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.
A guided walking tour of historic, walled Carcassonne
Avignon's majestic UNESCO-listed sights
The Pont du Gard, Europe's most stunning Roman aqueduct
A cruise along the Canal du Midi, Europe's oldest and largest, man-made waterway
Tour Albi, the birthplace of Toulouse-Lautrec
Visit charming, riverside Castres
Day 1 - Fly to France
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.
Day 2 - Included guided tour of Carcassonne
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.
Day 3 - Included Tours of Albi and Castres
Today’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.
Day 4 - Day at leisure
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?
Day 5 - Included Pont du Gard and Avignon excursion
An unforgettable day awaits, today, as you journey to two of southern France’s most sparkling jewels. Your 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, you'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.
Day 6 - Included Canal du Midi cruise
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.
Day 7 - Optional Collioure and Narbonne excursion
On your last day, you're free to enjoy Carcassonne or join our full-day 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.
Day 8 - Fly back to the UK
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.
3-Star 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.
Facilities & Amenities
The hotel boasts an air-conditioned restaurant and a bar, and friendly, welcoming staff.
The guest rooms are cosy, and have satellite TV, private facilities and air conditioning.
Alternative Hotels (supplement payable)
4-Star 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.
Facilities & Amenities
This hotel has a restaurant, a bar, a terrace, gardens and an outdoor swimming pool (available weather permitting).
Tastefully decorated and comfortable, the rooms have private facilities, air conditioning, safety deposit boxes, satellite TV, and tea- and coffee-making facilities.
3-Star Cerisse 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.
Facilities & Amenities
This hotel boasts its own indoor swimming pool and Hamman (Turkish Bath), a lift and a reception (open from 8am to midday and 4-8pm).
Accommodation is in apartments with private facilities. Each apartment has a bedroom, a living room with a sofa bed and a kitchenette.
* Additional Charges
If the number of people staying in this room is less than the maximum occupancy, there may be a slight charge for under-occupancy.
Booking fee’s apply on all bookings and will be confirmed at the time of booking. Minimum booking fee £6 per person.
All property information is the tour operators brochure description and is provided by an independent
source. Facilities and amenities described herein can not be guaranteed by the Agent. All holidays
are subject to availability changes. When a deal is gone, it is gone.
Certain countries require visas prior to travel. It is your responsibility to check for any necessary visa or inoculation
requirements for your destination.
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport
and visa information click here.