Just one hour drive away from Toulouse, discover two places of interest close to Toulouse (Albi and Cordes sur Ciel), and go for a wine tasting session on a local wine estate.
> departure from Toulouse
> visit of Albi
> free time for lunch in Albi
> visit of Cordes sur Ciel
> visit of a Gaillac wine estate and wine tasting session
> drive back to Toulouse
> 190 km / 118 miles in total (via road and motorway).
Circuit beginning and end
> starts from Toulouse
> ends in Toulouse.
Highlights of the trip
> « The Favourite village of the French » is a French television show which is broadcast every June/July since 2012. Cordes sur Ciel won the contest and became favourite village of the French in 2014.
> Albi has been enlisted as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO since 2010.
> the historical centre of Albi is a beautiful example of a medieval red-brick city.
> Sainte-Cecile Cathedral church is the most impressive religious building in the South-West of France.
> The Toulouse-Lautrec museum is the richest collection of works by the artist, born in Albi in 1864. A fascinating museum to discover.
> several photo stops: our driver knows the best spots for unforgettable photos, he will be pleased to take you there.
> you will get to meet a Gaillac wine producer, you will be able to talk to him about his work and taste his white and red wines.
What to do after the trip?
> our region is lucky to have another village which was voted « Favourite village of the French » in 2012: it is Saint-Cirq Lapopie. You can visit this village with us by booking the day-trip to Rocamadour, Saint-Cirq Lapopie and Cahors.
> if you are a wine enthusiast we can organise a special private tour for you to some Cahors wine estates. Please contact us for prices.
> we offer another day trip which includes a visit of a winery : Carcassonne and a meal on a wine estate.
– 8.30 : pick up in Toulouse (at your hotel)
– drive to Albi
– guided tour of Albi : Ste-Cecile Cathedral + Toulouse-Lautrec museum + Berbie gardens
– 12.00 : free time for lunch in Albi
– 13.30 : short photo-stop leaving Albi (nice view)
– drive to Cordes sur Ciel
– 14.00 : photo-stop in Cordes sur Ciel (nice view)
– 14.20 : guided tour of Cordes sur Ciel (one of the most beautiful villages of France)
– 14.45 : free time
– 15.45 : drive to the vineyards of Gaillac
– 16.00 : visit and wine tasting session on a Gaillac wine estate
– 17.15 : drive back to Toulouse
– 18.15 : drop-off in Toulouse.
> January 1st
> December 25th
> Toulouse-Lautrec Museum in Albi : January 1st, May 1st , November 1st, December 25th, and every Tuesday from October to March.
> from Toulouse to Albi : 80 km / 49 miles
> from Albi to Cordes sur Ciel : 25 km / 15 miles
> from Cordes sur Ciel to the Gaillac wine estate : 10 km / 6 miles
> from the Gaillac wine estate to Toulouse : 75 km / 46 miles
From November to February
> with an English, Spanish and French speaking driver : 156 € per person
> with an English, Spanish and French speaking driver-guide : 196 € per person
From March to October
> with an English, Spanish and French speaking driver : 195 € per person
> with an English, Spanish and French speaking driver-guide : 245 € per person
What is a shared tour ? you agree to share the tour with other passengers (a maximum of 7 people). The tour can run with 2 people minimum. If only one person wants a tour, he/she will be required to pay double, so as to ensure the tour costs.
From November to February
> with an English, Spanish and French speaking driver : 344 € (that means 49 € / pers. if you are a group of 7 people)
> with an English, Spanish and French speaking driver-guide : 432 €
From March to October
> with an English, Spanish and French speaking driver : 430 € (that means 62 € / pers. if you are a group of 7 people)
> with an English, Spanish and French speaking driver-guide : 540 €
What is a private tour ? the vehicle is booked for you and your party only (7 people maximum). No-one else can join the tour.
Are included in our price :
> transport in an 8 seater minivan (petrol, tolls, parking costs) with driver or driver-guide (at your request), speaking French, English and Spanish.
> commentaries by the driver or driver-guide during the trip
> driver’s / driver-guide’s lunch
> guided tour of Albi and Cordes-sur-Ciel (according to programme) if you chose the driver-guide option
> bottles of water in the vehicle.
Are not included in our price :
> your lunch
> the Gaillac wine estate visit and wine tasting session
> entrance fees
> personal costs.
> Albi, Cathedral chancel : 5 € per person
> Albi, Toulouse-Lautrec Museum : 9 € per person
> Gaillac wine estate visit and wine tasting session: 9 € per person.
> A 35% deposit must be paid on booking (by Visa or MasterCard), or 100% of the price if you book less than 30 days prior to the departure.
> the remaining 65% must be paid 30 days prior to the departure (by Visa or MasterCard).
> if you cancel the tour over 30 days prior to the scheduled departure you will get a full refund (no penalty).
> if you cancel less than 30 days prior to the scheduled departure you do not get a refund (you pay the tour as planned).
Please note that the refund is done to the credit card with which payment was originally made (or via PayPal if your card has expired).
Shared tour : if one person only is booked in for the tour
> in the eventuality of you being the only person booked in for a tour, 30 days or more prior to the scheduled departure: you can get a full refund if you chose to cancel. If you chose to maintain the trip you will have to purchase an extra ticket.
> if you have already paid for two people in order to maintain the tour, but that someone else joins the tour, you will get a full refund for the extra ticket you have paid for.
> please note : if you can’t pay 2 tickets to secure the trip, we are free to cancel your trip if we receive a firm booking for another trip. Of course, we’ll refund you the ticket already paid.
Albi is a town with 50 000 inhabitants. Its historical centre was classified by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2010. Being mostly built of bricks, the city is a beautiful example of a “red city”.
You will visit the impressive Sainte-Cecile Cathedral church, which looks like a fortress from the outside, but is entirely painted and sculpted on the inside.
Next to the Cathedral is the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, presenting the largest collection of works by the artist, born in Albi in 1864. Discover his most famous works, such as Moulin Rouge: La Goulue, and Aristide Bruant posters, but also his early works, such as Artilleryman saddling his horse, which he painted at 15 years old, and many other works depicting his mother, or his cousin Gabriel for example.
After seeing the beautiful “French gardens” at the foot of the museum, discover on your own the other heritage treasures of the historical centre : Saint-Salvy cloister, the medieval streets lined with half-timbered houses, the Vigan square, the covered market (open every morning from Tuesday to Sunday)…
The open-air market takes place on Saturday morning in Albi, around the covered market.
You’ll have lunch in Albi, we advise you to try the restaurant Le Lautrec (excellent fish Cassoulet), or the tearoom Herytage (savoury tarts), or the restaurant Le Clos Sainte-Cecile (next to the chuch).
Enlisted as one of the most beautiful villages of France.
The name of the village is enough to make you want to visit: “Cordes sur Ciel” means “Cordes upon the sky”.
And you won’t be disappointed! Cordes sur Ciel was voted “Favourite village of the French” in 2014, during a popular television show. The village was founded upon a rocky outcrop in 1222 by the Count of Toulouse, and most of its defensive walls are still standing. Some days the base of the hill can be hidden in the mist, leaving only the top of the village visible, as if it was hovering in the sky. Quite an extraordinary sight!
We will drive you to the top of the village (the walk up is quite difficult). You will then walk along the medieval streets to admire the Gothic façades of the 14th century town mansions. During tourist season (from mid-April to mid-October) the artisans’ workshops and galleries are open to the public: sculptors, painters, glass-workers, cutlers… So will be the restaurants and cafés, which are usually closed during the winter season.
Many artists have fallen in love with Cordes sur Ciel (French writers such as Albert Camus and Hector Malot for example), and it is said that Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki was inspired by Cordes sur Ciel when directing his film Castle in the Sky in 1986.
Before we leave the village we will take you to the best spot overlooking it, which only local guides know, and which is only accessible by car. From there you will get a breathtaking view over Cordes.
On Saturday mornings a little market takes place at the foot of the village.
If you have booked the private tour option we can modify the programme so as to have lunch in Cordes sur Ciel (instead of Albi) we advise you to try the restaurant called La Table d’Yvonne (try their home-made foie gras!).
The Gaillac vineyards are situated around the little town of Gaillac (12000 inhabitants). The wine name « Gaillac» is shared by 73 villages around the town, but the production area is spread over 3500 hectares only.
During the Roman period only white wine was produced here. Since the end of the 19th century red grape varieties have been planted, and red wine now represents 60% of the annual production. The main red grape varieties used are Braucol, Duras, Syrah and Gamay. For white wine the main grape varieties are Mauzac, Loin de l’oeil and Sauvignon.
On the third weekend of November many wine producers organise events to celebrate the arrival of the « Gaillac Primeur» (at the same time as the Beaujolais nouveau in Bourgogne), which is produced with the grapes picked in August/September of that same year.
Gaillac wine is not a “vin de garde”, or “wine to keep” (which Bordeaux wines are), you can keep it for a period of about 5 years maximum.
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