• $3,055
  • $600
  • AHI
  • Moderate
  • Land Only

BONUS: NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT

Celebrate the soul of France on a seven-night stay in Albi, a warren of half-timbered homes and cobbled lanes. During daily excursions, we’ll explore the region’s treasures, ancient villages and glorious landmarks. Learn about Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, a beloved 19th-century painter and enjoy a visit to the Musée Toulouse-Lautrec. Cruise along the Tarn River on a gabare, a traditional flat-bottomed boat, and encounter Montauban and its trove of pretty architecture. Lose yourself in the warmth of Toulouse, reveling in a cityscape of pink stone landmarks, a vast plaza and the glorious St. Sernin Basilica. Embrace quaint Castres, witness the beautiful walled city of Carcassonne and glide along the Canal du Midi, a centuries-old engineering marvel. Plus, meet the owners of a family-run dairy farm, visit a local winery and delight in a lunch of homegrown flavors on a family farm. Relax each evening in first-class accommodations, gain insight from local experts, and enjoy an extensive meal plan including wine with dinner. No single supplement!


Included Features

Accommodations

(with baggage handling.)

  • 7 nights in Albi, France, at the first-class Mercure Albi Bastides Hotel.
Extensive Meal Program
  • 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners, including Welcome and Farewell Dinners; tea or coffee with all meals, plus wine with dinner.
  • Opportunities to sample authentic cuisine and local flavors.
Your One-of-a-Kind Journey
  • Discovery excursions highlight the local culture, heritage and history.
  • Expert-led Enrichment programs enhance your insight into the region.
  • AHI Sustainability Promise: We strive to make a positive, purposeful impact in the communities we visit.
  • AHI Connects: Local immersion.
  • Free time to pursue your own interests.
  • Welcome and Farewell Receptions.
  • A personal VOX headset to hear your English-speaking guide clearly.
  • Tipping of guides and drivers.
  • Complimentary travel mementos.
Day 1

Depart gateway city

AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Toulouse, France. Please check your luggage from your gateway city to your arrival city. Your claim checks should have the following airport code: TLS.

If you have purchased only the Land Program, please book flights that arrive on Day 2, the first day of the Land Program. The date is listed at the top of your Reservation Confirmation.

Day 2

Albi, France

Arrive at Toulouse airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the Arrivals Hall, where an AHI Travel representative will meet you.

Transfer to the Mercure Albi Bastides Hotel. Please note, if you arrive before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.

Meet your fellow travelers at a Welcome Reception, followed by a Welcome Dinner tonight.

Accommodations – Mercure Albi Bastides Hotel
Meals – Dinner

A Note About Activity Levels

We want you to have a comfortable and enjoyable experience. That’s why we have rated all of our excursions with activity levels to help you assess this program’s physical expectations. Activity Level ratings indicate each excursion’s physical expectations. To make the best personal choice, please evaluate each excursion’s rating and your ability to meet the tour’s physical demands. Please note excursions on this program require you to: walk on cobblestones, unpaved paths or uneven surfaces; and get on/off motor coaches, boats and trains.
Mild:  walk under 1 mile on mainly flat terrain; navigate under 50 stairs; stand under 1 hour
Moderate:  walk 1-3 miles on flat/uneven terrain; navigate 50-100 stairs; stand 1-2 hours
Active:  walk 2+ miles on flat/uneven terrain, including up and down inclines; navigate 100+ stairs; stand 3+ hours
Depending on the excursion, more leisurely alternatives may be available.

Day 3

Albi

Enrichment: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
Delve into the intriguing life of this brilliant 19th-century French artist whose art revealed the atmosphere of Paris’ bohemian era.

Discovery: Exploring the Musée Toulouse Lautrec.
Activity level: Moderate

Step inside the Berbie Palace to visit the Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, home to the world’s largest collection of art by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, a native of Albi. The collection features many of Toulouse-Lautrec’s world-famous posters depicting Montmartre’s working-class neighborhoods and unconventional lifestyles.

Discovery: Walking Tour of Albi.
Activity level: Moderate

Perched along the Tarn River, Albi offers a remarkable trove of Gothic architecture. Revel in the vastness of St. Cecilia’s cathedral, built between 1280 and 1492. Dominating the city center, the cathedral features elaborate carvings, a unique brick facade and an exquisitely painted interior.

Enjoy an authentic lunch featuring regional cuisine.

Discovery: Cruising the Tarn River.
Activity level: Active

Board a gabare, a traditional flat-bottomed wooden boat, for a relaxing cruise along the Tarn River.

Accommodations – Mercure Albi Bastides Hotel
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

Day 4

Montauban

Discovery: Encounters in the Country.
Activity level: Moderate

Meet the gracious owners of a family-run dairy farm. Managed by two sisters who have a passion for animal welfare, the farm is home to sheep, cows, chickens and rabbits and uses both innovative and traditional milking methods. Tour the farm and taste the delicious cheese made on the property. Next, journey through the hills to a winery that produces a variety of delectable red, rose and white wines. Learn how the owners create bold, rich flavors through a combination of old and modern techniques. Then sample their wine varietals and tour the winery. Continue to the Degan family farm and settle in for a lunch of seasonal, locally sourced ingredients.

Discovery: Tour of Montauban.
Activity level: Moderate

Enjoy a visit to Montauban’s historic center with its 14th-century bridge, medieval lanes, neoclassical buildings, graceful architecture and the Place Nationale, an inviting central square bordered with pretty arcades and blush-hued buildings. Step inside a local chocolate shop for a sweet sample; then visit the newly renovated Musée Ingres to see collections by Montauban native Jean- Auguste-Dominique Ingres and other artists.

Accommodations – Mercure Albi Bastides Hotel
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

Day 5

Castres | Carcassonne

Discovery: Tour of Castres.
Activity level: Moderate

Visit Castres, viewing the half-timbered craftsmen houses along the Agout River. Once home to tanners, paper and parchment makers, and dyers, these colorful houses stand tribute to the town’s storied success in the trade and textile industries.

Discovery: Canal du Midi Cruise.
Activity level: Moderate

Glide on Europe’s oldest canal during this leisurely boat trip. Selected as a UNESCO World Heritage site because of its amazing mechanical and engineering advancements, the canal snakes its way through the land’s natural contours.

Discovery: Welcome to Carcassonne!
Activity level: Moderate

Join your guide for an introduction to this walled, medieval citadel, which boasts over 1.5 miles of defensive ramparts as well as draw bridges, towers, spires and fountains.

Free Time: Enjoy time at leisure amid the fairy-tale atmosphere of Carcassonne. You may wish to visit the Château Comtal, a medieval fortress with over 31 towers, or see the Saint-Nazaire Basilica, home to stunning stained-glass windows, rose windows and gargoyles.

Accommodations – Mercure Albi Bastides Hotel
Meals – Breakfast and dinner

Day 6

Toulouse

Discovery: Walking Tour of Toulouse.
Activity level: Moderate

Explore “La Ville Rose,” France’s fourth-largest city. Located in the heart of France, many of the city’s facades are constructed of pretty red brick, creating a delightful vision of harmonious rosy hues throughout the town. Begin your walking tour in the Place du Capitole, a vast plaza anchored by classic 18th and 19th-century buildings, including the Capitole, a grand building with eight columns. Visit St. Sernin Basilica, the largest surviving Romanesque church in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is considered by many to be the most glorious of all churches along the way of St. James. Stroll along the waterfront and wend through the city’s old quarter, a blend of elegant restaurants, shady squares, trendy cafes and quaint shops. Then relax over lunch at a local establishment.

Enrichment: The Cathars and the Albigensian Crusade.
Join a local expert to learn about the turbulent relationship between the Catholic Church and the Cathars.

Accommodations – Mercure Albi Bastides Hotel
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

Day 7

Cordes-sur-Ciel

Discovery: Cordes-sur-Ciel and Wine.
Activity level: Moderate

Journey through the stunning Midi-Pyrenees countryside to Cordes-sur-Ciel, a village built high on a hill by the Cathars to protect themselves from papal crusaders. Meander along the cobbled lanes, viewing Gothic buildings constructed between 1280 and 1350, and marvel at sweeping views of the Cérou valley below.

Enjoy a delicious lunch in Cordes-sur-Ciel.

Discovery: Gaillac Wines.
Activity level: Moderate

Continue traveling through France’s oldest wine-producing region. Visit a local winery for a tasting of Gaillac wines. Often characterized by delicate, dry whites and rich, fruity reds, Gaillac wines are sure to delight your palate.

Accommodations – Mercure Albi Bastides Hotel
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

Day 8

Albi

Enrichment: Contemporary France.
Examine France’s modern-day political, economic and social status.

Free Time: Craft your own adventure in Albi today. Perhaps search for treasures along the village’s narrow pedestrian streets or find a special riverside viewpoint to revel in splendid views of Albi’s architecture and bridges.

Toast to your French adventure tonight as you gather for a Farewell Reception, followed by a Farewell Dinner.

Accommodations – Mercure Albi Bastides Hotel
Meals – Breakfast and dinner

Day 9

Depart for gateway city

After breakfast, bid farewell to Albi. AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for Toulouse airport for your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.

Meals – Breakfast

NOTE: Itinerary may change due to local conditions.


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