ESSLLI Organized Excursions
Booking is done using the ESSLLI 2017 registration form, by June 1rst (availability permitting). Even if you are already registered, you can access the registration form again to book an excursion.
Cordes-sur-Ciel and Wine Tasting
Saturday July 22d, 10h00-20h00
A 1h00 bus ride will bring us to Cordes-sur-Ciel (95km North-East of Toulouse). After lunch in a restaurant, we will discover this small medieval village through a guided tour and some free time strolling in the streets.
Then, we will move to the nearby winery Domaine de Gayrard for a visit of the winery and the wineyards of the Gaillac terroir ending the day with a tasting session.
Includes: bus transportation, lunch (complete with drinks), guided visit of Cordes-sur-Ciel (in English), visit of the winery, wine tasting.
Pech-Merle Painted Cave, and Canoeing or Saint-Cirq-Lapopie
Near the Lot river at a 1h45 bus ride from Toulouse (145km North of Toulouse), one can find one of the most beautiful prehistoric painted caves open to the public, a great landscape of rivers and canyons, and the Surrealists' favorite medieval village.
Sunday July 23rd, 8h30-20h00
An early morning start will allow us visiting the cave of Pech-Merle painted about 27,000 years ago (1h English-guided visit in small groups + free access to the museum + video).
Bring warm clothes, it is very cool and humid in the cave.
For lunch and afternoon, two options are offered, so we expect to split into two groups.
- Active option: Canoeing down the Célé river after a (self-catered) picnic by the river, with Nature-et-Loisirs.
- Relaxed option: visit Saint-Cirq-Lapopie (self-guided tour) after a restaurant lunch. This second option can be made active as you please since there are short hikes around, for instance on the chemin de halage along the Lot river just below Saint-Cirq-Lapopie.
No previous canoeing experience is required. Gear (life jackets, paddles and sealed containers) is provided. Canoes are shared by 2 people, and you can canoe freely at your own pace, stop and swim where it pleases you. The 15km route proposed should last about 3h30 but shorter options are available.
Safety: it is highly recommanded to know how to swim to have an enjoyable and carefree ride. Wearing a life jacket is compulsory. It is also recommanded to wear suitable shoes and to fix your glasses. Protect yourself from the sun and from dehydration. Please do not disturb the fishermen.
Pech-Merle + Canoeing price: 35+7€
At booking time, you will be asked to pay 35€. This includes: bus transportation and canoe hire. The cost of the guided visit of Pech-Merle, 7€, will be paid cash on site.
Pech-Merle + Saint-Cirq-Lapopie price: 49+7€
At booking time, you will be asked to pay 49€. This includes: bus transportation and lunch (complete with drinks). The cost of the guided visit of Pech-Merle, 7€, will be paid cash on site.
AirbusToulouse is the European capital of Aerospace. The Airbus museum is reachable by public transportation (Tram 1) and a short walk.
Packages including a tour of the A380 assembly line are available. Advance booking through this agency is essential as there are identity checks for security reasons.
CarcassonneThe famous city of Carcassonne (Unesco's world heritage) is reachable in one hour by train. Warning: it is really packed with tourists in summer.
AlbiThe episcopal city of Albi (Unesco's world heritage) with its famous gothic cathedral is reachable in one hour by train.
An good package including train and a pass for the Cathedral and the Toulouse-Lautrec museum in the beautiful Bishop's palace is available for 22€ online only (French webpage).
RodezRodez, with its two museums of neolithic art with wonderful menhirs and contemporary art dedicated to artist Pierre Soulages, also offers an exceptional package deal: train (2h30 from Toulouse) + museum pass at 15€ online only (French webpage).
PyrénéesThe Pyrénées mountain range is at about one hour and a half drive from Toulouse, or more depending on where you want to go. Some places accessible by train: Foix (1h10), Lourdes (1h50), Ax-les-thermes (2h), Merens-Les-Vals (2h15), Luchon (2h30).
MediterranéeFinally, the Mediterranean sea is at one hour and a half drive from Toulouse. Narbonne is accessible by train (1h15) and its beaches by local bus (about 30min).