Step back in time with a guided tour of this well-preserved medieval city. It begins with a scenic drive to Carcassonne, home to one of the best-preserved citadels of its time. There are plenty of historical sights to point your camera at here, including a double row of ramparts, 52 time-worn towers and an old bascule bridge. Your guide will steer you through the cobbled streets until you reach the city’s showpiece – the 12th-century Count’s Castle. At more than 30 metres high, it’s absolutely huge, and offers up unspoiled views over the whole city. Once you’re inside, things to see include the castle’s western and southern wings, and a pretty courtyard. When you’ve finished looking around, there’ll be a stop for lunch, before you make your way back to the coach.
You’ll feel like you’re in another era on this tour, as you visit a place that has stood unchanged for centuries. Firstly, after a coach ride from the pier, you’ll arrive in the town of Montpellier. This place shot to fame back in the Middle Ages for being the site of the first school of medicine, which later became a prestigious university. These days, winding medieval streets, old stone houses and 17th-century mansions set the scene – and you’ll get a guided tour of the best bits. The 19th-century façade of a theatre, a grand medieval fountain, and a statue of Louis the 14th are all on the agenda. Plus, you’ll get to see the ‘Arch of Triumph’ in Peyrou Royal Square. After your guided tour, you’ll have some free time to explore under your own steam, before making your way back to the coach.
This one begins with a drive around the Thau Lagoon, which stretches along the coast for 15 kilometres. It’s a hotspot for shellfish, and you’ll stop in the village of Bouzigues next for a talk about the breeding of oysters and mussels here. There’ll be time for some photos, too, so you can get some snaps of the harbour and the old houses that line the waterfront. From here, it’s on to the town of Marseillan, home of the Noilly Prat cellars. You’ll be given the lowdown on how this classic French vermouth is made, before moving on to see the nearby canal du Midi, which runs from Toulouse. Next on the agenda is Mount St Clair. When you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views over the town of the same name. Before you leave, you’ll tick off the town’s Notre Dame de la Salette, too. Your final stop is in Sete’s city centre, where you’ll be given a tour of the old port, the yachting harbour, and the canals.
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