The Aquitaine region offers an amazing choice of things to see, from the fantastic panoramas of the Atlantic coast to the world-wide famous vineyards of Bordeaux and its UNESCO heritage sites. We have selected three themes for you to choose from:
Excursion N° 1: Visit to Saint Emilion. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the medieval village of St Emilion is perched on top of a hill overlooking the famous vineyards of the Bordeaux region. It is situated about 40 min from Bordeaux, and is home to one of the largest underground monolithic cathedrals in the world. You will visit the cathedral and the city’s catacombs and monuments accompanied by a bilingual (English and French) guide, enjoy some free time in the village, and then stop at a wine chateau for a visit of the cellars and taste of the local produce.
Excursion N° 2: Visit to the Bay of Arcachon. The bay of Arcachon is a vast expanse of water protected from the open ocean and dotted by villages of oyster farmers. On one side, the Dune du Pyla (or Dune de Pilat), an immense sand dune formed by the Atlantic wind rises some 110 m above sea level and commands a breath-taking view of the bay and nearby forest. You will reach the foot of the dune by bus (ca. 50 min from Bordeaux) and have time to climb up the dune (NOTE: this is a 5-10 min walk from the parking and 110 steps up to the top of the dune!). Then, you will visit a local village and oyster farm, where you will taste a local specialty: White wine and oysters! Along the way, you will pass through the Ville d’Hiver and Ville de Printemps, unique quarters of Arcachon.
Excursion N° 3: Visit the one of the most famous vine regions of France, the Médoc. With the likes of Château Margaux and Lafite Rothschild, this area concentrates some of the most well-know vineyards in seven wine appellations: Moulis, Listrac, Saint Julien, Saint Estèphe, Pauillac, Médoc, Haut Médoc and Margaux. You will travel along the route des châteaux to Fort Médoc, where you will visit the fort designed by Vauban to protect the port of Bordeaux in the 17th century. From there, you will proceed to a famous château to learn the trade of wine-making, visit the cellars, and taste two of their wines.
It is imperative that you register for the excursions before June 1st 2014 in order to participate. Any registration after that date will be subject to availability. Please note that other excursions will be offered if the one you chose is already full.
Banquet: A banquet will take place on Thursday evening in a famous château of the Graves region, Château Smith-Haut Lafitte. The price includes transportation by bus to the site, a tour of the property, and a three-course dinner accompanied by the second and first wines of the house. Place is limited to 299 persons and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Once the maximum occupancy of the site is reached, inscriptions will be closed.
Accompanying persons: Persons accompanying regular participants are encouraged to participate in the tour program proposed to discover the region. You are invited to the welcome reception on Sunday evening. On Monday, a guided walking tour (2 hours) of Bordeaux will allow you to discover its architectural treasures and enjoy a refreshment along the way. Tuesday, you will visit the Sauternes region of Bordeaux, with a tour of Château de Malle and its gardens, and the nearby medieval village. On Wednesday afternoon you will take part in your choice of one of the excursions proposed to the participants (see above).
Welcome reception. A welcome reception will be organized in the Palais de la Bourse, located in the center of the city of Bordeaux, right on the riverfront for participants and accompanying persons. We have not forgotten the World Cup Final and, after the reception, you can join the crowd in the nearby Place des Quinquonces or stroll to a nearby bar to follow the match live!