LANGUEDOC II: MORE SECRETS
7 DAY TOUR ITINERARY
This tour is recommended for people who have visited this region of France before
DAY 1 - FRIDAY
Today you will be picked up from Narbonne train station or Carcassonne train station or airport (other pickups by prior arrangement).
You will check-in to our award winning B & B which has been ranked in the top 25 in France!
Sleep on deep sumptuous super king mattresses with the finest 100% cotton linen usually found in exclusive hotels. All of our contemporary en-suite bathrooms have luxurious pure cotton bath towels and beautiful organic bathroom products.
This evening you will join us for our welcome dinner…a fun and informative tapas and wine tasting evening presented by Wendy Gedney. Can she find wines you haven’t tried before?
Sainte-Hélene Chambres d'hôtes © LMW
DAY 2 - SATURDAY
Historic Port of Marseillan & the Etang de Thau
This morning we drive towards the Mediterranean coast and visit the historic port of Marseillan. From here we take a boat to explore the Etang de Thau oyster beds and discover the mouth of the Canal du Midi.
Photograph courtesy of Marseillan Tourism
Today lunch we will enjoy lunch at a renowned restaurant in Marseillan.
After lunch we take a guided tour of the famous Vermouth producer, Noilly Prat with over 200 years of tradition. The tour concludes with a tasting of their Vermouth collection.
This evening we share a grazing platter and a glass of wine sitting in the Sainte-Hélène courtyard.
© Noilly Pratt
DAY 3 - SUNDAY
St Chinian Market & Plus Beaux Village of Olargues
After breakfast we travel to the foothills of the Haut-Laungedoc to the pretty town of St Chinian for a relaxed stroll through the Sunday market with it’s spectacular canopy of plane trees.
St Chinian Market
We will drive higher into the Haut-Languedoc to the Plus Beaux village of Olargues for lunch at a lovely Michelin rated restaurant overlooking Pont du Diable (Devil's Bridge) over the river Le Jaur.
Olargues & Roquebrun © LMW
After lunch we will enjoy a stroll around the village before heading back to Sainte-Hélène. We drive home via the pretty riverside village of Roquebrun...
Time for a rest before dinner at a local restaurant.
DAY 4 - MONDAY
Minervois Vineyard Tour
The beautiful Minervois region is a short drive from Sainte-Hélène and an area of outstanding beauty. Some of the most picturesque vineyards in the Languedoc wine region are found here as well as some of the finest wines.
This is where Languedoc’s first cru was created around the hilltop village of La Livinière, after which the the cru takes its name and where vines were first cultivated by the Romans.
Will it be during the vendanges/grape harvest?
This evening we will share a lovely meal at Sainte-Hélène...
Next stop is lunch which is always a special part of the day and is a delicious 3 courses accompanied by wines of the region at a local village restaurant.
Now it’s time to visit the 2nd winery of the day which will provide us with a great contrast to the morning visit. Here they also make delicious Minervois wines but grown on slightly different terroir to our morning visit and this will provide us with the opportunity to see how much the growing conditions can affect the style of the wine. We will taste the range of red, rosé and white wines and discover the Languedoc grape varieties including Syrah (Shiraz), Grenache and Carignan plus the delicious white wine made from the a wide range of grapes including Grenache blanc, Marsanne and Viognier.
We start the day with a visit to a top-class winery in the cru appellation where you will learn what it is that makes this wine so special. You will enjoy a private visit to the winery and follow this with a superb tasting of these delicious wines. Following this visit and tasting we will take a stroll through one of the oldest vineyards in the area and see how the vines grow and are cared for.
La Livinière © VeV
DAY 5 - TUESDAY
La Forteresse de Salses & Collioure
After breakfast we travel to the old Spanish border area to visit La Forteresse de Salses. The fortress was in a strategic position between Spain and France. Built in the late 15th century the fortress guarded the original border on the Spanish side.
For today’s lunch we travel to the ancient capital of Roussillon, the cathedral town of Elne…
Collioure © LMW
Then we take the short drive to the beautiful Mediterranean town of Collioure near the current Spanish border which inspired many famous artists including Matisse and Picasso. There will be plenty of time to wander the streets and soak up the atmosphere before heading back to Sainte-Hélène.
This evening we will have dinner at a local restaurant in Collioure…
DAY 6 - WEDNESDAY
Mirepoix & St Hilaire Abbey
This morning after breakfast we drive to and visit Mirepoix, one of the famous bastide towns in the south of France, with its beautiful market square filled with timber framed houses featuring etched wooden caricatures, including Mirepoix’s Saint Maurice cathedral which has the 2nd widest gothic arch in Europe.
Mirepoix © LMW
Lunch today is at Domaine Gayda - a fabulous wine domain in the Malpere appellation.
© Domaine GAYDA
St Hilaire Abbey © LMW
After lunch we take the short drive to tour
the pretty abbey of St Hilaire where the world’s first recorded sparkling wine was made from 1531 by the monks of the day.
This evening is at your leisure...
DAY 7 - THURSDAY
Château de Pennautier & Cabrespine Cavern or Grotte de Limousis
After breakfast on our final tour day we visit the grand Château de Pennautier.
This Château is listed as an historic monument of France and
King Louis XIII, who established the Château de Versailles,, stayed here in 1622!
Photo courtesy of Château de Pennautier
Lunch today is in the Château restaurant...
This afternoon we visit Cabrespine cavern which is the largest cave in France open to the public. It’s taller than the Eiffel Tower and quite spectacular! If our tour group has visited this cave before we will visit the nearby Grotte de Limousis which is equally beautiful...
Cabrespine Cavern © LMW
This evening we complete our ‘Real’ South of France Languedoc II tour with another fabulous wine and food extravaganza with Marcel and Petra!
Grotte de Limousis photo courtesy of
Tourisme et Patrimoine en Pays Occitan
DAY 8 - FRIDAY
After breakfast we say farewell to our new found friends as we transfer you to our designated drop off points to continue your travels.