Well located in the heart of Toulouse’s “Ville Rose” on Capitole Square, the 162-room Crowne Plaza Toulouse offers a restaurant, cocktail lounge, Internet access, and laundry and dry cleaning services. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.
9 a.m. to 7 p.m.,
Provincial French Countryside
Meet our tour directors
Tour membership limited to 12-24 guests
15 days from $4,996 total price from Boston, New York
($4,295 air & land inclusive plus $701 airline taxes
and departure fees)
Experience the beauty, allure, and hospitality of provincial France, at an easy pace and in a unique style. Anchored by stays in vibrant Toulouse and enchanting Paris, the journey features diverse Languedoc, the remote Dordogne, the lovely Loire Valley, and historic Normandy as we stay in charming rural inns and small country hotels. It’s a small group tour de force!
Day 1: Depart U.S. for Toulouse, France
Day 2: Arrive Toulouse After arriving in Toulouse today, our time is at leisure until we meet our tour director this evening for a welcome dinner and a briefing about the journey ahead. D
Day 3: Toulouse/Carcassonne Today we tour nearby Carcassonne, the quintessential medieval town with the longest city walls in Europe. Sitting atop a hill overlooking vast green plains that stretch all the way to the Pyrénées, Carcassonne boasts battlements and ramparts dating to the 1st-century Romans. We return to Toulouse mid-afternoon. B
Day 4: Toulouse/Albi/Sarlat We travel today to the historic market town of Albi in the Midi-Pyrénées. Hometown of Belle Epoque artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi was built with rose-colored bricks that cast a warm glow over the city’s medieval streets and ramparts. Our city tour here includes the Palais de la Berbie, an ancient fortress housing a museum devoted to the works of Toulouse-Lautrec; and the huge 13th-century Cathédrale Ste-Cécile. Leaving Albi, we continue to the rugged unspoiled countryside of the Perigord region and the Dordogne Valley. We travel on to Sarlat-la-Canéda, one of France’s prettiest villages and one of Europe’s best preserved medieval gems, with more registered historic sites than anywhere else on the continent. We’re in the land of the truffle and foie gras, so bon appétit! B,D
Day 5: Sarlat/Lascaux II This morning we tour the Caves at Lascaux II, the reproductions of the original pre-historic cave paintings found nearby. After lunch at a charming local inn, we spend the afternoon on a leisurely cruise along the Dordogne River, life-blood of this fertile region and redolent with history. As we pass cliff-top castles and fortified medieval towns, the historical region of Aquitaine comes to life — this is where beloved Eleanor of Aquitaine reigned in the 12th century. We return to Sarlat and our hotel, where we dine tonight. B,L,D
Day 6: Sarlat/Rocamadour This morning we take a brief walking tour then have time at leisure to visit one of Sarlat’s museums or art galleries on our own — or simply to wander the atmospheric cobblestone streets. After lunch on our own we visit nearby Rocamadour, a revered pilgrimage site and medieval village whose three tiers cling almost impossibly to a sheer limestone cliff. We take a guided walking tour then enjoy some free time before we return to our hotel mid-afternoon and dine there together tonight. B,D
Day 7: Sarlat/Le Dorat/Saumur This morning we depart for the Loire Valley, stopping in the small market town of Le Dorat for a typical country lunch at a local restaurant. From here we travel on to picturesque Saumur and our hotel, a converted 18th-century mansion on the banks of the Loire River. B,L
Day 8: Saumur Today is at leisure to enjoy this town of half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets as we wish. Options include exploring the town’s old quarter; visiting the Cavalry Museum; or tasting the renowned locally made sparkling wine — methode champenoise — at Maison du Vin. B,D
Day 9: Saumur/Chenonceaux We’re in chateaux country, where England battled for control of France; where Joan of Arc triumphed; and where a great opulence reigned during the 16th century. Originally built as fortresses to keep intruders out, the Loire Valley’s grand chateaux now welcome visitors from around the world. We tour a most impressive one today: Chenonceau, the Renaissance masterpiece considered the most romantic chateau of all. Lunch today is at La Cave in Montlouis. B,L
Day 10: Saumur/Mont-St-Michel/Crépon Traveling north this morning, we stop at Mont-St-Michel, Normandy’s famed Gothic abbey that sits atop a 264-foot high rock formation at the edge of the sea and was constructed between 1017—1521 of granite hauled stone by stone from Brittany. After a guided tour and some free time for lunch and to explore on our own, we continue on to our lodgings in Crépon: a restored but rustic 35-room farmhouse dating to the 13th century. B,D
Day 11: Crépon/Bayeux/Caen Miraculously spared wartime bombing, medieval Bayeux is our first stop today. Here we visit the Tapestry Museum, home of the 1,000-year-old Bayeux Tapestry depicting the exploits of William the Conqueror. Later we visit the British Cemetery then continue on to Caen’s Memorial Museum devoted to “history for peace.” Time permitting, we may visit Arromanches late this afternoon. B,D
Day 12: D-Day Landing Beaches A poignant, inspiring day is ahead as we travel to the very places where Allied forces overcame overwhelming odds to alter the course of World War II. We visit Pointe du Hoc, where American Rangers scaled towering cliffs to establish a beachhead; Utah Beach; and Ste-Mère-Eglise, where the 82nd Airborne Division successfully parachuted on June 5, 1944. We end the day at the American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach in Colleville. It’s a particularly moving site; row upon endless row of white marble crosses and Stars of David honor the nearly 10,000 soldiers buried here. B,L,D
Day 13: Crépon/Honfleur/Giverny/Paris This morning we stop in the picturesque port of Honfleur before continuing on to the village of Giverny and the home and gardens of Impressionist artist Claude Monet. Here we see the familiar lily pond and Japanese footbridge of Monet’s paintings, as well as his home, now restored to its original design. Then we travel to Paris, reaching our hotel late afternoon. B
Day 14: Paris Today we get acquainted with one of the world’s great cities, seeing the highlights on this morning’s city tour, including a visit to either the renowned Louvre Museum or the Musée d’Orsay of Impressionist artworks. This afternoon is free for independent exploration; tonight we gather for a farewell dinner. B,D
Day 15: Depart for U.S. This morning we depart for the airport and our connecting flights to the U.S. B
Please note: This trip involves considerable walking up hills or stairs, and on uneven or cobblestone streets. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to its fullest.
- Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
- 13 nights’ accommodations in Superior First Class, First Class, and unrated hotels
- 26 meals: 13 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 9 dinners
- Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
- Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
- Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
- Luggage handling for one bag per person
- Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
- $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Dates & Prices
2014 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees
|Boston, New York||$4,996||$5,196||$5,396|
Hou, Miami, Minn,
|Denver, Los Ang,
Phoenix, Port (OR),
San Fran, Seattle
Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees of $701, which are subject to change until final payment is made.
Single travelers please add $1,195. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days prior to departure. All 2014 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees) are guaranteed.
*Accommodations in Normandy will be at Manoir de Mathan, Crépon
Business Class upgrade on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: $3,995 per person
Crowne Plaza Toulouse, Toulouse / Days 2-3 / First Class
Hôtel Meysset, Sarlat-en-Perigord (Dordogne) / Days 4-6 / Not rated
With panoramic views of Sarlat Valley, the 26-room Hôtel Meysett sits on a country road amidst three acres of gardens about a mile outside of Sarlat. Amenities of the traditionally-appointed lodging include a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, and library. Guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, TV, complimentary internet access, and phone.
Hôtel Anne d’Anjou, Saumur (Loire Valley) / Days 7-9 / Not rated
Overlooking the Loire River, the charming 18th-century Hôtel Anne d’Anjou stands with its original wood, glass, and freestone moldings that date to the Louis XVI, Restoration, and Empire periods. Minutes from the town’s center, the 45-room hotel has a restaurant and bar, lounge, Internet access, laundry service, and garden. Guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, TV, and phone.
Ferme de la Rançonniere, Crépon (Normandy) / Days 10-12 / Not rated
Dating to the 13th and 15th centuries, this rustic restored farmhouse is in a rural setting outside the village of Crépon. The hotel features one bar, a medieval dining room with vaulted ceilings, and Internet access. The fine food served here is typical of the region. Each of the 35 Normandy-style bedrooms, decorated in period furniture, has a private bath with hair dryer, TV, and phone. There is no elevator.
Hôtel Château Frontenac, Paris / Days 13-14, Extension / Superior First Class
Ideally located between the Champs Élysées and Avenue Georges-V, close to entertainment, restaurants, and shops, the 104-room Hôtel Château Frontenac offers a bar and breakfast room, laundry and dry cleaning services, and Internet access. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.
Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Unrated hotels may be too small, too new, or too remote to be listed.
Paris – On Your Own
Savor the City of Light on your own time, at your own pace.
Your Tour Price Includes
- 2 nights' accommodations at Hôtel Château Frontenac (Superior First Class)
- 2 meals: 2 breakfasts
- Transfer to airport
Please see the Accommodations tab for hotel information.
Small Group Tour Highlights
- Medieval Carcassonne
- Market town of Albi, including Toulouse-Lautrec Museum
- Cliffside village of Rocamadour
- Caves at Lascaux II
- Dordogne River cruise
- Chateau at Chenonceau
- Medieval Mont St. Michel
- Bayeux Tapestry
- Tours of Normandy’s Landing Beaches
- American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach
- Memorial Museum, Caen
- Monet’s gardens at Giverny
- Paris touring
What people are saying about us
“We love the small group concept, with free time to explore on our own.”
Nancy Pickering & John Millar