Best Deals / Escorted Coach Tours / Absolute South West

 

Absolute South Ouest

 

 

Services and Highlights

(14 days / 13 nights - Prices on resquest)

 

Executive coach for transfers and excursions around South West France according to the program.

Services of a professional guide according to the tour (several languages available)

Accommodation in 3 to 5-star hotels.

 

Discover the riches of the Midi-Pyrenées region. From Toulouse to Carcassonne, going through Rocamadour, Albi and Sarlat: you will see the essential heritage sites of the South West of France! Also on program wine tastings and castle touring.

 

Groups must be established before contacting us (9 participants minimum). If you are less than 9, we organise Private & Shared Tours.

 

Our know-how is our essential asset to guarantee high-quality tours all over France, as we have created a real network of partners, from coach companies to guides, hotels and gourmet restaurants. We selected them meticulously to ensure maximum comfort during your whole stay.

 

 

Request an individualized estimate

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Crédit Photo : Fotolia & Phovoir // OT Vallée de la Dordogne


Day 1: Toulouse - Auch

Church in Auch

Welcome by your driver & guide in Toulouse, capital of the Midi-Pyrenees region. Young, modern, active, this city vibrates with Latin warmth that inspires its temperament and its architecture.

Transfer to Auch, Gascony's capital, an hour's drive west from Toulouse. This legendary land, home of d'Artagnan, is located in the most pleasant countryside.

Enjoy a guided walking tour of Auch, medieval town with an impressive architectural heritage among which the Sainte Marie Cathedral with its carved choir stalls and monumental staircase that must be visited. At the foot of the staircase lies the statue of the Count of Armagnac, the lengendary captain of the King's musketeers.

Welcome dinner & overnight at your hotel in Auch.

 

Crédit Photo : Fotolia & Phovoir


Day 2: Gascony Discovery

Today you will have a full day tour of Gascony. Start with the Cistercian Abbay of Flaran and its romanesque church, the gothic cloister, the chapterhouse and its marble columns.

Then on to Larressingle, one of the 'most beautiful villages in France', nestles in the heart of Armagnac vineyards. This lovely little fortified town (smallest in France) takes us right back to the Middle Ages.

Continue with the Chateau of Cassaigne built in 1247. It became the country residence of the bishops of Condom. This magnificient property is surrounded by more than 30 hectares of Armagnac vineyards. You will enjoy an Armagnac tasting session.

Last you will enjoy a guided visit of the workshop-gallery devoted to the 'Bleu de Lectoure' - the astonishing history of 'pastel' or 'woad', the colour blue extracted from the pastel flower and the basis for the whole region's Golden Age in the 16th century.

Back to Auch, dinner & overnight at your hotel in Auch.


Day 3: Auch - Moissac - Sarlat

Cave Paintings Lascaux

Pick up at your hotel by your driver & guide and head towards Moissac to admire its world famous Saint-Pierre Abbay  from the 11th century. Its superb cloisters with their finely sculpted 76 pillars and the remarkable tympanum at the southern end representing St Jean's vision of Apocalypse.

In the afternoon, transfer to the Dordogne Valley. Enjoy a guided walking tour through Sarlat, capital of Black Perigord, exceptionally well-preserved city. More than 1,000 years of architecture live in, its lanes, roof-tiles and stone walls. The exceptional number of buildings registered or classified as historical monuments makes Sarlat one of the most important European cities in terms of cultural heritage.

Transfer to Les Eyzies.

Dinner & overnight at your hotel in Les Eyzies.


Day 4: Cave paintings & Gabarre cruise in Dordogne

Pick up at your hotel by your driver & guide and departure for a visit of Lascaux II where the cream of Europe's cave paintings are displayed. Incredibly realistic, this facsimile of the original cave, opened in 1983, reproduces 90% of the original paintings found in Lascaux. Everything is there: the atmosphere, the paintings which appear to spring off the cave walls, the ceremonial sanctity of the place... everything is done to make you believe you are in the real cave.

In the afternoon head towards the beautiful village of Beynac-et-Cazenac and enjoy a boat ride on the Dordogne River on board an anthentic Gabarre river boat.

Then on to the small village of Domme, this true medieval bastide is entered through a gateway flanked by stout limestone towers. Walking tour of the village and return to Les Eyzies.

Dinner & overnight at your hotel in Les Eyzies.


Day 5: Sarlat - Rocamadour

Morning at leisure in Sarlat so you can discover local shops and Sarlat's local market. Sarlat's market is a unique and privileged place to walk around and discover many high quality local products such as the Perigord truffle. You will also find many small arts and crafts shops in the town centre. Sarlat's market is famous, it's a temple of France's South West gastronomy !

In the afternoon, transfer to Rocamadour, the sacred and medieval city attached to its cliff.

Settle into your hotel & overnight at your hotel in Rocamadour.

 

Crédit Photo : OT Vallée de la Dordogne


Day 6: Rocamadour - Padirac

Start the day with a guided tour of Rocamadour: this extraordinary village has several things well worth seeing, including the Chapelle Notre Dame (home to the Black Madonna), the Grand Escalier (200 plus steps, once climbed by pilgrims on their knees), and the Hospitalet, with its views of the old town.

Go on to the Gouffre of Padirac. This boat excursion will take you 112 yards underground and 550 yards along a river in order for you to admire the world's leading underground site: 75 metres chasm on the limestone plateau of the "Causse de Gramat" in the Lot, below which, at 103 metres underground flows a river.

Back to Rocamadour. 

Dinner & overnight at your hotel in Rocamadour.


Day 7: Figeac - St-Cirq-Lapopie - Cahors

Valentré Bridge Cahors

Pick up at your hotel by your driver & guide and transfer to Figeac which lies on the River Célé. It is a beautiful town with an unspoilt medieval centre.

Visit the Champollion Museum. Born in Figeac, Jean-François Champollion revolutionised the interpretation of writing by deciphering the hieroglyphics on the famous Rosetta Stone.

Head on to St-Cirq-Lapopie, 'one of the most beautiful villages in France', the cliff-side village perched high above the south bank of the Lot River. In the Middle Ages, St-Cirq-Lapopie was the main town of one of the four counties that made up the Quercy region.

Your tour ends by the visit of Pech Merle cave paintings, a series of underground caves known to man for over 25,000 years. People from the Gravettien culture began decorating the caves, and paintings continued to be added up until Magdalenian times (16,000 years ago).

Transfer to Cahors.

Dinner & overnight in your hotel in Cahors.

 

Crédit Photo : Fotolia & Phovoir


Day 8: Cahors

Start the day by some sightseeing in Cahors. From the Valentré Bridge to the Saint Etienne Cathedral, via the market place and the boulevard terraces, the Lot's first city combines southern atmosphere, historical riches and gourmet pleasures. The Pont Valentré (14th century) has three powerful towers, originally closed by portcullises and gates that made it an independent fortress, guarding the river crossing on the west side of town.

This afternoon you will discover Cahors vineyards and enjoy a wine tasting session at the prestigious Château de Mercues.

Dinner & overnight at your hotel in Cahors.


Day 9: Cordes-sur-Ciel - Albi

Albi

Pick up at your hotel by your driver & guide and head towards Cordes-sur-Ciel, the remarkable nature of the setting with its exceptional architectural legacy has made Cordes-sur-Ciel one of the most significant medieval towns in France and a major site of our European Heritage.

Then drive to Albi, magnificient pink-bricked town on the banks of the Tarn River. Admire the fortified Ste-Cécile Cathedral, a masterpiece of the southern gothic style, it presents a startling contrast between its austere, defensive exterior and its sumptuous interior decoration. Tour the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum in the old bishops Palace, imposing fortress (13th century).

Dinner & overnight at your hotel in Albi.

 

Crédit Photo : Fotolia & Phovoir


Day 10: Albi - Carcassonne

Pick up at your hotel by your driver & guide and morning transfer to Carcassonne.

Stop for a visit of the Giant Hole of Cabrespine. The setting and its remarkable lights make it an exceptional site, deep in the Black Mountain, the patient work of water has carved for thousands of years, a huge cave.

On to Carcassonne where you will visit the Medieval Citadel classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997. It's a town within a town, a maze of narrow cobbled streets within severe ramparts of thick walls and turreted towers, but bustling with life and colour. At the centre of the Citadel lies the Château Comtal, a fearsome castles where the Lords of Carcassonne lived and ruled.

Dinner & overnight in Carcassonne.


Day 11: Limoux - Quillan

Foix

Pick up at your hotel by your driver & guide and transfer to Quillan.

You will start the day at the Domaine de Gayda, with it's interesting history and wine making philosophy. A visit of the ultra modern facilities, followed by a comprehensive wine tasting session will give you a good idea as to why this stunning domaine is so successful.

Your tour continues with a guided visit of the 14th century Abbay of St-Hilaire and its cloisters will bring you back in time. You will visit the actual cellars where sparkling wine was first discovered in 1531. 

Next stop is the family run Domaine of Fourn, for a tasting of Blanquette and Cremant in their wine cellars. Surrounded by beautifully restored wine making equipment, it gives a fascinating insight into the region, its history and its traditions.

End the day with a visit to Limoux, famous for its ancient Carnival, Limoux is a very pleasant town to visit, with a rich heritage (Place aux Arcades, mansions, timbered houses).

Transfer to Quillan. Dinner & overnight at your hotel in Quillan.

 

Crédit Photo : Fotolia & Phovoir


Day 12: Queribus - Peyrepertuse - Rennes le Château

Pick up at your hotel by your driver & guide and departure for Quéribus: the castle, built on an impressive rocjy outcrop (728m), was the scene of the last known resistance against the Albigensian crusade (1255). The castle is renowned for its polygonal tower and Gothic hall chose roof rests on a circular pillar blooming like a palm tree.

On the way to the spectacular Gorges of Galamus, 2 kilometres in length, you will find the castle of Peyrepertuse.

Peyrepertuse stands on the top of a great promontory on the southern Corbières. This huge fortress equals in size the city of Carcassonne. The extent of its remains and the quality of its constructions make this castle the most important ensemble and the most outstanding example of medieval architecture in Languedoc.

Departure for Rennes-le-Château, small medieval village, known internationally for being at the centre of various conspiracy theories.

In the 1950's, a local restaurant owner had spread rumours of a hidden treasure found by a priest. The story achieved national fame and was expanded by various hoaxers who claimed that the priest, Father Saunière, found proof of a secret society know as Priory of Sion. The story becae th origin for hypotheses in documentaries and bestselling books such as The Da Vinci Code.

Back to your hotel. Dinner & overnight at your hotel.


Day 13: Toulouse

Capitole Toulouse

Pick up at your hotel by your driver & guide and transfer to Toulouse.

We suggest the visit of the main monuments of the city:

The Capitole: current City Hall and National Theatre are housed in this magnificient building on the square of the same name. The facade with its 8 columns of pink marble, the "Salles des Illustres" inspired by the Galerie Farnese in Rome and the Henri IV courtyard must be seen.

The Saint-Sernin Basilica, largest romanesque church in Europe and compulsory halt on the pilgrims' privileged position in the main church.

The Jacobins, founded in the 13th and 14th centuries, this beautiful monastery made entirely of brick is an excellent example of Languedocian Gothic architecture. The tomb of St-Thomas Aquinas has a privileged position in the main church.

Afternoon at leisure.

Dinner & overnight at your hotel in Toulouse.

 

Crédit Photo : Fotolia & Phovoir


Day 14: Departure

Pick up at your hotel by your driver and transfer to Blagnac Airport.


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