Carcassonne, France to Barcelona, Spain Tour Snapshot
From the Knights Templar and the Cathar battlefields of Languedoc, France, to the majestic Pyrénees Mountains and Catalonia, Spain; to Barcelona and the Penedès wine region: an exciting journey of history, rugged beauty, and exciting cuisine and culture.
Tour Price: $7,699
Tour price includes:
- Roundtrip airfare from Boston or New York to Toulouse; return from Barcelona*
- Airport transfers
- 11 nights in elegant accommodations of regional character: Toulouse (1),
Carcassonne (2), Bélesta (2), Puigcerdà (2), Barcelona (4)
- All breakfasts, 2 lunches, 8 dinners
- Full-time tour leader
- 2 wine tastings (1 in Limoux, 1 in Penedès); 1 tasting with a Pyrenees cheese producer
- 1 private cooking class in Barcelona
- Local expert English-speaking guides in Toulouse, Carcassonne, Saint-Hilaire, Narbonne, Couiza, Quéribus, Perpignan, Andorra, Montserrat/Benedictine Monastery and Barcelona
- All museum and attraction entrance fees
- Transportation by comfortable air-conditioned mini-van or minibus
- All tips and taxes
Carcassonne, France to Barcelona, Spain Itinerary
Depart the US, flying overnight to Toulouse.
Day 1, Toulouse: Arrive at this lively university city with its grand monuments and rich history.
Days 2-3, Carcassonne: Head to Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with three kilometers of 13th-century ramparts and 52 towers. Our hotel is within the walls of the ancient village. Take an excursion to nearby Limoux to visit a family-owned winery and then tour the ancient Abbey of Saint-Hilaire.
Days 4-5, Bélesta: After stopping to visit the historic town of Narbonne, drive into the Pyrenees Mountain region and arrive at the lovely mountain village of Bélesta. Our lovely hotel was designed by two architects who transformed a former winery into a unique boutique hotel like nothing you’ve ever seen. The hotel’s restaurant is run by a creative chef with a Michelin star. Our local expert guide takes us up to the castle of Quéribus, tragically the last Cathar stronghold. We learn about the fascinating history of the Cathars, the Knights Templar, and the Catalan culture.
Days 6-7, Puigcerdà: Take a guided tour of Perpignan, last French town at the Spanish border. Continue to the Catalan Pyrenees with a visit to Andorra la Vela, capital of the tiny principality of Andorra.
Days 8-11, Barcelona: On the way to Barcelona, stop to see the most important monastery and pilgrimage destination in northeast Spain: the Benedictine Monastery of Montserrat. Four days in the Catalan capital of Barcelona. Take a day’s excursion to the Penedès wine region to taste the sparkling Cava. See Barcelona’s amazing architecture, such as Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia; enjoy a Catalan cooking class; take in a show with Flamenco dancers and live music. Dine on gourmet Spanish cuisine.
Day 12: Depart for Barcelona Airport for the flight home.
The night lights illuminating the old Capital building in Toulouse, France
Sunrise lighting the first of 52 towers of the walled city of Carcassonne adjoining our hotel
The concentric walls of the medieval City of Carcassonne guarding 2,500 years of history
The main altar of the Collegiale St Michel during a guided tour of Castelnaudary, France followed by a lunch of traditional cassoulet
Our Olde Ipswich Tour group enjoying wine and cheese before dinner in Belesta, France
The centuries old columns that surround the garden and fountain of Saint-Hilaire Abbey
Queribus castle which defended the ancient French border with Spain
The spectacular mountain top Monastery of Montserrat and Black Madonna inside the Basilica
A guided walking tour of the streets and innovative architecture of historic Barcelona
The breath taking interior of Antoni Gaudi ’s masterpiece Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona