Day 1: Toulouse
Pick up at the airport by your driver and transfer to your hotel in Toulouse city centre.
Guided visit of The Capitole, the current City Hall and National Theatre. The façade with its 8 columns of pink marble, the 'Salle des Illustres' inspired by the Galerie Farnese in Rome, and the Henri IV courtyard, must be seen.
You will continue with the visit of St-Sernin Basilica, largest romanesque church in Europe, and 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.
Dinner & Overnight at your hotel in Toulouse.
Day 2: Carcassonne - St-Hilaire Abbay - Limoux
Departure for Carcassonne.
Walking guided visit of the Medieval Citadel of Carcassonne, UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997. The site was used in the 1st century as a Roman villa, then re-appearing in the 11th century as a fortificationbelonging to the powerful Viscount Trencavel.
Continue with the visit of the 14th century Saint Hilaire Abbey and its cloisters, that will transport you back in time. Also you will visit the actual cellars where sparkling wine was first discovered in 1531. The Abbey was the birthplace of the Blanquette de Limoux, one of the famous wines around the world.
Go on to the Domaine de Fourn, for some tasting of the famous Blanquette and Cremant in their wine cellars. Blanquette de Limoux is considered to be the first sparkling white wine produced in France, created long before the Champagne region became
world renowned for the sparkling wine Champagne.
On the way back to Toulouse, drive past Limoux. The town is perhaps best known for its Winter festival called Carnaval de Limoux. This takes place between January and Easter and is conducted in Occitan, the traditional language of the area.
The heart of the town is a wide square with some fine stone arcading and a number of timber framed houses.
Back to Toulouse. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.