First tour – Thursday/Friday, August 23/24, 2018
Second tour – Sunday/Monday, September 2/3, 2018
USA — Toulouse, France
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
First tour – Saturday, August 25, 2018
Second tour – Tuesday, September 4, 2018
Rennes le Chateau
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.
First tour – Sunday, August 26, 2018
Second tour – Wednesday, September 5, 2018
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.
First tour – Monday, August 27, 2018
Second tour – Thursday, September 6, 2018
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
First tour – Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Second tour – Friday, September 7, 2018
Grotte de Niaux – Pic du Midi
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.
First tour – Wednesday, August 29, 2018
Second tour – Saturday, September 8, 2018
Pic du Midi – Gers Region
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.
First tour – Thursday, August 30, 2018
Second tour – Sunday, September 9, 2018
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.
First tour – Friday, August 31, 2018
Second tour – Monday, September 10, 2018
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.
First tour – Saturday, September 1, 2018
Second tour – Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Gers to Airport
Transfer to the Toulouse Airport for your flight homeward or connect to the fast train to Paris.