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Atlantic to the Mediterranean with Collias

Southern France by rail
 
Discover the beautiful cities of Bordeaux, Avignon and Nice via the Canal du Midi, Rhône delta and Côte d’Azur, as well as turreted Carcassonne – where you stay within the walled town – and the magnificent Roman aqueduct spanning the Gard, on a self-guided, cultural journey by rail.
Atlantic to the Mediterranean with Collias . 11 nights
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Atlantic to the Mediterranean with Collias . 11 nights
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Holiday information

 

A touring holiday in southern France

Journey into the ever-changing landscape of France’s southern regions and discover the charms of some of the most unique and beautiful cities. From elegant Bordeaux to vibrant, Italianate Nice, you’ll travel past celebrated vineyards, fragrant lavender fields and the spectacular wetlands of the Camargue – from Atlantic Ocean to sparkling Mediterranean Sea –  while taking time to appreciate cultural highlights, fabulous artworks and fine French cuisine along your way.
From start to finish you’ll be well prepared (with the self-guided notes we provide) to experience the full spectrum of art and history in exciting cities and towns – spanning artworks by Rubens and Matisse to the Pont du Gard and Provence’s Roman past; from Carcassonne’s walled citadel to the Belle Époque splendour of Nice.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • Arrival in Bordeaux
    Night 1: at Quality Hotel Bordeaux Centre (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of exploration.
  • Explore Bordeaux
    Discover the city’s highlights on our self-guided walking tour: wander its broad avenues and squares; admire works by Rubens, Matisse and others in the Museum of Fine Arts; cool your toes in the Miroir d'Eau, a remarkable water feature; and visit the impressive, wine-themed Cité du Vin before enjoying a glass or two of red at a pavement café or restaurant, savouring one of the delicious blends that has made this city synonymous with the noble grape.
  • Bordeaux to Carcassonne
    Take a scenic rail journey, following the Canal du Midi past ancient towns such as Auch and Toulouse, en route to Carcassonne for two nights at the comfortable Hotel du Donjon within the old town walls. (Journey time: 3hrs)
  • Explore Carcassonne
    Perched on a rocky plateau and bristling with zigzag battlements, this is one of France's most extraordinary sights, and you have a full day to explore. A stroll around the lices (the area between its stout, double-layered walls) offers tantalising glimpses of the countryside, and panoramic views of the Pyrenees. As enchanting as the citadel (La Cité) is, do not neglect La Ville Basse, or lower town, whose ancient streets are built to a grid-pattern. For a different perspective, you could also take a boat ride on the Canal du Midi (pay locally).
  • Carcassonne to Avignon
    Leaving Carcassonne by train, you skirt the Rhône delta and the flamingo-frequented shallow lakes of the Camargue. Change trains in the Roman town of Nîmes to reach historic Avignon, where you spend three nights at the centrally located Hotel de l’Horloge. (Journey time: 3hrs)
  • Explore Avignon
    We suggest you spend your first full day in Avignon exploring the compact and friendly city itself: there’s far more to it than ‘that’ bridge (although it is worth taking a stroll along its remaining section), and the Palais des Papes is quite astounding, its huge proportions and magnificent frescoes leaving no doubt as to the wealth and power enjoyed by the popes who had their seat here. You can see the tombs of some of them in the cathedral next door, before climbing the tower for superb views over the Rhône to the plain beyond. A stroll in the gardens of Le Rocher des Doms, overlooking the mighty Rhône Valley and Provençal countryside, is an exceedingly pleasant way to end the day.
  • Explore Roman Provence from Avignon
    We suggest that you spend today delving into Provence’s Roman past. Less than half-an-hour’s train ride away from Avignon are: workaday Tarascon and its forbidding-looking 15th-century castle; Arles, whose highlights include a vast Roman amphitheatre and an opulent town hall inspired by Versailles; and Nîmes, home to what are, without a doubt, the best-preserved Roman remains you will find anywhere in France.
  • Avignon to Collias
    You are collected by taxi from your hotel for the 50-minute journey to Collias and the Hostellerie le Castellas, where you spend two nights. After the bustle of the cities, the atmosphere here seems very relaxed, and you may decide to spend the rest of the day by the hotel's small pool. Alternatively, you could explore the Gardon Gorge, which you can walk to from the village; venture as far as you like before retracing your steps.
  • Explore from Collias
    We recommend that you spend today visiting the Pont du Gard, a remarkable feat of Roman engineering. An excellent visitors' centre explains how and why it was built, and you can walk across the lower tier of the bridge to see the impressive craftsmanship and engineering up close. We provide walking notes for an easy route from Collias to the aqueduct (12km, 4hrs), or you could take a bus or taxi there instead. Return by bus or taxi (pay locally in all cases).
    Another option is to take the bus to nearby Uzès, a handsome town with a ducal palace and ancient arcades, from where you can walk back to Collias through orchards, vineyards and expanses of wild herbs and shrubs (14.5km, 5hrs).
  • Collias to Nice
    After a taxi ride to Avignon, a morning train speeds you to Nice alongside the glittering waters of the Mediterranean. After checking into the Villa Victoria for your last two nights, take a stroll along the sweeping, seafront Promenade des Anglais before choosing a restaurant for dinner. (Journey time, including taxi: 4.5hrs)
  • Explore Nice
    Use our self-guided tour to explore Vieux Nice (the Old Town) on foot: nose around quirky boutiques; call in at Chez Thérésa, a stall within the lively Cours Saleya marketplace that serves Niçois socca – a tasty local flatbread; and take in the vibrant, sweet-smelling Marché aux Fleurs, recalling the days when, at the very end of the 19th century, Nice held the very first flower market of all. You should also seek out the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, whose gleaming onion domes are a somewhat incongruous sight above the swaying palm trees, the Roman baths, and perhaps one or two of the many museums, the subjects of which range from Matisse to archaeology, and from photography to Nice’s heyday at the end of the 19th century.
 

Accommodation

The city hotels have all been hand-picked for their superb locations, while Le Castellas is a treat for foodies.

Occasionally, due to availability, we may offer an alternative hotel, as shown below. You will be informed of any change to the usual hotel (along with any price implication) prior to us confirming your holiday to you. Whichever hotel you stay at in Bordeaux and Avignon, we recommend an extra night to give you more time to explore. In fact, we recommend an extra night in all four cities, as there is plenty to see and do in each!
 

Options to extend or shorten your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 11 nights: 01 April 2020 - 31 July 2020 & 01 September 2020 - 31 October 2020

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 16 Apr 2020 £1590 £765
    17 - 30 Apr 2020 £1715 £805
    1 May - 25 Jun 2020 £1765 £815
    26 Jun - 20 Jul 2020 £1850 £875
    1 - 21 Sep 2020 £1765 £815
    22 Sep - 20 Oct 2020 £1715 £805
    3rd & 4th person discount -£50
    Single traveller supplement £50

    Includes accommodation, meals, travel between hotels and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus a detailed information pack, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Included travel: Bordeaux–Carcassonne–Avignon–Nice by rail; return transfer Avignon-Collias

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

    11 nights: 01 April 2020 - 31 July 2020 & 01 September 2020 - 31 October 2020

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 16 Apr 2020 £1860 £765
    17 - 30 Apr 2020 £1995 £805
    1 May - 25 Jun 2020 £2050 £815
    26 Jun - 20 Jul 2020 £2115 £875
    1 - 21 Sep 2020 £2050 £815
    22 Sep - 20 Oct 2020 £1995 £805
    3rd & 4th person discount -£50
    Single traveller supplement £50

    Includes all elements in the 'journey price', plus standard-class travel by Eurostar from London St Pancras or Ebbsfleet International to Lille or Paris, with onward travel as described below.

    Included travel from the UK: UK–Paris/Lille (Eurostar), Paris/Lille–Bordeaux (TGV), approx. duration 7h20 out. Home Nice–Paris (TGV), Paris–UK (Eurostar) approx duration 9h30.
    Pay locally for taxis between stations and hotels (0h10 out/0h05 home).
    > More about 'by rail' prices
    > The 'rail experience': what to expect

    Other included travel: Bordeaux–Carcassonne–Avignon–Nice by rail; return transfer Avignon-Collias

    If you book your holiday less than 6 months in advance of your travel date, seats may no longer be available at the tariffs on which our prices are based, but we may be able to offer you seats on the same services at a supplement.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Hotel de l'Horloge, Avignon
    'Privilège' : 01 Apr - 31 Jul 2020 £18
    'Privilège' : 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £18
    Superior: 01 Apr - 31 Jul 2020 £12
    Superior: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £12
    Hostellerie le Castellas, Collias
    Larger: 01 Apr - 31 Jul 2020 £16
    Larger: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £16
    Suite: 01 Apr - 31 Jul 2020 £16
    Suite: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £16
    Superior: 01 Apr - 31 Jul 2020 £16
    Superior: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £16
    La Villa Victoria, Nice
    Superior with garden view: 01 Apr - 31 Jul 2020 £12
    Superior with garden view: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £12

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Quality Hotel Bordeaux Centre, Bordeaux (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 31 Jul 2020 £84 £130
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £84 £130
    Hotel du Donjon et des Remparts, Carcassonne (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 24 Apr 2020 £72 £124
    25 Apr - 31 Jul 2020 # £96 £172
    01 Sep - 24 Sep 2020 £96 £172
    25 Sep - 29 Oct 2020 £72 £124
    # Add £40 per person per night (£85 per night for single room) for stays 10-14 July
    Hotel de l'Horloge, Avignon (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 08 Apr 2020 £68 £118
    09 Apr - 30 Jun 2020 £95 £173
    01 Jul - 25 Jul 2020 £116 £214
    26 Jul - 31 Jul 2020 £88 £158
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £95 £173
    Hostellerie le Castellas, Collias (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Apr 2020 £168 £220
    01 May - 31 Jul 2020 £180 £258
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £180 £258
    La Villa Victoria, Nice (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 31 Jul 2020 £108 £190
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £108 £190
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Bergerac or Bordeaux for the outward flight; Nice for the homeward flight
    ALTERNATIVE AIRPORT(S):
    Paris CDG
    As an alternative to flying, we can arrange rail travel from London

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Paris CDG. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Bordeaux (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Aberdeen - Bordeaux (via Paris) Air France 
    Aberdeen - Paris CDG Air France,  KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Belfast Intl. - Bordeaux easyJet 
    Return route Airline
    Nice - Belfast Intl. easyJet,  jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Bordeaux (via Paris) Air France 
    Birmingham - Paris CDG Air France 
    Return route Airline
    Nice - Birmingham jet2 
    Nice - Birmingham (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Bergerac Ryanair 
    Bristol - Bordeaux easyJet 
    Bristol - Paris CDG Air France,  easyJet 
    Return route Airline
    Nice - Bristol easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Nottingham East Midlands - Bergerac Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Bordeaux Ryanair 
    Edinburgh - Bordeaux (via Paris) Air France 
    Edinburgh - Paris CDG Air France,  easyJet 
    Return route Airline
    Nice - Edinburgh easyJet 
    Nice - Edinburgh (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Bordeaux easyJet 
    Glasgow - Paris CDG easyJet 
    Return route Airline
    Nice - Glasgow (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Bergerac jet2 
    Leeds Bradford - Paris CDG jet2 
    Return route Airline
    Nice - Leeds Bradford jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Bergerac Ryanair 
    Liverpool - Bordeaux easyJet 
    Liverpool - Paris CDG easyJet 
    Return route Airline
    Nice - Liverpool easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Bergerac British Airways 
    Return route Airline
    Nice - London City British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Bordeaux British Airways,  easyJet 
    Gatwick - Paris CDG easyJet 
    Return route Airline
    Nice - Gatwick British Airways,  easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Bordeaux (via Paris) Air France 
    Heathrow - Paris CDG British Airways 
    Return route Airline
    Nice - Heathrow British Airways 
    Nice - Heathrow (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Bordeaux easyJet 
    Return route Airline
    Nice - Luton easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    London Southend - Bergerac Ryanair 
    London Southend - Paris CDG easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Bergerac jet2,  Ryanair 
    Stansted - Bordeaux Ryanair 
    Return route Airline
    Nice - Stansted easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Bergerac jet2 
    Manchester - Bordeaux easyJet,  Ryanair 
    Manchester - Bordeaux (via Paris) Air France 
    Manchester - Paris CDG Air France,  easyJet 
    Return route Airline
    Nice - Manchester easyJet,  jet2 
    Nice - Manchester (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Bordeaux (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Newcastle - Bordeaux (via Paris) Air France 
    Newcastle - Paris CDG Air France,  KLM 
    Return route Airline
    Nice - Newcastle easyJet 
    Nice - Newcastle (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Southampton - Bordeaux (via Paris) Air France 
    Return route Airline
    Nice - Southampton (via Paris) Air France 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Paris CDG. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service (£60 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Unless otherwise stated, connecting travel by rail or bus tends to be from the city centre station, rather than from its airport, and connections between the two should be paid for locally.
     

    Connecting travel options - flying to Bergerac & back from Nice

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Bergerac to Bordeaux St Jean (1h30), taxi or tram Bordeaux St Jean to hotel (0h10, pay locally) £20 1700
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    own taxi to airport n/a flexible

    Connecting travel options - flying to Bordeaux & back from Nice

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    taxi Bordeaux airport to hotel £26 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    own taxi to airport n/a flexible

    Paris CDG

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail to Bordeaux St Jean from Paris CDG (4h20) £83 1500
    rail Paris Montparnasse to Bordeaux St Jean (3h15) £55 1500
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    rail to Paris CDG (7h) £102 1830
    rail to Paris Gare de Lyon (5h40) £65 1830
What is included
  • 11 nights
  • 2 dinners
    11 breakfasts
  • city maps and notes for walking tours
  • detailed cultural information
  • rail travel Bordeaux-Carcassonne-Avignon-Nice
  • return taxi between Avignon and Collias
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help.

  • The information that we send to you 2-3 weeks before your holiday includes practical information about each stage of your journey so that you can travel confidently from one hotel to another, recommendations for places to visit and eat out in each place, plus cultural information about the area. Where applicable, we also provide notes for a self-guided walking tour of most cities, and some large towns. Sample travel pack >
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £35 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £60 per person. More information on flights >
  • Absolutely! We are experts in tailored rail travel. Making use of sleeper trains or stopovers in cities along the route, we can get you from London to virtually anywhere in mainland Europe. We can even make arrangements to Mallorca, Sicily and Norway with a combination of ferries and rail. Please contact Abi and Lizzie to discuss your plans.
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our travel insurance policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    We'll ask you for the details of your alternative policy (insurer, policy number and medical emergency phone number) so that we can help out if the worst happens while you are on holiday. It's up to you, though, to check that your policy covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs; we don't check alternative policies.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to France, but not a visa. If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/before-you-travel and the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC). You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance.
  • The official language is French. The currency is the Euro. French time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • At Inntravel we work in close partnership with our hoteliers, taxi drivers and other local suppliers to provide our self-guided holidays directly to you. We are entirely confident that you will continue to receive the usual warm welcome from them when the UK withdraws from the European Union (EU).

    It currently seems highly likely the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will take place on 31 January 2020, at which point the UK will enter a minimum 11-month transition period through to the end of December 2020. During this transition period there will be absolutely no changes to current arrangements for UK citizens travelling to an EU destination, so you can book your 2020 holiday certain that there will be no disruptions or complications caused by Brexit.
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 4/3/2020 4:34:19 AM