Southern France is known for its beautiful landscapes, stunning castles and tantalising vineyards, but that’s not all that it has to offer. This fertile land is a prime source of fruits, grains, dairy, caviar and many more agricultural products.
Our 23-day escorted small group tour of Southern France & Corsica will explore the best places to visit on the mainland with the option of extending your tour for an additional week on the island of Corsica.
If medieval castles, oysters, caviar, strawberries and Mediterranean islands sound like your idea of a good time, andyou’re interested in travelling through Southern France while learning about the rich agricultural industry in this abundant land, join us on our tour departing 10 May 2020.
Here are just a few highlights from our Southern France and Corsica travel itinerary:
Our first destination in France is the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bordeaux.We’ll enjoy a train tour (in English) that guides us through the rich history and cultural significance of this city filled with stunning 18th-century architecture.
We’ll head to Arcachon Bay to visit an oyster farmer and get insight into his industry. Afterwards, we’ll take a boat and explore the oyster beds and natural beauty of the bay, followed by a trip to Pilat dune, the highest sand dune in all of Europe.
On day 5, we’ll travel to Libourne. On the way, we’ll visit the esteemed wine-growing centre of St Emilion and get a walking tour of this stunning area. We’ll also stop at Chateau Mauvinon in Saint Emilion Grand Cru to see a family estate that produces a dense, rich wine and prides themselves on maintaining the richness of their soil.
In Sarlat, we’ll get to visit a fish farm that produces caviar as well as a Perigord strawberry producer and a diverse farm that has a diverse range of enterprises including beef cattle, grain crops and duck liver, for a delicious duck liver pate.
The Auvergne region is known for its rolling hills in the north and mountains in the south. We’ll experience this beautifulgeography and will be lucky enough to visit a Limousin cattle producer and a Saint Nectaire cheese dairy farm. We’ll also meet the president of an electronic cattle auction market in Ussel and get an exclusive behind the scenes look at a modern apple cooperative in the heart of the Correze region.
On our way to Toulouse, we’ll stop at the charming commune of Collonges-la-Rouge before making our way to a lamb farm in Quercy that raises 4,500 Caussenarde du lot lambs each year. We’ll also get a lovely guided train tour through Rocamadour - a sacred city on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. Once we arrive, we’ll take a city tour of Toulouse, a barge tour of the Canal du Midi and a guided walking tour of the medieval city of Carcassonne.
St Marie de la Mer
In St Marie de la Mer, we’ll visit the Carmargue region. Situated between the two arms of the Rhone River, this vast
wetland was developed for sustainable agriculture. We’ll also venture to a medieval heritage site and visit the salt marshes to learn about how they gather and distribute sea salt.
The following day we’ll discover the rich culture and history of the Camargue bulls, which are bred for racing, fighting and meat. We’ll get to meet some local cowboys at their ‘manade’ and see how they look after these semi-feral bulls.
Alpilles & Toulon
In Alpilles, we’ll get to visit a local Merinos d’Arles sheep enterprise running 300 breeding females and 50 breeding rams, as well as a family-owned and operated 500 ha. crop farm producing fruit, vegetables, rice, corn and wheat.
Toulon will bring us the opportunity to visit the lovely town of Cassis and explore the beautiful creeks of the Parc nationaldes Calanques. Following this, we’ll visit a rosé and red wine Chateau in the AOC Bandol for a tour and tasting.
The next day we’ll visit the local flower auction market in Hyères which is overflowing with beautiful products from over 400 vendors. We’ll also visit an olive producer, or alternatively a flower producer, before travelling onto Nice.
Nice is one of the parts of the trip we’re most excited for. Located on the Mediterranean Sea at the foot of the Alps, Nice is known for its natural beauty and is the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department.
We’ll visit the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild - an Italian style palace built in 1912 housing many works of art and surrounded by nice magnificent gardens. We’ll stroll the “Promenade de Anglais” and take in the stunning architecture of this historic town.
From Nice, we’ll take a day trip to Grasse, ‘the Perfume Capital of the World.’ We’ll meet a family that has been growing plants specifically for perfume for nearly a century and learn about their traditional techniques to maintain plant and soil quality. We’ll also get to visit the legendary Fragonard perfume factory.
These are just a few of the highlights from this tour. If you’re interested in the Corsica extension, you can read all about that here: https://news.quadrantaustralia.com/southern-france-tour-corsica
If you would like to join this tour, please contact
Phone: 1300 301 128 or +61 2 6651 1555