Wine tourism and exploring
The Cahors vineyards (Lot): your new realm
Le Château de Mercuès
, a 4* Relais & Châteaux hotel, overlooks the vineyard-covered Lot Valley. Here you are in the realm of the regal Cahors
, the 'vin noir' that derives its flamboyant personality from the malbec grape. You will travel back in history and meet affable winemakers, taking time out for relaxed, friendly wine tasting at Villa Cahors Malbec
and treating your taste buds to some Quercy Black Truffles along the way. For sunshine, lazy meanders and towering cliffs, you then set off on a cruise along the Lot
, arriving at the foot of Saint Cirq-Lapopie
, where you will gaze in awe at the beauty of this village, voted France's favourite.
Gaillac vineyards (Tarn): the charm of rural elegance
You stay at the Château de Salettes
, an outstanding 4* Logis hotel. Set among the tranquil swell of a sea of vineyards, this château was once the property of the Toulouse-Lautrec family. Today it exudes a decidedly contemporary charm.
From there, you set out to explore the back roads winding through the Gaillac vineyards
, stopping off for a tasting at the Halle aux Terroirs
in Gaillac and travelling back in time in Cordes sur Ciel
, a hilltop bastide town founded in 1222. Then comes the highlight of your trip, the magnificent Albi
, designated a Unesco World Heritage Site for its former bishop's residence, the Cité Épiscopale.
Gascony and Armagnac (Gers): a heady mix with epicurean appealens
Castles and wine cellars, vineyard-studded valleys, buildings of honey-coloured and mahogany stone: Gascony has all the dash and flair of its legendary son D'Artagnan. In the lovely spa village of Barbotan, you take up residence at La Bastide
, a 4* Relais & Châteaux hotel housed in an elegant former Carthusian monastery. In the evening, you will enjoy Michel Guérard's delicious Santé-Nature cuisine (one Michelin star). And not forgetting of course a long spell of relaxation at the beautiful Thermes de Barbotan well-being spa, before your introduction to Armagnac
and a tour of the estates where it is made.
Heritage and gastronomy
The Dordogne Valley (Lot): the luxury of a true discovery
The bedrooms are regal in style, and the terrace where you linger over breakfast sits high above the Dordogne: welcome to the Château de la Treyne
, a 4* Relais & Châteaux hotel with a Michelin-starred restaurant, the ultimate romantic destination.
Following the alluring curves of the River Dordogne, alive with stunning nature, you come across gorgeous villages and great sites like Rocamadour
, the thousand-year-old sanctuary of the Black Madonna clinging miraculously to the sheer rock face. And don't miss the Gouffre de Padirac cavern
: one of France's greatest geological curiosities.
Sébastien Bras and Pierre Soulages (Aveyron): creative minds at work
You start off in Laguiole, home of the famous Laguiole knife
that continues to inspire today's designers. Sébastien Bras
, the 3-Michelin-star chef, has inherited his talent from his father Michel, opening the door to a world of flavours drawn from the mighty, unspoilt countryside of the Aubrac region. If the Aubrac is an exceptional place of thrilling and opulent finery, the 4* Relais & Châteaux hotel
run by the Bras family is certainly its equal. Collect your thoughts and then head on to Rodez
. See the sights in the old town centre and the outstanding Musée Pierre Soulages
, where your encounter with the master of Outrenoir will be unforgettable!!
Spa treats and mountain pleasurese
The Aure Valley (Hautes Pyrénées): total well-being in the heart of the Pyrenees
Saint Lary is a pretty village with an authentically Pyrenean feel in the Aure Valley, within touching distance of Spain. You might be surprised to find here the only 4* hotel in the French Pyrenees: the Mercure Sensoria
. With its rooms designed like luxury mountain granges, thermal recreation centre
, Nuxe spa (the only one in the South of France) and fine dining, it's a veritable haven of well-being. On top of that, there are 70 walking routes around Saint Lary, including the GR10 long-distance path that runs the length of the Pyrenees. And the icing on the cake? Immersing yourself in the stunning countryside of the Néouvielle Nature Reserve
, just down the road.
Attractions and monuments unique worldwide
The Pic du Midi (Hautes Pyrénées): thrills at altitude
"The panorama here is enough to make angels feel homesick for the earth": this is what you see when you reach the summit of the Pic du Mid
i (2,877 metres), which attracts astronomers from all over the world to the observatory here. With the entire range of the Pyrenees stretching out opposite, you can spend a night like no other in Europe's highest hotel, after a delicious Pyrenean gastronomic experience at Le Pic restaurant. The bedrooms with their simple clean lines, originally built for the scientists who come here, make you feel like the navigator on a space ship among the stars.
Toulouse (Haute Garonne): a magical world of legendary aircraft
is the home of our aeronautics heritage and the birthplace of Concorde and Airbus. You are based at La Cour des Consuls
, a 5* hotel with a 'Graine de Pastel' luxury spa in a former mansion in the heart of the city.
This city gives you another take on the region's heritage: aeronautical this time, where you can relive the days of the aviation pioneers and board Concorde at Aeroscopia
, the only museum of its kind. You can also take a tour inside the Airbus A380 assembly plant
, where one of the world's largest aircraft is built. To cap it all, you can have a go at being a pilot in the Aviasim flight simulator
, sitting at the controls of an A320 Airbus!
Millau Viaduct (Aveyron): as famous as the Eiffel Tower!
You too will stand in awe at Millau Viaduct
, the longest and highest cable-stayed bridge in the world. At 343 metres, its highest tower is 20 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower. At the foot of this incredible structure, the town of Millau is home to a unique craft heritage, its glove-making industry prized by the stars of the French haute couture fashion industry. Don't miss the Causse glove factory
, owned by Chanel. You'll also love the sophisticated elegance of your 4* hotel La Muse et le Rozier
, in a stunning location at the end of the Tarn Gorge, upstream from Millau..
The Canal du Midi: cruise along a Unesco World Heritage Site
The Canal du Midi, built in the 17th century by Pierre-Paul Riquet, stretches from the Mediterranean coast to Toulouse, where it joins the Canal de Garonne to continue its journey to the Atlantic. Between them, they make up the Canal des Deux Mers
: 360 km of delightful waterways! You can rent a boat or barge
for a go-as-you-please cruise, hiring bikes to explore the old tow path and explore the villages and wonderful sights along the canalside, including Carcassonne and Toulouse.
Another option is to board a dining boat in Toulouse
for a musical way to soak up the magic of the Canal du Midi, a Unesco World Heritage site.
These and many other experiences can be organised by our partner incoming agents
. Simply get in touch with them.