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The Red Train, the Yellow Train, and the Blue Train can be found in many itineraries but only Railtrail takes you through the heart of the Pyrenees, staying in local hotels and getting to know the region with visits into Spain and France. Our grand tour stays in the foothills and valley stations, primed for spectacular excursions. Add in the Tren del Ciment, a stay on the Catalan coast, and the 'Truffle Train' through the Dordogne for an adventure not found anywhere else.View Dates & Book
15 days from £2,905
Saturday 25 May 2024
Saturday 14 September 2024
Steam through the Dordogne on the Truffadou Truffle Train
Visit the charming towns of Foix and Ax-les-Thermes in the foothills
Explore the delightful medieval core of Mirepoix
Taste Blanquette de Limoux sparkling wine
Trundle past mysterious Cathare Castles on the Train Rouge
Stay in the perfect medieval walled city of Carcassonne plus a guided tour and river cruise
Experience a cross border rail adventure to Spanish Catalonia
Soar up from the valley on the Vall de Nuria rack railway (Blue Train)
Explore the whole of the Petit Train Jaune line
Relax in the Mediterranean resort of Argeles-sur-Mer
Visit enchanting Collioure
Also included in your Tour Fare:
14 nights bed & breakfast plus 12 evening meals
Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager
Leaving London St Pancras by Eurostar, we race through Kent and northern France. Changing stations in Paris, we head southwards to Brive for two nights at the Grand Hotel Terminus.D
By staying in Brive we are well located for today's excursion. Heading south towards the Dordogne, we enjoy a brief visit to the Chemin de Fer du Haut-Quercy's railway museum, before joining the 'Truffadou' train itself for a one-hour steam round-trip. Carved into the cliffs above the River Dordogne, trains were used to transport truffles, hence the name 'Truffadou'. Closed in 1980, the railway has been preserved since the 1990s by enthusiasts.B, D
Our rail adventure heads south to Toulouse, changing for the 'Transpyrenean Line'. We leave the train at Foix, a charming town overlooked by a majestic château. After a little free time, we transfer by coach to the Cartier Hotel Quillan for three nights, beginning with a wine-tasting of the local Blanquette de Limoux sparkling wine.B, D
Today we enjoy an excursion by coach to the captivating towns of Mirepoix and Montsegur which can only be described as a 'best kept secret'. Explore 'Les Couverts', one of the finest medieval arcaded market squares, flanked by half-timbered medieval houses and the stunning cathedral. View the castle at Montsegur which has a fascinating history dating back to the time of the Cathars, explore the village and local museum. Back at Quillan we enjoy free time to and relax in the local area.B, D
A short transfer to Axat brings us to the Train Rouge, which operates its 'Viaducts' route to St Paul de Fenouillet. A particular highlight of this scenic journey is the sight of the Château de Puilaurens, perched on a cliff high above the valley, like many of the other Cathar castles.B, D
Our destination today is Carcassonne, where we enjoy a guided tour of the city walls before exploring with free time to experience one of the world's most incredible medieval fortified towns. Carcassonne's citadel is entirely encircled by an impenetrable city wall, all turrets, towers and battlements. Explore the quaint alleys of this UNESCO World Heritage protected city. This afternoon we transfer to our hotel for 2 nights, The hotel Aragon is just a short walk from the main entrance to the old city. The evening is free to enjoy one of the local restaurants of your choice.B
After breakfast, this morning is at leisure to relax and enjoy all that the hotel and Carcassonne has to offer. We will reconvene in the afternoon to enjoy a trip along the famous waterway, Canal Du Midi, which is described as one of the greatest constructions of the 17th Century. Built to link the Atlantic & The Mediterranean, you will enjoy stunning flora & fauna vistas on the peaceful waterway. Afterwards you are free to relax and enjoy evening meal at your leisure.B
We transfer back to the 'Transpyrenean Line' by a different route, with a short break at the spa town of Ax-les-Thermes. Winding through remote terrain of rugged beauty, we reach Latour de Carol-Enveitg, one of the great border stations and the terminus of three lines. We continue into Spain by local train to Ribes de Freser, where we spend three nights at the Catalunya Park Hotel.B, D
A fascinating rail experience awaits today. The 'Tren del Ciment' begins in the charming Catalan village of La Pobla de Lillet, which boasts the oldest bridge spanning the River Llobregat. The diesel powered former industrial railway covers a distance of 3.5km on its way to the former Asland Cement Factory, which now houses a museum. On return we will make a stop in the village of La Pobla de Lillet for lunch, and afterwards we make our way to Ripoll which is the main town in the area and there will be free time to explore the local Monastery de Santa Maria before returning to the hotel for our evening meal.B, D
This morning we board the Vall de Nuria Rack Railway, which climbs to a height difference of more than 1,000 metres on a journey over 12 km in length, after our thrilling ride the rest of the day is at leisure before we meet for our evening meal.B, D
Today we leave Ribes by private coach and transfer to Mont Louis via Latour de Carol and include a journey by rail on the scenic 'Train Jaune'. When we arrive in Mont Louis, we spend the night at the convenient, family-run 2-star Le Clos Cerdan Hotel located just a short distance from the train station.B, D
Our 'Train Jaune' experience continues today, climbing to Bolquère-Eyne, the highest station in France and crossing the Pont Gisclard suspension bridge on our descent to Villefranche-Vernet-les-Bains. Our coach awaits here to transfer to the Hotel du Lido in Argelès-sur-Mer on the French Mediterranean for three nights.B, D
Today we join the local coastal railway, heading south towards the Spanish border along the stunning 'Vermillion Coast', where the region's expansive beaches develop into a series of charming coves, backed by vineyards and the Albères mountains. We stop at the simply stunning coastal village of Collioure. It is not difficult to see why the Fauvist art movement was drawn to Collioure, with its special light, beautiful bay, lighthouse and fort.B, D
A day at leisure to relax in Argelès-sur-Mer. Relax on the hotel's private beach or maybe explore the region further.B, D
After breakfast we transfer to Perpignan, joining the TGV to Paris, where we join the Eurostar to London St Pancras.B
Grand Hotel Terminus, Brive
Brives railway hotel, the Grand Hotel Terminus, sits opposite Brive-la-Gaillarde train station. Built in 1907 and fully renovated in 2016, it offers modest accommodation just a ten-minute walk from the centre of Brive.
Cartier Hotel, Quillan
A comfortable hotel located in the heart of Quillan, close to shops, bars, and restaurants. The light and spacious bedrooms have air conditioning, TV, and free Wi-Fi. The rustic hotel restaurant offers quality, regional cuisine.
Hotel Aragon, Carcassonne
Just a short walk from the walled city of Carcassonne, 50 metres from the Porte Narbonnaise, the main entrance to the medieval fortress, L'Aragon Hotel is ideally located. The hotel offers a lounge and full breakfast. The 33 rooms have ensuite bathrooms, satellite TVs, air conditioning, and Wi-Fi. Other amenities include an outdoor pool.
Hotel Catalunya Park, Ribes de Freser
We have chosen the Catalunya Park for ease of access to our excursions. This family-run hotel in the heart of Ribes boasts an outdoor pool in a large garden.
Le Clos Cerdan, Mont Louis
A hotel set in the Parc Naturel Regional des Pyrenees Catalanes, a rustic, stone built hotel overlooking the nearby mountains. The cosy rooms have ensuite bathrooms and TVs. Other amenities include an indoor pool, gym, tennis courts, and an on-site spa.
Hotel du Lido, Argelès-sur-Mer
The Hotel du Lido has a fabulous beachside location, with its own private beach, surrounded by a shady park. The hotel boasts a restaurant, bar, and heated outdoor pool. We have deliberately chosen arrival dates to enjoy pleasant weather, yet away from the hordes of high summer.
From London St Pancras International:
Standard Class rail travel to/from France, including Standard Eurostar
Supplement for Standard Premier Eurostar upgrade return
First Class rail travel to/from France, including Standard Premier Eurostar
Join at Brive & Leave at Argelès-sur-Mer
Single Traveller Supplement
14 nights bed & breakfast plus 12 evening meals
Eurostar and rail travel to and from France in the class of your choice
All transfers, excursions & admissions as detailed
Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager
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