Toulouse & Carcassonne Cultural Tour
9th - 14th April 2018
Image : Carcassonne
Few cities in Europe are as interesting or as beautiful as Toulouse. Its stunning historic centre revolves around the grand Place du Capitole (our hotel is 100 yards away) and boasts some of the most important churches and museums in France.
We take a day away to visit the spectacular UNESCO world heritage city of Carcassonne. And as if that weren’t enough, I am delighted to say that ‘Carmen’ is playing at the world-famous Le Capitole Opera House. Good seats will be included. Rarely does one have the opportunity of seeing the greatest French opera performed in one of the most celebrated French theatres.
DAY 1 : Flying directly into Toulouse, we drive the short distance to our hotel for five nights. We are perfectly placed to enjoy the amazing variety of cultural and gastronomic opportunities that Toulouse provides. We shall take cocktails in the Place du Capitole and coffee in the Belle Epoque surroundings of Café Bibent. We shall taste the Specialités Toulousaines in several of the wonderful restaurants within 10 minutes gentle walk of our hotel.
DAYS 2 & 3 : We explore the historic city on foot – it is such a welcoming and atmospheric place. Our visits include the Basilique of St Sernin, one of the biggest Romanesque churches in the world and a World Heritage Site, built in the 11th century to welcome the pilgrims travelling to Santiago de Compostela. We visit the monastery complex of Les Jacobins and, of course, the Le Capitole. Toulouse boasts many fascinating museums, of which Les Augustins (whose Fine Arts collection of paintings and sculptures is displayed in a magnificent medieval monastery) is the pick of the bunch.
DAY 4 : We spend today in Carcassonne. The fortified centre DOES look like a stage set from ‘Game of Thrones’ but is none the less impressive for that. (Funnily enough, it’s about the one medieval citadel in Europe NOT used in ‘Game of Thrones’.) Completely re-built by Viollet-le-Duc in the early 19th century, it is a formidable example of the medieval city; impressive from afar – impenetrable from close-up. The fortifications are magnificent and they contain an atmospheric and picturesque medieval city including a fine early gothic cathedral.
DAY 5 : The main focus of our final full day is two-fold. We start with the excellent collection of contemporary and modern art contained in the unlikely but wonderfully restored 19th-century abattoir. Then, in the evening we move to the Theatre du Capitole for a performance of ‘Carmen’ in an interesting new production with a predominantly French cast.
On Day 6 : we take our flight back to the UK.
Tour dates : 9th – 14th April 2018
Number of days : 6
Price : £2050 (Prices are per person based on 2 sharing a twin or double room).
Single supplement : £205
Fully inclusive : Flights, transfers, accommodation and meals are all included.
Number in party : 14 – 18
Hotel : Le Grand Balcon, Toulouse.