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Thu, May 23


Toulouse-Blagnac Airport

Charming Seaside Villages of France and Spain|TWT

France and Spain have always been favourite destinations, and this unique itinerary includes charming villages that our past clients absolutely adore and many people simply miss when on other tours of France and Spain.

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Charming Seaside Villages of France and Spain|TWT
Charming Seaside Villages of France and Spain|TWT

Time & Location

May 23, 2019, 9:00 AM – Jun 06, 2019, 1:00 PM

Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, 31703 Blagnac, France

About the event


May 23: Depart HOME CITY

As a full service travel agency, we are happy to assist you in arranging your flight and transfer details from your home city to join up with our tour. We suggest booking early to obtain the best flights and rates available.

May 24 Toulouse

The tour begins in France. Welcome to Toulouse - the 'gateway to southwestern France' - located halfway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean. It is also known as the la Ville Rose ('pink city'), due to the colour of the local terra cotta bricks traditionally used in so many of the local buildings. This lovely city offers a wealth of culture, beautiful buildings such as the Capitole Building, Saint-Sernin Basilica (beautiful ancient Roman architecture) and many medieval buildings. A compact city centre with numerous cafes and shops in the core will make our short stay here a very pleasant one.

3 star accommodation, with breakfast: Mercure Toulouse Hotel or similar.

May 25: Toulouse

We will enjoy a walking tour first thing in the morning that captures the many highlights of this vibrant city. The afternoon is free for individual sightseeing - and there is plenty to see and do: Toulouse was the home of Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the author of Le Petit Price - and there is a permanent gallery with some of his works located in the Hotel du Grand Balcon.

Also, the covered markets at Place Victor Hugo are worth visiting, as is the lovely Canal du Midi - a UNESCO world heritage site. Foodies may want to sample the city's famous toulouse sausage - a local delight.

We will have our welcome dinner tonight in a restaurant in charming St. George's Square.

May 26: Toulouse to Collioure

Today we depart Toulouse via the walled city of Carcassonne. Wandering along its narrow cobbled streets, towers and ramparts is truly like stepping back in time – a must see for medieval enthusiasts. The Cité de Carcassonne's double row of fortified walls run almost two miles long and is accentuated by 56 imposing watchtowers.

As we are in wine country today, we will stop along the way at an authentic family run organic local winery for tastings, an absolutely delicious home-cooked lunch, and weather permitting, a walk through the vineyard. This has without doubt been a highlight for our groups of the past few years

We then continue on to Collioure - an idyllic seaside village on a rocky coastline where the waters of the Mediterranean meet the rocks of the Pyrenees mountain chain. It is a place of utmost charm - blessed with sunshine and blue skies and plenty of cafes facing the sea. We will stay 4 nights in this delightful port village soaking up the sunshine while experiencing the unique Catalan lifestyle.

3 star accommodation with breakfast included. Casa Parail Hotel or similar

May 27: Collioure

After breakfast, we depart for a visit to the village of Villefranche-de-Conflent which is located in a deep valley at the confluence of two rivers, the Cady and the Tet, in the foothills of the eastern Pyrenees. Established in the 11th century, this beautiful medieval village is completely surrounded by fortified walls that have helped the town preserve its authenticity to this day. The small historic centre consists of streets of attractive pink-coloured stone houses built around the 13th century; this pink marble that was used so frequently now imparts a lovely pink glow over the village. Enjoy free time browsing here. Last year we found a lovely creperie for lunch. We might even take in the local 'yellow train' over the hills!

May 28: Collioure

Today Collioure is ours to explore. Relaxation truly comes easily here.

In the early 20th century, renowned artists such as Matisse, Derain, Chagall and even Picasso came here to capture the town's unique special light and subtle colours. It inspired Matisse's famous 1905 painting "Open Window" whose vibrant bold colours and brushstrokes were considered extremely controversial. Subsequently, the artists were referred to as 'les cage aux Fauves' (wild beasts) - and from that point on, the art movement known as "fauvism" was born.

Today you will find many reproductions of these famous painters' work scattered about the town. And an interesting note is that Collioure's church is one of the most painted locations in France, on par with the Moulin Rouge and Monet's lilies. Perhaps you may even feel inclined to take out a sketch book of your own (as many tourists do) to capture the unique light that is Collioure.

There is a lovely art museum in town as well as plenty of unique artisan shops.

May 29: Collioure

Today is market day. Be sure not to miss this opportunity to perhaps practice your French with the locals as you purchase tantalizing treats. This is a great way to sample some of the many regional food specialities. Weather permitting, the market is the place where we can join forces and stock up on delicious BBQ chicken, crusty breads, soft cheeses & olives and enjoy a lovely picnic in the charming courtyard of our hotel. This simple pleasure was a big hit for the women of 2017.

After, you may wish to wander in the maze of little streets of the red-roofed 'Vieux Quartier' (old quarter); houses are painted in lovely pastel shades with coloured shutters, and many are bedecked with trailing bougainvillea…very intoxicating. Speaking of which: if wine is of interest, there is a lovely small local wine cellar (with tours and tastings) located in town, in a former church of the Dominican monastery! Or be adventurous - join the many tourists who learn about (and sample) the town's famous anchovies: back in medieval times, Collioure's reputation revolved around the salting of anchovies. While the industry is but a glimmer of its past, it is interesting - and truly tasty - to learn about the process of salting these fish. If you have never liked anchovies, this is absolutely the time and place to give them a fair chance!

May 30: Collioure to Cadaques

Its goodbye to our idylic french fishing port, and on to the next. We tavel into Spain to the lovely seaside town of Cadaques - located in the region of Catalonia on the Cap de Creus peninsula. This small fishing port, nestled between sea and mountain, is a true gem in the Costa Brava region. The term 'Costa Brava' (wild coast in Spanish) got its name from the "Tramuntana' - the name that the locals have given to the forceful winds that sometimes come off the Pyrenees.

We will spend the next 4 nights here enjoying tranquility and bohemian 'chic' of this favourite, unspoiled charming town.

Cadaques too has long been a favourite of many painters (including Picasso, Matisse) who descended upon it to capture the essence of its beauty. The most famous amongst them was Salvador Dali; when you see the bright white buildings that stretch across the rugged coastline and jagged mountains like a beaming smile, you will instantly understand why this was Dalí's favourite place on earth (and why visitors continue to feel the very same today).

3 star accommodation with breakfast. Hotel Playa Sol or similar

May 31: Cadaques

Today is a leisure day. This is a town made for walking; the Barri Vell (Old Town) is a maze of narrow streets paved with rustic stones, benches and flower pots. With its labyrinth of sometimes steep cobblestoned streets and its white chalked houses, the village is considered by many Catalans to be the 'Pearl of the Costa Brava.'

Highlights here include the sixteenth-century Eglésia de Santa Maria church with its stunning baroque altarpiece; note the fly imagery—a symbol of the patron saint Narcissus. He was the Catholic martyr who allegedly rose from the dead to send forth swarms of insects - thereby warding off a French invasion in the region.

It is a village best enjoyed by spontaneous wanderings; see artists set up with easels - capturing the same mesmerizing light and seascapes. Shop the galleries and tour the ateliers offering up hand-made creations. When weary, refresh with a local red-wine spritzer known as tinto de verano, offered on the various terraces in the village.

June 1: Cadaques

Today we take a lovely 30 minute walk to Salvador Dali's museum home in Portlligat - Dali's favorite abode from 1930. He lived and worked here till 1982 when his beloved wife died and he could no longer bear to stay there without her. Salvador Dali spent many summers in Portlligat and in his own words: "I have spent a delightful summer, as always, in the perfect and dreamy town of Cadaqués; I have been quenched by light and colour".

June 2: Cadaques

This morning enjoy a 1.5 hour boat cruise around the scenic Cap de Creus National Park area - beautiful and rugged, with tiny coves and stunning scenery. If we are lucky, we may see some of the wildflowers in bloom. Also, be sure to look in the water to try to glimpse some of the water's bountiful sea urchins and red anemones.

We have the afternoon free to enjoy one last meander into town or by the seaside. You may even consider a lovely and refreshing glass of cava (sparkling wine) as a fitting way to spend an hour during our final afternoon here.

I would like to find some great seafood tonight - perhaps to try a local specialty called dorade - simple, grilled fish served with sautéed garlic and a slice of lemon - sounds delectable and I hope to find some!

June 3: Depart Cadaques to Barcelona

Today we depart and travel along the stunning Mediterranean coast road to the vibrant city of Barcelona. Our 3 night stay allows time to explore. Barcelona has always been loved by many artists such as Picasso and Miro, and heavily influenced by the architecture of Antony Gaudi - Barcelona's most important architect. The city also has many wonderful 'barrios' (neighborhoods) each with its distinct appeal.

Our hotel has been chosen for its location - situated close to the 'Las Ramblas' where you definitely will feel the pulse of this vibrant city. Gastromony, museums, culture and Catalan lifetyle all converge - yours to explore for the next couple of days.

Join me in finding a great local restaurant tonight.

3.5 star accommodation with breakfast daily - Hotel Pulitzer or similar.

June 4: Barcelona Touring

This morning starts with a walking tour highlighting some of the city's important buildings and areas including the Gothic quarter - where Barcelona began its life as a walled city 2,000 years ago (at one time it was a Roman village, and still has renmants of its glorious past). Also, you will find some lovely city plaças, or public squares. Fascinating architecture abounds, such as the Barcelona Cathedra as well as other breathtaking and original architectural buildings from the famous Barcelona modernist architects.

Tonight we are in for a treat as we go off in style with a unique guided "Wine & Tapas Tasting" walking tour; be introduced to some of the amazing food Barcelona has to offer in some great non-touristy spots. We enjoyed a fabulous mix of tasty tapas in 2017, so come hungry this year!

June 5: Free Day

A full (and final) free day to drink in the sights of this fabulous city.

Consider a visit to one of Gaudi's most famous work's - La Sagrada Familia - the giant Basilica started in 1882 and sadly never completed. *Be sure to book this in advance if you wish to visit on our free day.

Shoppers may want to stroll the elegant Passeig de Gracia for its well known boutiques. Or, if a short excursion is of interest, consider a jaunt to Barceloneta Beach and check out a 'chiringuito bar'.

Another city highlight is the amazing Boqueria Food Market - Spain's Largest Food Market where you can purchase fabulous olives, salamis and much more. Or, for more culture, visit the wonderful Picasso Museum - built within 5 connected medieval mansions - and which focuses on 8 years of the Sanish genius's life. *Be sure to book this in advance if you wish to visit on our free day.

It is here too in Barcelona that you will find the 197-foot Mirador de Colón (statue of Christopher Columbus), as well as the Magic Fountain, built by Carles Buïgas for the 1929 World's Fair.

Tonight, we will say goodbye with our farewell "cava & canapes" get together.

June 6: Time to depart Barcelona and transfer home

After breakfast, time to check-out. We hope you had a wonderful trip through the coastal village area of France and Spain. Thank you for travelling with us, and till next time....


Prices per person in Canadian Dollars (CAD $)

Seaside Villages of France and Spain - 13 Nights -$6197.00 (Sharing Twin),$7177.00 (Single)

May 24 - June 6, 2019

Tour begins in Toulouse, France and ends in Barcelona, Spain


Early Booking Bonus: On deposits received by November 23, 2018 (-$150.00)

Payment by cheque or e-transfer - amount is taken off final payment (-$150.00)

Pricing Inclusions:

Hotel: 13 Nights accommodation with private en-suite facilities.

Meals: Breakfast daily, 1 lunch, 1 'welcome' dinner, 1 'farewell cava & canapes' get-together

Sightseeing: Guided Walking Tour Toulouse/ wine tour & tasting/ day trip to Villefranche / admittance to Salvador Dali house/ boat cruise in Cadaques/ Wine & Tapas Walking Tour in Barcelona

Transportation: By private air-conditioned vehicles upon departure from Toulouse through to arrival in Barcelona.

Note: Hotels are subject to change.

Pricing Exclusions:

The price does not include:

International airfare through to Toulouse, France and home from Barcelona.

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