Fortresses and fine wines in France's southwest
Food & wine | History & culture
From historic chateaux and World- Heritage architecture to the finest viticulture and gastronomy, this nine-day tailor-made self-drive takes in the very best of the Occitanie region, comprising Languedoc and the Midi- Pyrenees in France’s spectacular southwest. Beginning with a stay at Chateau Castigno near Montpellier, you’ll tour and taste your way through the beautiful Cathar country, visiting the medieval city of Carcassonne, enjoying a guided vineyard walk and gourmet picnic lunch, and relaxing at coastal Collioure via the indulgent spa retreat of Domaine Riberach.
Day by day itinerary
Flying from the UK, you’ll arrive into Montpellier where you’ll collect your hire car and drive to Chateau Castingno in Assignan for a two-night stay. In the heart of wine country, you’ll have the chance to try the estate’s finest organic vintages in sparkling whites and deeply spiced reds while exploring the villages gastronomic delights that range from tasting menus to gourmet tapas. At your accommodation, high-ceilings, exposed brickwork and fine fabrics make for an indulgent stay.
Stay: Chateau Castigno (Superior)
From Chateau Castigno, drive through the beautiful Cathar country to the former stronghold of Carcassonne and its imposing medieval walls. With its pool, spa and views of the fortifications, castle and restored drawbridge, the Hotel du Chateau provides the perfect base to relax while staying just a stone’s throw from the city’s bustling centre.
Stay: Hotel du Chateau (Superior)
Rennes le Chateau/Domaine Riberach
Leave Carcassonne on day five and head for Bélesta's Domaine Riberach for a two-night stay passing through the historic Rennes le Chateau and Quilan. On arrival, check into your hotel where gourmet dining, expert-led wine tastings and indulgent spa treatments top the bill.
Stay: Domaine Riberach (Superior)
Drive to the coast and the charming town of Collioure. Once Perpignon’s port, its pastel houses and pretty marina served as inspiration to artists including Matisse, Braque and one Pablo Picasso. Today, its winding backstreets are awash with galleries and workshops while its shingle beach is a pleasant spot for a summer paddle. Gastonomes will find enjoyment in the town’s famed anchovies, best washed down with a glass of the local wine.
Stay: La Casa Pairal (Superior)
Drop off your hire car in Montpellier and board your flight home.
Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.
8-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,120 incl. flights
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