Town and Country of Languedoc May 5-13, 2018

Dear W&L Alumni, Parents, and Friends,

May is the ideal time for this exclusive nine-day sojourn to the South of France. The historical provinces of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées, designated the Occitania region in 2016, offer much to be discovered. Amid unspoiled landscapes, historic fortresses and traditional French villages, you can immerse yourself in the life and local culture of the area while appreciating the complex history, tradition and legends of past inhabitants, from the ancient Greeks and Romans to the Occitans and the Cathars.

This comprehensive itinerary includes a combination of both town and country, from the UNESCO World Heritage medieval cities of Albi and Carcassonne to the 13th-century hilltop village of Cordes-sur-Ciel built by the Count of Toulouse. You'll discover Aude, a lesser-known département of quaint towns, lush olive groves and ample vineyards, where medieval monks first produced Blanquette, a sparkling wine that predates champagne. In addition to two specially arranged wine tastings, you'll have a private cruise on the charming Canal du Midi, a UNESCO World Heritage site and historic link between the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

The Southern Gothic-style red brick city of Albi, seat of the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathars, will be your home for three nights. The HOTEL MERCURE ALBI BASTIDES overlooks the River Tarn and features terrace views of the medieval heart of Albi. Your final four nights will be spent in the charming CHÂTEAU DE FLOURE, an authentic 16th-century French country estate located just outside the fortified city of Carcassonne, which boasts the longest city walls in Europe with ramparts dating back to the first-century Romans. During the exclusive TOWN & COUNTRY LIFE® FORUM, you'll interact with local residents, who will share insights into their daily lives in the Occitania region.

The city of Toulouse and the Cathar Country Pre- and Post-Program Options are available to enhance your exploration of France's best-kept secret.

This one-of-a-kind small group travel program invites you to explore the heart of France's most fascinating yet undiscovered region during the best time of year. Make your reservations today while Early Booking Savings and space are still available!

We look forward to traveling with you,
Rob Fure, Director W&L Traveller

About Languedoc

Experience firsthand the fascinating destinations and historic provinces that comprise captivating Languedoc - the western half of Mediterranean France that extends from the Alps to the Pyrénées-where la vie unfolds amidst centuries-old medieval villages, lively outdoor markets, verdant countryside and hectares of lush vineyards that produce some of France's best wine.

Learn about the unique history, rhythms of daily life and generations-old customs in the heart of these quaint towns and villages, and parler (talk) with local residents as they go about their day. Enjoy an enriching small group travel experience including all excursions, charming accommodations in an authentic French château and a historic former water mill overlooking the River Tarn, and specially arranged meals-an excellent value. This exclusive program is part of the popular TOWN & COUNTRY LIFE® series that immerses you in an intimate, comprehensive travel experience like no other.

CULTURAL ENRICHMENTS are specially arranged and only available on this custom-designed itinerary:

  • Enjoy an authentic experience in the historic towns, traditional villages and a rural château of France's lesser-explored and unspoiled Occitania region, discovering intriguing Cathar legends and well-preserved medieval settlements, towns and villages, where residents live and work year round.
  • Immerse yourself in a carefully planned, balanced itinerary of included historical and cultural guided excursions and time on your own to experience and partake in typical, local daily life in the seldom-visited département of Aude.
  • Engage locals during the TOWN & COUNTRY LIFE® FORUM, where residents share their stories and discuss contemporary life.
  • Experience one of the largest wine-producing regions in the world with two private, specially arranged tastings.
  • Explore the iconic works of art by Francisco Goya and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec in the Goya Museum in Castres and in the Musée Toulouse-Lautrec in Albi.
  • Sample traditional regional specialties during the C'EST BON! CULINARY TRADITIONS™ excursion in Castelnaudary, birthplace of cassoulet, and during specially arranged included meals.
  • Enjoy a private cruise along one of the most scenic lengths of the historic, UNESCO World Heritage-designated Canal du Midi.
  • Walk the quaint, cobbled rues (streets) in one of France's most beautiful villages, Minerve, a traditional working village with small, independent boulangeries, pâtisseries et boucheries (bakeries, pastry shops and butcher shops).
  • Hear it from the Experts! Experienced local guides will accompany you throughout the program and share their expertise on the history and culture of the undiscovered South of France.
  • Learn key phrases en français to make your interactions with local residents all the more enjoyable.



Day 1:Depart the U.S.


    • Time at leisure in Albi.

Day 3: ALBI

  • Walking tour of medieval Albi with a visit to 14th-century Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile.
    • Tour of Palais de la Berbie's acclaimed Musée Toulouse-Lautrec.
    • Lunch in a local restaurant.


  • Full-day excursion to Gaillac and Cordes-sur-Ciel with a visit to the Abbaye Saint-Michel de Gaillac.
    • Wine tasting and tour at a family-owned estate in the village of Noailles.


    • Visit to the Goya Museum in Castres.
    • C'EST BON! CULINARY TRADITIONS™ cooking demonstration and traditional cassoulet lunch in Castelnaudary.
    • Canal du Midi cruise in a flat-bottom boat. Check into the CHÂTEAU DE FLOURE.


  • Walking tour of Carcassonne with visits to the Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsus and the Château Comtal.
    • Time at leisure to explore Carcassonne.


  • Visit to the 12th-century Cistercian Abbaye de Fontfroide.
    • Lunch in a typical restaurant in the Abbaye.
    • Corbières wine tasting and cellar tour.


  • Guided walking tour of the medieval hilltop villages of Caunes-Minervois and Minerve.
    • Time at leisure in Caunes-Minervois.

Day 9: FLOURE/TOULOUSE/Return to the U.S.




Known as ‘la rouge' by locals for the town's signature French Southern Gothic-style red-brick architecture, the UNESCO World Heritage-designated old city of Albi became a powerful episcopal center and market town following a crusade against the Cathars in the 13th century. Today, countless beautiful Renaissance maisons (houses) and iconic crimson brick buildings line the cobblestone streets, built with the wealth of the textile and dyeing industries that flourished here in the 15th and 16th centuries. Stroll across the River Tarn along the 10th-century Pont Vieux (Old Bridge) for a spectacular view of the city, and visit the 13th-century Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile, a masterpiece of French Southern Gothic-style architecture with an ornate interior décor-its elaborate ceiling frescoes encompass the largest and oldest Italian Renaissance paintings in France. CULTURAL ENRICHMENTS: Tour the acclaimed Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, housed in the imposing Palais de la Berbie, which exhibits the world's largest collection of works by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, the famed Art Nouveau artist born here in 1864, and savor lunch in a local restaurant featuring regional wine. Enjoy time at leisure to explore Albi at your own pace.


The quaint town of Gaillac is located in one of the oldest wine-growing regions in France, where narrow, cobblestone streets are lined with bâtisse à colombages (half-timbered buildings) and open up to charming village squares. The vineyards of Gaillac produce grapes to make red wines like Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot and white wines such as Mauzac and Sauvignon. Visit the historic, French Southern Gothic-style Abbaye Saint-Michel de Gaillac, a Roman-Catholic church founded in A.D. 972 on the banks of the Tarn by Benedictine monks and consecrated by the Bishop of Albi.


Experience the 13th-century fortified village of Cordes-sur-Ciel, recently renamed for the low-lying clouds that hang in the surrounding Cérou Valley, making this jolie hilltop commune appear to float above the sky, or sur ciel. It is said to be the first ville bastide (fortified city) ever built, intended to protect its inhabitants from the siege of the Cathars, and is also one of the most picturesque villages in all of France.

Its attractive Gothic-style architecture and the sculpted, decorative façades of merchants' houses still stand today as evidence of the wealth from the leather and cloth trades that flourished here in the 14th century.

CULTURAL ENRICHMENT: In nearby Noailles, enjoy a private tasting of local wines cultivated in the verdant vineyards of a family-owned estate.


The small, scenic village of Castres was built around a Benedictine monastery founded circa A.D. 810 on the Agout River, halfway between Toulouse and Montpellier. Since the 14th century, Castres has been a great center of the wool industry- its farmers and weavers used wool from their own sheep to make yarns, cloth and fabrics. Today, it is France's most important producer of carded wool.

CULTURAL ENRICHMENT: Tour the fascinating Goya Museum, located in the original Archbishop's Palace and designed by one of the architects of Versailles. Named after painter Francisco Goya, this comprehensive museum houses the largest collection of Spanish artwork in France.

Castelnaudary/Canal du Midi

The charming market town of Castelnaudary - the main port of the famous Canal du Midi - is located on the Roman route from Toulouse to the Mediterranean and is the birthplace of one of France's most beloved regional specialties, le cassoulet.

CULTURAL ENRICHMENT: Enjoy a specially arranged cruise aboard a traditional flat-bottomed boat in the shade of picturesque plane trees lining the grand, 17th-century Canal du Midi, a UNESCO World Heritage site that winds past serene vineyards and tranquil villages and features unique oval locks and stone bridges.

C'EST BON! CULINARY TRADITIONS™ CULTURAL ENRICHMENT: By special arrangement, enjoy lunch in a local restaurant and an exclusive cooking demonstration featuring le cassoulet.


In the heart of Cathar Country lies Floure - a small, tranquil village comprised of quaint, ivy-covered stone cottages with time-worn wooden shutters and colorful blooms in window boxes, surrounded by lush vineyards.

CULTURAL ENRICHMENT: Experience a special TOWN & COUNTRY LIFE® FORUM with local residents, who will discuss daily life in the South of France.


Settled on the former frontier between France and Spain along ancient trade routes linking the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea and the Iberian Peninsula, and occupied since the sixth century B.C., Carcassonne - the largest walled city in Europe - was fortified by the Romans, conquered by the Visigoths in the fifth century, captured by Persians in the seventh century, and later invaded by Franks and overrun by Barbarians. Each of these civilizations left their indelible influence on the extraordinary architectural and artistic heritage of this city over the centuries. The medieval core of Carcassonne that remains today, La Cité, is an extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage site. Walk La Cité's cobblestone streets and visit the Romanesque-Gothic-style Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsus, and the medieval Château Comtal, a former Cathar castle.

CULTURAL ENRICHMENT: Enjoy time on your own to explore Carcassonne.

Abbaye de Fontfroide/Corbières Wine Region

Travel into the scenic, rugged Corbières Mountains, home to the incredibly well-preserved Cistercian Abbaye de Fontfroide, founded in 1093. Walk through its Gothic arched chapter hall and cloisters, and stroll the abbey's lush gardens filled with more than 3000 rose bushes.

CULTURAL ENRICHMENT: Enjoy a private tour of the historic château and wine cellars of a renowned family-owned estate and enjoy a tasting of four regional wines.


The renowned Minervois wine region, whose appellation produces rich red wines from the Carignan, Grenache and Syrah grapes, and white wines including Viognier, Clairette Blanche and Muscat, was named for the Roman goddess Minerve and is comprised of incredible sweeping scenery, fortified medieval villages and verdant, rolling vineyards. In Caunes-Minervois, see the Châteaux de Lastours and visit the Benedictine abbaye, featuring a mélange of architectural periods, from an eighth-century foundation to early southern-Romanesque art to 18th-century stained glass.

Inhabited since prehistoric times and fortified in the Middle Ages, the village of Minerve overlooks the sweeping French countryside from high atop a rugged gorge at the confluence of the Cesse and Briant Rivers. Visit the Église St-Étienne, the village's austere Romanesque church consecrated by the Bishop of Narbonne in A.D. 456, and its museum devoted to prehistoric archaeology of the region.

CULTURAL ENRICHMENT: Enjoy time on your own to explore the cobblestone lanes of the medieval village of Caunes-Minervois.

Included Features

In Albi

  • Three nights in the historic HOTEL MERCURE ALBI BASTIDES, ideally located overlooking the River Tarn and with views of the medieval old city of Albi.
  • Private Welcome Reception in the hotel.
  • Breakfast each day and one dinner with wine in the hotel.


  • Four nights in the charming CHÂTEAU DE FLOURE, in the village of Floure near historic Carcassonne.
  • Breakfast each day and two dinners with wine in the château.
  • Private Farewell Reception in the château.

Expert-Guided Excursions

  • Walking tour of provincial Albi, a UNESCO World Heritage site and once a stronghold of the Cathars, including a visit to the impressive, 13th-century Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile.
  • Full-day excursion to the historical town of Gaillac to visit the imposing Abbaye Saint-Michel de Gaillac and the well-preserved, picturesque village of Cordes-sur-Ciel.
  • Walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Carcassonne, including visits to the Romanesque-Gothic-style Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsus, and the impressive archaeological museum in the restored Château Comtal, a former Cathar castle.
  • Visit to the extensively restored Romanesque former Cistercian Abbaye de Fontfroide, including its church, cloister, chapter hall and rose garden.
  • Excursion to the well-preserved medieval town of Caunes-Minervois and to Minerve, one of the most beautiful villages of France.

Exclusive Cultural Enrichments

  • Two tastings of local wines - at a family-owned estate in the village of Noailles near Cordes-sur-Ciel and at a winery amid the beautifully rugged Corbières Mountains.
  • Three lunches featuring regional cuisine and wine-in the medieval town of Albi, at the Abbaye de Fontfroide and in Castelnaudary, featuring a C'EST BON! CULINARY TRADITIONSTM demonstration of traditional cassoulet.
  • Tour of the acclaimed Musée Toulouse-Lautrec in the 13th-century Palais de la Berbie, exhibiting the world's largest collection of the artist's work.
  • Tour of the comprehensive Goya Museum in Castres, housing the largest collection of Spanish artwork in France.
  • Cruise aboard a traditional flat-bottomed boat on the UNESCO-designated Canal du Midi.
  • Special TOWN & COUNTRY LIFE® FORUM with local residents who will discuss life in southern France.
  • Time at leisure to experience the rhythms of daily life in Albi, Carcassonne and Caunes-Minervois.
  • French language introduction.

Enhanced Travel Services

  • Transfers and luggage handling abroad for participants whose arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s).
  • All excursions and visits, as outlined above, led by experienced, local guides.
  • Gratuities to local guides and drivers on included excursions.
  • Complimentary bottled water on excursions.
  • Hospitality desk in the hotel and château.
  • The services of an experienced Gohagan & Company Program Director throughout the travel program.
  • Complimentary use of a state-of-the-art audio headset for each participant while on guided excursions.
  • Travel document wallet, name badge and pre-departure information.
  • Automatic $250,000 flight insurance policy for each participant ticketed on flights by Gohagan & Company.

Pre/Post Program Options

These options are available at additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

Pre-Program: Golden Age of Toulouse

A medieval university town, and in the 13th century, Europe's second largest city, Toulouse lies along the sun-kissed banks of the Garonne River in the idyllic South of France. Explore the extraordinary Les Jacobins, the first Dominican monastery in the world, established in France in 1230. Enjoy a walking tour through Toulouse's centuries-old cobblestone streets and discover the city's most impressive Romanesque and Gothic churches built between the 11th and
14th centuries and its opulent 16th-century mansions. Accommodations for two nights are in the ideally located GRAND HOTEL DE L'OPERA in Toulouse.

Post-Program: Medieval Cathar Mystique

Deep in the heart of Pays Cathare stand the awe-inspiring castles and fortified towns-rich with beguiling mystery and religious intrigue-built on the foothills of the Pyrénées Mountains by this Christian denomination that flourished during the 12th and 13th centuries in the historic region of Languedoc. Encounter two of the "Five Sons of Carcassonne"- see the largest of these fortresses, Peyrepertuse, perched on a 2300-foot hilltop, and visit well-preserved Château de Quéribus, site of the Cathars' last stand. Visit the 10th-century bastide town of Mirepoix; the enigmatic hilltop village of Rennes-le-Château, with its centuries-old legends of the Holy Grail and the Knights Templar; and picturesque Alet-les-Bains, built on a natural hot spring. Visit the unusual rock-hewn troglodyte Church of Sainte-Marie in Vals; and visit Château de Foix, a castle dating from the Middle Ages. Enjoy a specially arranged tasting of the region's famous Blanquette de Limoux- the world's first sparkling wine-at a historic, family-owned estate. Accommodations for three nights are in the charming CHÂTEAU DES DUCS DE JOYEUSE, an authentic 16th-century castle turned hotel in the village of Couiza.

Land Tariff

Prices exclude taxes and are per person, based on double occupancy. Singles are available upon request for an additional $900. Taxes are an additional $25 per person and are subject to change.

Early booking (through November 13, 2017): $3,995.

After November 13, 2017: $4,295.

Fine Print

Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk and Binding Arbitration Agreement


Thomas P. Gohagan & Company, the sponsoring associations/organizations, and its and their employees, shareholders, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors or trustees, successors, and assigns (collectively "Gohagan"), do not own or operate any entity which is to or does provide goods or services for your trip including, for example, lodging facilities, airline, vessel, or other transportation companies, guides or guide services, local ground operators, providers or organizers of optional excursions, food service or entertainment providers, etc. All such persons and entities are independent contractors. As a result, Gohagan is not liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any such person or entity or of any other third party.

In addition and without limitation, Gohagan is not responsible for any injury, loss, death, inconvenience, delay, or damage to person or property in connection with the provision of any goods or services whether resulting from, but not limited to, acts of God or force majeure, acts of government, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, bites from or attacks by animals, insects or pests, strikes or other labor activities, criminal or terrorist activities of any kind or the threat thereof, sickness, illness, epidemics or the threat thereof, the lack of availability of or access to medical attention or the quality thereof, overbooking or downgrading of accommodations, mechanical or other failure of airplanes, vessels, or other means of transportation, or for any failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart timely or safely.

If due to weather, flight schedules or other uncontrollable factors, you are required to spend an additional night(s), you will be responsible for your own hotel, transfers and meal costs. Baggage is entirely at owner's risk. The right is reserved to decline to accept as a trip participant, or remove from a trip, without refund, any person Gohagan judges to be incapable of meeting the rigors and requirements of participating in the activities, or who is abusive to other trip participants, leaders or third parties, or who Gohagan determines to detract from the enjoyment of the trip by others. Specific room/cabin assignments are within the sole discretion of the hotel or cruise line.

Gohagan reserves the right to change the itinerary or trip features at any time and for any reason, with or without notice, and Gohagan shall not be liable for any loss of any kind as a result of any such changes. Ship schedules, port calls, hours of arrival and departure, sightseeing events, special programs and guest lecture series (if applicable), are subject to change or cancellation. Gohagan reserves the right to substitute motorcoach transportation using hotels, inns or lodges for cruise accommodations if necessary due to weather, water conditions or levels, other events of force majeure, mechanical or other conditions beyond the control of Gohagan. Gohagan is not responsible therefor and is not required to compensate passengers under these circumstances. Gohagan may cancel a trip (or an option) for any reason whatsoever; if so, its sole responsibility is to refund monies paid by the participant to it. Gohagan, however, is not required under these circumstances to refund the cost of any purchased travel insurance. Gohagan is not required to cancel any trip for any reason including without limitation, United States Department of State, World Health Organization or other Warnings or Advisories of any kind. Gohagan is not responsible for penalties assessed by air carriers resulting from operational and/or itinerary changes, even if Gohagan makes the flight arrangements or cancels the trip. Gohagan reserves the right to substitute vessels, hotels or attractions of a similar category for those listed in this brochure.

Not Included

Taxes; passport, visas and associated fees; personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls and Internet access; accident/sickness, trip cancellation, and baggage insurance; gratuities to hotel personnel; optional sightseeing excursions; baggage charges on aircraft; local departure air/airport tax(es); airfare and associated local taxes, airport facility and security taxes and federal inspection fees not listed in the "Included Features" section of the brochure; transfers and baggage handling to/from airport/hotel on day(s) of arrival and/or departure if you are arriving earlier or later than and/or departing earlier or later than the scheduled group transfer(s); any overnight on land due to flight schedule(s); meals, alcoholic or other beverages and all other services not specifically mentioned in the "Included Features" section.


Airfare is subject to change and availability and, depending on the fare basis, likely is nonrefundable. Your airline ticket constitutes a contract between you and the airline, even if purchased through Gohagan.


Luggage allowance policies are set by the airlines and may change without notice.

Physical Accessibility

All programs require physical independence and mobility. Any physical or mental condition that may require special medical attention or physical assistance (for example, the need for a wheelchair) must be reported in writing when you make your reservation. Travelers must be able to embark or disembark motorcoaches alone or with minimal assistance from your traveling companion and climb stairs without assistance. Travelers requiring assistance must travel with a companion who will be responsible for handling equipment.

Discounted Reservations

Discounts apply only to those reservations received in the offices of Gohagan in writing, accompanied by the required deposit, by November 13, 2017. In the event a "discounted" reservation must be cancelled, no "replacement" reservation can be substituted at the discounted rate. A "replacement" reservation is a new reservation and can be substituted only at the full-fare tariff. Cancellation penalties may apply.


Cancellations for all or any part of the trip including Pre/Post Program(s) reservation(s) will not be effective until received in writing in the offices of Gohagan. Should you have to cancel, the following terms will apply: reservation cancellation(s) are subject to a $200 ($50 Pre/Post Program(s)) per person administrative fee from the time of booking through 120 days prior to departure; from 95 through 119 days prior to departure, $600 ($200 Pre/Post Program(s)) per person; from 45 through 94 days prior to departure, 50% of the published full regular tariffs; from 22 through 44 days prior to departure, 75% of the published full regular tariffs; cancellations 21 days or less prior to departure, a no-show, or early return from the trip will result in forfeiture of 100% of the published full regular tariffs. In addition, any applicable airline cancellation fees, optional excursion cancellation fees and administrative fees may apply.

Trip Insurance

We strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance. In the event that you must cancel your participation in a travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement. Trip cancellation insurance is available for comprehensive coverage of such expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident, and damaged or lost luggage. We will send you an application upon receipt of your reservation. RATES: Prices quoted are based on fares in effect at the time of printing and are subject to change at any time. On land and/or cruise programs, even after full payment, Gohagan reserves the right to increase the tour price in the event of cost increases due to changes in supplier costs, currency fluctuations or fuel or energy surcharges and all such increases are to be paid to Gohagan upon notice to the tour participant of such increases. On programs which include Gohagan purchased interstate or international air (which originates or returns to the United States), no increased costs will be passed on after final payment except for subsequently imposed governmental tax increases.

Binding Arbitration

Any dispute concerning, relating or referring to this Agreement, the brochure or any other literature concerning the trip, or the trip itself, shall be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. Sections 1-16, either according to the then existing Commercial Rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or pursuant to the Comprehensive Arbitration Rules & Procedures of the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc. (JAMS). Such proceedings will be governed by substantive (but not procedural) Illinois law and will take place in Chicago, IL. The arbitrator and not any federal, state, or local court or agency shall have exclusive authority to resolve any dispute relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability, conscionability, or formation of this contract, including but not limited to any claim that all or any part of this contract is void or voidable. Please understand that by agreeing to these terms and conditions, the participant and Gohagan are waiving the right to a trial by jury.

Acceptance of Contract

By forwarding of deposit, the participant certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical or other condition of disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants and accepts the terms contained in this Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk and Binding Arbitration Agreement.


CST#: 2031868-40, WST#: 601 767 666, OST#: TA 0905.