Toulouse tours and excursions
Toulouse has a pretty gruesome history, some stunning buildings and the largest market in southwest France (Roquefort and Gaillac wine anyone?), so there are plenty of gastro tours, history tours and heritage tours available through the tourist office, with details varying daily.Tel: +33 5 40 13 15 31.
Les Bateaux Toulousains organise cruises on the Garonne River and on the Canal du Midi on board a converted barge throughout the year. Toulouse Croisières offers a similar service on board a bateau-mouche. Both are great ways to soak up the pink-brick skyline that gives Toulouse its nickname La Ville Rose (Pink City).
Les Bateaux Toulousains
Telephone: +33 5 61 80 2 226
Telephone: +33 5 61 25 72 57.
The turrets and walled-in city of Carcassonne make it not only a UNESCO World Heritage site but also a spectacular backdrop for the fireworks on 14 July. Only 70km (44 miles) from Toulouse, this rocky outcrop can reached by bike along the Canal du Midi – and you can always take the train back.
Carcassonne Tourist Office, 28 rue de Verdun, CarcassonneTel: +33 4 68 10 24 30.
This lovely red-brick UNESCO-listed town has a half-timbered city centre and an imposing fortress-like cathedral. It showcases more 1,000 paintings, lithographs, drawings and posters by its illustrious native son, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, as well as some of his personal belongings. One of the largest carnivals in southwest France takes place here every February.Tel: +33 5 63 36 36 00.