Cultural Tours to France

France’s Magical Dordogne

A Week in a Private Castle

May 23 – 30, 2020

 

THE PERIGORD VERT

Bourdeilles • Brantôme • St. Jean du Côle • Périgeuex • Ribérac

THIS TRIP IS BEING OFFERED UNDER OUR NEW BRAND

Alla Campagna Experiences logo by Ralph Velasco

 

 

France's Magical Dordogne Trip Overview

Join Alla Campagna Experiences Founder and professional tour organizer Ralph Velasco for a truly unforgettable stay in a private castle from the 11th-century.  This trip will concentrate on the truly magical Périgord Vert region of the Dordogne department of southwestern France.

Guests will be picked up by private vehicle for a group transfer from Angoulême’s train station to the privately-owned Château Marouatte.

MORE DETAILS AVAILABLE AT THIS LINK

  • “LOVED your presentation at The Refinery on Saturday!! You got me motivated to travel & I learned a lot!!  THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME and for sharing your gift!!”

    Carole Haner-Brackett Photography Basics Meetup participant
  • “Thanks again for such an amazing trip…my photography interest and appetite has completely grown since the trip and I have come back so invigorated and inspired.  I’m excited to learn more and begin to take some higher quality pictures.”

    Sarah Radka Cuba tour participant
  • “Thanks for a great trip.  All went smoothly and I had a great time.  I return a better photographer for certain and have a new perspective on what I see.  You offer a great product – smart itineraries, hotels and food choices…I look forward to another trip.”

    David Wild Morocco tour participant
  • “The fun, adventure and friendship with you means everything to us, along with a great photo or two along the way!”

    Brandon and Shea Mayberry Morocco and Spain tours participant
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    Leslie Talley Morocco, Turkey and Cambodia tours participant
  • “Our tour leader Ralph was one of the most knowledgeable trip leaders I have experienced over the past 40 years. He is a very experienced photographer and generously shared his knowledge, talents and experience with us.  I think I learned more composition skills and believe I am a better photographer.”

    Larry Ehemann Central Europe, Cuba East and Romania tour participant
  • “I really liked the [small] size of the tour. It felt like traveling with friends from very early on, and continued to feel that way. That last hotel we stayed in, the one in Budapest, was such a treat! Those views were fabulous, and it ended the trip in style. Ralph is a good trip leader… He wasn’t hovering, but he did stop and give tips and I felt well-tended. The local guides were all outstanding!”

    Heather Hellier Central Europe tour participant
  • “Ralph is an engaging and knowledgeable photographer that puts his world class experience in your hands. This trip has been off the charts.”

    Steve Grove Travel photography class, Cambodia and Vietnam tour participant
  • “The photo critique alone [at the Photography Boot Camp] is worth the price of admission.”

    Shaune Kelly Photography Boot Camp, Cuba and Tuscany tour participant
  • “Great examples clearly demonstrated the points Ralph made.  His teaching methods made many things much simpler to understand.  I thoroughly enjoyed this class!”

    Brenda Hatcher Photography Boot Camp participant

WHEN

May 23 – 30, 2020

COST

$4,800 per person in Double Occupancy.

Please add $400 for Single Supplement if you’d like your own room throughout.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER

Please request the details of this trip by contacting us at this link.

To register, you can pay with a credit card via PayPal (click here to request invoice) or deposit a check directly into the PhotoEnrichment Programs, Inc. bank account at any Bank of America branch. Depositing a check affords a $50 per person discount.

We’ll send you all the payment details if you’ll contact us above.

Your participation is not confirmed until completed Reservation Form and Terms & Conditions, plus passport copy and payment in full, have been received.

THE PROGRAM

INCLUDED:

  • All accommodations at Château de Marouatte in a single or double occupancy room during trip dates (all rooms on this trip have private bath). A single supplement applies for those wishing to have their own room throughout the trip. Please specify Twin (2 beds) or Double (one large bed) if you’re sharing (certain room configurations may be limited).
  • Group transfers from and back to Angoulême train station to and from the castle.
  • Transportation for day trips organized as group activities.
  • Meals: All Breakfasts (B), 4 Lunches (L) and 6 Dinners (D), including table water, soft drinks, beer, house wine and/or coffee/tea.
  • Bottled water is provided in each room at the castle.
  • All entry fees for group activities as outlined in the itinerary below.

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Flights or other transportation to and from France.
  • Transfers from and to CDG or other airport(s) from and to your hotel (if applicable).
  • Pre- or post-trip accommodations outside of our May 23 – 30, 2020 tour dates.
  • Transportation to and from Angoulême via TGV or other method (your transfers each way are only included on above tour dates).
  • Meals not specifically outlined in the itinerary as included.
  • Drinks or other alcoholic beverages beyond table water, soft drinks, beer, house wine and coffee/tea provided during included meals at the castle (may vary for group meals outside the castle).
  • Items of a personal nature.

 

Important Note

Services begin as of your included group pick up in private vehicle at the train station in Angoulême, which is located just 50 minutes from the castle.  You can take the TGV high-speed train from Paris, Bordeaux or other parts of France directly to Angoulême for a reasonable fee.

As the trip approaches more details about getting to and from Angoulême will be provided but guests will be required to arrange their own arrival airport transfers, accommodations outside of the castle and any other transportation not mentioned as included below.  Guests can also choose to rent a car, or share with others, in order to have their own transportation throughout the trip, which may come in handy, especially during free time, but know that group transportation is provided for our scheduled activities and your free time can always be spent at the castle.

About the TGV Train to and from Angoulême

For more information on the trains in France, please start your search at OUI.sncf which, according to their website “is the official European distribution channel of the French railways (SNCF) for online sales of high-speed and conventional rail travel throughout France and Europe.”  You might also compare prices using RailEurope.com.

EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

Small Group Experience to France with Ralph Velasco

INFO ABOUT CHÂTEAU MAROUATTE 

Situated on 270 acres of gorgeously manicured grounds, but also wild forest, the castle is complete with comfortable and well-appointed single and double rooms, each with private bath.  There’s also a large heated swimming pool, centuries old winery, games room, dining room, chapel (now used as a second dining room) and the second largest pigeon house in all the Périgord Vert.

Needless to say, the castle is a destination in and of itself and has to be visited to be appreciated.

Château Marouatte, as the French call it, is a genuine Medieval castle complete with battlements, moat, and guard towers set in natural woodlands and fields in one on the most beautiful and unspoiled parts of France.  Richly decorated in antiques, art, tapestries and stained glass (and of course suits of armor) the castle interior is a feast for the eyes.  Facilities also include a tennis court and Wi-Fi throughout most of the property.

The site dates back to Roman times when it was a guard post on the Roman road that runs below.  The castle was probably a wooden fort during the dark ages converted to stone in the late 1100s.  The current castle dates from the early 1200s with the outer bailey added in 1569.  We know it was fought over between the English and French for the next 300 years and also played a part in the French wars of religion.

 

ABOUT THE PÉRIGORD VERT OF THE DORDOGNE

Located in what is called the Périgord Vert in the northwest Dordogne, Château Marouatte (a.k.a. “the castle”) is about an hour’s drive south of Angoulême train station with high-speed trains to and from Paris in about two hours.  Bordeaux Airport (BOD) is approximately 2 hours by car and Bergerac is about 1:20.

Getting to the castle from the US or UK we advise taking the TGV fast train from Paris Montparnasse station (~2 hours) or Charles De Gaulle (CDG) Airport in just under 3 hours to Angoulême.

Participants will be picked up as a group on the afternoon of May 23rdfrom Angoulême station, or you may choose to rent your own car for maximum flexibility during the trip.

ABOUT YOUR LEADER

Ralph Velasco with Camera by Michelle Kate LaVigne

Ralph Velasco is a U.S.-based travel photography instructor, author and international guide who has organized and led over 100 international tours and more than 100 domestic tours in the United States.  His international trips have included Armenia and the Republic of Georgia, Egypt, Morocco, the Adriatic, Central Europe, Iceland, Bhutan and Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Spain, Portugal, Tuscany, Romania, Mexico’s Copper Canyon, Turkey, Cuba and other locations

Ralph is an award-winning travel photography blogger, podcast host and public speaker, and for more than 10 years he’s been the Founder and CEO (Chief Experience Officer) of PhotoEnrichment Adventures.  Recently he created a new travel brand called Alla Campagna Experiences where the focus is less on photography in each destination and even more about the culture, people, food, drink and other unique activities and experiences they have to offer, all while staying in unforgettable properties, such as private castles, wine estates, one-of-a-kind boutique hotels, villas and converted mansions, in and around the Mediterranean.

He’s also Creator of Tour Organizer Training, a free webinar and online course series designed to teach everyday people, step-by-step, how to organize and lead their own special interest trips, whether around the world or around the corner.  Click here to join the next free webinar.

Now, invest in yourself…get out and travel!

All activities and itinerary details are subject to change, but rest assured we’ll make every effort to provide a comparable alternative in the unlikely event changes to our schedule need to be made.

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