Admire the beauty of medieval architectural masterpieces such as castles, abbeys, and stone fortresses perched atop mountains. Start your visit in Toulouse, the fourth largest city in France and the second largest university in the country. In the 13th century, Toulouse was the second largest town in Europe and the residence of the powerful Count of Toulouse, a main target of the Albigensian Crusaders who were encouraged and supported by the Kings of France. Take a walking tour of the old sections of the city and discover beautiful churches built between the 11th and 14th centuries, rich mansions from the 16th century, and a very animated and pleasant city. Visit some of its major museums, such as Les Augustins and Foundation Bemberg. Enjoy excursions to Carcassonne, the most famous and impressive walled-city in France; to the Abbey of Fontfroide, a gem of Romanesque architecture, listed WHS by UNESCO; to the stunning villages of Minerve and Mirepoix; and to the imposing and breathtaking medieval castles of Quéribus, Peyrepertuse and Montségur.
Transfer to Albi, the town from which the term “Albigeois” (Albigensian, Albigenses) is derived. You will discover a beautiful city, listed WHS by Unesco in 2010, with stunning buildings and architectural masterpieces such as Sainte-Cecile Cathedral and the Palais Berbie. This former bishop’s residence currently houses the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, displaying the largest collection of works by the artist who was a native of Albi. This museum was entirely remodeled and updated in April 2012. Take a walking tour of the old town and enjoy its beautiful collection of half-timbered houses built in the 16th and 17th centuries. Enjoy day trips to Villefranche-de-Rouergue and its most beautiful food market, to Conques, a famous pilgrimage spot and a marvel of medieval architecture, listed WHS; to Penne, Bruniquel and Cordes, three wonderful hilltop villages; to Castres to see the Goya Museum; and to nearby Sidobre, the largest source of granite in Europe. To make your stay more memorable, enjoy wonderful local food and famous Gaillac wines.
Depend on group size and options.
Shorter and longer stay and/or larger group also possible. For further information, dates & rates, please contact us