Soak up the ambiance of southern France as you explore the colorful landscapes, celebrated art, and cultural traditions from Carcassonne and Albi to the Pyrénées border and Provence.

Starting at: $5,597 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Sunflowers, a common flower of southern France  The medieval city and castle of Carcassonne  The medieval fortifications of Carcassonne  The delightful seaside village of Collioure  The Pyrénées Mountains near Catalonia  The Salvador Dalí Museum in Figueres  The museum devoted to the work of Salvador Dalí  Pont du Gard, France  Palais des Papes, Avignon  The Roman amphitheater of Arles  Landscape of sunflowers in Provence  Town Hall Square, Aix-en-Provence  Typical flower market in Aix-en-Provence. Credit: Sundrenched Gardens / Alamy  Fountain in central Aix-en-Provence  The hilltown of Gordes  Provencal village of Roussillon. the Luberon

Southern France

Featuring Languedoc, the Pyrénées, and Provence

13 days from $5,597 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Soak up the ambiance of southern France as you explore the colorful landscapes, celebrated art, and cultural traditions from Carcassonne and Albi to the Pyrénées border and Provence.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details


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I would recommend Smithsonian Tours to anyone, from the novice to the most experienced traveler. Single travelers will certainly feel at home as well. I feel sure I will travel with Smithsonian again.

- Rosalee C.


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This tour is specially designed for a small group of 16 to 24 Smithsonian travelers and offers outstanding travel value. Prices include airfare, airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees.


Come with us to “le Midi”—from Languedoc and the Pyrénées to Provence—for a magical journey featuring evocative landscapes, Roman monuments, medieval villages, celebrated art, and world-famous cuisine and wine. 

Highlights Include

  • Midi-Pyrénées and Languedoc:  In the rose-colored market town of Albi (Midi-Pyrénées), visit a museum devoted to the artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Explore the fortified town of Carcassonne and take a cruise on the grand 17th-century Canal du Midi, a World Heritage site. Later, traveling along the coast, stop at Collioure, the “City of Painters,” and visit the 11th-century Abbaye de Fontfroide.”
  • The Pyrénées: Dip into Spain, in the shadow of the Pyrénées, to learn about Salvador Dalí and Catalan culture. In Figueres, the birthplace of the surrealist artist, visit the museum designed to exhibit his work.
  • Provence: Take a walking tour of the Roman monuments in Arles and see the famous Pont du Gard. Trace the footsteps of seven popes at the medieval Palais des Papes in Avignon. Enjoy the striking villages of Roussillon, Gordes, and Isle-sur-la-Sorgue; Saint-Remy-de-Provence, where Van Gogh painted; and Aix-en-Provence, birthplace to Paul Cézanne. 

I would recommend Smithsonian Tours to anyone, from the novice to the most experienced traveler. Single travelers will certainly feel at home as well. I feel sure I will travel with Smithsonian again.

- Rosalee C.


Day 1 — Depart the U.S. for Toulouse, France

Day 2 — Arrive Toulouse, Albi

Upon arrival in Toulouse, transfer to the Midi-Pyrénées town of Albi and your lodgings, a fifth-generation family-owned hotel. Tonight meet your Smithsonian Journeys Expert, Tour Director, and fellow travelers at a briefing about the journey ahead, followed by a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. (D)

Day 3 — Albi

Set out on a walking tour of the historic market town of Albi, hometown of Belle Epoque artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Your tour includes a visit to Palais de la Berbie, an ancient fortress housing a museum devoted to the works of Toulouse-Lautrec. (B,D)

Day 4 — Carcassonne, Perpignan

Travel to Carcassonne, the quintessential medieval town with the longest city walls in Europe. Fortified Carcassonne boasts the longest city walls remaining in Europe, with battlements and ramparts dating to the 1st-century Romans. This afternoon, embark on a short cruise aboard a traditional flat-bottomed boat on the grand 17th-century Canal du Midi, one of the waterways connecting the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Once a channel of kings and commerce, the canal today is a World Heritage site and a prime draw for boaters and tourists. Disembark and continue to your hotel in Perpignan. (B,D)

Day 5 — Perpignan and Figueres, Spain

Today’s excursion showcases the beauty of art and of nature, on a journey through the majestic Pyrénées. Stop in Figueres, Spain, birthplace of surrealist artist Salvador Dalí, for a visit to the acclaimed museum he designed to exhibit his work. Reconstructed on the site of what had been the town’s theater in Dali’s youth, the museum itself, fittingly, forms the world’s largest surrealistic object. Enjoy free time and lunch on your own in the pedestrianized old town before returning to your hotel for dinner. (B,D)

Day 6 — Perpignan and Collioure

This morning travel along the Catalan coast to Collioure, France, the “City of Painters” immortalized by such artists as Dérain, Matisse, and Picasso, among other Fauvists. Explore this charming town with its impressive castle, medieval streets, and Mediterranean bay and enjoy lunch on your own. Return to Perpignan for an afternoon to explore as you wish. Dine together tonight at the hotel. (B,D)

Day 7 — Languedoc ad Avignon

Depart for Provence, stopping at Abbaye de Fontfroide, the 11th-century monastic complex that ranks as the best preserved Cistercian monument in France and a key site in Languedoc. Tour the church and its cloisters then continue by coach to Provence. (B,L)

Day 8 — Avignon

Today we explore Avignon, the ancient Roman city that in the Middle Ages was the capital of Christendom. Visit the historic city center, a World Heritage site, with its cathedral, half-finished Saint-Bénézet Bridge, and the Palais des Papes (Papal Palace), one of Europe’s largest and most important Gothic structures. Tour the palace, where seven successive popes lived during the 14th century. Tonight join a local chef for a cooking class followed by dinner. (B,D)

Day 9 — Nimes and Arles

Explore more of Roman France today in Arles, once part of Roman Gaul then a clarion of Christianity. A walking tour takes you to some of Arles’ ancient Roman monuments, all World Heritage sites, including the two-tiered amphitheater (c. A.D. 90) itself. After free time for lunch and to wander through the labyrinthine streets, visit Pont du Gard, the 1st-century Roman aqueduct with three tiers of arches spanning the Gardon River. Skillfully engineered and artistically designed, the aqueduct, now a World Heritage site, carried water to Nimes residents for almost 500 years. Dine together at the hotel tonight.” (B,D)

Day 10 — Les-Baux-de-Provence, St-Remy-de-Provence, Aix-en-Provence

This morning set out for the picturesque village of St-Rémy, where you take a walking tour of the ancient Gallo-Roman city center with its maze of winding streets and fountain-filled squares. Following a visit to the weekly market, enjoy free time for lunch on your own and to explore. Visit St-Paul de Mausole, the monastery here in which Van Gogh was confined while suffering mental illness. Then travel on to Les Baux-de-Provence, a gem of a medieval village nestled atop a rock spur in the Alpilles range. Mid-afternoon depart for your hotel in the heart of the university town of Aix-en-Provence (“Aix”). (B)

Day 11 — Aix-en-Provence, Roussillon, Gordes

Discover the “most beautiful village” of Roussillon, in the heart of one of the world’s richest ochre deposits. With its red-hued cliffs, red-stone buildings, and red-tiled roofs, Roussillon poses a striking image against the blue Provençal sky and deep green pine forests. Walk the narrow medieval streets then have time for lunch and to explore on your own. Continue your exploration of the Luberon region with a photo stop at the beautiful hilltop village of Gordes then travel on to Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, known as the ‘Venice of Provence’ for its many canals and pedestrian bridges. You have free time for lunch on your own and to visit the lively Thursday market for which the town is famed. (B,D)

Day 12 — Aix-en-Provence

Today enjoy a walking tour of Aix-en-Provence (“Aix”), known for its beautiful Cours Mirabeau, the tree-lined main boulevard; elegant Roman fountains; and as the birthplace of artist Paul Cézanne. Admire the city’s rich architectural heritage and the “Vielle Ville” (Old Town) then the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure for independent exploration. Tonight celebrate your sojourn through Southern France at a farewell dinner at the hotel. (B,D)

Day 13 — Depart for the U.S.

This morning transfer to the Marseille airport and your connecting flights to the U.S. (B) 

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)