Southern France

including

French Pyrenees Observatoire Midi-Pyrenees

August 24 - September 1, 2018

Observatory

Observatoire Midi-Pyrenees

Experience the rare privilege of visiting Midi-Pyrenees historic region of Southern France… small country villages and ancient walled towns… stargaze from the French Pyrenees Observatoire Midi-Pyrenees… local food and wine to help soak up the atmosphere and stay in small country hotels in one of France’s most beautiful regions. The tour is limited to 12 - 24 guests.

Auch

Auch

Portobelo

Chateaux Cathares
Nouhailler

Cathedral of Saint-Pierre, Gers

Cathedral of Saint-Pierre, Gers
vadim5241

Itinerary

Thursday/Friday, August 23/24, 2018

USA — Toulouse, France

D

Depart for Toulouse, France.
On arrival in Toulouse you will be met and transferred to your hotel in the medieval town of Foix for four nights. Join MWT Tour Director at a welcome orientation dinner tonight.

Rennes le Chateau

Rennes le Chateau
lorib2009

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Rennes le Chateau

B/L

This morning a guided trip back in time to the medieval Rennes le Chateau and Chateaux Cathares. Picnic lunch in the countryside before returning to Foix for afternoon astronomical lecture.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Albi

B/L

Today venture to the market town of Albi, once the bishop’s seat in the Middle Ages. Here glass blowing and brick baking were first introduced. The cathedral of Sainte-Cecile was built between 1282 and 1480 in the Gothic style. It is the largest brick building in the world.
Albi is the hometown of Belle Époque artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The Musee Toulouse-Lautrec is housed in the Palais de La Berbie and holds a collection of artist’s paintings and drawings. Return to Foix for the night and astronomical conversation.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Carcassonne

B/L

Today we will drive to Carcassonne located on a Pyrenees hilltop in Languedoc-Roussillon. It is the most complete example of a medieval, fortified town that is preserved intact in Europe. Within the walls is a castle history of battlements and ramparts dating to the 1st c. along with ancient houses and narrow winding lanes.   

Cave Painting in Grotte de Niaux

Cave Painting in Grotte de Niaux

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Grotte de Niaux – Pic du Midi

B/D

After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive to Niaux to visit the Grotte de Niaux, the grandest of the decorated caves. Deep in the mountainside near Arlege River the images of bison, horses, ibex and deer put there by people 13 - 14000 years ago are found.
After a lunch stop, continue into the Pyrenees to Pic du Midi on the France/Spain border. Upon arrival, ascend by cable car to the top for overnight observing at the French Pyrenees Observatoire Midi-Pyrenees. The view offers an endless horizon.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Pic du Midi – Gers Region

B/L

After breakfast descend by cable car back to the village below and continue toward the Gers region to sample the local produce for lunch.
Check-in at the Domaine de Beaulieu for three nights. The charming 19th c. country home offers gourmet meals and the beauty of the country valley with Cistercian abbeys and villages with busy markets.

Le Gers

Le Gers
owlhere

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Gers Region

B

A relaxing morning before an afternoon tour of Auch and Southern France countryside with the abundant produce such as duck and duck products, oysters, fresh vegetables and wine. Wine tasting this afternoon.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Gers Region

B/D

Today venture into the Auch village for a guided tour of the magnificent Auch Cathedral Basilica with Renaissance stained glass windows by Arnaud de Moles. A farewell dinner tonight.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Gers to Airport

B

Transfer to the Toulouse Airport for your flight homeward or connect to the fast train to Paris.

This is a Small Group Tour for Night Sky Enthusiasts

Carcasonne

Carcasonne
Falstaf

Eauze, l'Armagnac

Eauze, l'Armagnac