Undiscovered France

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DETAILS

Celebrate the soul of France in and around the beautiful city of Albi on this seven-night adventure. Revel in the pink-washed city of Toulouse, stroll along romantic riverbanks and savor local delicacies. A myriad of French masterpieces await you in this elegant, easygoing region, including paintings by Toulouse-Lautrec, famous frescoes, medieval fortresses and a revolutionary 17th-century canal. No single supplement!

Pricing from
$3,040

No Single Supplement!

Trip Type
Individual Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages
Departure Dates
Jun 8, 2021 - Jun 16, 2021

HOTELS

Mercure Albi Bastides Hotel

The stately Mercure Albi Bastides Hotel occupies a former 18th-century water mill perched along the River Tarn, near picturesque arched bridges. From this historic building, explore cultural highlights such as the medieval Pont Vieux, river cruising aboard a scow, and provincial produce at Market Hall. Sip local vintage in the inviting Le Moulin Bar. La Vermicellerie serves regional French cuisine with river vistas and extends an alfresco option on the expansive terrace. Wi-Fi is complimentary.

 

HEALTH PROTECTION MEASURES

AHI Coronavirus Information

We want you to have a comfortable and enjoyable experience. That’s why we have rated all of our excursions with activity levels to help you assess this program’s physical expectations.Activity Level ratings indicate each excursion’s physical expectations. To make the best personal choice, please evaluate each excursion’s rating and your ability to meet the tour’s physical demands. Please note excursions on this program require you to: walk on cobblestones, unpaved paths or uneven surfaces; and get on/off motor coaches, boats and trains.
Mild: walk under 1 mile on mainly flat terrain; navigate under 50 stairs; stand under 1 hour
Moderate: walk 1-3 miles on flat/uneven terrain; navigate 50-100 stairs; stand 1-2 hours
Active: walk 2+ miles on flat/uneven terrain, including up and down inclines; navigate 100+ stairs; stand 3+ hours
Depending on the excursion, more leisurely alternatives may be available.

TERMS & CONDITIONS

TOUR MAP

FRAALBI21_Map

ITINERARY

  • day 1

    In Transit - depart for Toulouse, France.

    AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Toulouse, France. Please check your luggage from your gateway city to your arrival city. Your claim checks should have the following airport code: TLS.

    If you have purchased only the Land Program, please book flights that arrive on Day 2, the first day of the Land Program. The date is listed at the top of your Reservation Confirmation.

  • day 2

    Albi, France

    Arrive at Toulouse airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the Arrivals Hall, where an AHI Travel representative will meet you.

    Transfer to the Mercure Albi Bastides Hotel. Please note, if you arrive before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.

    Meet your fellow travelers at a Welcome Reception, followed by a Welcome Dinner tonight.

  • day 3

    Albi

    Enrichment: The Cathars and the Albigensian Crusade.
    Join a local expert to learn about the turbulent relationship between the Catholic Church and the Cathars.

    Discovery: Exploring the Musée Toulouse Lautrec.
    Activity level: Moderate

    Step inside the Berbie Palace to visit the Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, home to the world’s largest collection of art by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, a native of Albi. The collection features many of Toulouse-Lautrec’s world-famous posters depicting Montmartre’s working-class neighborhoods and unconventional lifestyles.

    Discovery: Walking Tour of Albi.
    Activity level: Moderate

    Perched along the Tarn River, Albi offers a remarkable trove of Gothic architecture. Revel in the vastness of St. Cecilia’s cathedral, built between 1280 and 1492. Dominating the city center, the cathedral features elaborate carvings, a unique brick facade and an exquisitely painted interior.

    Enjoy an authentic lunch featuring regional cuisine.

    Discovery: Cruising the Tarn River.
    Activity level: Moderate

    Board a gabare, a traditional flat-bottomed wooden boat, for a relaxing cruise along the Tarn River.

  • day 4

    Montauban

    Discovery: Encounters in the Country.
    Activity level: Moderate

    Meet the gracious owners of a family-run dairy farm. Managed by two sisters who have a passion for animal welfare, the farm is home to sheep, cows, chickens and rabbits and uses both innovative and traditional milking methods. Tour the farm and taste the delicious cheese made on the property. Next, journey through the hills to a winery that produces a variety of delectable red, rose and white wines. Learn how the owners create bold, rich flavors through a combination of old and modern techniques. Then sample their wine varietals and tour the winery. Continue to the Degan family farm and settle in for a lunch of seasonal, locally sourced ingredients.

    Discovery: Tour of Montauban.
    Activity level: Moderate

    Enjoy a visit to Montauban’s historic center with its 14th-century bridge, medieval lanes, neoclassical buildings, graceful architecture and the Place Nationale, an inviting central square bordered with pretty arcades and blush-hued buildings. Step inside a local chocolate shop for a sweet sample; then visit the newly renovated Musée Ingres to see collections by Montauban native Jean- Auguste-Dominique Ingres and other artists.

  • day 5

    Castres | Carcassonne

    Discovery: Tour of Castres.
    Activity level: Moderate

    Visit Castres, viewing the half-timbered craftsmen houses along the Agout River. Once home to tanners, paper and parchment makers, and dyers, these colorful houses stand tribute to the town’s storied success in the trade and textile industries.

    Discovery: Canal du Midi Cruise.
    Activity level: Moderate

    Glide on Europe’s oldest canal during this leisurely boat trip. Selected as a UNESCO World Heritage site because of its amazing mechanical and engineering advancements, the canal snakes its way through the land’s natural contours.

    Discovery: Welcome to Carcassonne!
    Activity level: Moderate

    Join your guide for an introduction to this walled, medieval citadel, which boasts over 1.5 miles of defensive ramparts as well as draw bridges, towers, spires and fountains.

    Free Time: Enjoy time at leisure amid the fairy-tale atmosphere of Carcassonne. You may wish to visit the Château Comtal, a medieval fortress with over 31 towers, or see the Saint-Nazaire Basilica, home to stunning stained-glass windows, rose windows and gargoyles.

  • day 6

    Toulouse

    Discovery: Walking Tour of Toulouse.
    Activity level: Moderate

    Explore “La Ville Rose,” France’s fourth-largest city. Located in the heart of France, many of the city’s facades are constructed of pretty red brick, creating a delightful vision of harmonious rosy hues throughout the town. Begin your walking tour in the Place du Capitole, a vast plaza anchored by classic 18th and 19th-century buildings, including the Capitole, a grand building with eight columns. Visit St. Sernin Basilica, the largest surviving Romanesque church in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is considered by many to be the most glorious of all churches along the way of St. James. Stroll along the waterfront and wend through the city’s old quarter, a blend of elegant restaurants, shady squares, trendy cafes and quaint shops. Then relax over lunch at a local establishment.

    Enrichment: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
    Delve into the intriguing life of this brilliant 19th-century French artist whose art revealed the atmosphere of Paris’ bohemian era.

  • day 7

    Cordes-sur-Ciel

    Discovery: Cordes-sur-Ciel and Wine.
    Activity level: Moderate

    Journey through the stunning Midi-Pyrenees countryside to Cordes-sur-Ciel, a village built high on a hill by the Cathars to protect themselves from papal crusaders. Meander along the cobbled lanes, viewing Gothic buildings constructed between 1280 and 1350, and marvel at sweeping views of the Cérou valley below.

    Enjoy a delicious lunch in Cordes-sur-Ciel.

    Discovery: Gaillac Wines.
    Activity level: Moderate

    Continue traveling through France’s oldest wine-producing region. Visit a local winery for a tasting of Gaillac wines. Often characterized by delicate, dry whites and rich, fruity reds, Gaillac wines are sure to delight your palate.

  • day 8

    Albi

    Enrichment: Contemporary France.
    Examine France’s modern-day political, economic and social status.

    Free Time: Craft your own adventure in Albi today. Perhaps search for treasures along the village’s narrow pedestrian streets or find a special riverside viewpoint to revel in splendid views of Albi’s architecture and bridges.

    Toast to your French adventure tonight as you gather for a Farewell Reception, followed by a Farewell Dinner.

  • day 9

    Depart for home

    After breakfast, bid farewell to Albi. AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for Toulouse airport for your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.

Everything you need to know about the tour

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