Tailormade tour In the footsteps of Toulouse-Lautrec by rail and car holiday France

6 nights/7 days

Paris • Albi • Bordeaux

The life and works of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec are the focus of this holiday by rail with a hire-car as appropriate. The holiday is structured around your being able to visit key places in the artist’s life and to see the museum where much of his work is displayed, near his birthplace at Albi.
Holiday price guide

Available year-round subject to the opening period of the hotels, from about £1,510 per person.

Luxury rail-drive tailormade tour in the footsteps of Toulouse-Lautrec visiting Paris, Albi and Bordeaux

This 6-night rail holiday with a hire-car is focused on the life and works of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and centres around Paris, Albi and Bordeaux, all three places being key to his life and featuring in his work, often those works that we associate most with him. This rail holiday starts with a Eurostar journey from London to Paris, where you stay for two nights, giving you time to soak in the frenetic atmosphere that Toulouse-Lautrec would have experienced over 100 years ago in Montmartre and where he made the acquaintance of Van Gogh. Then you take a train to the Tarn region of France and collect a hire-car, enabling you to visit to visit Albi, where Toulouse-Lautrec was born in 1864 and home to an excellent museum of his works. There is time to explore the Gaillac vineyards nearby too before taking another train to Bordeaux (or if you want to drive, we can extend the use of the hire-car for the remainder of the days in France). Bordeaux is the third place to visit, allowing you to visit Chateau Malrome, a chateau and vineyard dating from the 16th century which belonged to the Toulouse-Lautrec family, where Henri died in 1901. You return to London by train from Bordeaux via Paris.

Highlights

Paris • Visit Montparnasse • Albi • Visit the Toulouse-Lautrec musuem • Bordeaux • Visit Chateau Malrome • Visit Vederlais cemetery

Day by day

You travel first by Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris, leaving late morning and arriving before 3pm. Stay two nights in Paris.

You have one day at leisure to explore Paris. We suggest spending some time taking in the atmosphere of Montmartre – the area the Henri spent much of his time and where he met and was influenced by other artists. This district was historically separate from central Paris – geographically, demographically, historically and architecturally – and provided the backdrop for the decadent fringe culture that was Henri’s home for most of his career. Today, visitors flock up the famous hill to take a picture in front of the imposing Sacre Coeur, but for a more genuine experience we recommend taking the time to explore the steep and cobbled streets that still maintain the bohemian atmosphere of village.

Depart Paris by train for Montauban, leaving at 12.30pm and arriving about five hours later. In Montauban, collect a hire car and drive the remaining 50 miles to Albi. Alternatively, you can stay on the train to Toulouse and change for Albi, collecting your car there – this takes a little longer but lessens the driving. You stay near Albi for two nights.

Enjoy one day at leisure to explore Albi and visit the Toulouse-Lautrec museum. Albi is an attractive city built with iconic pink bricks, whose historical centre is a UNESCO world heritage site. Albi’s cathedral is a remarkable monument since it is both fortified and built out of brick, whilst next door you will find the fortress of the Palais de la Berbie, home to the Toulouse-Lautrec museum. This former bishop’s palace houses some of his most famous pieces and in total there are over 1000 of his works displayed here.

Return your hire car to Montauban and take a lunchtime train to Bordeaux. From Montauban this is a direct route taking less than two hours. On arrival in Bordeaux, collect another car and drive to Martillac, 10 miles from Bordeaux. You spend two nights here.

At leisure to explore the surroundings. We suggest a visit to Chateau Malrome which was the home of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s mother and somewhere he often visited, and it was here where he died in 1901 and was buried in the nearby cemetery of Verdelais. The chateau is surrounded by a 40-hectare vineyard which produces seven varieties of grapes, both red and white. In the summer, the chateau offers visitors an hour’s museum tour followed by a wine tasting every day, though reservations are required in the winter months.

Return your car to Bordeaux and leave on a late morning train back to London, changing in Paris en route and arriving back in the UK at about 6pm.

Holiday price guide Prices from £1,510 per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room and including standard class rail travel. Supplement for standard premier/first class about £300 per person.

Holiday Code FRBR06

Luxury rail-drive tailormade tour in the footsteps of Toulouse-Lautrec visiting Paris, Albi and Bordeaux

You travel first by Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris, leaving late morning and arriving before 3pm. Stay two nights in Paris.

You have one day at leisure to explore Paris. We suggest spending some time taking in the atmosphere of Montmartre – the area the Henri spent much of his time and where he met and was influenced by other artists. This district was historically separate from central Paris – geographically, demographically, historically and architecturally – and provided the backdrop for the decadent fringe culture that was Henri’s home for most of his career. Today, visitors flock up the famous hill to take a picture in front of the imposing Sacre Coeur, but for a more genuine experience we recommend taking the time to explore the steep and cobbled streets that still maintain the bohemian atmosphere of village.

Depart Paris by train for Montauban, leaving at 12.30pm and arriving about five hours later. In Montauban, collect a hire car and drive the remaining 50 miles to Albi. Alternatively, you can stay on the train to Toulouse and change for Albi, collecting your car there – this takes a little longer but lessens the driving. You stay near Albi for two nights.

Enjoy one day at leisure to explore Albi and visit the Toulouse-Lautrec museum. Albi is an attractive city built with iconic pink bricks, whose historical centre is a UNESCO world heritage site. Albi’s cathedral is a remarkable monument since it is both fortified and built out of brick, whilst next door you will find the fortress of the Palais de la Berbie, home to the Toulouse-Lautrec museum. This former bishop’s palace houses some of his most famous pieces and in total there are over 1000 of his works displayed here.

Return your hire car to Montauban and take a lunchtime train to Bordeaux. From Montauban this is a direct route taking less than two hours. On arrival in Bordeaux, collect another car and drive to Martillac, 10 miles from Bordeaux. You spend two nights here.

At leisure to explore the surroundings. We suggest a visit to Chateau Malrome which was the home of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s mother and somewhere he often visited, and it was here where he died in 1901 and was buried in the nearby cemetery of Verdelais. The chateau is surrounded by a 40-hectare vineyard which produces seven varieties of grapes, both red and white. In the summer, the chateau offers visitors an hour’s museum tour followed by a wine tasting every day, though reservations are required in the winter months.

Return your car to Bordeaux and leave on a late morning train back to London, changing in Paris en route and arriving back in the UK at about 6pm.

Holiday price guide Prices from £1,510 per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room and including standard class rail travel. Supplement for standard premier/first class about £300 per person.

Holiday Code FRBR06

Our prices include ● Standard class Eurostar and second-class TGV from London to Montauban via Paris, Montauban to Bordeaux, Bordeaux to London (standard premier can be booked at a supplement)
● Hire of a group B car for 3 days in Albi and 2 days in Bordeaux
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Standard Room at Royal Hotel, Paris
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Standard Room at La Reserve, Albi
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Standard Room at Les Sources de Caudalie, near Bordeaux
● Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Our prices do not include ● Early check-in or late check-out at any hotels (although we can arrange this on request at additional cost)
● Any other services not mentioned above, such as transfers and meals except breakfast at hotels
● Personal holiday insurance. This is essential and cover should be in place from when you book the holiday.
● Local tourist tax, usually between Euros 1 and 3 per person per night, and payable locally to the hotel
● Transfers in Paris

Luxury rail-drive tailormade tour in the footsteps of Toulouse-Lautrec visiting Paris, Albi and Bordeaux

About Bordeaux Region

An Expressions tailor-made holiday to Bordeaux is a chance to explore a region renowned the world over for its wines and its awe-inspiring chateaux, whilst Cognac is less explored yet holds a countless store of treasures waiting to be appreciated. The Bordeaux region is ideal for short breaks and touring holidays with a range of sights to discover. Cognac country is a perfect destination for the discerning traveller as it is still relatively unknown yet is within very easy reach of more popular areas such as the coastal resorts between La Rochelle and Royan about 30 minutes` drive to the west, the Medoc and Saint Emilion vineyards about 45 minutes` drive to the south and the intriguing Marais Poitevin about an hour`s drive to the north. Moreover, the cuisine has a character of its own, utilising cognac, pineau and Marennes oysters. A holiday to the Bordeaux and Cognac regions is highly recommended. A fantastic way to discover the region is to incorporate it into a self-drive touring holiday, flying to Bordeaux and then exploring this area as well as the Basque Country and Carcassonne by hire-car. It is also accessible by train, such as in our suggested rail holiday travelling to the Loire Valley and Bordeaux which also allows you to explore by hire-car.

Highlights of Bordeaux

Visit vineyards and chateaux, for tasting and buying. Visit the oyster beds. Experience the Cognac distilleries, and the Romanesque architecture. Bordeaux is the historical centre for wine however you may also visit the villages of the wine region such as St Emilion.

Climate in the Bordeaux Region

Average air temperatures in Centigrade: Jan: 10.0, Feb: 9.4, Mar: 12.2, Apr: 19.5, May: 18.0, Jun: 23.7, Jul: 27.2, Aug: 25.7, Sep: 24.2, Oct: 19.7, Nov: 15.4, Dec: 11.0. Source: Direction de la Meteorologique de France

Luxury rail-drive tailormade tour in the footsteps of Toulouse-Lautrec visiting Paris, Albi and Bordeaux

About Paris

An Expressions tailor-made holiday to Paris has selected hotels within walking distance of the major sights of the city, all perfect for a luxury holiday in the French capital. Paris is a beautiful city that no one can ever tire of visiting, time after time. As Paris is only 3 hours from London by Eurostar, it really is within easy reach for a long weekend or short break. The hotels are either on the Left Bank near to Notre Dame, the Seine, the Musee d`Orsay and the boulevards of St Germain and St Michel, near the Louvre and the Tuileries, or a short walk from the Champs Elysées.

Highlights of Paris

We can arrange tickets for the opera, ballet and concerts throughout France. Please let us know what you want to see and we will do our best to book tickets in advance.

Paris Climate

Average air temperatures in Centigrade: Jan: 7.5, Feb: 7.1, Mar: 10.2, Apr: 15.7, May: 16.6, Jun: 23.4, Jul: 25.1, Aug: 25.6, Sep: 20.9, Oct: 16.5, Nov: 11.7, Dec: 7.8. Source: Direction de la Meteorologique de France.

Luxury rail-drive tailormade tour in the footsteps of Toulouse-Lautrec visiting Paris, Albi and Bordeaux

About Tarn and Lot

An Expressions tailor-made holiday to Tarn and Lot is a chance to explore an area of southern France, including Albi, the birthplace of Toulouse Lautrec which is a cathedral city on the banks of the River Tarn with a strong artistic and architectural tradition. The countryside in Tarn and Lot is green and rolling, with vineyards, river valleys and hill top villages and fortresses, such as Cordes. The town of Cahors is at the heart of the beautifully dramatic Lot valley surrounded by rolling wooded hills and vineyards. The valley itself is dotted with mediaeval towns. The area is noted for its wine and the vineyards of course can be visited. An excellent idea is to combine a holiday in Tarn and Lot with a stay in Auvergne to the north-east, enjoying a gastronomic tour around the two regions. Alternatively, the region can be included in a self-drive touring holiday through the southwest of France, or around the Dordogne, Basque Country and Massif Central. The area can also be reached by train, allowing you to enjoy a rail holiday following in the footsteps of Toulouse Lautrec.

Highlights of Tarn and Lot

Cultural highlights include music festival in Toulouse, Limoux wine, the ruined fortresses of the Cathars, the craggy valley of Aveyron, the mediaeval fortified village of Cordes, Gaillac wine, the Charcuterie of Lacaune, and the Goya museum at Castres.

Tarn and Lot Climate

Average air temperatures in Centigrade: Jan 12.4, Feb 11.5, Mar 12.5, Apr 17.6, May 20.1, Jun 26.5, Jul 28.4, Aug 28.1, Sep 26.1, Oct 21.1, Nov 15.8, Dec 13.5. Source: Direction de la Meteorologique de France.

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