Christmas in Languedoc by Rail

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • Travel Editions

You'll love this tour if you like: 

  • A Mediterranean escape
  • Ancient citadels - Carcassonne and St. Guilhem are beautiful 
  • Superb Mediterranean cuisine
  • Spectacular engineering - the Millau viaduct is amazing

Home to the heartlands of Occitan, with its turbulent history and cultural distinctiveness, Languedoc-Roussillon is a region of mystical castles, ancient towns and culture-filled cities. Based in the lively city of Montpellier, where Christmas is celebrated with a huge market of local artisans, visits include the magnificent Millau Viaduct, magical Carcassonne, ancient Saint- Guilhem-le-Désert and charming Narbonne.


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More Info

PASSPORTS
Valid passport required by all, except:

(a) EU nationals holding valid national identification cards;

(b) Holders of national identification cards issued to nationals of Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and Switzerland.

VISAS
Are not required by EU citizens. All other nationalities should enquire at the French consulate (PO Box 57, 6A Cromwell Place, London SW7 2EW

Tel: (020) 7838 2000/1. Information Service: Tel: (0891) 887 733. Fax: (020) 7838 2046. Opening hours: 0900-1130 (and 1600-1630 for visa collection only) Monday to Friday (except French and British national holidays).

TRAIN
As with most trains, passengers are responsible for carrying baggage onto and off the train. Baggage can be stored on overhead shelves or at the entrance to the carriages. Trollies are available at St Pancras and Lille, but bags do need to be carried on to the platform.  Porters are sometimes but not always available at St Pancras.  The Eurostar and French trains are very long (18 carriages in the case of Eurostar and nearly 400 metres long) so there can be quite lengthy walks from the station entrance to your seat.  On all legs of the journey you have reserved seat and carriage numbers which are shown clearly on your ticket. 

Travel Editions recommends a luggage delivery service called thebaggageman, where your suitcase can be picked up from your home before departure and delivered straight to your hotel; therefore removing the worry about carrying your cases onto and off the trains. Please click here for more information and we have arranged a 10% discount exclusive to Travel Editions clients off the thebaggageman service. Tel: 01844 264890

HEALTH & INSURANCE – EHIC CARD
Please note that EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) only allows access to the same state-provided healthcare as a resident of the EU country they are temporarily visiting. It is NOT an alternative to travel insurance and will not provide the same level of cover as a travel insurance policy. The EHIC will not cover any private medical healthcare or the cost of things such as repatriation to the UK or lost or stolen property. It is also important to note that each country’s healthcare system is slightly different, so the EHIC might not cover everything that would be generally free on the NHS. On the EHIC application website, there is a section called Access to Healthcare Abroad which clarifies all the conditions and inclusions. We strongly recommend that you take out an appropriate travel insurance policy when you travel abroad.

Places of Interest

Montpellier
The capital of the Languedoc-Roussillon region, Montpellier is an attractive and lively southern city, and the perfect base for touring this area. The main sights here inlcude the Promenade de Peyrou, a grand 18th century square dominated by the Chateau d’Eau; old town lined with 17th century mansions including the Hotel des Tresoriers de la Bourse; 12th century Towers de la Babote and Des Pins, and Musée Fabre that houses an excellent collection of French paintings. Eating out here is an affordable delight with plenty of restaurants catering to most tastes and budgets. Montpellier also has an excellent Christmas market "Les Hivernales". 

Millau Viaduct 
The newly opened 1.5 mile Millau Viaduct has been hailed as one of the engineering wonders of the 21st century and it is certainly a spectacular sight. Standing 1,125 feet tall it is the highest bridge in the world, taller than the Eiffel Tower and more than 100 metres taller than Canary Wharf. The huge bulk of 242,000 tonne structure, designed by British architect Lord Foster, is belied by its elegant lines, described by its creator as a "sculpture in the landscape". 

St-Guilhem-le-Desert
Remotely situated in the Herault Valley, the stunningly picturesque 9th century village of St-Guilhem-le-Desert grew up around the abbey founded by William of Aquitaine. It is dominated by the strikingly simple Romanesque Abbey church, famed for its possession of a fragment of the True Cross.

Pézenas and Sète
The charming and compact town of Pézenas is easily appreciated in a gentle stroll that takes in most of its (well-indicated) sights, such as the Hotel des Barons de Lacoste, Maison des Pauvres and Porte Faugères. The fishing port of Sète is very much a working town as well as a tourist destination, and its quayside restaurants selling fish straight off the boat are as likely to be frequented by sailors as visitors. Sights here include the Grand Canal lined with Italianate houses decorated in pastel colours and seafood restaurants and the Marin Cemetery above the town, where poet Paul Valéry is buried.

Carcassonne
The citadel of Carcassonne is a perfectly restored medieval town. Crowning a steep bank overlooking the River Aude, it offers a fairytale skyline of turrets and ramparts. Dating back in parts to the 5th century, highlights of the fortified old town include the Chateau Comtal and the Basilica of St-Nazaire which houses the famous Siege Stone, Musée Lapidaire and Porte Narbonnaise, the gateway to the old city, which is almost like stepping back in time.

Narbonne
The charming town of Narbonne is bisected by the 17th century Canal du Midi, with the restored medieval quarter to the north, where most of the sights are to be found. These include the 13th century Cathédrale St-Just et St-Pasteur, Archbishops' Palace and “horreum,” an intriguing underground warren of granaries and grain chutes dating from the 1st century BC when Narbonne was the capital of the largest Roman province in Gaul.

Nimes, Aigues-Mortes & the Camargue
The perfectly preserved walled town of Aigues-Mortes (“Place of Dead Waters”) is approached across the salt marshes of the Petit Camargue just to the east of Montpellier. Now marooned 3 miles from the sea the fortified town was established by Louis XI in the 13th century to consolidate his power on the Mediterranean and was built to a strict grid pattern. The Camargue region is a protected area of outstanding natural beauty and numbers wild horses and migrant flamingoes amongst the wildlife it accommodates.

Accommodation

Pullman Montpellier Centre hotel
A modern four-star hotel ideally located in the heart of Montpellier city centre, with rooftop pool. The hotel's restuarant, Le Vertigo, is situated on the roof next to the pool and boasts a panoramic terrace, welcoming guests for breakfast, mediterranean cuisine as well as cocktails. Rooms all have private bathroom facilities, air-conditioning, hairdryer, telephone, TV, free wi-fi and safe.

Pullman Montpellier Centre Website 

OUR VIEW ON THE HOTEL
The Pullman enjoys a great location and stylish, modern décor as well as a great rooftop restaurant for Christmas Eve and Day dinners (our group ate here to great acclaim in 2014). Ranked number four on tripadvisor, it is the ideal base for this itinerary and we feel that this hotel marks a significant upgrade for this tour.

Pre-tour accommodation is available at the Premier Travel Inn, London King's Cross St Pancras, about 5 minutes walk from St Pancras International, at an approximate rate of £120 per room. Bookings can be made direct with the hotel on 0871 527 8672 or visit their website

Destinations
  • Carcassonne
  • Lille
  • Paris
  • Europe
  • Montpellier
  • France
Tour Types
  • Seniors
  • Wildlife
  • Rail
  • Festive and New Year
  • 50 plus
  • Rail Tours
  • Christmas Tours
Departure Points
  • St Pancras

Day 1: Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Paris and onwards to Montpellier by TGV. On arrival, transfer on foot to the Pullman Hotel in the city centre.

Day 2: Morning walking tour of Montpellier with the afternoon free. Capital of the Languedoc region, Montpellier is a dynamic, lively city, renowned for its cultural life and many students which matriculate at its 13th century university. The main sights here include the Promenade de Peyrou, a grand 18th century square dominated by the  Chateau d’Eau; the old town lined with 17th century mansions including the Hotel des Trésoriers de la Bourse; the 12th century Towers de la Babote and Des Pins, and Musée Fabre that houses an excellent collection of French paintings. There are many restaurants within a short walk of the hotel which enjoys a superb central location. The excellent Christmas market, ‘Les Hivernales’, is full of local artisans and produce.

Day 3: Full day tour to Carcassonne and Narbonne. The Cité de Carcassonne is a dramatic sight, a walled fortress crowned with fairy tale turrets perched above the River Aude. The walled city, some parts of which date back to the 5th century was extensively restored in 1853. A major city during Roman times Narbonne’s delightful, restored, medieval centre is where you’ll find the majority of its sites. These include the impressive 13th century Cathédrale Saint-Just et Saint-Pasteur and the Archbishop’s Palace.

Day 4:
Morning tour to Pézenas and Sète with a free afternoon before Christmas Eve dinner in the hotel restaurant. Pézenas is a charming little market town, full of lovely old mansions and quaint courtyards – perfect for a morning stroll. Sète is France’s largest fishing port and a lively seaside resort. With a strong cultural identity of its own, which includes a fine cuisine, grabbing a bite along the royal canal is a must.

Day 5: Day free to relax or enjoy the sights of Montpellier with Christmas Day dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Day 6: Full day tour to Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert and the Millau Viaduct. Sitting pretty in a ravine off the Hérault River, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert is a breath-taking village of old honey-coloured, tiled houses gathered around the 12th-century Abbaye de Gelone. Hailed as an engineering masterpiece of the 21st century, the Lord Norman Foster-designed Millau Viaduct stretches 1.5 miles over the Tarn River valley, a ‘sculpture in the landscape’.

Day 7: Full day tour to Nîmes, Aigues-Mortes and the Camargue. Nîmes is home to some of Europe’s most extensive Roman ruins, including a 1st century Roman arena. The wonderfully preserved walled city of Aigues-Mortes (Place of Dead Waters) is approached across the salt marshes of the Petit Camargue. It was from here before the city became marooned three miles from the sea that Louis IX twice departed for the Crusades. An area of outstanding natural beauty, the Camargue is a nature-lover’s paradise, famed for its flamingos and white horses.

Day 8: Transfer to the station on foot to travel by TGV train from Montpellier to Lille and onwards by Eurostar to Ebbsfleet or St Pancras. 

NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion. 

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 49 passengers.

INCLUDED

  • Return standard class Eurostar and TGV from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Montpellier via Paris/Lille with a coach transfer in Paris
  • Seven nights' accommodation on bed and breakfast basis at the four-star Pullman Hotel, based on shared occupancy of a twin room
  • Christmas Eve dinner in the hotel restaurant
  • Christmas Day dinner in the hotel restaurant
  • Full coach touring itinerary conducted by tour manager
  • Tour manager throughout


NOT INCLUDED

  • Single room supplement
  • Holiday insurance
  • Standard Premier/1st class upgrade on Eurostar/TGV. On the Eurostar this constitutes upgraded seating and light meal with complimentary drink with upgraded seating only on TGV.
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
  • Porterage and gratuities.

PLEASE NOTE: As with most trains, passengers are responsible for carrying luggage onto and off the train. Luggage can be stored on overhead shelves or at the entrance to the carriages. Trollies are available at St Pancras, but bags do need to be carried onto the platform.

Travel Editions recommends a luggage delivery service called thebaggageman, where your suitcase can be picked up from your home before departure and delivered straight to your hotel; therefore removing the worry about carrying your cases onto and off the trains. Please click here for more information and we have arranged a 10% discount exclusive to Travel Editions clients off the thebaggageman service. Tel: 01844 264890

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Dates Price Single Availability
20-Dec-2021
7 Nights
Standard Room View live deal View live deal

Touring with Travel Editions

Offering a wide range of extended tours and cultural short breaks for the discerning traveller, Travel Editions was established in 1994 and is now one of the leading specialist independent escorted tour operators in the UK. The company started with the idea of creating itineraries that were not readily available on the high street, and the team still remains focused on offering escorted tours that appeal to travellers rather than tourists.

Over the years, Travel Editions has developed and diversified its range of escorted tours to include rail tours, air tours, history tours, Christmas tours and even specialist interest tours that have specific appeal for walkers, foodies, art lovers, music addicts and flower enthusiasts. From enjoying wonderful walks and tasty local cuisine in Crete to visiting the art nouveau buildings of Milan and exploring the architectural gems of the Netherlands, Travel Editions creates amazing tours to suit every budget and interest.

As rail transport is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to travel, the company has carefully developed nearly 30 exciting escorted rail tours that include trips to France, Spain, Brussels, Arnhem, Luxembourg and the Italian Riviera. Travel Editions believes that the journey becomes part of the holiday, and is why this specialist tour operator also offers a range of tours by air, such as Delphi and Mount Pelion in Greece, the beautiful Italian city of Florence, and Paphos, Nicosia and the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus. Whatever the escorted tour or the destination, Travel Editions provides holidays that are packed full of cultural and historic treasures, as well as plenty of free time to relax and soak up the local atmosphere and the regional food and wine.

One of the best things about Travel Editions is that the team can tailor-make all tours to your group’s budget and specification, be it shopping till you drop in New York or tasting the most delicious gastronomic delights of Sicily. Not only can the activities be tailored to meet your requirements but so can the travel options, hotel selection (three, four or five-star hotel) and the whole itinerary. Alternatively, you can simply pick one of the many carefully curated escorted tours listed on the Travel Editions website.

In almost all cases, daily excursions are included in the price of a trip, and all excursions are taken by private coach. The size of the group varies depending on the escorted tour, and Travel Editions limits some holidays to lower numbers to suit the nature of the specific holiday. Walking, culinary and special interest tours are limited to approximately 20-30 passengers, and the Europe by Rail and Europe by Air holidays are limited to a maximum of 35 passengers. Then there’s the UK British Heritage Tours with a maximum capacity of 49, however, some are much less than this. No matter which tours you choose, you will never feel as though you are in a big group.

Travel Editions is passionate about delivering a personal service every step of the way, and its team of experts will arrange your holiday with minimum fuss and maximum effort. Customer service and attention to detail are at the heart of everything they do, plus you will always be treated as an individual and get the benefit of affordable prices by travelling as a group. Another bonus is that Travel Editions is ABTA and ATOL protected, which means your money and your holiday will be protected from the moment you book.

In addition to offering extended tours and cultural short breaks, Travel Editions offers a large range of special events in the UK that bring the culture and history of the United Kingdom to life. These events can be found in the Art & History Abroad programme and include expert speakers, entertaining concerts and impressive dinners in historic locations.

 

 

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tour details

This tour is operated by Travel Editions

7 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Start:St Pancras
Finish:St Pancras
Group size:0 - 36
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