Guided French Tours Languedoc Guided Tours

Languedoc, South of France
Near Beziers, Montpellier, Narbonne & Carcassonne

Barcelona & Toulouse 2 hours drive

All cities close to airport and train

A Tour conceived for the adventurous at heart who enjoys to be fussed over! Your host personally drives you and escorts you through all sites.

All you have to do is sit back and have a great time! No car rental needed, no frustration about finding (or losing!) your way while fumbling with the wrong map, or being tied to a non English speaking guide. Instead, you can be totally relaxed and enjoy the sights while avoiding tourists traps.

And every evening, Le Château de Quarante will welcome you back with a gourmet dinner after a day filled with exciting discoveries in Languedoc.

Our daily itineraries with informed commentaries are carefully organized to show off Languedoc in its wealth of diversity while avoiding cultural indigestion and lengthy car rides.
To insure personal attention and maximum flexibility, the tour is limited to 6 persons.

Our Tours take into consideration our guests' personal preferences and are organized according to seasonal availabilities.

SUGGESTED ITINERARIES MAY INCLUDE
  • Fortified City of Carcassonne
  • Gothic Cathedrals, Cistercian Abbeys and monasteries
  • Ancient Fortresses and Pirates Strongholds
  • Lagoons with pink flamingoes
  • Salt beds and salt production
  • Old fishing village and artists colony
  • Underground Safari in red marble Caves (upcharge)
  • Cathar Castles and ancient Cathar Strongholds
  • Shopping and sightseeing through Montpellier Medieval town
  • Picturesque small Medieval villages and Churches
  • Open & Covered Markets and visits to small producers of cheese, oil, honey etc.
  • Antiques, pottery, linens, copperware shopping
  • Horseback riding through the Garrigue (upcharge)
  • "Gravity Hill curiosity", Dolmen Stone Age burial sites
  • Wine making and wine tasting at small producers
  • Seasonal Fairs and Festivals (Harvests, wine, artisans)
  • Cheese Cellars and cheese sampling
  • Boat ride on the Mediterranean, Tour of Sète Fishing Harbor and Valmagne Abbey
  • Prehistoric sites and Roman Archeological digs

The following proposed Programs are just samples of what could be planned. There are innumerable possibilities, and the list of options offered is not exhaustive.

Tell us what you like and we will come up with something exciting !

 
ONE DAY GUIDED TOUR SAMPLES
 

Carcassonne & Medieval villages

A site not to be missed: the formidable fortified city of Carcassonne!

It has all the ingredients of fabulous movie sets : ramparts, moat, fortifications, towers, halftimber houses bordering narrow streets…. Except that it is all very real ! Nothing faky here (with the exception of few unavoidable souvenir vendors)!

After exploring the old town, the remparts and the church, time for a convivial picnic in the countryside.

Our afternoon ride back home will lead us through several quaint medieval villages and their old stone houses. Perched on cliff tops or wrapped around old churches in snail-like fashion, these flowered hamlets dot our sundrenched typical Southern landscape of vineyards, pine groves and poppy fields.

Maybe a last stop to sample a few local olive products, including the famous "Lucques" known as the "Rolls Royce of Olives"! before reaching the Château for a country flavored meal and regional wine.

 

Along the Mediterranean Coast . . .

Our day will start with the Noilly-Prat Winery. Home of THE Vermouth for dry Martini, Noilly-Prat also produces many other apéritifs and wines which invariably find their way into our kitchen and add a special flavor to our cuisine.

After visiting the cellars and sampling a few of their wines and liqueurs, lunch on the docks in one of the many picturesque Cafés of Marseillan tiny harbor.

After lunch, 2 options:

For landscape lovers, a short ride along a narrow sandy strip will bring us to Sète old fishing harbor, and then up the Mont Saint Clair which offers a panoramic view over the Mediterranean beaches and the oyster beds.

For those who prefer to continue their exploration of local wines in an unusual setting: the Valmagne Abbey.

Its magnificent Gothic church founded in the very Early 12th century and converted into a wine cellar after the 1789 Revolution has been called the "Cathedral of the Vineyards" because of its admirable proportions. The cloister and its fountain are beautifully offset by the re-created medieval gardens of honeysuckle and white roses.

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Let's head back to the Château to splurge into Regional Specialties while we uncork some Noilly-Prat bottles.

 

Daylong Cruise on the Canal du Midi:

An outing which everyone claims to be the most unforgettable experience!

We always prepare a yummy picnic (no plain sandwich here !) and you can spend a lazy day discovering Southern French landscapes from a different angle while slowly gliding under the sycamore trees vault and sipping your wine. The boats are very easy to maneuver (children over 12 are allowed to do it), and we find that everybody likes to play captain, at least for 10 minutes …..
Excitement is low key (and in keeping with the 5km cruising speed allowed on the Canal): slowly tackling centuries' old locks, gently negotiating narrow 300 year old stone bridges, or leisurely crossing over rivers and creeks with the help of ingenious "canal bridges".

At lunch time, we moor in a shady spot and enjoy our picnic on the grassy banks or on board. Either way, we do it right. No plastic forks here!

This is a moment to savor in the soft light filtering through the branches while the ducks are busy swimming around the water irises and an occasional heron lunges to grab a fish.
Actually, as goodies keep coming out of the picnic baskets, most often , the feast goes on late into the afternoon, at a slow pace while we gently cruise back towards the Canal harbor.
Obviously, dinner at the Château will be on the very light side tonight!

** Upcharge of €200.00 to cover boat rental, insurance, lock fees and fuel to be shared by participants.

 

Cathar Fortresses and stones of all ages

For the more daring travellers (with a sure foot!), an adventurous climb towards the Cevennes rugged mountain tops to reach ancient Cathar strongholds.Partially destroyed but still fiercely striking, these castles and their sites offer awsome views over the surrounding spectacular landscapes.

A well deserved pause to rest weary feet while enjoying our picnic lunch on the Belvédère.

Enjoying nature along the trail bordering a picturesque canyon, our afternoon trek will take us in and around another fascinating remnant of Cathar life and history throughout Languedoc. On a more human scale, and in spite of some ramparts and tower, that ancient village with stone houses lining the winding cobbled streets, vine covered terraces and lazy dogs sprawled under mounds of geraniums speaks more of simple life than raging wars and their woes.

We will close the day with a last stop by a well preserved Dolmen (stone age burial site) before enjoying another gourmet meal. . .


People of Languedoc, their Food... their Fun . . .

Open and covered French markets have always fascinated and seduced visitors of all ages.

The profusion of flowers spilling out sweet or heady fragrances, the colorful displays of fruit and local produce loudly touted by smiling ruddy guys offering wedges of cantelope, slivers of cheese or slices of homemade pâté . . .

It all beckons you in its boisterous display of the French love of life in its daily most simple pleasures. You can't help but fall under the spell. . .you suck on an olive, poke at weird looking fruit, sniff strange color spices and stare nose to nose at the ugliest looking fish on earth . . .

You want to taste everything, buy everything, cook everything. . . you lose track of time, smile at everybody and spin fantasies of settling in the small village just down the road . . .

Instead, after a few fairly reasonable purchases stacked on your knees with the bread loaves in precarious balance on top, we will take you back to the Chateau for

lunch in the veranda or in the pine grove.

The afternoon might just be the right time to help us dirty some pot in the Chateau's kitchen ! Following the seasons, the market's most tantalizing offerings or the "Cooker's whims, the dinner you will help prepare will definitely convince you about the obvious veracity of an old German saying : "Ah ! to live like God in Southern France ! "

 
GUIDED TOURS INCLUDE

  • Late afternoon pick up in Béziers on Day 1
  • Accommodations at the Château de Quarante (Based on double occupancy)
  • Daily Continental Breakfast
  • Daily Gourmet Dinner (Beverages not included)
  • Lunch (or Lunch allowance) on Days 2, 3 & 4 (Beverages not included)
  • Guided Tours on Days 2, 3 & 4
  • Morning Drop off in Béziers on Day 5

  • A Customized Combo Package incorporating Cooking, Wine Tasting and Sightseeing can be organized .

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Please Contact Your Hosts
Nicole and Klaus Neukirch

Château de Quarante
34310 Quarante
France
Tel: +33 4 67 89 40 41
e-mail contact@chateaudequarante.com
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