Visit the best of South West of France. Discover the beauty of Carcassonne, experience a fantastic river cruise while contemplating natural landscapes….
- Discover the beautiful city of Toulouse
- Enjoy a unique river cruise through French Southern landscapes
- Immerse yourself in the amazing Carcassonne Medieval city
- Experience great wine and hand made cheese tasting in unique cellars
- Learn how to prepare traditional dishes and have fun during a special cooking class with a local chef
- Enjoy a canoe tour through crystal-clear water canyons
TRIP AT A GLANCE
- Day (1): Arrival in Toulouse
- Day (2): Discovering the pink city of Toulouse
- Day (3): River Cruise from Toulouse to Carcassonne
- Day (4): Carcassonne: contemplating the time through stones and wine
- Day (5): SETE: the amazing Mediterranean pearl
- Day (6): Nature and sport in Causses Region park
- Day (7): Montpellier- Return
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South West France tours with Electa Travels, your luxury tour operator in Southern Europe
(Day) 1: Arrival in Toulouse
Welcome to Toulouse, the pink city. A private car will take you from the airport to your premium hotel located in the heart of the city. Once your check in will be done, feel free to discover the city by yourself for the rest of your day. With its unique architecture made of pinkish bricks from which it earned its name, Toulouse carries the banner of a mild way of life under sunny days. Let you get lost among picturesque streets and small places surrounded by plane trees, then discover the Garonne quays crossing this city aged of more than two thousand years.
(Day 2): Discovering Toulouse
After a delightful breakfast, our crew will take you to the Garonne quays for a boat tour of the around the heart of Toulouse. Your private guide will explain you the city’s secrets through architecture, history and famous people who allowed to make this city renowned. You will then spend the rest of your morning roaming in the traditional market of the Capitole square where you can discover local products in the center of the city.
In the afternoon, you will be led to the Toulouse Catheral, the seat of the Roman Archdiocese of Toulouse. After having discovered the legend of St. Stephen and its impact on the building architecture, visit the Le Château d’Eau. This old nineteenth century water tower contains the oldest public place dedicated to photography in the world. You will be then free to relax in the city by walking through pink houses or enjoying your spa hotel until dinner. You will indeed be welcomed by a local chef to taste typical dishes such as Toulouse sausage, Toulousain cassoulet or even foie gras. Your day will end at the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, the city opera house, to assist one of the Orchestre National du Capitole’s representation.
(Day 3 ): CANAL DU MIDI: Follow the Cathar knights from Toulouse to Carcassonne
Prepare to discover the countryside of Southern France, you will today follow the Canal du Midi. Commanded by Louis XIV and considered as one of the greatest construction works of the 17th century, the canal runs the city of Toulouse down to the Mediterranean Sea and is the oldest canal in Europe still in operation.
You will start your journey from the Paul Riquet Bridge by houseboat. Along the canal and its numerous barges, you will penetrate to the Lauragais country, land of pastel and fief of Cathar knights during the Albigensian Crusade. Enjoy a tea while navigating through beautiful landscapes and hearing the singing southern French accent broadcasted by the mild wind until your first step at Avignonet-Lauragais. The city, located at the foot of Black Mountain, features medieval remains such as gigantic churches and sculpture of nights which seem make the town frozen in time.
You will then be invited to visit Castelnaudary, the historic and gastronomic capital of the Lauragais country. Famous for its cassoulet and for being one of the highest venue of the Catharism, enjoy to explore this medieval city with your private guide who will lead you from the St Michel Church to the Cugarel windmill. Your journey on the Canal du Midi will end at Carcassonne, your final destination, where you will be welcomed by the fantastic crew of your sensational hotel.
(Day 4): The Medieval Citadel of Carcassonne
After your lovely breakfast, you will be free to discover the Cité de Carcassonne, the medieval citadel perched on the top of a hill and overlooking the Aude river. Loose the notion of time inside the citadel surrounded by its three kilometers long double walls interspersed by fifty-two towers. We can arrange you an appointment with your private guide if you wish him to reveal you the secrets of this worldwide renowned and fabulous medieval city.
The afternoon, you will have the chance to visit a local winery: the Corbières wines. This region is divided into eleven terroirs, as varied from each other, both by the landscapes that men who occupy it. It forms a kaleidoscope where the past seems to shape the future, giving the wines a proven character, carrying their history. You will be invited to discover this land by exploring the vines, visiting the caves and appreciating the local products which includes, of course, the wine itself.
Your private drive will then take you to Sète, the Venice of Languedoc, to spend the night in your first-class hotel.
(Day 5): Sete
After a hearty breakfast, the city of Sète considered the Venise of South France will seduce you trough its beauty. Founded by the ancient Greek people and the end point of the Canal du Midi and built upon Mont St Clair and along the Etang de Thau hub where locals operate oyster and mussels fields, Sète is the centre of water jousting hosts in honor of its patron St Louis.
Enjoy touring this city with its strong identity, traditions, cuisine and dialect. The port is a perfect place to start your journey there if you wish to find local products and fresh fish. You will today relax by appreciating the delighted seaside resort under a beautiful sun and cradling by a salty wind. We can also arrange you a jet-ski ride inside the bay if you are in a sporty mood.
You will end your day at by joining a chef to prepare the local dish: the Sétoise Tiella, a seafood pie made with octopuses caught that day. His cooking workshop will welcome you at the end of the afternoon, where you will help the chef to prepare your very own dinner with local products and relishing your dinner in front of the Mediterranean Sea.
(Day 6): Great Causses Regional park
After your check-out at your hotel in Sète, your private will drive you to the Causses Regional Natural Park. This land is well-known for its impressive steppe-like limestone plateau, where rocky gashes carved out by rivers shape a spectacular landscape. Covered by Templar and Hospitaller cities, the region is also a high venue of extreme sports.
Your journey will begin by visiting the Roquefort cheese cellars, in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. Made with sheep milk pierced by green mold veins, this cheese was the first of being recognized and protected by the French AOC, which is a historical regulation, control and naming certification. Aged in deep caves, your guided tour will allow you to discover the legend of its discovery and its history through ages.
Your day will end in Montpellier where you will be free to visit the city at your convenience by night.
(Day 7): Montpellier- Departure
A center for culture and innovation, Montpellier counts 300 sunny days per year and is the ideal place where to spend some quality time discovering the wealth of seaside. The “Ecusson” district, named for its badge shape, offers pleasant walks and many fabulous surprises. In few hours you will be escort to the airport for your return flight.
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