Carcassonne, Avignon & Provence
- Duration: 8 days
- Board Basis: Bed & Breakfast
- Tour Ref: D2TNEW18884
- Travel Type: Air
7 nights. April 2019 - October 2019. From £649.00.
Including a guided tour of walled fortress-citadel Carcassonne - one of France's greatest medieval glories - as well as visits to the stunning papal city of Avignon, with its monumental Palais and fabled bridge, the spectacular Roman aqueduct Pont du Gard, historic Albi and Castres, and a cruise on the tree-lined Canal du Midi this is a hugely popular escorted tour to one of France's most scenic corners. An optional tour takes in beautiful coastal Collioure and former Roman capital Narbonne.
Exquisite Carcassonne is crowned by the fairytale turrets and battlements of the Cite, which overlooks the River Aude. Enjoy wandering the narrow streets and discovering one of the many restaurants within the walls of the extraordinary medieval fortress, beneath which the Ville Basse - or lower town - is a lively centre of activity, built alongside the river.
Tour Highlights And InclusionsA guided walking tour of historic, walled Carcassonne
A full day visit to majestic Avignon and the stunning Roman Pont du Gard
Canal du Midi cruise
Included tour of Albi, birthplace of Toulouse-Lautrec
Visit to charming, riverside Castres
Seven nights' bed and continental breakfast accommodation at your chosen hotel in Carcassonne
Return flights to Carcassonne or Toulouse
Coach travel and transfers throughout
Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced Tour Manager Single rooms are available for a supplement
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Day OneFly to Toulouse, or directly to Carcassonne, and upon arrival meet your Tour Manager and make the scenic transfer to Carcassonne and your hotel.
Day TwoJoin our guide for a fascinating included walking tour of the mesmerising city of Carcassonne, one of the most striking walled settlements in the whole of Europe, with its remarkably preserved, double-walled Cite the jewel in a sparkling crown.
Restored in the mid-19th-century, the fairy-tale bastion includes the inner Chateau Comtal and a beautiful church of St-Nazaire, from the tower of which the views over the fortress are spectacular. Wander the narrow, sometimes steep, streets of this medieval enclave, with its colourful cafes, restaurants and craft shops squeezed into its tiny buildings, or take in the views from the city walls.
After the tour, the rest of the day is free for you to explore at your leisure. Beneath the turrets of the Cite and across the languid River Aude, the equally charming Ville Basse, the second of Carcassonne's two 'towns', offers a wider variety of places in which to enjoy lunch or dinner.
Day ThreeContinue your exploration of historic Carcassonne, or join today's full-day optional excursion to France's south-west corner, beginning with a visit to the exquisite port-town of Collioure. One-time home to the artist Matisse, and with its palm-fringed promenade curving around the bay, this is an especially attractive coastal settlement, overlooked by the monumental Chateau-Royal. Continue to Narbonne - once the Roman capital of all of southern Gaul - with its imposing 13th-century cathedral, its central canal and its section of the famed Roman road, the Via Domitia beneath the main square. After free time in Narbonne, continue to historic Domaine de l'Hospitalet, high up on the protected limestone massif of La Clape, overlooking the Mediterranean, for a tasting of various regional wines.
Day FourAn unforgettable day awaits you, as you journey to two of southern France's most sparkling jewels. Take in first the breathtaking, three-tiered Roman aqueduct, the stunning Pont du Gard, the towering stone watercourse straddling the River Gard granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1985, and regarded as a masterpiece of Roman engineering.
Continue to historic Avignon, encircled by its ancient low walls, and dominated by its monumental centrepiece, the fortified Palais des Papes, 14th-century home to popes, cardinals and 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' enclaves. Don't miss the curious half-bridge of St-Benezet - the 'Pont d'Avignon' of the famous French folk song - that juts out into the fast-flowing waters of the River Rhone, as it winds its way towards the Mediterranean. Avignon's bustling main square, the place de l'Horloge, is lined with cafes and restaurants, perfect places in which to rest and relax awhile.
Day FiveToday you're free to rest, relax and explore at your leisure, perhaps returning to Carcassonne's beguiling Cite for further exploration or a long lunch - one of the great pleasures of a holiday in this corner of the world.
Day SixToday brings the delight of an 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 with the Mediterranean. The cruise may take place in the morning, or afternoon, or in some cases earlier during your holiday, depending on local conditions.
Day SevenA last day's included excursion journeys first to 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 1000 of the painter's works, or wandering the atmospheric old town, before returning to Carcassonne via Castres and its ancient riverside quarter on the bank of the Agout - the final highlight of a wonderful holiday.
Day EightBid "Au revoir" to Carcassonne, transferring to the airport for the return flight to the UK. Back to top
AccommodationIbis 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.
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.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.
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.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.
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.Back to top
Hotel transfer timesThe transfer time from Toulouse Airport to your hotel is approximately 90 minutes. From Carcassonne Airport, it is approximately 15 minutes.
Combining hotel transfersWe 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.
Special requirementsIf 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.
Disabled accessThe 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.
Itinerary changesOccasionally, 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.
Canal du Midi cruiseYour cruise may take place in the morning or afternoon of Day Six (or occasionally earlier during your holiday) depending on local conditions.
Foreign Office Travel AdviceVisit 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.
Airport development feesAn 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. Back to top