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Back in time in Languedoc

Journey through the rolling countryside of Provence, as its historic UNESCO-listed crowning glories are thrillingly brought to life.

On this hugely popular tour to one of France’s most scenic corners, you'll discover the medieval fortress-city of Carcassonne, and marvel at the stunning papal city of Avignon, its monumental Palais and its famous bridge. See Roman engineering architecture at its finest at the Pont du Gard, visit historic Albi and Castres, and cruise on the tree-lined Canal du Midi – all against the background of a land famed for sunshine, food and light rosé wine.

What does this price include?

  • Seven nights' bed and breakfast accommodation at the Ibis Carcassonne Est (upgrade hotels available)
  • A tour of Carcassonne
  • A full-day trip to Avignon and the Pont du Gard
  • A visit to the Languedoc towns of Castres and Albi
  • A Canal du Midi cruise
  • Return flights to France
  • One piece of hold luggage per person
  • Comfortable, air-conditioned coach transfers and travel throughout
  • The services of a friendly, experienced tour manager

Your Itinerary

  • Fly to Toulouse, or directly to Carcassonne, meet your tour manager and make the scenic transfer to your welcoming hotel in UNESCO-listed Carcassonne. Relax after checking in, and later take the opportunity to dine out and sample the famous local cuisine during your stay.

  • Join your guide for a fascinating included walking tour of Carcassonne, one of the most striking walled settlements in the whole of Europe, and where the remarkably preserved, double-walled Cité is the jewel in its spectacular crown. Restored in the mid-19th Century, this fairy-tale bastion includes the inner Château Comtal and the beautiful church of St-Nazaire, which offers spectacular views across the fortress from its tower.

    Wander the narrow, sometimes steep, streets of this medieval time-capsule, past the colourful cafés, restaurants and craft shops that are squeezed into its tiny buildings, or take in the views from the city walls.

    After the tour, you'll have the rest of the day free to explore at your leisure. Beneath the turrets of the Cité and across the languid River Aude, the equally charming Ville Basse, the second of Carcassonne’s two "towns", offers a wider variety of places where you can enjoy lunch or dinner.

  • Continue your exploration of Carcassonne, today, or join our full-day excursion tour of France’s south-west corner. You'll begin with a visit to the exquisite port-town of Collioure, one-time home to the artist Matisse. Discover the palm-fringed promenade that curves around the bay of this particularly attractive coastal settlement overlooked by the monumental Château-Royal before we continue to Narbonne.

    Once the Roman capital of all of southern Gaul, Narbonne is dominated by an imposing 13th-century cathedral, its central canal and its now exposed section of the famed Roman road, the Via Domitia, that runs beneath the main square, before we climb to the Chateau de l'Hospitalet to enjoy a wine tasting and take in the spectacular Mediterranean views.

  • An unforgettable day awaits, today, as you journey to two of southern France’s most sparkling jewels. Our first stop is the breath-taking, three-tiered Roman aqueduct now known as the Pont du Gard. This towering stone watercourse straddles the River Gard, was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1985, and is regarded as a masterpiece of Roman engineering.

    From there, we'll continue to historic Avignon, encircled by its low ancient walls, and dominated by its monumental centrepiece, the fortified Palais des Papes. This 14th-century home to popes and cardinals also supported a court of assorted princes, barons and other nobility who helped the city build a dubious reputation as one of medieval Europe’s most decadent and colourful places. Don’t miss the remains of the Pont Saint-Benezet, the "Pont d'Avignon" of the famous French folk song, that juts out into the fast-flowing waters of the River Rhône as they make their way towards the Mediterranean. Avignon’s bustling main square, the Place de l’Horloge, is lined with cafés and restaurants, perfect places to stop for a rest and a relaxing drink.

  • Today you're free to relax and explore. Why not return to Carcassonne's beguiling Cité for a lazy stroll and a long lunch – one of the great pleasures of a holiday in this corner of the world?

  • Today you'll enjoy a delightful included cruise on the tree-lined Canal du Midi, part of the 240 kilometre-long waterway constructed in the 17th Century to connect the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

  • Your last day’s included excursion takes you, first, to Castres, stopping to explore its quiet paved streets and see the tightly clustered houses overhanging the banks of the River Agout.

    We'll return to Carcassonne via the Haut Languedoc region and the historic Cathar city of Albi, nestled alongside the River Tarn beneath the vast, red-brick cathedral, and birthplace of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Spend some time discovering the city, perhaps visiting the great Gothic church and the adjacent Palais de la Berbie castle, which houses over 1,000 of Toulouse-Lautrec’s works, or wandering the atmospheric old town.

  • Say "au revoir" to Carcassonne, transfer to the airport and check in for your flight home at the end of a wonderful tour of the South of France.

Prices

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Hotels

Ibis Carcassonne Est

The modern Ibis Hotel is located on the outskirts of Carcassonne, in a shopping estate. A local bus service takes clients close to the medieval citadel during the day, and in the evening the centre is a taxi ride away. Alternatively, it is a 30-minute walk to the Old Town.

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Mercure Carcassonne Porte de la Cite

The Mercure is ideally situated at the foot of the medieval city, within walking distance of one of its ancient gates.

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Cerise Residence, Carcassonne

This hotel offers apartment-style accommodation. It is conveniently located and, although it does not have a lounge or a bar, it is within easy walking distance of the restaurants and bars in the medieval part of the city.

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Further Information

  • The transfer time from Toulouse Airport to your hotel is approximately 90 minutes. From Carcassonne Airport, it is approximately 15 minutes.
  • We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
  • If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
  • The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
  • Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
  • Your cruise may take place in the morning or afternoon of Day Six (or occasionally earlier during your holiday) depending on local conditions.
  • Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.
  • An Airport Development Fee has been introduced at a few UK Airports. You will be required to pay this charge at the following airports prior to checking in for your flight: Blackpool, Durham Tees Valley, Newquay and Norwich. The amount varies from airport to airport, but it is generally between £5 and £10 per person. Please visit the airport's website for further information.
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