Lot, Tarn & Haute-Garonne Escorted Tour by Rail

6 nights starting from
£949

  • Abbey towns and hilltop villages

  • Authentic southern French local character

  • Rich red wine – Cahors wine is delicious

  • Distinctive local cuisine within a short walk of your hotel

  • Impressive cathedrals – Toulouse boasts two

  • Dramatic, unspoilt countryside and villages

This tour explores three little-known and fascinating regions. Travel from the limestone cliffs and delightful medieval hilltop towns of the Lot Valley to the majesty of Toulouse and history-rich Cahors, Albi and Moissac, this is a wonderful and rewarding area to explore.

Available Departures

From

13 - August - 2020 £ 949.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

St Pancras

Departing: 13th August 2020 at 07:55

Returning: 19th August 2020 at 15:13

ITINERARY

Day 1: Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Paris and onwards to Montauban by TGV. On arrival, transfer by coach to the hotel for check-in to the hotel. Dinner this evening is included at the hotel.

Day 2: Full day tour to Cahors and Saint-Cirq-Lapopie.
For such a small town squeezed into a loop of the River Lot, Cahors has had a long and turbulent history - passing through Gallic, Roman, Moorish and English hands is just the start of it. The best known sight here is the 14th century Pont Valentré – a beautifully well-preserved example of a medieval bridge. You’ll spot Saint-Cirq-Lapopie sitting on its high bluff over the Lot River a good while before you reach the village. A member of “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France”, and voted the most beautiful village in France in 2012, the stone and half-timbered houses tumble over the cliff side. Head up the steep path to where the town’s château once stood for wonderful views over the river valley.


Day 3: Full day free in Montauban.
Full day to explore the lovely town of Montauban on market day. The laidback city of Montauban, on the banks of the River Tarn, was originally a bastide built by the Count of Toulouse in 1144. The lovely old city centre with its pink-brick houses is a delight to wander and there are a host of bars and restaurants to explore each evening just a short walk from the hotel.


Day 4: Full day tour to Moissac, Auvillar and Lauzerte.
The town of Moissac is best known for its magnificent Romanesque abbey church of St-Pierre – the cloisters and porch are considered masterpieces of Romanesque sculpture. Although a church was founded on the site in the 7th century, the church and cloisters date from the 11th, and have survived many wars including the siege and sacking on the town in 1212 by Simon de Montfort. This afternoon we visit two ‘Plus Beaux Villages’ – Auvillar and Lauzerte. A stop on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela Auvillar sits on the banks of the Garonne and has some outstanding monuments, including a circular corn exchange, a clock tower and the Church of St- Peter. The bastide of Lauzerte was founded in the 12th century by the count of Toulouse. The cobbled main square, stone built and half-timbered houses are delightful, as is the Pilgrim’s Garden.


Day 5: Full day tour to Cordes and Albi.
A 13th century fortified town, Cordes sits on a rocky outcrop above the River Cérou offering lovely views over the valley. Within the ramparts of the town you’ll find some excellent examples of 13th and 14th century Gothic architecture. The rose-red town of Albi was the birthplace of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and so is home to a museum, housed in the impressive 13th century Palais de la Berbie, containing a comprehensive collection of his work. The simple but impressive Gothic Cathédrale Ste-Cécile dominates the skyline - it is thought to be one of the largest brick buildings in the world.


Day 6: Full day tour to Toulouse.
Toulouse was once the home to the resplendent court of the count of Toulouse who controlled much of southern France and it continues to be an important city today, particularly in terms of aviation. The old city, the Ville Rose, is compact and easy to explore – the two churches St-Sernin and Les Jacobins plus some Renaissance townhouses are architectural gems.
 Dinner is included at the hotel this evening.

Day 7: Transfer back to Montauban station to catch the return TGV to Paris. At Paris, board the return Eurostar service to Ebbsfleet and St Pancras.

NB: Exact order of itinerary of this tour may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion. 

Please note for 2019 the maximum group size on this tour is 49 passengers.

NEW FOR 2020 
Further to analysis of questionnaires received from many hundreds of our valued clients, we have decided to introduce two key changes to our tours in 2020:

1. The group size on all overseas tours is to be limited to a maximum of 35 or lower.

2. All overseas tours will include a welcome drink on the first evening, so that guests can get to know each other.

We hope that these changes will enhance our tours for all participants.

 

 

INCLUDED

  • Return Eurostar/TGV from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Montauban via Paris
  • Six nights' accommodation bed and breakfast basis at the four-star Mercure Montauban, based on shared occupancy of twin room
  • Two dinners at the hotel
  • Transfers and full coach touring itinerary as detailed 
  • Tour manager throughout

NOT INCLUDED

  • Single room supplement
  • Holiday insurance
  • Standard Premier/1st Class upgrade on Eurostar/TGV. On the Eurostar this constitutes upgraded seating and light meal with complimentary drink with upgraded seating only on the French railway leg
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls.
  • Porterage and gratuities.

PLEASE NOTE: As with most trains, passengers are responsible for carrying baggage onto and off the train. Baggage can be stored on overhead shelves or at the entrance to the carriages.Trollies are available at St Pancras and Lille, but bags do need to be carried on to the platform.

Travel Editions recommends a luggage delivery service called thebaggageman, where your suitcase can be picked up from your home before departure and delivered straight to your hotel; therefore removing the worry about carrying your cases onto and off the trains. Please click here for more information and we have arranged a 10% discount exclusive to Travel Editions clients off the thebaggageman service. Tel: 01844 264890

HOTELS

Mercure Montauban
Housed in a charming 18th century building the four-star Mercure Montauban is located right in the heart of the town centre opposite the cathedral. Facilities at the hotel include a restaurant, Bourdelle, and bar to relax in after a days touring. Bedrooms are traditional decorated with en-suite bathroom with bath or shower, TV, telephone, wifi, minibar, air-conditioning and hairdryer. 

Mercure Montauban Website

Pre-tour accommodation is available at the Premier Inn, Lodon Kings Cross St Pancras, about a 5 minutes walk from St Pancras International, at an approximate rate of £120 per room. Bookings can be made direct with the hotel on 0871 527 8672 or visit their website.

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Overall Impression

Another great tour - Jill our tour manager was excellent always went the extra mile & was so obliging & helpful. Hope we have her on our next tour. Thank you so much.

Review by Healy who travelled 15-August-2019


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Very enjoyable and interesting holiday, led by an expert and well organised tour manager. Hotel comfortable with friendly staff. Mostly good weather. Buffet car on French trains very poor but that's not the fault of Travel Editions.

Review by Vigors who travelled 15-August-2019


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Review by Pratt who travelled 15-August-2019


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There were 29 passengers - impossible to fill in the previous box! The tour manager was exceptional, extremely knowledgeable, efficient and cheerful. I was pleased with my room ( single travellers tend to end up with less pleasant rooms, this one was somewhat dated, but quiet and comfortable). However, the hotel provided only two meals. Due to construction works in Montauban it was sometimes difficult to find somewhere to eat, especially at the weekend. Nor was there any area in the hotel where one could sit and perhaps have a drink after a long hot day travelling.

Review by Bull who travelled 15-August-2019


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Marvellous trip with fascinating visits accompanied by very interesting history and historical anecdotes supplied by Jill, our thoughtful and delightful tour manager. The hotel was very good and all the coach trips were very comfortable and extremely well organised.

Review by who travelled 16-August-2018


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A most enjoyable tour, with visits to enchanting and beautiful towns and villages. Montauban is an excellent base for the tour, and the Mercure Hotel was very comfortable, with good facilities. My grateful thanks go to Gill, our excellent tour manager, who on the last day was able to secure me a seat on the train from Paris with the rest of the group, after it had been announced at Gare du Nord that the train would stop at Ebbsfleet, which it was not originally scheduled to do. Travel Editions organises tours to places that few others (I believe) reach, and this is very much appreciated.

Review by Muirhead who travelled 16-August-2018


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A most interesting and varied holiday, supremely well led by Gill. It was the amazing number of places none of which I had ever heard of and which were attractive and exciting which will linger long in my memory. Beauty in landscapes and in architecture .... I could go on ! (Total lack of drawers in bedroom and inadequate staffing at otherwise excellent breakfast were tiny reservations but otherwise the holiday (to use a word I seldom use) was perfect. ????????. Geoff Bamford

Review by Bamford who travelled 16-August-2018


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Good tour, as always, much enjoyed.

Review by Hurdman who travelled 16-August-2018


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Excellent tour, made even better by Gill, who was superb. Her care and attention to all of us was outstanding, and her dedication to ensuring all her facts were correct was impressive. We would also comment on the excellence of Olivier as a driver - I really would like him to give me lessons in how to reverse - and on his cheerfulness at all times.

Review by Callaghan who travelled 17-August-2017


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An interesting area of France, a well balanced selection of visits and an excellent and knowledgeable tour manager in Gill

Review by Newman who travelled 17-August-2017


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This was a very enjoyable trip which combined scenic beauty with historical and architectural interest. Gill's informative commentaries and attention to detail to ensure our comfort and convenience were much appreciated.

Review by Reid who travelled 17-August-2017


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Our tour manger Jill was beyond excellent, great organisation and helping everyone, and very informative. Our driver Olivier was also excellent and friendly. We enjoyed the 'mini tour' transfers in Paris!

Review by Bruce who travelled 17-August-2017


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The new Eurostar and TGV trains seem to provide less luggage capacity than before and, on all 4 trains, this was an issue. Obviously, it's not your fault, but it is a problem for your customers! Gill Thompson was superb. She is an enormous asset to your company. Her additional stop at Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val (on the day set aside for Cordes and Albi) was a superb addition to the trip and one which we feel should be built in to the tour itself - with a longer stop than could be managed on ours. In other ways, Gill made the trip for our party. Nothing was too much trouble, even organising an additional group meal at a Montauban restaurant, where she undertook waiting duties to speed up the service! This was on the Monday night when the number of restaurants actually open in Montauban was very limited. We have made some 10 trips with you in France (3 with Gill!) and this must rank as one of the very best experiences.

Review by Williams who travelled 17-August-2017


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A very interesting trip in excellent company to an area for the most part splendidly devoid of other tourists! A good time of year to go; the colours fantastic. And I saw a kingfisher which was a great bonus. The hotel was no more than ok but Jill, the guide, was really knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. The highlights for me were Moissac and Cordes en Ciel, though perhaps I have now seen quite enough pretty villages to keep me happy for many months. It's no use asking me about the food. I enjoyed it but I'm no gourmet; I just eat what's put in front of me! Beyond the control of TE I know, but as many of us remarked, there was nothing very "grande" about the "vitesse" of the train, even from Paris to Bordeaux... Funny how that little disappointment counted for more with me than I would have expected . Anyway, now to book for next season's Auvergne trip...!

Review by Mr Trevor Davis who travelled 06-October-2016


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Your tour manager Jill added so much to the interest and enjoyment of the tour.

Review by Mrs H Bovey who travelled 06-October-2016


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Montauban was an excellent base and the central position of the hotel helped a lot. Hotel,meals were reasonable although when I dined there one night with just a friend it was very poor. My room was generally OK but bathroom could have used a towel rail, and provision of cardboard cups on hospitality tray is just not acceptable. Hotel service was good. There are no words to express the sheer quality of Jill Thompson as Tour Manager. She is one in a thousand.

Review by Mrs Jane Allison who travelled 06-October-2016


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Visits mostly fine where there is simething positive to see eg Caghors Moissac etc, but villages that have been truned into Tourist traps eg Lapopie of much less interest, As a diabetic my standard complaint about Mercure hotel breakfasts is that they have no idea of sugar & fatless diet. I don't exactly starve but the same meal for a week is dispiriting.

Review by Mr Peter Bassett who travelled 06-October-2016


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Review by who travelled 10-May-2015


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