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Lot, Tarn and Haut-Garonne by rail
Based in the beautiful abbey town of Moissac, highlights of this tour to the south west of France include Toulouse, Albi, Cordes, Montauban, St Cirq-Lapopie and the lovely wine town of Cahors.
- Return Eurostar/TGV from St Pancras/Ebbsfleet to Bordeaux via Lille
- Six nights accommodation on dinner, bed and breakfast basis at Moulin de Moissac hotel, based on shared occupancy of twin room
- Transfers and full coach touring itinerary as detailed
- Tour manager throughout
- Single room supplement
- Holiday insurance
- Standard Premier/First class upgrade on Eurostar/TGV. On the Eurostar this constitutes upgraded seating and light meal with complimentary drink with upgraded seating only on the French railway leg
- Meals other than those stated
- Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls.
- Porterage and gratuities.
Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Lille and onwards to Bordeaux by TGV. On arrival, transfer by coach to Moissac (approximately 1 hour 45 minutes) and the Moulin de Moissac hotel.
Full day tour to Cahors and Saint-Cirq- Lapopie. For such a small town squeezed into a loop of the River Lot, Cahors has had a long and turbulent history - passing through Gallic, Roman, Moorish and English hands is just the start of it. The best known sight here is the 14th century Pont Valentré – a well-preserved example of a medieval bridge. You’ll spot Saint-Cirq-Lapopie sitting on its high bluff over the Lot River a good while before you reach the village. A member of “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France”, and voted the most beautiful village in France in 2012, the stone and half-timbered houses tumble over the cliff side. Head up the steep path to where the town’s château once stood for views over the river valley.
Full day tour to Montauban and Toulouse. The city of Montauban, on the banks of the River Tarn, was originally a bastide built by the Count of Toulouse in 1144. The old city centre with its pink-brick houses is a delight to wander. Toulouse was once the home to the court of the count of Toulouse who controlled much of southern France and it continues to be an important city today, particularly in terms of aviation. The old city, the Ville Rose, is compact and easy to explore – the two churches St-Sernin and Les Jacobins plus some Renaissance townhouses are architectural gems.
Full day to relax and explore Moissac at your leisure. The town of Moissac is best known for its Romanesque abbey church of St-Pierre– the cloisters and porch are considered masterpieces of Romanesque sculpture. Although a church was founded on the site in the seventh century, the church and cloisters date from the 11th, and have survived many wars including the siege and sacking on the town in 1212 by Simon de Montfort. You’ll find Moissac’s market in full swing this morning, an excellent way to discover the local and traditional produce of the area.
Full day tour to Agen, Auvillar and Lauzerte. A small city, Agen’s centre is full of medieval buildings, gothic arches and old narrow alleyways. There is a daily covered market of local produce to browse and the 12th century Agen Cathedral is unusual for its double nave. Also worth a visit is the Musée des Beaux Arts where you’ll find artefacts dating back to pre-historic times and an art collection including Goya, Bonnard and Seurat plus many local artists. This afternoon we visit two ‘Plus Beaux Villages’ – Auvillar and Lauzerte. A stop on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela Auvillar sits on the banks of the Garonne and has some outstanding monuments, including a circular corn exchange, a clock tower and the Church of St- Peter. The bastide of Lauzerte was founded in the 12th century by the count of Toulouse. The cobbled main square, stone built and half-timbered houses are delightful, as is the Pilgrim’s garden.
Full day tour to Cordes and Albi. A 13th century fortified town, Cordes sits on a rocky outcrop above the River Cérou offering views over the valley. Within the ramparts of the town you’ll find examples of 13th and 14th century Gothic architecture. The rose-red town of Albi was the birthplace of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and so is home to a museum, housed in the 13th century Palais de la Berbie, containing a comprehensive collection of his work. The simple but impressive Gothic Cathédrale Ste-Cécile dominates the skyline - it is thought to be one of the largest brick buildings in the world.
Transfer back to Bordeaux station to catch the return TGV to Lille. At Lille, board the return Eurostar service to Ebbsfleet and St Pancras.
NB: Exact order of itinerary of this tour may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 49 passengers.
Dating from the 15th century and located in the centre of the lovely abbey town of Moissac right on the banks of the Tarn River. Facilities here include comfortable rooms with private facilities, bar and gourmet restaurant serving excellent local cuisine.
This holiday is booked by phone. Click 'book now' to make a reservation request to our travel partner who will call you back to confirm your booking details and take payment. To speak to a representative now please call 0330 333 6761.
A most enjoyable tour; the hotel was almost perfect though the dinner was not quite up to expectations. A full day at Moissac would have been appreciated to allow time to relax by the river and canal.
Very pleased with all aspects of this tour. Our tour manager Gill was excellent, the best guide we have had.
Mr R Hughes
A most attractive itinerary - lovely unspoilt countryside & villages