Occitanie History & Heritage tour with Jules Larimore

September 13 – 20, 2024

Delve into the history and heritage of Occitanie in the south of France.

A Trip of a Lifetime! Delve into the history and heritage of Occitanie in the south of France in the footsteps of your ancestors with Jules Larimore, author of “The Muse of Freedom” and Mariette Emile an extraordinary historical guide.

Day 1  Friday  Sept 13 : Welcome to Occitanie

You will be greeted at Toulouse airport for a transfer to the city center for the guided tour  including Les Jacobins Monastery and  the history of Counts of Toulouse.  After the tour, you will travel to Carcassonne and to check into  Les Chevalliers hotel with a breathtaking view onto the medieval walled city of  Carcassonne.   You’ll have time to settle in and relax before the meet and greet cocktail at 6pm followed by dinner at your hotel.

Day 2  Saturday Sept 14 Carcassonne 

You’ll begin the day with a guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site, an outstanding example of a medieval fortified town.  Lunch will be cassoulet the not to be missed regional specialty dish at La Table d’Alais.  After lunch,   you will be taken for a guided visit of the Museum of Catharism. Dinner will be at a typical french bistrot, Bistrot d’Alice. Overnight Hotel Les Chevalliers, Carcassonne


Day 3 Sunday  Sept 15  Troubadours and wine

Today you’ll go to Puivert for a guided tour and some musical entertainment  at the Quercorb troubadour museum. After the tour, you’ll depart for Limoux famous for its sparking wine called Blanquette which is believed to be the world’s first sparkling wine produced in 1531. After lunch, you will head to the  oldest blanquette and crémant producer in Limoux Guinot family winery.  You ‘ll visit the 140-year-old cellar and  learn all about  the traditional method of making the sparkling wine. A stop will be made to visit the Abbaye Saint Hilaire, one of the most renowned abbeys in the region where monks used to make the sparking wine. Overnight Hotel  Les Chevalliers, Carcassonne

Day 4 Monday Sept 16 Transfer to Genolhac and  Museum 

Today you will check out of your hotel in Carcassonne and head to  Génolhac, the birthplace of  ancestor Jean Pierre Bondurant. On the way, a stop will be made for a lovely home cooked lunch in the family owned   auberge Les Pradinas in Mialet. After lunch, you will go for a guided tour the birthplace of Rolland the camisard where you will delve into the history of French Protestantism at the Musée du Desert in Mialet. Another stop will be made at Chateau de Portes, a 1000 year old castle filled with history. You’ll check in to your french B&B Le Mas Nouveau. 

Day 5 Tuesday Sept 17 Genolhac and Chestnuts 

Today will be dedicated to walking in the  footsteps of the Bondurant family ancestors starting with a guided tour of Génolhac followed by a tour of the Bondurant family home and a buffet lunch. After lunch  you will be welcomed to another private home which was formerly an inn owned by the Bondurants.  Just a short drive away, you’ll be welcomed by Emilie to her chestnut farm for homemade delicacies. The chestnut is  a strong symbol of the Cevennes thanks to the   started Benedictines who started the first orchards. Dinner will be at the Mas Nouveau. Overnight Mas Nouveau, Génolhac

Day 6 Wednesday Sept 18  Florac and Castelbouc

This morning you will visit Florac and be welcomed by the owners of the oldest jean manufacturer in France, Tuffery jean factory. Your behind the scenes tour will take you to discover the traditional craftsmanship.

After lunch at l’Adonis in Florac,  you’ll be taken to admire the castle in  Castelbouc and then a stop will be made admire one of France’s most spectacular menhir sites.  YOu’ll return to the Mas to rest and pack for the transfer to Avignon on the following day. Dinner will be at the Mas Nouveau with a special guest. Overnight at  Mas Nouveau, Génolhac

Day 7 Thursday Sept 19  Middle school students and Uzès 

You’ll bid farewell to the population with a meaningful encounter  at  middle school  where you will exchange with the students, their teachers and a renowned local historian Marie Lucy  Dumas.  Lunch will be at the charming  Bouchon Cevenol in Chamborigaud.  After lunch on your way to Avignon, a stop will be made in Uzès where you will be taken to the Medieval gardens which house the prison tower where a Bondurant ancestor was imprisoned. On arrival in Avignon, you will have time to settle in and prepare for your farewell dinner at the hotel.

Day 8  Friday  Sept 20

Time for your last café au lait and croissant.  Transfers to Avignon TGV high speed train station will be arranged in the morning.


Optional tour add on :  Guided walking  tour of  Avignon, the papal palace and other significant historical sights  from 10 to 12.




To secure a place on our tour, we ask that you fill in our reservation form, which indicates that your 30% deposit will be required. The balance will be due 2 months prior to the tour.

All meals indicated in the program including breakfast, wine for dinner,  gratuities in restaurants,  taxes,  professional tour guide throughout your stay, activities and admission fees as indicated in program, airport transfers on first day from Toulouse airport to  your   hotel in Carcassonne and on the last day of tour to Avignon high speed train station  before 11am (check out time),   accommodation in twin or double  in a 3 star  hotel in Carcassonne for 3 nights, in a 3-star bed and breakfast on the 4 following nights and  a 4-star hotel in Avignon for the last night.

Not Included
Round trip airfare to France, tips to tour guide and coach driver, any personal souvenirs or purchases outside of this tour and not indicated above, additional wine, beer or spirits beyond what is offered at meals, spa services at the hotel and all the sweet treats you pick up along the way, travel insurance (highly recommended) and trip medical coverage (required for travelers over 50 years of age).

Terms and Conditions
If insufficient numbers of participants register for the tour  or in the event of conditions deemed unsafe for our clients, the tour may be cancelled or postponed. While we endeavor to operate all trips as described,  we reserve the right to change the trip itinerary owing to circumstances beyond our control or if more interesting opportunities arise. Any changes will be of similar or superior quality and  content. If author Jules Larimore is unable to travel, the tour will proceed as planned with Mariette Emile, the renowned expert historical guide.

Cancellation Policy
This is a package group tour and non-refundable even in case of injury or illness or personal emergency. Cancellation must be notified by email to nancy@absolutelysouthernfrance.com. We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance including medical assistance and cancellation. If you get sick before the trip departs or during it you will need to have your own medical and trip cancellation insurance to cover any costs incurred.

We accept Visa, MasterCard, & American Express.

Travel with insurance – and rest assured 

Check out  SquareMouth, insurance specialists that compare coverage, including Covid, from 19 reputable providers. Just select what best suits you (cancellation for any reason, interruption, medical evacuation…) . Prices are reasonable and well worth it for a stress free trip.

Photo Release
You hereby grant Absolutely Southern France permission to use your likeness in a photograph, video or other digital media in any and all of its publications including web-based publications, without payment or other consideration. In addition, you waive the right to inspect or approve the finished product wherein your likeness appears.

Arrival and Departure
You will be welcomed on arrival by your tour guide Mariette and author Jules Larimore at  the meet and greet cocktail followed by dinner at your hotel in Carcassonne.  The transfer from Toulouse airport  to the hotel in Carcassonne on the day of arrival and  transfers from your hotel in Avignon to the TGV high speed train station are included.  When searching for flights, check out  Skyscanner which compares rates for flights to and from Montpellier with numerous airlines.

What to Pack
Phone chargers, medication, summer clothing including a sweater or jacket for cooler evening temperatures, an umbrella,  comfortable walking shoes/sneakers.

Physical Requirements
This tour is “physically active“. You  will  be travelling in a coach for the day trips.   You may be on your feet, walking and standing, on uneven sidewalks or cobblestone streets,  going up and down stairs,  for a few hours, indoors and outdoors, rain or shine. That means if you need help climbing in a tour bus or if you are winded after walking 50 feet, Nancy will have other trips for you to join.

We expect average  temperatures of max 25°C (76°F) and min 14°C (57°F).

Trip add on

A guided tour of Avignon will be offered from 10 am to 12 am on September 20. Consult us for details. n

Additional Services
Nancy McGee of Absolutely Southern France is happy to assist with arranging   travel  to other regions such as Provence and the Cote d’Azur.




To reserve your spot or request additional information,  please fill out the form below. Nancy will then contact you to discuss the tour details and arrange your booking.



Tour Details

Dates: September 13 – 20, 2024
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
Cost: 2825 euros in double or twin occupancy / 3425 euros in single occupancy
Participants: 16


  • Daily guided touring with an expert guide  with a focus on the  history  and heritage of Occitanie
  • Travel with Jules Larimore, author of “The Muse of Freedom”.
  • Learn about chestnut drying and ancient stone wall making.
  • Visit the Musée du Dessert dedicated to the history of Protestants in the Cevennes.
  • Discover Génolhac, home town of Jean Pierre Bondurant
  • Meet the middle school children in Génolhac with a renowned historian
  • Learn about the history of the Uzès prison tower
  • Discover one of France’s most visited historical sites,  the UNESCO World Heritage medieval walled town of Carcassonne