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My Route du Bonheur

From Bordeaux to Catalonia: vineyards, the Canal du Midi and the Mediterranean

Plan your personalized
itinerary with our concierge

+1 800 735 2478 * *Local charges apply
Revel amidst the ramparts of Carcassonne, lose yourself in a starry sky or navigate the locks on the Canal du Midi... this road to the south will take you through city escapes, stylish aperitifs, rural vineyard retreats and exhilarating road trips. When in Bordeaux, an exploration of its illustrious listed châteaux is a must, before heading for Occitanie and Cathar Country. After a stop-off in the famous medieval citadel, it’s off to the coast to find some great diving spots! Take a short trip around the magnificent Castellet de Perpignan for some shopping set to sing-song accents, before escaping to the nearby summits of the Pyrenees.
Suggestion of itinerary
  • 6 hotels
  • from US$ 1,365.88 *
1
135 km
2
52 miles
3
87 km
4
195 km
5
161 km
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To give you inspiration, Relais & Châteaux presents the Routes du Bonheur: suggestions for travel itineraries that you can fully personalise according to your wishes and the experiences you would like to discover. Our consultants are available to help customise your route and assist you in making reservations at our properties. It is up to you to reserve any recommended activities on-site or nearby that might interest you.
*Total price provided for information only, based on accommodation for two people in a double room for the number of nights per property as indicated on this page, exclusive of recommended activities, properties that cannot be reserved online and restaurants.


1 Bordeaux — 1 Night
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La Grande Maison de Bernard Magrez

Bordeaux - France

Hotel and restaurant in town. The Grande Maison de Bernard Magrez is a private 19th century mansion, driven by two ambassadors of excellence, at the service of the arts. The art of hospitality is showcased by the six elegant guest rooms inspired by Napoleon III style. Culinary arts are embodied by the exceptional cuisine of Pierre Gagnaire. The art of Great Wines, with a wine list unique in the world, boasting 259 positions including 172 Grands Crus Classés, is perfectly aligned to the remarkable signature dishes of the Chef with new creations around local products. The journey continues with contemporary art at the Cultural Institute Bernard Magrez, across the street, with the permanent exhibition of works from the collection of the owner. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor
Key Services
6 rooms
(from) US$ 323.59
Choose Room
Close to the property

Food and drink hotspots of Bordeaux

Food and drink hotspots of Bordeaux

Four creative entrepreneurs created this unusual new place with trendy decor and original cocktails. It is definitely a must-see for any trip to Bordeaux. 

Symbiose
4, Quai des Chartrons
33000 Bordeaux

Bordeaux on a moto

Bordeaux on a moto

See Bordeaux in a new light. Travel by moto across the winding roads through the vinyards. Showcasing the passion and lifestyle of winemaking, your journey takes you to a classified Grand Cru of Saint-Emilion for a wine cellar tour and to enjoy a prepared lunch. 

1
135 km
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52 miles
3
87 km
4
195 km
5
161 km
2 Bommes — 1 Night
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Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey Hôtel & Restaurant LALIQUE

Bommes - France

Hotel and restaurant in a vineyard. The first walls of the château were built in the 13th century and the first vines were planted 400 years ago. Established as a Premier Grand Cru Classé in 1855, this prestigious estate has been renovated by Maison Lalique, who has breathed refinement and modernity into the space, creating a haven of peace where the worlds of crystal and wine intertwine. The rooms and suites reflect this elegant universe and offer a striking view over the property’s vineyards. Macerations, infusions, crystallisations — wine is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for the subtle and chiseled cuisine of chef Jérôme Schilling. In the restaurant’s four wine cellars, 350,000 bottles are housed, including the Grands Crus Classés of Bordeaux. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
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Key Services
13 rooms
(from) US$ 218.67
Choose Room
Close to the property

The prestigious Sauternes AOC

The prestigious Sauternes AOC

Stretching across nearly 2,000 hectares (4,950 acres), the Sauternes appellation is one of the finest in the wine-making industry and in Bordeaux. An inseparable companion for fois gras, the sweet amber-yellow wine got its reputation from the illustrious Château d’Yquem. To wander through the vineyard is to visit outstanding wine cellars; to admire the world-famous estates rising from the vines is to feel the pulse of a region full of unique treasures.

Canoeing and kayaking on the Ciron River in Bommes

Canoeing and kayaking on the Ciron River in Bommes

In the village of Bommes, take a canoe or a kayak down the Ciron River that feeds into the Garonne River. It’s a fun and one-of-a-kind way to paddle through and explore this gorgeous part of the Sauternes region. Perfect for anyone who loves outdoor activities!

1
135 km
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52 miles
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87 km
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195 km
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161 km
3 Barbotan-les-Thermes — 1 Night
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La Bastide en Gascogne

Barbotan-les-Thermes - France

Hotel and restaurant in the country. Protected by the village’s medieval church and in the shade of old plane trees, stands this beautiful 18th century charterhouse. The stone arcades of its sand colored frontage invite you to discover an elegant succession of living and dining rooms. An afternoon by the fireplace in the library, a summer night dining under the lime-tree, tasting Armagnac from its vineyards, nestled in its soft sofas: all this generous joy, real hymn to the delicious products of Gascony, matches the harmony of its luminous simplicity. In the gardens, benefit from the expert treatments provided at the Thermal Spa. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor
Key Services
29 rooms
(from) US$ 183.06
Choose Room
Close to the property

Cocktail lounge in Gascony

Cocktail lounge in Gascony

A traditional family bar-restaurant during the day that is transformed into speakeasy at night. The young boss knows the tricks of the trade to concoct great classic cocktails with style, attracting everyone from the surrounding vineyards. Let the evening pass and when midnight comes, the curtain falls and the party continues in the back! 

La Coccinelle, Barbotan-les-Thermes

The assault has launched!

The assault has launched!

A reconstituted medieval camp for children. Various activities showcase the art of war and the associated techniques from the fourteenth century. Learn about trebuchets, rams, belfries and other unique items. In summer, a troupe of actors offer medieval shows.

Larressingle, Gers 

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135 km
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52 miles
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87 km
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195 km
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161 km
4 Puymirol — 1 Night
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Michel Trama

Puymirol - France

Restaurant and hotel in a village. Contemporary interior designer Jacques Garcia has worked wonders with the décor of this 13th century bastide, that was once home to the Counts of Toulouse. The mood is theatrical and luxurious. Sofas with feet that look like lion paws sit beside ancient floor tiles and velvety wall hangings. There is a touch of the artist Jean Cocteau here too, with an avant-garde chandelier that appears out of a wall. Your itinerary should include visiting the region which is one of the most beautiful parts of France, and sampling the recipes dreamt up by Chef Michel Trama, this extraordinary self-taught multi-starred Chef, who strolls through the Lot-et-Garonne farmer markets looking for the best and the unexpected. His cuisine reveals his love of wholesome food and of life in general. You'll sample notably his potato papillote and his lobster lasagna, a few reasons the restaurant is not to be missed. ... Learn moreless

Key Services
9 rooms
(from) US$ 242.97
Choose Room
Close to the property

Budding Astronomer

Budding Astronomer

A dinner at La Ferme des Etoiles, this famous Gers observatory is sponsored by the famous Hubert Reeves and well-known by all astronomy enthusiasts. Organised every weekend, these evenings are specially designed to discover the wonders of the sky with family or friends. Starting at twilight, a specialist from the farm accompanies you as you search for the stars, first with the naked eye, then with binoculars ,and finally with a telescope. Friendly and fascinating!

Fleurance, Gers

On the route

Relais & Chateaux, Restaurant En Marge

Relais & Chateaux, Restaurant En Marge

On the hillsides of Aureville, in the Toulouse countryside, Isabelle and Frank Renimel have designed a welcoming and authentic home with a touch of whimsy. The brick and pebble walls of the old building have been preserved and stand in exquisite harmony with the new additions of sleek geometric lines. The decor is simple and warm, embellished with splashes of bright colours here and there. As for the five rooms, they each evoke an emotion: fun, indulgence and so on. The magic continues with the cuisine. Composed like paintings, the dishes are each signed with a flower from the garden. Highlighting the best of the region, enjoy such specialities as suckling pig or caviar from the Pyrenees.

 

Relais & Châteaux, Restaurant En Marge

 

Canal du Midi in Toulouse

Canal du Midi in Toulouse

A stunning work of art connecting Toulouse to the Mediterranean. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Canal du Midi dates back to the 17th century. Canal du Midi is the perfect spot for a romantic walk or a Sunday stroll, but you will also find brightly colored “péniches” (barges) that house shops like Maison de la Violette, known for its handmade body products and candy based on the delicate little violet flower.

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135 km
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52 miles
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87 km
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195 km
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161 km
5 Carcassonne — 1 Night
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Domaine d’Auriac

Carcassonne - France

Hotel and restaurant on a golf course. The Domaine d’Auriac is built on the ancient Carsac oppidum, where the story of Carcassonne, a Unesco World Heritage site, begins. For three generations, the Rigaudis Family has reinvented this 19th-century townhouse, built over the cellars of a Carolingian Abbey – ruled over by calm and fine dining in the shade of the 300-year-old surrounding park. The restaurant at the Domaine serves the original recipe for the typical local “Dieu le Fils” cassoulet. In a region where history, mysteries and legends, such as the story of Abbot Saunière’s treasure in Rennes-le-Château, abound, discover Cathare abbeys and castles whose ruins rise from cliff tops and rocky promontories. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
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Key Services
21 rooms
(from) US$ 220.88
Choose Room
Close to the property

Let’s drink wine and dance

Let’s drink wine and dance

"Le Bar à vins", a simple name that hides this unmissable night spot in Carcassonne. Party the night away in the open air, surrounded by medieval walls and the tricentenary chestnut tree. Every weekend, DJs play music into the early hours of the morning in this Medieval City.
Le Bon Plan: it’s hard to tell that this bar is also owned by Marie-Hélène Rigaudis, the housewife of the Domaine d'Auriac, who will be happy to reserve you a coveted table.
More information: Le Bar à Vins, rue du Plô

Carcassonne, in wide angle

Carcassonne, in wide angle

Walk around capturing photos while being guided by a professional. This "photowalk" allows you to discover the city of Carcassonne from different points of view: the barbican of l’Eglise Saint Grimer, the Grande Caponniere, or even the magnificent Porte d'Aude at sunset. An urban and artistic walk. 

 

Nautical Picnic on the Canal

Nautical Picnic on the Canal

Linking the Atlantic ocean to the Mediterranean sea, a crazy dream dating back to the 17th century. The Chef of Domaine d'Auriac will provide you with a well stocked basket. Then you’ll step back in time, traversing the beautiful water and landscapes of Cathar country.  Imagine yourself on the Ondine ship, which is close to the Seuil of Naurouze, the highest point of this venerable and unique river, and also a UNESCO heritage site.   

More information: Canal du Midi, Carcassonne
Contact NaviCanal 06 75 28 60 83 and the Domaine d’Auriac

Slow Road in Cathar Country

Slow Road in Cathar Country

A day in Roussillon to explore the southern roads in a 2CV. With you at the wheel, ask your co-pilot to guide you: itineraries amid vineyards, mountains and picturesque villages. It is up to you to choose your stops: historical sites or gastronomic breaks. Take a detour by the Poterie Not at Mas Ste Puelles, the oldest pottery shop in Southern France. On your way, don't forget the Abbaye de Fontfroide, a restored Cistercian abbey that has been re-decorated with stained glass windows and precious works of art. 

 

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135 km
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52 miles
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87 km
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195 km
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161 km
6 Prades — 1 Night
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Château de Riell

Prades - France

Hotel and restaurant on a river. In an unspoilt valley in French Catalonia, looking out at the snow-topped mount Canigou, you will find the Château de Riell, perched among parasol pines and oleander trees. This hotel is made for hedonists, with its baroque interiors and a restaurant whose highlights include lamb and seafood. Sports enthusiasts can choose from the huge range of outdoor activities against a backdrop of breathtaking scenery and the open-air pool set on the castle’s ramparts. Discerning gentlemen travellers will be impressed by the ambiance of the Out of Africa bar and the dacha, where you can sit and read or enjoy breakfast. A splendid escape in Romanesque Roussillon. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
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Key Services
17 rooms
(from) US$ 176.71
Choose Room
Close to the property

Shopping Trends in the Grand Sud

Shopping Trends in the Grand Sud

From the windows, to the interior decor, to the delightful tea room, you must experience the amazing Maison Quinta. The building itself is worth the trip  - this mansion showcases true Catalan style. After passing through the door, you’ll be encompassed by the warm, eclectic atmosphere of the 900 m2 house: decorative objects by famous designers, furniture, lights, dishes, local gastronomic and cultural products, rare objects linens, curtains, etc. There is a multitude of items to discover that have been collected over time.
Do not miss: The sublime Toiles du Soleil, whose deep-coloured stripes give a youthfulness to any decorative style. The fabrics are woven a few kilometres away, in the department’s last manufacturer, now called Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant.

Snorkelling on the Catalan Coast

Snorkelling on the Catalan Coast

Experience the Caribbean! Discover the richness of the seafloor off the Vermeille coast with a snorkel! 
Equipped with real diving equipment, we leave by boat along the rocky coast to reach the best spots for experiencing the wonders hidden a few metres down in the Mediterranean.
Beginner or experienced diver? We can also plan guided trips. 

 

The Yellow Train

The Yellow Train

A symbol of the Catalan and proudly showcasing the colours of blood-red and gold, the Yellow Train, also called "the Canary”, connects Villefranche-de-Conflent to Latour-de-Carol. The train offers exceptional views of the landscapes and cultural sites over 63 kilometres. 

 

It's the factory!

It's the factory!

Sometimes factories tell stories that are as exciting as medieval castles. This is the case of the captivating industrial history of Thuir, the motherland of Byrrh, an aperitif that is now slightly out of fashion (they knew how to amuse themselves in the Fourth Republic!). With a range of thematic and theatrical tours of the cellars, immerse yourself in the history of a unique family and entrepreneurial saga, and let yourself be dazzled by the largest oak tank in the world.

 

Discover why booking with Relais & Châteaux is a world of privileges
Photos : © Alain MACHELIDON, Ben_Kerckx, Skeeze, Roehrensee, David Nakache