Ancient Towns, Fortified Villages & Medieval Cathedrals of Southwest France
HISTORY, WINE & FOOD
IN FRANCE'S LANGUEDOC
March 18-25, 2012
The Languedoc region's often-troubled history left a legacy of cultural, architectural and culinary traditions different from those in other parts of France.
In the Middle Ages, the language spoken here—Occitan—differed from French: “Yes” was not “oui” but “oc,” and the langue d'oc (the language of “oc”) became the name of the area. In the 13th C., a resident Christian sect called “Cathars” were declared by the papacy to be heretics and became the target of a series of bloody wars called the Albigensian Crusades (after the town of Albi), wars that resulted in the slaughter of more than 500,000 men, women and children, and left whole towns burned to the ground. We see many reminders of these terrible days: the cathedral at Albi, more a fortress than a church; the market-place in Cordes where Inquisitors were burned at the stake; and the massive medieval fortifications in fairy-castle-like Carcassonne (a Cathar stronghold).
For centuries, the French and English fought vigorously for control of this land, giving rise to bastides--fortified towns—now charming arcaded villages. The capital Toulouse developed a unique architectural style which we see in the stunning Basilica of St. Sernin. Languedoc is also home to a distinctive cuisine. Sample its most famous dish, cassoulet--a rich thick stew of beans, sausage, lamb, pork, and preserved goose--and taste the excellent local wines and distinctive Cognac-like Armagnac. Join in this sojourn through history, beautiful countryside, and charming villages and towns, and savor the unique culinary treats of this fascinating, very distinctive, part of France!
Sun, Mar 18 Depart for Toulouse, France.
Mon, March 19 Arrive Toulouse airport, transfer* to our hotel located in the city center. Rest of day free.
Tue, Mar 20 (B) Morning guided walking tour of Toulouse: St. Sernin Basilica, the Jacobin Convent, Musée St.-Raynaud, St. Etienne Cathedral, Victor Hugo Market Hall and Marché des Boulevards. Lunch on own. Afternoon tour of the Airbus factory to see how plane are assembled. Return to Tolouse.
Wed, Mar 21 (B,L) Depart for a full day discovery of historic Albi and lovely Cordes sur Ciel. Walking tour of Albi including the Hotel Reyne, Hotel de Ville, the Collegiale Saint-Salvy, Maison du Vieil Alby, the Cathedral of Ste Cécile and the Toulouse Lautrec Museum. After lunch, drive to Cordes sur Ciel for a walking tour of this charming village. En route back to Toulouse stop at a private vineyard to taste the famous Gaillac wines.
Thu, Mar 22 (B/L) Drive along the Canal du Midi, built in 1666, to the spectacular fortified city of Carcassonne whose history goes back to its1st C. foundations and whose medieval walls are still intact. After a guided walking tour of the medieval upper town (Cité), the walls and Basilica of St.-Nazaire (impressive stained glass windows), enjoy lunch on your own, then drive to Montréal, an important fortress-village during the Albigensian Crusade. The church in Fanjeaux is built on the ruins of a temple of Jupiter, and was another important Cathar stronghold with extensive views. In the bastide town of Mirepoix, we see the charming 13-15th C. central square lined by houses built over arcades. Return to Toulouse, evening free.
Fri, Mar 23 (B) Drive to Auch, historic capital of Gascony, for a walking tour featuring the Cathedral of Ste.-Marie with its brilliantly-colored stained-glass windows. Fleurance, a bastide village of 1274, preserves its arcaded central square and market hall and a 14th C. church with superb windows. Lunch on your own, then on yo Fourcès, an unusual circular bastide of 1279 with houses surrounding its circular Place. Final stop is Condom, center of the Armagnac (brandy) trade where we enjoy an Armagnac tasting. Return to Toulouse.
Sat, Mar 24 (B/D) Visit the morning market in Toulouse and enjoy a tasting/sampling of some of the region’s food specialties, including sweet Roussillon wines. Lunch on own. Afternoon free for shopping. Farewell dinner at a gourmet restaurant in Toulouse.
Sun, Mar 25 (B) Transfer to the Toulouse rail station for train to Nice, with porterage at each station. On arrival in Nice, transfer to Hotel Negresco.
All costs are per person based on double occupancy.
|CASH DISCOUNT||CREDIT CARD PRICE|
|Rail Fare Toulouse-Nice||$75||$79|
Tour prices based on 20 participants, on tariffs/exchange rates in effect at time of printing, and subject to increase if tour membership is less than 20 or exchange rates change
*Airport-Hotel Transfers in Toulouse included for flights arriving Toulouse 9:00-10:00AM or 2:30-3:45PM on Monday, March 19, 2011. Those arriving at other times or on different days are responsible for their own transfer. Transfer included from hotel to Toulouse rail station and from the rail station to the Nice hotel.
Tour Costs Include
- 6 Nights’ Accommodation at 4* hotel in Toulouse
- Full American breakfast daily, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
- Guided sightseeing with English-speaking guide
- Entrance fees to museums and sites in the itinerary
- Wine- and Armagnac-tastings
- Gala Farewell Dinner featuring Languedoc specialties
- Deluxe motor coach transportation for touring.
Not Included in Tour Costs
- International Airfare
- Gratuities to guides and drivers
- Meals and beverages other than those indicated as included above
- Travel insurance
- Items of a personal nature
- Transfers to/from airports for those on individual air arrangements
- Anything not specifically listed as included
Prices based on the minimum numbers of passengers noted for each tour, and on tariffs in effect at time of printing. Tour costs are subject to change at any time, whether due to currency fluctuations, failure to achieve minimum group size, or other factors not within Frosch’s control. Airport-hotel-airport transfers in Toulouse and Nice are included only for those passengers whose trans-Atlantic tickets were issued by Frosch Travel and who arrive/depart at times noted in the brochure for each tour; transfers for Granada are included only for those arriving from Nice on designated group flight. Transfers can be arranged at additional cost for those making their own travel arrangements. No transfers are provided in Seville.
REGISTRATION & PAYMENTS:
A non-refundable deposit of $1,500 per person required at booking for the Nice Worlds 2012 package. Additional deposits of $750 each are required for each optional pre- and post-tour package requested. Payment Schedule:
1st Deposit of $1,500: At Time of Booking, plus $750 per tour for each pre-/post-tour.
2nd Deposit of $750 pp: by October 1, 2011, plus $500 per tour for each pre/post-tour.
Final payment (balance) due by January 6, 2012.
All cancellations must be in writing, and take effect when they are received in our office. Cancellations received between the following dates are subject to following per person penalties:
From deposit to through September 30, 2011: $1,250, plus $250 for each pre- or post-tour cancelled.
From October 1, 2010, until January 5, 2012: $2,000, plus $500 for each pre- or post-tour cancelled.
From January 6, 2012 until or after departure: 100% of all tour costs.
The amount that you have paid to us as deposits will be refunded to you less the above cancellation penalties. To protect against cancellation charges, we strongly recommend trip cancellation insurance, available through Frosch TRAVEL. No refund made on any unused services once the trip begins.
NOT INCLUDED IN TOUR COSTS:
International or domestic U.S. airfare, airfare from Nice to Granada, rail fare from Toulouse to Nice; items of a personal nature (e.g., laundry, liquor, mineral water, etc.); excess baggage; travel insurance; expenses incurred due to flight delays caused by strikes, bad weather, or uncontrollable irregularities; gratuities for tour guides or motor coach drivers.