutique hotels while engaging with all of the flavors the area has to offer.

Market in SarlatYour arrival will be in Toulouse, which is also known as the ‘Pink City,” due to the terracotta bricks used to build many of the structures. It is the fourth largest city in France and it is home to a great number of gastronomic outputs, though it is particularly famous for its foie gras.

Head to Albi, a fascinating town with a unique history, where you will find the architecture of the area particularly divine. Albi’s strong religious heritage is built on years of conflict with the Catholic Church, and you will visit its enormous Sainte-Cécile Cathedral. The cathedral was constructed as a testament to Episcopalian power and was meant to act as a stronghold in the event of invasion by the Catholics.

Sarlat will be the location of much of your stay, and it is a wonderful cultural touchstone for French cuisine. You will have the opportunity to try everything from the finest nougat in Europe to freshly harvested truffles. Embark on this delectable journey and you will not be disappointed, but will find yourself captivated by history coming to life in the hands of those who bear the weight of its traditions.


Highlights of Cooking Vacations to Southern France

Highlights of your deluxe culinary tour to the South of France will include:

  • Accommodations in beautiful, boutique French hotels.
  • Two hands-on cooking classes featuring southern French recipe.
  • Visits of the Dordogne, Rocamadour, and Albi.
  • Tour of the Château de Mercuès winery with tasting.

And much more!



Itinerary

Sunset in ToulouseDay One

  • Upon arrival at the Toulouse Airport, you will meet your private driver and transfer to your hotel.
  • You will spend the rest of the day at your leisure, resting or exploring the estate.
  • The Domaine de Perches is a 17th century wine-growing estate in Tarn, in the center of the  neighboring towns of Albi, Cordes-sur-Ciel, and Gaillac, forming what is known as the ‘golden triangle’. The residence has all the charm of a privateguest house and the luxurious atmosphere of a boutique hotel. The rooms are charming and intimate, and the owners’ number one priority is making sure their guests are happy at all times! The house is in the middle of a large estate featuringgrounds that include a flower garden and a pond covered with water lilies, all surrounded by large weeping willows.
  • Dinner and drinks will be served in the evening. Overnight at Domaine de Perches.

Botanical garden on your culinary tour in AlbiDay Two

  • In the morning, you will have breakfast before meeting up with your driver and your guide to travel to an Olive Oil domaine. There, you will find the Atelier du Moulin, a fully staffed, restaurant-grade kitchen set amidst vineyards and olive groves.
  • You will have the opportunity to take part in a private cooking class with professional chefs that features local recipes. Afterward you will enjoy a traditionally crafted midday meal together.
  • In the evening you will drive to the nearby town of Albi. There you will discover the imposing Sainte-Cécile cathedral, as well as the Berbie palace. Then you will visit the  Pont-vieux and the banks of the Tarn. Albi is a unique city with amonumental brick complex and the entire city has been a World Heritage Site since 2010.
  • Drive back to Domaine de Perche.
  • Dinner at the Domaine and overnight.

Castle in Sarlat

Day Three

  • In the morning you will have breakfast, followed by leisure time on the property.
  • Meet the driver at the Domaine and drive to Sarlat
  • On the way, you will stop at Château de Mercuès. The Château de Mercuès was built more than 800 years ago and overlooks the Lot valley. The enormous vineyards are famous for their Cahors Malbec, as well as a variety of other reds and rosés. You will tour the Chateau and take part in a tasting.
  • Check in at your hotel before spending the rest of the day at your leisure in Sarlat. You will stay at the Plaza Madeleine or Le petit Manoir.  Dinner on your own.

Market in SarlatDay Four

  • In the morning you will have breakfast at the hotel, then transfer to a nearby village to enjoy a cooking class.
  • The resident chef was educated professionally before starting his career abroad. He worked for many years in a variety of cities, including London, the Oxford and Kent regions of England, and Valletta on the island of Malta. Nowadays, he has returned to his hometown in the picturesque medieval village of Daglan. He will guide you through the local market, helping you to choose the best traditional ingredients in order to craft a classic Italian meal.
  • In the evening you will discover the Valley of Dordogne. The Dordogne is home to 10 of France’s most beautiful villages. Each one will delight you with fabulous food, splendid views, and stunning belvederes. Your tour guide will take you on a journey to forgotten abbeys and majestic châteaux, leading you through Domme, Castelnaud la Chapelle, and La roque-Gageac, before driving back to Sarlat, where you will spend the night. Dinner on your own.

The stone facades of Rocmadour, France.Day Five

  • After breakfast, meet your driver guide and drive to Rocamadour.
  • Your first visit of the day will be dedicated to the famous Rocamadour cheese. You will visit a goat cheese farm, and discover the production step by step before enjoying a delicious tasting.
  • A picnic lunch of charcuterie sourced directly from the farm will be provided. Lunch will also feature Rocamadour wine, fresh bread, and the locals’ favorite walnut pie.
  • Rocamadour is a popular pilgrimage site and in the afternoon you will have the opportunity to visit some of their most sought-out religious landmarks. The village occupies a beautiful hillside and consists mainly of churches and private residences. You can enjoy the beautiful Saint-Sauveur Basilica and the crypt of Saint Amadour, which are protected heritage sites. You will also tour the Benedictine chapel featuring the celebrated Black Madonna statue that has stood for more than one millennium.
  • In the evening, you will return to Sarlat.

Strawberry Puff mille-feulle dessert on your trip to Southern France.Day Six

  • Breakfast, then transfer to Toulouse according to your flight schedule.

Optional Add-Ons

If you want additional time in this beautiful southern part of France, we can propose:

  • A night or nights in Toulouse, with a guided city tour
  • A two-night extension in Carcassonne, with a historical walking tour, a pastry or chocolate class, a deluxe wine tasting and winery visit, plus 5* accommodations
  • An extension in Bordeaux

 

Cooking Classes during Your Southern France Culinary Vacation

Included in the 5-Night Southern France Cooking Vacation

Accommodations

  • 2 nights at near Galliac
  • 3 nights in Sarlat

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 3 lunches (including lunches following the cooking classes and the picnic lunch during Rocamadour visit)
  • 2 dinners

Classes & Instructors

You will have 2 cooking classes during your deluxe southern France cooking vacation. The first will be at an olive oil domaine with professional chefs and will feature southern French recipes. The second cooking class will be in the Dordogne, in the village of Daglan. It will start with a visit to the local market.

Excursions

  • Private day tour with driver guides or driver and guide in Dordogne
  • Market Visit in the Valley of Dordogne
  • Driving Tour of Albi
  • Tour of the Château de Mercuès winery with tasting
  • Full day Rocamadour excursion

Transfer Details

  • Arrival and departure transfers from/to Toulouse.

Miscellaneous

  • Operational and logistical support throughout the tour
  • Entrance fees
  • City tourist tax

Not Included

  • Dinners in Sarlat
  • Lunch on days without a cooking class.
  • Beverages except where otherwise stated

Accommodation Information

You will begin your stay at the fabulous Domaine de Perches. The Domaine de Perches was renovated from a 17th century wine-castle into a boutique hotel, in which you will be housed! The Domaine has a long history of wine production, and its vast acreage features a vineyard, a seasonal outdoor pool and tennis court, and a lovely terrace with a garden. The rooms are spacious and tasteful, exemplifying comfort at its finest.

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Upon arrival in Sarlat, you will either stay at the Hotel Plaza Madeleine or le Petit Manoir. Both hotels offer excellent accommodation options, while providing slightly different experiences. The Plaza Madeleine is a large, four-star hotel with a heated pool and jacuzzi, as well as a spa that includes a hammam. The rooms are sleek and modern, and can be easily upgraded to provide direct access to the pool and sauna. Le Petit Manoir is a boutique hotel converted from an historic dwelling in the center of Sarlat. Featuring six rooms and three suites, the hotel is a calm and intimate dwelling where temporary residents can enjoy a little slice of the past from the comfort of their beds. There is a lovely pool and each bathroom includes a spa bath and floor-level shower. Tradition is met with modern luxury in this elegant and tasteful residence.

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Southern France Cooking Vacation Pricing and Dates 2024

Check out the pricing and tour dates for our Southern France food and wine tours in Toulouse and Sarlat, and reach out to book your Southern France culinary vacation today!



Year-Round Culinary Tour to the South of France Pricing:

5 Night Southern France Gourmet Tour Itinerary

US$5425 per person based on double occupancy

    30% deposit due to confirm booking.
    Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!

    Please inquire for special pricing for groups of 4 or more.


    Southern France Culinary Vacation Tour Dates 2024

    Our cooking vacations in southern France are available year round for a minimum of 2 people. Please inquire for availability!

    Sample weeks follow, but other start dates also possible.

    2024
    July 22-27
    July 29-August 3
    August – Unavailable
    September 2-7
    September 9-14
    September 16-21
    September 23-28
    September 30-October 5
    October 7-12
    October 14-19
    October 21-26
    October 28-November 2
    November 4-9
    November 11-16
    November 18-23
    November 25-30
    December 2-7
    December 9-14

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    We Can Help Plan The Best Cooking Vacation in Southern France

    Grapes growing at a vineyard in France.
    We are happy to provide assistance with flights, additional nights and tours in France, and more! Just contact us to let us know what you need. There are many things we can help with to make your cooking holiday in southern France that much more special.

    Contact us for more information!

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