PREHISTORIC SITES AND DECORATED CAVES OF THE VÈZÈRE VALLEY (UNESCO SITE SINCE 1979)
Situated in Nouvelle Aquitaine, in south-west France, to the east of Bordeaux, at the gateway to Occitanie, the Dordogne offers visitors a host of sensations and emotions. A favourite destination with food-lovers, this is a fascinating area with plenty to see and do at any time of year.
Beautiful buildings such as castles, manor houses and Romanesque churches are dotted around the countryside, providing a magnet for anyone interested in culture and heritage. It’s not by chance that Prehistoric Man chose to settle in the area 17,000 years ago. He left exceptional works of art to Humanity,
such as the cave paintings in Lascaux and the 15 prehistoric sites concentrated in the Vézère valley, which are now listed UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Our 10 listed villages, our medieval bastides and our three “Towns of Art and History” make the Dordogne one of the richest départements in France in terms of listed historical monuments. Today, this extraordinary heritage is showcased thanks to new tours and experiences available to the public. A visit to the new Centre International de l’Art Pariétal Montignac Lascaux is the best example of this, with its concentration of technology and modern design combining to take visitors back on a journey to the origins of human history.
The area also offers numerous festivals and events dedicated to music, mime, film and food throughout the year. Nature-lovers and outdoor activity enthusiasts are spoilt for choice in the Dordogne – choose from activities as diverse as canoeing, hiking and cycle touring to golf, climbing and fishing, as well as wakeboarding and pot-holing.
Arrival in the capital of Prehistory, Les Eyzies, and hotel check in. You will be welcomed by your English speaking local guide for a visit of the National Museum of Prehistory. You will now enter in the Human Valley classified at the UNESCO Heritage. Cocktail and welcome dinner at your hotel.
Your day is devoted to the origins of the human species. You will first enjoy a private guided tour of Lascaux 4, the International center of art painting. A complete new replica retraces the discovery of the famo us decorated cave and you will use new technologies to enrich your tour.
Continue with a prehistoric culinary experience in the Vezere valley. Salmon smoked in clay under the ground, duck cooked on hot stones … The visit of the site includes ten remarkable rock shelters. After the visit, practice hunting with a spear. Enjoy a flint knapping and fire-making demonstration. After the visit, with prehistoric tools and a piece of stone you will learn how to sculpt like a Cro-Magnon.
End your day in the one of the oldest castle in Perigord: the Castle of Commarque. This prehistoric and medieval site is located in the forest between the Dordogne and the Vezere valley.
Experience a gastronomic dinner in a chateau dating from the 17th century.
You will discover many treasures in the rich medieval city of Sarlat with a guided tour.
Continue your day with a cooking class. Within the comfort of its traditional architecture lives a warm, welcoming family that has lived within these walls for the last 7 generations. Serge will share his cooking with you. Learn about the French bread technique. Discover some delicious local pastries like walnut cake. After the cooking class, feast on all the products you’ve made with a huge buffet of local products. Continue to a truffle farm to try your hand at truffle hunting with a dog. Taste the truffle with a glass of wine?
End your day at the medieval castle of Beynac and a enjoy a guided tour of the chateau and view on the Dordogne valley…
Diner at your hotel
Before your departure, enjoy breakfast at your hotel.
The Vézère Valley is a site of exceptional interest with 147 prehistorical sites dating from the Palaeolithic Age and 25 painted caves.
The Dordogne is nicknamed “the land ofa thousand and one castles” dating from the Middle Age to the Renaissance and Classic Style. The Dordogne has as well 10 villages baosting the title of the “most beautiful villages in France” and it’s one of the most famous gastronomic place in France!
– The Bergerac Dordogne Périgord Airport l h 20
– Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport 2 h OO
– Toulouse-Blagnac Airport 2 h 30
By train :
– Bordeaux- Perigueux 1 h 15
– Toulouse – Périgueux 3 h O0
A20 Paris-Limoges; R21 Lirnoges Périgueux
A89 Bordeaux Périgueux
CHAMBRE DE COMMERCE ET D’lNDUSTRlE DE LA DORDOGNE
Tel: +33 (0)5 53 35 80 34
Working in collaboration with Mirabilia, the Chambers of Commerce have created a network that comprises four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in France.
Following in the footsteps of its Italian experience, Mirabilia began its journey in pursuit of wonderful places to discover in France in 2015. Four Chambers of Commerce joined forces to tell the stories of places, food and extensive cultural heritage that is recognised or in the process of being recognised by UNESCO. (more…)
PYRÉNÉES – CIRCUE DE GAVARNE: The most famous cirque walls in the world: a cultural and natural heritage between France and Spain
PONT DU GARD (ROMAN AQUEDUCT) (UNESCO SITE SINCE 1985)
NIMES (UNESCO CANDIDATE 2017)
The Gard is an authentic and generous region marked by significant historical events from prehistory to Roman and medieval times. A fragrant whiff of eternity, to be relished through remaínsand historical monuments…
Take some blue to paint the Mediterranean, a few touches of green and brown to delineate the close packed bushes of the garrigue, some ochre and beige for the stone houses of the villages – and you have a pretty good picture of the Gard. A crossroads between Provence, the Languedoc, the Cévennes and the Camargue, this département joyfully celebrates the accents of the Midi. The world of the Romans, elegantly offered by the Pont du Gard, designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. This sublime achievement, reminds us how indeliblythe Romans left their mark on this region. Nimes was given an amphitheatre seating 24,000 and an imperial temple (the “Maison carré”), and became a centre that actively promoted the Roman lifestyle in Gaul. Nímes will be presented by France to the Committee
of the World Heritage of Unesco in 2018. After the fall of the Roman Empire, many important strongholds appeared in the Middle Ages.
These included Saint-Gilles – a stopping point for pilgrims on the road to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle and a doorway to the Mediterranean, Aigues-Mortes, which Saint Louis turned into a major French port. Further north, the grey clouds of the Wars of Religion loomed overthe Cévennes.
Nature: along the paths of the Gard
Do you long for wide open spaces, cloudless horizons and intense moments in total communion with your surroundings? Then get your walking shoes and strike out from the main roads, so that you can really appreciate the pathways of the Gard… Whether in arid, schist-covered mountains, limestone garrigues fragrant with thyme or broad plains, you can ramble along the Winding scrubland paths ofthe Gard as the fancy takes you, enjoyíng a huge variety of landscapes,
sensations and colours.
Go on a four wheel drive safari in the Camargue, and see the ramparts of Aigues-Mortes, the salt mines, the local wildlife : black bulls, white horse and pink flamingos,…
Built in the 13th-century, the fortifications of Aigues-Mortes are a remarkably well preserved military structure. Guided visit of Saint-Gilles : one of the most important places for Christian pilgrimage in the twelfth century. Saint-Gilles is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Visit of “Les Arènes de Nîmes, the best-preserved amphitheatre of the Roman world. Facing it, the Musée de la Romanité. A few steps further, superbly preserved, the Maison Carrée built in the first century AD
In the afternoon you will walk to the Jardins de la Fontaine laid out in the 18th century under Louis XV by J-P Mareschal and G. Dardalhon and climb at the top of the hill towards the Tour Magne.
This is the reason why, under the heading “Nîmes, antiquity in the present” the old city will be presented to the Committee of the World Heritage of Unesco in 2018.
Guided visit of Uzès :This charming city is an architectural jewel that has been awarded the distinction of City of Art and History.
Visit the Pont du Gard : A true masterpiece of ancient architecture, the Pont du Gard aqueduct is one of the most beautiful Roman constructions in the region. UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
Bambouseraie in Cevennes : In this bamboo forest, the micro-climate was conducive to the growth of the first giant bamboos planted in 1856. Exotic park, unique in Europe, with plant maze, aquatic garden, Laotian village with characteristic Laotian bamboo constructions, Dragon Valley, a strolling garden which plays with mineral / plant alternatives where spring flowers and autumn colors play a major role.
Mont Aigoual, Gorges du Gardon, the Duchy of Uzes, Cevennes National Park, wildlife reserve of Camargue.
Marseille Provence airport (lh30),
Montpellier airport (45mn),
By train :
CHAMBRE DE COMMERCE ET D’INDUSTRIE DU GARD
Tel: +33 (0)4 66 879 879
PYRENEES – MOUNT PERDU (UNESCO – WORLD HERITAGE SITE SINCE 1997)
Classed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco, Gavarnie is the most famous natural arena in the word. It is visited by over 1 milion visitors every year.
Nothing can prepare you for your first glimpse of the Cirque de Gavarnie. The wordsmith Victor Hugo described it as “the most mysterious building by the most mysterious architects; it’s the colosseum of nature : it’s Gavarnie”. An impressive natural amphitheatre of rare perfection. Gavarnie looks like pure invention nestled in the middle of the Pyrenees. It’s over 5km in diameter with 1500m high vertical walls, hundreds of waterfalls and a crown of peaks exceeding 3000m in altitude. Gavarnie may be the most spectacular and famous natural cirque but it’s not alone. Troumouse and Estaubé are a stone’s throw away and a feast for the eyes.
Gavarnie has very easy access. The view from Gavarnie village towards the cirque is fabulous, an easy path (2 hours return) leaves from the village towards the foot of the cirque.
Cirque de Troumouse: Troumouse is gigantic, a Goliath, even bigger than Gavarnie. The famous 18th century explorer Ramond de Carbonnières estimated it could hold 10 million people! Another curiosity is the rollong grasslands within the Cirque which are a favourite playground for marmots.
Cirque d’Estaubé: After a 2 hour walk one reach the Cirque. The area is famous for its superb variety of wild flowers.
The staggering cirques lie next to the Spanish canyons in Spain’s upper Aragon and together form the Gavarnie-Mount-Perdu site, a sacred mountain listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and unique slice of the Pyrenees.
The great Canyon of Ordesa: Unique in Europe, the great canyon of Ordesa is a bit like a Pyrenean Colorado, with its Dantesque walls. Vertiginous cliffs, suspended cirques, aerial “fajãs”, sparkling waterfalls – Ordessa is the very expression of excess.
Why not follow millions of visitors from all over the world and explore Lourdes? There is no need to be a practicing catholic, or even a Christian – people come to see the Grotto, to touch the rocks, gather water from the springs, light a candle, and walk carrying a flaming torch. These rituals are as much pagan, superstitious or magic as they are religious. A unique personal experience that touches everyone.
The journey continues and the most beautiful views in the Pyrenees are in store for today. Whether you are standing in front of the spectacular Gavarnie Cirque, which is a UNESCO world heritage site, crossing the passes of the Col d’Aspin or the Col du Tourmalet, or on board the cable car or at the top of the Pic du Midi, we guarantee views that will take your breath away.
Today you are heading for Aragon on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees. Explore ‘Los Rios’, the stone villages and the gleaming Spanish sun. Go through the Aragnouet-Bielsa tunnel and the wild and magical Canyon d’Añisclo is all yours (Gavarnie – Mont-Perdu Unesco Site) . You can swim in the turquoise waters of the natural pools formed by the river before returning to the village of Ainsa, capital of Sobrarbe, with its fortified square.
After your little Aragonese adventure, leavie the Spanish Pyrenees, which are devoid of Pyrenean mountain streams, to encounter one of the most beautiful lakeside views in the mountains. Take the Mountain Lakes Route to reach the Neouvielle National Nature Reserve. The day’s journey ends at Balnéa by the Lac de Génos-Loudenvielle, where you can bathe outdoors in naturally warm and soothing spring water, your eyes fixed on the peaks of the Pyrenees that reach an altitude of more than 3,000m.
The Pic du Midi, The sanctuary of Lourdes, The natural reserve of Néouvielle, Cauterets – pont d’Espagne, 9 ski resorts, 8 spa centres for thermal baths, Vineyards of Madiran, Ordesa Canyon
Pau-Pyrénées airport (105 km)
Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées airport (60 km)
Toulouse Blagnac airport (220 km)
A 64 Toulouse – Bayonne
A 65 Bordeaux – Pau
Hautes-Pyrénées Tourisme Environnement
Phone: +33 (0)5 62 56 70 06
THE EPISCOPAL CITY OF ALBI (UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE SINCE 2010)
Albi, a city of splendours, of history …… and a gentle way of life.
Giving colour to everything are the omnipresent red bricks of Albi. A delicate pink in the morning, bright orange in the sunsets of summer or crimson at night. The changing colour of the bricks is as lively as the history of the city.
Situated on the banks of the Tarn, the Episcopal city of Albi has been classed as a Unesco World Heritage Site since 2010. The Cathedral of St Cécile is a monumental and impressive sight, and is the biggest brick built cathedral in the world. Majestic and imposing it can be seen from anywhere. A major piece of architure, a must-see of the Tarn.
The episcopal city is supplemented by the huge bishop’s Berbie Palace which overlooks the river and is surrounded by many districts with houses dating from the Middle Ages. Today the Palace is home to the magnificent Toulouse Lautrec museum, a painter from Albi. The museum has the most complete permanent collection comprising paintings and the celebrated posters for the Moulin Rouge.
The episcopal city of Albi has a collection of landmarks and historic districts that have hardly changed over the centuries.
For the visitor old Alby has a wealth of private mansions, streets bordered by medieval houses with painted shutters, the collegiate church and cloister of St Salvy, the Old Bridge and the bucolic banks of the Tarn…..
Wandering down a back alley, sitting at a café or eating lunch on the riverbank are ways to appreciate the ambiance of the town.
Finally Albi is also a way of life. The covered market brings together producers from the area, cheese-makers, market gardeners, sausage and saucisson makers, wine producers … They want you to share in their know-how, their experience and are only too happy to offer succulent tastes of the local produce.
Arrival in Albi at the beginning of the afternoon. You will be welcomed at the hotel by your conference guide and leave to explore the old centre of the town and the cathedral of St Cécile, the pearl of the episcopal city.
In the morning you will visit the Tolouse Lautrec museum which is located in the fortress of the Berbie Palace, residence of the bishops of Albi. The museum houses the most important collection in the world by the artist. Directly afterwards you will take to the road to explore the medieval walled towns of the area (bastides albigeoises) the most famous of which is Cordes-sur-Ciel, voted favourite French village in 2014.
After lunch, you will be driven through the thousand year old wine growing area of Gaillac, which, as the vine planted slopes unfold resembles a semi-mediterranean landscape to the village of Rabastens.
Alongside the Tarn, on the navigable waterway where the traditional river boats (Gabarres) transported the Gaillac wine barrels to Bordeaux, Rabastens invites you to see the doors of Notre Dame du Bourg, listed as a World Heritage site by virtue of its association with the pilgim routes of St James of Compostella.
Departure for a visit to Castres, a town marked by the many changes in religion, from the Cathar heresy to Protestanism. Castres has preserved this past, rich in events evolving to a cultural identity, architecturally and economically strong.
After lunch, you will explore the scholastic Abbey of Sorèze. This ancient building will take you through 13 centuries of history and allow you to experience for yourself the life of the pupils of the 19th century, a life lived between strictness and freedom…..
Departure from the hotel and return home.
City of Castres – Musée Goya, The birthplace of pastel, the beginning of the Canal du Midi, The bastides and the vineyard of Gaillac, The massive granite site of Sidobre
Castres-Mazamet airport (50 km)
Toulouse Blagnac airport (85 km)
By train from Toulouse 1 hours
Tarn Réservation Tourisme – Sales Department
Phone: +33 (0)5 63 77 01 60
Tarn Réservation Tourisme – Press Relations Department
Phone: +33 (0)5 63 67 32 29
A new and important goal of the Mirabilia project: the European Network of Unesco Sites has been reached recently in Rome. At the headquarters of Unioncamere, the Mirabilia Network Association was established.
Unioncamere and the Chambers of Commerce I.A.A: Bari, Caserta, Genoa, Matera, Molise, Pavia, Perugia, Potenza, Riviere of Liguria, Sassari, Udine, Venezia Giulia, and Verona are members of the non-profit association Mirabilia network. On the nomination, unanimously accepted, by the president of Unioncamere Ivan Lo Bello was elected the first president of the Mirabilia Network Association Angelo Tortorelli, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Matera.
Angkor Wat in Cambodia is the most popular site in the world by TripAdvisor users: Italy is sixth with the Sassi of Matera (which will be the European Capital of Culture for 2019). In the national area, the ancient tuff wreaths of the Lucan city precede the Duomo di Monreale and the historical centre of Siena. The ratings of UNESCO World Heritage sites most appreciated by international travellers in Italy and around the world – read in a note – are based on the average rating of the evaluations related to UNESCO World Heritage Sites and present on TripAdvisor. The top of the Italian top ten is therefore the Sassi of Matera, the only Italian site awarded in the world rankings. According to the Duomo di Monreale, the historic centre of Siena is a bronze medal. Then the Patriarchal Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta in Aquileia, Val d’Orcia in Tuscany, Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi and Amalfi Coast. The Italian classification is closed with Pompei, the historic centre of Florence and Venice.
(Source: www.bari.repubblica.it )
The network of 13 Chambers of Commerce was cited by the President of Unioncamere Lo Bello at the House of Chambers of the Italian Chambers of Commerce, today in Syracuse.
Speaking this morning at the House of Chambers of the Italian Chambers of Commerce, to be held until tomorrow at Palazzo Borgia in Syracuse, President Lo Bello said: “In the field of culture and tourism, we are working on initiatives on new assignments on the topic of enhancement of tourism and cultural heritage, one of our significant skills, including the new role that Chambers of Commerce that can have in the tourist planning of the territories with regard to the Regions and the Ministry, and we are also doing it with important inter-chamber projects, and I quote only one: Mirabilia, the network of 13 Italian Chambers of Commerce “.
“Six years ago we had an intuition followed with determination and with the precious partnership of twelve Chambers of Commerce,” says the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Matera Angelo Tortorelli – Be quoted today by President Lo Bello as an example of the new role in the field of tourism of chamber members, strengthens in us all the will to continue on the journey undertaken. “