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Highlights of the French Dordogne and Carcassonne
8 days
France - Trip code DOG

Highlights of the French Dordogne and Carcassonne

On this holiday you'll get to experience many of the highlights and spectacular scenery in the south of France. Our trip begins in Bordeaux and from here you'll get to sample local wines, admire cave paintings, walk in picturesque countryside, discover some of the most beautiful towns and villages in the Dordogne, see Carcassonne's famous castle, cruise on Canal du Midi and much more. On our 9-Jul-16 departure you'll also get to experience the fun of the Grand Falconer's Festival in Cordes-sur-Ciel and a spectacular firework display in Carcassonne.

Trip highlights

  • Beautiful towns and scenery - Get out on foot in the countryside and Medieval streets of the south of France with the chance to walk on the Way of Saint James and the Mayronnes Sculpture Trail
  • Dordogne - Discover La Roque Gageac, one of the 'most beautiful villages in France'
  • Rocamadour - Stay in the gravity defying town which clings to rocky cliffs above the Alzou River
  • Albi - Explore the UNESCO listed Old City of this once independent state
  • Carcassonne - Stroll around the fortified city, which is one of the region's best known landmarks
  • Canal du Midi - Enjoy a dinner cruise along this famous 17th century waterway
Accommodation grade:
Standard
Our standard, mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service, often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en suite facilities.
Trip pace:
Full on
Full on paced trips are for travellers who like their holidays packed with activities and experiences, moving on quickly from place to place with lots of early starts and long, busy days. Some may find them tiring, but others get a buzz from packing their precious holiday-time as chock-a-block full of new experiences as possible!
Group Size:
12 - 18
Maximum group size ranges from between 6 to 20 people, depending on the type of trip, the transport and accommodation used and activities included. We rarely have groups that are smaller than five or six people and the average is 12 people plus an Explore leader.

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

What's included?

Included meals
  • Breakfast: 7
  • Dinner: 1
Transport
  • Bus
  • Boat
Trip staff
  • Explore Tour Leader
  • Driver(s)
Award Winning Explore Leaders
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Price Guarantee Promise
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Airport Transfers
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FairFX currency card
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Trip information

Country information

France Holidays & Tours

Climate

Across France, from April - August, weather conditions are generally warm and pleasant with moderate rainfall; Autumn temperatures are a bit lower and the winter months (though colder) remain mild. The summer months on the Mediterranean Coast in the south tend to be warmer than the rest of France and have less rainfall, and also more mild winters; freezing conditions are nearly unheard of. The mountainous areas of the Alps, Juros and Pyrenees can be quite different. During summer the morning and evening temperatures are considerably cooler and it becomes much colder in winter with heavy snowfall. Western France, along the English Channel, there can be very strong winds and frequent rain during the winter months Nov - Apr. Wine harvesting takes place in late August/early September.

Time difference to GMT

+1

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Catholic

Language

French

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

Cahors: Wine tasting at Villa Malbec €5.00; Lot River boat trip (July and August only) €15.00-30.00 (depending on the number of participants). Albi: Cathedral entrance €5.00. Carcassonne: Cathar Castles such as Lastours and Saissac entrance €3.00-6.00 per castle (transportation costs to be advised by your Explore Leader depending on the number of passengers that want to participate); Mayronnes Sculpture Trail approximately €20.00-30.00 for transportation (depending on number of participants); rent a bike along the Canal du Midi approximately €10.00-12.00 per day.

Clothing

In spring and summer, lightweight clothing is best during the day plus warmer clothing for colder nights. We also recommend taking a lightweight raincoat and an umbrella.

Footwear

Comfortable walking shoes and sandals or trainers for relaxing.

Luggage

20kg

Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and a daypack for personal items. Remember that you'll have to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.

Equipment

We recommend taking insect repellent (if travelling in summer), sunscreen, sunglasses and a torch. Most importantly don't forget your camera.

Tipping

Explore leader
At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Explore Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
Local crew
Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. Accordingly you should allow approximately £20.00 for tips. In order to make things easier for you, the Explore Leader may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the trip.
Country Information

France Holidays & Tours

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£11
Dinner price
£16.00 - 18.00
Beer price
£4
Water price
£1.3
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Euro
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Pounds Sterling and US Dollars can only be changed in larger airports with a Bureau de Change. Please change currency into Euros prior to arriving in France.
Where To Exchange
Bureau de Change can only be found in major cities and large airports. Many French banks no longer exchange Foreign currency.
ATM Availability
In cities and most major towns
Credit Card Acceptance
In major restaurants (make sure you have informed your credit card company that you are travelling abroad as some companies will reject payments)
Travellers Cheques
Travellers Cheques are no longer commonly accepted and can only be changed in larger airports with a Bureau de Change.

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus, Boat

Accommodation notes

Booking a Single Room

All of our group tours are planned and operated on a twin-share basis, meaning that the standard cost is based either on individual travellers sharing accommodation with another group member of the same sex, or people who book together sharing accommodation. Please refer to the tour notes where the single room option availability is detailed on a night by night basis for this tour, and the price for the available nights is detailed on the dates & prices tab by departure date. For Self-Guided trips the Single Room supplement offers the option of a single room each and is charged per person. The Single Room supplement also applies to the third person in a party of three that will be accommodated in a single room.


Due to the size of the accommodation we will be using in Cahors we will have rooms split between two hotels that are adjacent to one another and are of the same standard.

Essential information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Essential Information

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

France: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult the relevant consulate. All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related questions with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
 

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Included activities

This holiday is designed to acquaint you with the highlights of the South of France in just 8 days. On Day 6 we'll be using trains between the towns to experience travelling like the locals do and you'll need to be able to carry your luggage on/off the trains. Most of our explorations within the towns and cities visited are done on foot and there are also a couple of included walking excursions as well, so please bring sensible footwear and be prepared for the busy nature and amount of walking involved in this enthralling holiday.

Non refundable permits

France Holidays & Tours

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory. Tetanus recommended. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider.

Dates, prices and booking

Date
Price from

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