The Beautiful Villages of Southwestern France, A Girls’ Only Tour

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A typical St. Emilion Wine Chateau seen during our Southwestern France Tour One of my most favorite St. Emilion Wine Chateaux

I’ve been to nearly every region of France and each has its own secrets to discover….its own culture, its own distinct architecture, gourmet specialties and regional wine. Like Italy, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that the map of France, which, we now recognize, came into picture. Ever since we purchased our home in the Southwest region of France 8 years ago I’ve been set on discovering every village, town and ancient relic in the region. I’ve learned about why the farmers still carry their own knives with them to lunch, why Bastide towns are shaped like a cross and what to really goes on at a night market. After lunching one afternoon with a friend who has a home in the Dordogne region (one department over) we hatched a plan to take some like-minded Francophiles on a Girls’ only tour of our two regions, Bordeaux and the Dordogne.

The Dordogne Chateau in Castillones, Southwestern France Tour The Dordogne Chateau where we’ll stay in Castillones

My friend Josette, the former President of the board of the Alliance Française Federation in the United States (aka SERIOUS Francophile) has opened up her black book of insider sources to create this unique tour of France with me. We’ll be staying at her friend’s Chateau and hosting a Paris-style cocktail party.

Cave paintings from the Cro-Magnon era, Southwestern FranceWe will study the cave paintings during a private tour with a world-renowned expert of Cro-Magnon man. We’ll be sampling the best of Bordeaux wines, visiting the Chateau de Montbazillac, which makes sweet dijestif wines and eating as many of the regional delicacies as we can pack under our skirts.

Close-up of duck and fois gras salad, a featured treat from our Southwestern France tour Local Duck and Foie Gras Salad

One day we’ll spend some time lazing by the river at my house, a former priory dating back to the late 1700’s. Then I’m going to take our tour group to our local truck stop. Say what?? Yes, our truck stop is one of the favorites of all the locals and its truly a study to see just how well the French every-man eats. For about 15 euros you can get a 4 –course homemade meal, which is delectable and is served with wine, of course. It’s a lot of fun to couple these Peter Mayle-like über-local experiences with serious haute cuisine meals that you’ll find will rival the very best restaurants in the world.

St. Emilion town hall, Southwestern France St. Emilion town hall

St. Emilion, which is a fairy-tale like village with one of the world’s few underground churches is just one of the achingly charming villages we will discover on our 6 night 7 day tour of the most beautiful villages of Southwestern France. Why don’t you join us?

Chateau Montbazillac, Southwestern France Chateau Montbazillac, where sweet after-dinner wine is made

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