Country Walks, Prehistoric Caves, and Magnificent Chateaux

Medieval France: The Lot Valley

France

9 Days

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Overview

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    Overview

    There's a little gem tucked away in a tiny corner of southwest France—the Lot Valley, a secluded world of medieval cliff-top hamlets, Romanesque abbeys, open-air markets, ancient chateaux, and a savory cuisine flavored with truffles and wild mushrooms. In this deeply French realm, we hike along the tranquil Lot River and across pilgrim paths between spectacular hilltop villages. We also explore the prehistoric Pech Merle cave, filled with extraordinary rock paintings, and sample the delicious wares of local wineries and small farms. Overnights are in hand-selected historic hotels, including the majestic 13th century Château de Mercuès overlooking the Lot River.

    Arrive: Rodez, France

    Depart: Toulouse, France

    Highlights

    • Hike on pilgrim trails and secret paths between villages perched on cliffs above the Lot River
    • Discover the remarkable prehistoric cave paintings of Pech Merle
    • Hotels of character, from a restored mill to a 13th century château
    • Delicious regional cuisine, from chestnuts to foie gras, tasty Cahors wines

    Overview

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      Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

      Itinerary

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      Our trails lead through picturesque stone-built hamlets north of Rodez, to the hilltop village of Conques, whose 9th century abbey is a spectacular example of Romanesque architecture, and along a pilgrim path to medieval Estaing, officially listed as one of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France.
      After exploring Figeac, a charming 15th century town with a perfectly preserved medieval center, we hike on an ancient path along the Célé River, then across the dramatic gorge of the Alzou River for spectacular views of cliff-perched Rocamadour, a pilgrim destination since 1166.
      At Pech Merle, one of the few prehistoric caves where the original 25,000-year-old paintings are on view, we take in a treasury of vivid rock art as mammoths, bison, and dappled horses gallop across the cave walls. Later, we'll hike a riverside trail to Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, with its steep, cobbled streets and terraced gardens. Our hotel for the next three nights is the majestic 13th century Château de Mercuès near Cahors.
      From the rock-perched village of Calvignac, we hike a forested path to the 13th century Château de Cénevières, where the lord of the château welcomes us for a visit. In sunny Cahors, we explore the lively open-air market and enjoy scenes of French country life. A sumptuous wine tasting in our hotel's vaulted cellar is followed by our Farewell Dinner in its Michelin-starred restaurant. Depart on Day 9 via Toulouse.

      Dates & Pricing

      Pricing below is per person and based on double occupancy. The earlier you book, the more choice you’ll have. WT also has the most generous cancellation and transfer policies in the industry, we make it easy if you change your mind. Have a small group of your own? Take over an existing date or choose your own. You’ll have your own private guide–and the adventure–all to yourselves!

      Payment & Cancel Schedule

      $600 due at time of reservation
      90 days prior to departure: Balance

      Cancellation & Transfer Schedule

      Up to 91 days prior to departure: No Charge!
      61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
      46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
      45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

      Included
      • All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
      • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
      • Accommodations in chateaux, inns, and hotels
      • A glass of wine or beer with dinner
      • Entrances to museums and sites, canoe and boat trips
      • Land transportation, airport transfers for recommended flights as indicated
      Not Included
      • International airfare, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, airport departure taxes, transfers other than those provided for group flights, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessary due to airline schedule changes or other factors, travel insurance, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, telephone calls).

      Accommodations

      Scroll through our signature accommodations for this trip below. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

      Le Moulin de Cambelong

      Conques, France

      Days 1-3 (3 nights)

      Nestled at the bottom of the ravine that it shares with the stunning village of Conques, this small hotel-restaurant occupies a restored 18th century water mill on the banks of the Dourdou River. It is owned by a passionate young chef who received his...

      Hotel Le Grezalide

      Grezes, France

      Days 4-5 (2 nights)

      This unique countryside hotel has a stunning and peaceful location. It is a beautifully adapted historic building with a great restaurant, gorgeous landscaped grounds, and an inviting swimming pool for a refreshing dip after a day of exploring.

      Chateau de Mercues

      Mercues-Cahors, France

      Days 6-8 (3 nights)

      Once the property of the count-bishops of Cahors, this renovated 13th century chateau has breathtaking views overlooking the mighty Lot River. The hotel's restaurant has a Michelin star, and there's a fabulous wine cellar underneath the chateau. This is an unforgettable place for our final nights in the Lot Valley.

      Trip Leaders

      Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please click on their profiles below.

      Laurence Frison

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      Tania Masi

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      Stephan Renard

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      Richard Bell

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      What the Trip is Like

      This trip is rated Level 2+, Easy to Moderate, according to our trip grading system. You will need to be comfortable hiking 5 miles a day and being on your feet for up to 5 hours a day. Trail conditions, weather, and the group's level of fitness can affect hiking times and pacing.

      Average Hiking Day
      • 4 miles
      • 3 hours
      • 400 feet gain/loss
      Challenge Day
      • Day 5: 5 miles, 4 hours, 650 feet gain, and 250 feet loss
      Review Trip Level Details
      We enjoy day walks and hikes over variable terrains, including rolling countryside walks, riverside trails, clifftop paths, and country roads. The trails are generally shaded by trees, and there are some stony sections, but most are well-maintained and easy to navigate.
      Temperatures are mild, typically reaching the high 60s°F to the low 70s°F during the day and cooling to the 40s°F or 50s°F at night. While weather conditions are usually stable, it is necessary to be prepared for a variety of conditions, as it can unexpectedly shift from warm and pleasant to damp and chilly with rainy conditions. Raingear and warm layers are necessary to bring on every hike.
      In an effort to capture the spirit of old Europe, the hotels that we use are often family-run converted chateaux or inns, full of ambiance and colorful local history. Since they are often in historic buildings, the rooms are not always of uniform or international size. Our leaders do their best to assign rooms in a fair way so that all participants experience an equal advantage throughout the trip as a whole. Single rooms can be requested but are not always available, due to the limited space in the hotels. If you prefer a single room, please make your request as early as possible.
      We will have a variety of delicious regional cuisine including many of the local products that the region is known for. Lunches are either picnic-style during our hikes or taken at a restaurant in town. Dinners will be at our hotel or at a local restaurant, and all menus are preset. Please note that in Europe, the dinner hour is considerably later than what it is in the US. We do our best to secure early reservations for our groups, but most often the evening meal will be at 7:30 pm.
      Our support vehicle will transport the group's luggage, so you only need to carry a daypack (rain gear, sweater, camera, water bottle, etc.). Trip members are always free to skip a day's hike and travel to the next destination in the support vehicle (or remain at the hotel if we are not transferring that day).

      Client Testimonials

      "This is a trip we will long remember. It immersed us in the atmosphere of old France, from quaint medieval hilltop villages to prehistoric caves to nights in a romantic chateau. And we spent days hiking through the stunning landscape surrounding the Lot River."

      Bruce B.

      Ventura, CA

      "I would highly recommend this trip and your company to others. Everything was highly professional and FUN."

      Carol C.

      Paradise Valley, AZ

      "This is a great trip to see rural France, to taste local wines and eat wonderful meals, while hiking through beautiful countryside."

      Charles S.

      Larkspur, CA

      "This trip was incredible. I felt like I had never seen the ‘real’ France until this trip. The itinerary was perfect and I felt like we were transported into a different time. It was amazing!"

      Chereen L.

      Steamboat Springs, CO

      "This was our 4th WT trip, and we will continue to look to WT for travel."

      Cynthia S.

      San Diego, CA

      "This trip had everything: fantastic food, wonderful accommodations, a great attention to history woven into our daily hikes, and a lot of behind-the-scene touches I really appreciated: the lively meeting with Jean Luc Matha, a master winemaker, where we tasted several of his excellent wines; lunch at the home of a sheep farmer (leg of lamb, of course); sampled goat cheeses at a local farm; heard a rousing organ recital in a 12th century cathedral; met with the lord of a chateau and had a delightful “picnic” in one of the castle's cozy rooms with a roaring fire; attended the bustling Saturday market in Conques; and, above all, the absolutely best Trip Leaders."

      Dena B.

      Albany, CA

      "The tour provided a nice mix of varied hiking trails, cultural outings, picturesque villages, good food and wine, and even some special events like the procession in Conques."

      Dorothy D.

      Denver, CO

      "A big plus for this trip was being in an area not ‘discovered’ by tourists."

      Edmond D.

      Claymont, DE

      "A great trip at a perfect time of year. The hotels were excellent, in keeping with the theme of old France. The meals were a delight, and the hikes took us through beautiful riverine landscapes and quaint medieval villages. This is the ultimate trip to France."

      Elizabeth B.

      Ventura, CA

      "Annie's 'eating, drinking and exploring old France' trip was just as wonderful as we expected!"

      Jack H.

      Cockeysville, MD

      "This was a wonderful trip. It flowed seamlessly and gave us an opportunity to visit a truly magical area of France."

      Janet A.

      Bethesda, MD

      "This was one of the best walks/trips in my life. The pace was great, with time for sightseeing, and the best places to eat and stay."

      Jude R.

      Salt Lake City, UT

      "This trip was perfect: exquisite itinerary, stunning scenery, charming hotels, incredible food, and outstanding trip leaders. I didn't want it to end!"

      Judith K.

      South Portland, ME

      "We expected this would be a great trip and we were not disappointed. We saw beautiful villages, lovely valleys, stayed at great hotels, had interesting tours, picturesque hikes, and interesting excursions. It was a section of France we would never have explored on our own."

      Marie Jose D.

      Lovingston, VA

      "The trip was a fascinating journey through the long history of this region, from the cave at Peche Merle to the modern stained glass windows at Conques by Pierre Soulage."

      Martha F.

      Denver, CO

      "An exceptional overview of the unspoiled Lot Valley!"

      Robert H.

      Houston, TX

      "We were hoping to experience the relaxed pace of village France and were not disappointed. Everything was perfect—the towns, the food, the walks, the wine, and all the ‘extra’ experiences."

      Suzanne & Brady M.

      Friendswood, TX

      "It was an exceptional trip. A wonderful itinerary, with beautiful areas for hiking as well as sightseeing."

      Suzanne T.

      Santa Rosa, CA

      "A glory of a trip with glorious guides, Romanesque buildings, chapels and abbeys and churches with carvings so fresh and humorous you feel as if you were walking through mid-12th century villages and secret paths. Great people, gutsy reds, endless confit du canard, superb cheeses, and gentle walks in endless beauty."

      Suzy M.

      Pittsburgh, PA

      Book your trip today

      Our Area Specialists know every detail about our tours. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!

      Itinerary

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      Trip Levels

      With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. A plus (+) sign means the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of that level. The detailed explanation of each trip—below the bar with the number rating—is perhaps more important, specifying activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions. The Detailed Itinerary, available by download or mail, gives further information. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests.

      Level 1 – Easiest

      Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.

      Level 2 – Easy to Moderate

      Hotel nights and/or safari-style camping, hikes of two to four hours on some days. Other physical activities are sometimes included, such as optional sea kayaking.

       

      Level 3 – Moderate

      Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.

      Level 4 – Moderate to Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-6 hours), mountainous terrain, significant elevation gains and losses (hiking up or down as much as 3,000 feet) on many days. Altitudes no greater than about 10,000 feet.

       

      Level 5 – Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category.

      Level 6 – Very Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (5-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Most hikes take place at altitudes above 10,000 feet, with some days ascending as high as 18,000 feet.

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Our journey begins as we explore the small villages north of Rodez, walking from the hamlet of Saint-Austremoine, nestled among vineyards, to Salles-la-Source, a medieval hamlet perched on a cliff that features a magnificent waterfall surging from an underground river. After lunch, we enjoy a hike followed by a visit to an off-the-beaten-path winery in the area of Marcillac, a red sandstone village nestled among one of the oldest vineyards of France. The prized red and ros&eacute; wines of Marcillac are 90 percent from the Mansois grape. Afterwards, we head to our hotel, the small and charming Le Moulin de Conques, just outside the dramatically perched medieval village of Conques. We gather for a Welcome Dinner at the hotel&apos;s Michelin-starred restaurant, whose chef, Herv&eacute; Busset, is also the owner of the hotel.\r\nHiking Details: 2.5 miles, 1 hour, 250 feet ascent, 150 feet descent\r\nDriving Time: 1.5 hours","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":2,"DayTo":2,"Headline":"Conques \/ The Way of St. James","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Heading above beautiful Conques and the tiny hamlet of Montignac, we follow a pastoral path through villages and verdant fields to a viewpoint overlooking Conques. The town grew around an abbey initiated in the 8th century when Dado, a local hermit, founded a small monastic community. The abbey is a spectacular example of Romanesque architecture and became a major stopover for the pilgrims hiking the El Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James) to the holy city of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Conques continues to attract pilgrims today, and the abbey church and pilgrims&apos; bridge are World Heritage Sites. After lunch, we enjoy a guided tour of sacred Conques and learn about the iconography of the stone sculptures of the Church of St. Foy. We also view the abbey&apos;s treasures, a collection of exquisite reliquaries dating from the 9th century, including the gold reliquary statue of St. Foy, encrusted with jewels and cameos. Later we enjoy a stroll in the streets of Conques before returning to our hotel for dinner. Overnight at Le Moulin de Conques.\r\nHiking Details: 5 miles, 5-5.5 hours, 100 feet ascent, 500 feet descent","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":3,"DayTo":3,"Headline":"Conques \/ Estaing","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"A lovely country drive of about an hour brings us to medieval Bessu&eacute;jouls, where we visit its Romanesque church, then hike to medieval Estaing following the pilgrim path through picturesque countryside. Estaing, listed as one of &ldquo;les plus beaux villages de France&rdquo; (the most beautiful villages of France), is set at the mouth of the Lot River Gorge and has fine medieval and Renaissance houses as well as a handsome stone bridge. After lunch in Estaing, we stroll around the village before heading back to Conques following a scenic route along the Lot River. Overnight at Le Moulin de Conques.\r\nHiking Details:&nbsp;7 miles\r\nDriving Time: 2 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":4,"DayTo":4,"Headline":"Figeac \/ C&eacute;l&eacute; Valley","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We depart Conques for a very scenic morning drive along the meandering Lot River to the charming medieval town of Figeac. Lying along the north bank of the C&eacute;l&eacute; River, Figeac has maintained its beautiful medieval architecture and maze of ancient twisting alleys. We enjoy a guided visit to this beautiful town with an emphasis on medieval architecture. Figeac was also the home of the scholar and Egyptologist Jean-Fran\u00e7ois Champollion, who deciphered the Rosetta Stone. In town, we&apos;ll see hieroglyphs carved on the Place des \u00c9critures and other Egyptian signs and symbols. After lunch in Figeac, we head for the timeless C&eacute;l&eacute; River, which has carved a deep valley flanked by vividly colored cliffs with villages clinging to the slopes. We enjoy a hike along the river and overnight at Hotel Le Gr&eacute;zalide, a lovely country hotel with a stunning location.\r\nHiking Details: 5 miles\r\nDriving Time: 2 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":5,"DayTo":5,"Headline":"Alzou Gorge \/ Rocamadour","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"After breakfast, we drive to Gramat and begin our hike from the hamlet of Lauzou, following a trail to Rocamadour that is part of the historic El Camino de Santiago trail. Our hike is a dramatic one, bringing us along the gorge of the Alzou River, with views of the ruins of 13th century mills, and a spectacular arrival in tiny Rocamadour, one of the most picturesque perched villages in France. After lunch, we enjoy an exploration of this remarkable town, a pilgrimage destination since 1166, when the body of an early Christian hermit, St. Amadour, was discovered here in a miraculous state of preservation. Many miracles have been credited to this town, and St. Amadour&apos;s tomb rests in the Basilica of St. Sauveur. Overnight at the Hotel Le Gr&eacute;zalide.\r\nHiking Details: 5 miles, 4 hours, 600 feet ascent, 250 feet descent\r\nDriving Time: 1.5 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":6,"DayTo":6,"Headline":"Pech Merle Cave \/ Lot River Hike \/ St. Cirq Lapopie \/ Ch\u00e2teau de Mercu&eacute;s","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"The mysterious prehistoric painted cave of Pech Merle was discovered in 1922 by three teenagers who scrambled through a 400-foot passage to find a magnificent cavern decorated with prehistoric drawings dating back to the Gravettian and Magdalenian periods (25,000 to 16,000 BC). Mammoths, bison, and horses gallop on the cave walls of this sanctuary of art, one of only two original caves from the Magdalenian period to remain open to the public. After exploring the numerous galleries of Pech Merle and its beautiful limestone formations, we hike down to the village of Cabrerets for a delicious lunch. Afterwards, we cross the Lot on a narrow bridge and continue along the south bank, where the trail is a tow-path carved from the overhanging rock, recalling the days when river transport was the life-blood of the Lot Valley. In this section of the river, barges loaded with salt, dried fish, spices, or gypsum could not be towed by horse teams but only by crews of strong men. We arrive at the foot of the village of St. Cirq Lapopie and finish our hike with a short ascent to its cobbled streets and terraced gardens. St. Cirq Lapopie is one of the most beautiful villages in the Lot region. Many Post-Impressionist and Surrealist poets and artists settled in the narrow, tile-roofed houses here, including Andr&eacute; Breton, the Surrealist poet who described the village as &ldquo;like an impossible rose in the night.&rdquo; We drive to Ch\u00e2teau de Mercu&egrave;s, our accommodation for the next three nights and once the property of the count-bishops of Cahors.\r\nHiking Details:&nbsp;7 miles\r\nDriving Time: 2 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":7,"DayTo":7,"Headline":"Calvignac \/ Ch\u00e2teau de C&eacute;nevieres","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Our morning hike brings us along the banks of the river and up to the rock-perched village of Calvignac. We explore the sleepy streets and savor the views of the gentle valley before continuing on a peaceful trail framed by boxwood and oak trees to the top of a plateau for grand views of the Lot Valley. We descend gradually to the 13th century Ch\u00e2teau de C&eacute;nevi&egrave;res for a picnic lunch. The Ch\u00e2teau de C&eacute;nevi&egrave;res has a rich and colorful history, and once belonged to King Pepin le Bref, Charlemagne&apos;s father. The lord of the ch\u00e2teau welcomes us for a tour of his noble family home, a unique opportunity to hear the stories behind this historic residence. Dinner is on your own in the lively medieval town of Cahors, and the Trip Leader will be happy to make recommendations of local cafes and restaurants. Overnight at the Ch\u00e2teau de Mercu&egrave;s.\r\nHiking Details: 4.5 miles, 3-3.5 hours, 650 feet ascent, 550 feet descent\r\nDriving Time: 2.5 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":8,"DayTo":8,"Headline":"Cahors \/ Wine Country","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We head toward Cahors, entering on foot over the famous medieval Pont Valentr&eacute; spanning the Lot River. After exploring the town on a walking tour, we enjoy the lively outdoor market that takes place every Wednesday and Saturday in front of the cathedral. It is one of the most genuine of southwest France, an event not to be missed, with displays of fresh fruits and vegetables, and animated scenes of daily life including beret-topped old men and housewives clutching chickens by their legs. In October, mushrooms, p\u00e2te, and delectable foie gras are for sale. Lunch is on your own&mdash;you can dine at a local cafe or purchase some delicacies from the market. Returning to our hotel in the afternoon, we may have time to hike around the property.&nbsp;\r\n\r\nThe Cahors region is the oldest wine-producing region of France, dating to Roman times, and Cahors wine is a deep red made from malbec, merlot, and jurancon grapes grown in ruddy soil scattered with limestone pebbles. The Ch\u00e2teau de Mercu&egrave;s produces a range of excellent wines from several estates, and tonight we have a wonderful opportunity to enjoy wine tasting in the large vaulted cellar hidden below the chateau. We gather for our Farewell Dinner in the Michelin-starred restaurant of the chateau.\r\nHiking Details: 3 miles (optional)","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":9,"DayTo":9,"Headline":"Depart","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"After breakfast, transfer to the Toulouse Airport (1.5 to 2-hour drive) for those departing on flights to Paris.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":1,"DayTo":3,"Headline":"Rodez \/ Conques \/ Estaing","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Our trails lead through picturesque stone-built hamlets north of Rodez, to the hilltop village of Conques, whose 9th century abbey is a spectacular example of Romanesque architecture, and along a pilgrim path to medieval Estaing, officially listed as one of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":4,"DayTo":5,"Headline":"C&eacute;l&eacute; Valley \/ Rocamadour","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"After exploring Figeac, a charming 15th century town with a perfectly preserved medieval center, we hike on an ancient path along the C&eacute;l&eacute; River, then across the dramatic gorge of the Alzou River for spectacular views of cliff-perched Rocamadour, a pilgrim destination since 1166.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":6,"DayTo":6,"Headline":"Pech Merle Cave \/ Saint-Cirq-Lapopie","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"At Pech Merle, one of the few prehistoric caves where the original 25,000-year-old paintings are on view, we take in a treasury of vivid rock art as mammoths, bison, and dappled horses gallop across the cave walls. Later, we&apos;ll hike a riverside trail to Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, with its steep, cobbled streets and terraced gardens. Our hotel for the next three nights is the majestic 13th century Ch\u00e2teau de Mercu&egrave;s near Cahors.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":7,"DayTo":9,"Headline":"Ch\u00e2teau de C&eacute;nevi&egrave;res \/ Cahors","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"From the rock-perched village of Calvignac, we hike a forested path to the 13th century Ch\u00e2teau de C&eacute;nevi&egrave;res, where the lord of the ch\u00e2teau welcomes us for a visit. In sunny Cahors, we explore the lively open-air market and enjoy scenes of French country life. A sumptuous wine tasting in our hotel&apos;s vaulted cellar is followed by our Farewell Dinner in its Michelin-starred restaurant. Depart on Day 9 via Toulouse.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true}],"itinpdf":[{"ItinYear":"2025","docType":"1","FileName":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/portal\/medieval-france-the-lot-valley-itinerary-2025.pdf"},{"ItinYear":"2025","docType":"2","FileName":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/portal\/medieval-france-the-lot-valley-predeparture.pdf"}],"whattoexpect":[{}],"highlights":[{"DisplayOrder":1,"HighlightText":"","Description":"Hike on pilgrim trails and secret paths between villages perched on cliffs above the Lot River","Image":"","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":33347,"caption":""},{"DisplayOrder":2,"HighlightText":"","Description":"Discover the remarkable prehistoric cave paintings of Pech 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Room","VendorName":"Le Moulin de Cambelong","CustomFields":{"Custom_slug":"le-moulin-de-conques","Custom_Location":"Conques"}},{"VendorID":71194,"Day_Number":6,"Sequence":10,"Duration":3,"Description":"Standard Room","VendorName":"Chateau de Mercues","CustomFields":{"Custom_slug":"chateau-de-mercues","Custom_Location":"Mercues-Cahors","Custom_Additional_Emails":"","Custom_Addtional_Address":"","Custom_Accommodation_Types":"","Custom_Capacity":"","Custom_Amenties":""}},{"VendorID":71332,"Day_Number":4,"Sequence":10,"Duration":2,"Description":"Standard Room","VendorName":"Hotel Le Grezalide","CustomFields":{"Custom_slug":"hotel-le-grezalide","Custom_Location":"Grezes"}}],"inclusions":[{"DisplaySequence":0,"Type":"E","Description":"International airfare, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, airport departure taxes, transfers other than those provided for group flights, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessary due to airline schedule changes or other factors, travel insurance, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, telephone calls).","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""},{"DisplaySequence":0,"Type":"I","Description":"All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""},{"DisplaySequence":1,"Type":"I","Description":"Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""},{"DisplaySequence":2,"Type":"I","Description":"Accommodations in chateaux, inns, and hotels","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""},{"DisplaySequence":3,"Type":"I","Description":"A glass of wine or beer with dinner","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""},{"DisplaySequence":4,"Type":"I","Description":"Entrances to museums and sites, canoe and boat trips","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""},{"DisplaySequence":5,"Type":"I","Description":"Land transportation, airport transfers for recommended flights as indicated","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""}],"destinations":[{"DestinationID":46,"Name":"Europe","Type":"Region"},{"DestinationID":74,"Name":"France","Type":"Country"}],"activities":[{"ActivityID":217,"Name":"Cultural","Primary":0},{"ActivityID":225,"Name":"Hiking & Trekking","Primary":0}],"guides":[{"GuideID":851022,"First_Name":"Laurence","Last_Name":"Frison","BioShort":"Traveler, hiker, skier, and guide by passion, and graphic designer by trade, Laurence (&ldquo;Lolo&rdquo;) Frison embodies the life of an adventurer. She spent a decade exploring the world from Africa to Australia, including a three-month road trip from Vancouver to Los Angeles, and has specialized in guiding groups in the French Alps, gaining her French national credential in mountain leadership. When not leading hiking adventures with WT, she enjoys biking and beekeeping in Thonon-les-Bains in the French Alps, where she lives.","BioLong":"Traveler, hiker, skier, and guide by passion, and graphic designer by trade, Laurence (&ldquo;Lolo&rdquo;) Frison embodies the life of an adventurer. She spent a decade exploring the world from Africa to Australia, including a three-month road trip from Vancouver to Los Angeles, and has specialized in guiding groups in the French Alps, gaining her French national credential in mountain leadership. You can often find Lolo leading our groups on tasty detours through the French markets, a cultural gateway to the heart of France, she says. When not leading hiking adventures with WT, she finds new adventures through biking and beekeeping in Thonon-les-Bains in the French Alps, where she lives."},{"GuideID":850681,"First_Name":"Tania","Last_Name":"Masi","BioShort":"Born in Florence, Italy, of an American mother and a Florentine father, Tania Masi was raised with an appreciation for both American and European cultures. Her passion for hiking has started at a very early age and today she holds an International Mountain Leader license from Austria. She speaks nine languages, has a Masters in geography and is an avid climber. &ldquo;Mountains are my antidote to the modern frenetic speed: they are made of beauty, challenge, solitude, and silence.&rdquo; When not leading trips, Tania loves to explore new mountain faces to climb. She currently lives in southern Tuscany with husband and daughter.","BioLong":"Born in Florence, Italy, of an American mother and a Florentine father, Tania Masi was raised with an appreciation for both American and European cultures. Her passion for hiking has started at a very early age and today she holds an International Mountain Leader license from Austria. She speaks nine languages, has a Masters in geography and is an avid climber. &ldquo;Mountains are my antidote to the modern frenetic speed: they are made of beauty, challenge, solitude, and silence.&rdquo; When not leading trips, Tania loves to explore new mountain faces to climb. She currently lives in southern Tuscany with husband and daughter."},{"GuideID":850970,"First_Name":"Stephan","Last_Name":"Renard","BioShort":"","BioLong":"Stephan Renard was born in Grenoble in the French Alps and grew up in the wild and remote Vercors region of the Rh&ocirc;ne-Alpes, where he gained his passion for hiking, climbing, and skiing. A professional mountain leader and ski instructor since his youth, he loves outdoor pursuits of every kind and also has an affinity for jazz music, French and American literature, and Irish culture (acquired during his years of guiding French tours in Ireland)."},{"GuideID":850623,"First_Name":"Richard","Last_Name":"Bell","BioShort":"Richard Bell was born and brought up in Yorkshire, on the northeast coast of the UK, and has been an avid traveler all his life. Richard has been a guide now for almost 20 years and leads exclusively for Wilderness Travel in Europe. His passion for the outdoors is as great as it ever was, and he is always eager to share his wealth of experience and enthusiasm for the culture, stunning scenery, varied cuisine, and natural history of these fascinating areas. He makes his home in Cornwall in southwest England, and when not leading trips, tends to his fruit and vegetable garden, loves to cook, and, with his wife, often travels back to the same places where he leads trips to explore even further.","BioLong":"For a man who has traveled to more than 100 countries, been a trip leader for Wilderness Travel for more than 20 years, and has an ever expanding palate to cook exquisite dishes with global infusion (ask him about his infamous slow-cooked lamb with pomegranates), Richard Bell still takes as much pride in each trip he leads as he did when he first started traveling around his hometown in Yorkshire, on the northeast coast of the UK. &ldquo;My experience of being a guide for over 20 years has allowed me to create trips that I know will appeal to our clients,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I combine a unique hiking experience with cultural interactions in whatever country I may be in. Anyone who has hiked with me before, will already know that my trips are quirky, individual, interesting, and full of humor and good times.&rdquo; Now in his 60s, Richard says he has graduated with honors from the University of Life, and is delighted to be able to share his experiences with our travelers. When he is not leading hikes, he tends to his fruit and vegetable garden at his home in Cornwall in southwest England, and of course, loves to cook (seriously, get that slow-cooked lamb recipe)."}],"guestreviews":[{"GuestNames":"Bruce B.","GuestLocation":"Ventura, CA","GuestReview":"This is a trip we will long remember. It immersed us in the atmosphere of old France, from quaint medieval hilltop villages to prehistoric caves to nights in a romantic chateau. And we spent days hiking through the stunning landscape surrounding the Lot River."},{"GuestNames":"Carol C.","GuestLocation":"Paradise Valley, AZ","GuestReview":"I would highly recommend this trip and your company to others. Everything was highly professional and FUN."},{"GuestNames":"Charles S.","GuestLocation":"Larkspur, CA","GuestReview":"This is a great trip to see rural France, to taste local wines and eat wonderful meals, while hiking through beautiful countryside."},{"GuestNames":"Chereen L.","GuestLocation":"Steamboat Springs, CO","GuestReview":"This trip was incredible. I felt like I had never seen the &#8216;real&#8217; France until this trip. The itinerary was perfect and I felt like we were transported into a different time. It was amazing!"},{"GuestNames":"Cynthia S.","GuestLocation":"San Diego, CA","GuestReview":"This was our 4th WT trip, and we will continue to look to WT for travel."},{"GuestNames":"Dena B.","GuestLocation":"Albany, CA","GuestReview":"This trip had everything: fantastic food, wonderful accommodations, a great attention to history woven into our daily hikes, and a lot of behind-the-scene touches I really appreciated: the lively meeting with Jean Luc Matha, a master winemaker, where we tasted several of his excellent wines; lunch at the home of a sheep farmer (leg of lamb, of course); sampled goat cheeses at a local farm; heard a rousing organ recital in a 12th century cathedral; met with the lord of a chateau and had a delightful &#8220;picnic&#8221; in one of the castle's cozy rooms with a roaring fire; attended the bustling Saturday market in Conques; and, above all, the absolutely best Trip Leaders."},{"GuestNames":"Dorothy D.","GuestLocation":"Denver, CO","GuestReview":"The tour provided a nice mix of varied hiking trails, cultural outings, picturesque villages, good food and wine, and even some special events like the procession in Conques."},{"GuestNames":"Edmond D.","GuestLocation":"Claymont, DE","GuestReview":"A big plus for this trip was being in an area not &#8216;discovered&#8217; by tourists."},{"GuestNames":"Elizabeth B.","GuestLocation":"Ventura, CA","GuestReview":"A great trip at a perfect time of year. The hotels were excellent, in keeping with the theme of old France. The meals were a delight, and the hikes took us through beautiful riverine landscapes and quaint medieval villages. This is the ultimate trip to France."},{"GuestNames":"Jack H.","GuestLocation":"Cockeysville, MD","GuestReview":"Annie's 'eating, drinking and exploring old France' trip was just as wonderful as we expected!"},{"GuestNames":"Janet A.","GuestLocation":"Bethesda, MD","GuestReview":"This was a wonderful trip. It flowed seamlessly and gave us an opportunity to visit a truly magical area of France."},{"GuestNames":"Jude R.","GuestLocation":"Salt Lake City, UT","GuestReview":"This was one of the best walks\/trips in my life. The pace was great, with time for sightseeing, and the best places to eat and stay."},{"GuestNames":"Judith K.","GuestLocation":"South Portland, ME","GuestReview":"This trip was perfect: exquisite itinerary, stunning scenery, charming hotels, incredible food, and outstanding trip leaders. I didn't want it to end!"},{"GuestNames":"Marie Jose D.","GuestLocation":"Lovingston, VA","GuestReview":"We expected this would be a great trip and we were not disappointed. We saw beautiful villages, lovely valleys, stayed at great hotels, had interesting tours, picturesque hikes, and interesting excursions. It was a section of France we would never have explored on our own."},{"GuestNames":"Martha F.","GuestLocation":"Denver, CO","GuestReview":"The trip was a fascinating journey through the long history of this region, from the cave at Peche Merle to the modern stained glass windows at Conques by Pierre Soulage."},{"GuestNames":"Robert H.","GuestLocation":"Houston, TX","GuestReview":"An exceptional overview of the unspoiled Lot Valley!"},{"GuestNames":"Suzanne & Brady M.","GuestLocation":"Friendswood, TX","GuestReview":"We were hoping to experience the relaxed pace of village France and were not disappointed. Everything was perfect&#8212;the towns, the food, the walks, the wine, and all the &#8216;extra&#8217; experiences."},{"GuestNames":"Suzanne T.","GuestLocation":"Santa Rosa, CA","GuestReview":"It was an exceptional trip. A wonderful itinerary, with beautiful areas for hiking as well as sightseeing."},{"GuestNames":"Suzy M.","GuestLocation":"Pittsburgh, PA","GuestReview":"A glory of a trip with glorious guides, Romanesque buildings, chapels and abbeys and churches with carvings so fresh and humorous you feel as if you were walking through mid-12th century villages and secret paths. Great people, gutsy reds, endless confit du canard, superb cheeses, and gentle walks in endless beauty."}],"Extensions":[{}],"SimilarTrips":[{"TripID":10324,"SimilarTripID":10298,"Trip_Code":"CORSARDN","Trip_Name":"Corsica and Sardinia"},{"TripID":10324,"SimilarTripID":10329,"Trip_Code":"NORMBRIT","Trip_Name":"Normandy and Brittany"},{"TripID":10324,"SimilarTripID":10444,"Trip_Code":"PREHISTO","Trip_Name":"Prehistoric Caves and Great Cuisine of France"},{"TripID":10324,"SimilarTripID":10953,"Trip_Code":"BORDEAUX","Trip_Name":"Taste of Bordeaux"}],"Specialists":[{}],"TripSegments":[{"VendorID":73504,"ProductID":84914,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Transfer","Vendor":"Ruban Bleu","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Transfer","Day":1,"Sequence":0,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":11,"ProductID":54,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Single Supplement","Vendor":"Wilderness Travel","Address1":"1102 Ninth Street","Address2":"","City":"Berkeley","State":"CA","Postal":"94710","Product":"Single Supplement","Day":1,"Sequence":2,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"","ItinBlock":"<p><\/p>","VendorPhoto":"","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":71191,"ProductID":81019,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Le Moulin de Cambelong","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Conques","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":1,"Sequence":10,"Duration":3,"PropertyDescription":"<p>Nestled at the bottom of the ravine that it shares with the stunning village of Conques, this small hotel-restaurant occupies a restored 18th century water mill on the banks of the Dourdou River. The guest rooms are spacious and well appointed, and the charming living room is a perfect place to sip an Armagnac by the fireplace!<\/p>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-le-moulin-de-cambelong-exterior-landscape.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":71332,"ProductID":81160,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Hotel Le Grezalide","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Grezes","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":4,"Sequence":10,"Duration":2,"PropertyDescription":"This unique countryside hotel has a stunning and peaceful location. It is a beautifully adapted historic building with a great restaurant, gorgeous landscaped grounds, and an inviting swimming pool for a refreshing dip after a day of exploring.","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-hotel-grezalide-exterior-pool.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":71194,"ProductID":81022,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Chateau de Mercues","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Mercues-Cahors","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":6,"Sequence":10,"Duration":3,"PropertyDescription":"<p>Once the property of the count-bishops of Cahors, this renovated 13th century chateau has breathtaking views overlooking the mighty Lot River. The hotel&#39;s restaurant has a Michelin star, and there&#39;s a fabulous wine cellar underneath the chateau. This is an unforgettable place for our final nights in the Lot Valley.<\/p>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-chateau-de-mercues-exterior-property-landscape.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false}],"CustomFields":{"Custom_TC_Detailed_Itin_URL":"","Custom_Trip_Name_Addendum":"Adventure","Custom_Welcome_Letter_Addendum":"","Custom_Trip_Level_5":"","Custom_Welcome_Email_Send_List":"","Custom_FI_Optional_Donation_Text":"","Custom_Final_Docs_Letter_Send_List":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Trip_Sales_Points":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_TP_Trip_Sales_Points":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Payment_Terms":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Region":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Region_Sales_Points":"","Custom_Emergency_Evac_Insurance":"","Custom_Welcome_Letter_Reading_List":"","Custom_Valid_Passport_Alternative":"","Custom_Visa":"","Custom_FB_Before_You_Go_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Before_You_Go_-_MISC_2":"","Custom_Luggage_Requirements":"","Custom_Carry-On":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-24T16:06:28 --><p><strong>CARRY-ON: <\/strong>Valuable or essential items, such as well broken-in hiking boots, camera equipment, binoculars, prescription medications, and any paperwork required to enter France, should be hand carried on your flights to avoid loss or damage. <\/p>","Custom_Hiking_Poles":"","Custom_Daypack":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-24T16:06:46 --><p><strong>DAYPACK: <\/strong>To carry a jacket or rain gear, water bottle, camera, and other items you want on the trail. <\/p>","Custom_Vaccination_Card":"","Custom_FB_Packing_Reminders_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Additional_Notes_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Additional_Notes_-_MISC_2":"","Custom_Arrival":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-24T16:10:00 --><p><strong>ARRIVING IN RODEZ<\/strong><br \/>Trip members are responsible for traveling to Rodez on their own to rendezvous with the group on Day 1. Given the meeting time and place, we recommend you plan on arriving in Rodez at least one day before the trip begins. For flights from Paris to Rodez, most people will need to transfer from CDG to Orly Airport. Trains, with one change in central Paris, take about 75 minutes https:\/\/easycdg.com\/transfer-cdg-to-orly-airport\/ <\/p><p>&nbsp;<\/p><p>You might also consider taking the train from Paris to Rodez, although it is at least an 8-hour ride. You can find train schedules and fares at <a href=\"http:\/\/www.raileurope.com.\">www.raileurope.com.<\/a><\/p><p>&nbsp;<\/p><p>If arriving to Rodez by train, we suggest getting a taxi to the hotel as it is up a big hill and not easy to walk there from the train station with your luggage. If no taxis are readily available at the train station, we suggest you call the hotel to have them call a taxi for you.<\/p><p>&nbsp;<\/p><p><strong>MEETING PLACE<\/strong><br \/>Your Trip Leaders will meet you at 10:00 am on Day 1, in the lobby of the Hotel Mercure Rodez Cath&eacute;drale. Please arrive dressed for hiking and have your bags in the lobby at this time, because soon after we continue on as a group to Conques. <br \/><\/p>","Custom_Arrival-_Meeting_Place":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-24T16:10:15 --><p><strong>Hotel Mercure Rodez Cath&eacute;drale<\/strong><br \/>1 Avenue Victor Hugo<br \/>Rodez, France<br \/>(+33) 5 65 68 55 19<br \/>www.accorhotels.com\/7013<br \/><\/p>","Custom_Arrival_Transfer":"","Custom_Departure":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-24T16:10:39 --><p><strong>DEPARTING TOULOUSE<\/strong><br \/>On Day 9, there will be one group transfer to the Toulouse Airport leaving the Chateau Mercues at 9:00 am and arriving at 11:00 am. You can also depart from the Cahors train station anytime on Day 9. Your Trip Leader can arrange a taxi transfer for you (at your own expense) from our final hotel. <\/p><p>&nbsp;<\/p><p>It is possible to fly from Toulouse to Paris earlier in the morning. Trip members departing on early morning flights are responsible for transferring to Toulouse Airport on their own (a taxi could cost more than &euro;200). Your Trip Leaders can assist you with reserving this taxi.<\/p><p>&nbsp;<\/p>","Custom_Extra_Services":"","Custom_Contact_Information_for_Friends_and_Family":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-24T16:10:51 --><p>If friends or family wish to contact you during the trip, we encourage them to call, text, or email you directly. Another option is to reach you by calling the hotel (please see the enclosed Hotel List). If they are unable to reach you directly, please instruct them to call our office in Berkeley, California, and we will get a message to you as soon as possible. If they need to reach you outside of our office hours, we ask that they reach out to our Trip Leaders (contact information is listed below) and also leave a message with our Berkeley office, so that we can follow up with our team on the ground.<\/p>","Custom_Outfitter_Contacts_Left":"","Custom_Outfitter_Contacts_Right":"","Custom_name_slug":"france-lot-valley-medieval-walking-tour","Custom_Meta_Description":"Discover the Lot Valley of southwest France, with hikes to cliff-perched towns including Rocamadour and overnights in historic hotels. Explore ancient abbeys, open-air markets, visit the extraordinary prehistoric Pech Merle caves.","Custom_List_Description":"Discover the Lot Valley of southwest France, with hikes to cliff-perched towns including Rocamadour and overnights in historic hotels. Explore ancient abbeys, open-air markets, visit the extraordinary prehistoric Pech Merle caves.","Custom_Redirect":"<a href=\"\/trips\/europe\/hiking-trekking\">Europe Hiking\/Trekking Tours<\/a>","Custom_PJ_-_Best_Months":"","Custom_After_Dates":"","Custom_Trip_Web_Note":"","Custom_Title_Tag":"Medieval France: The Lot Valley Walking Tour","Custom_Before_Days":"","Custom_After_Days_Header_1":"","Custom_After_Days_Text_1":"","Custom_After_Days_Header_2":"","Custom_After_Days_Text_2":"","Custom_Choosing_Right_Trip_Office_Contact":"","Custom_About_WT_Expeditions":"","Custom_Arrival_-_Sales":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2022-12-27T15:44:06 --><p><strong>Suggested Airport:<\/strong> Rodez-Aveyron Airport (RDZ)<br \/><strong>Suggested Date &amp; Time:<\/strong> Anytime prior to Day 1<br \/><br \/><strong>Meeting Place: <\/strong>You will meet your Trip Leader in the lobby of Hotel Mercure Rodez Cath&eacute;drale at 10:00 am on Day 1.<br \/><br \/>Trip members are responsible for traveling to Rodez on their own to rendezvous with the group on Day 1. Given the meeting time and place, we recommend you plan on arriving in Rodez at least one day before the trip begins.<br \/><br \/>For flights from Paris to Rodez, most people will need to transfer from CDG to Orly. The Air France Shuttle Service is a good choice for many people. See <a href=\"https:\/\/transfer.airport-paris.com\/air-france-coach-service.htm\">transfer.airport-paris.com\/air-france-coach-service.htm<\/a> for information on the Air France shuttle and other options for travel to Orly from CDG.<br \/><br \/>You might also consider taking the train from Paris to Rodez, although it is at least an 8-hour ride. You can find train schedules and fares at <a href=\"https:\/\/www.raileurope.com.\/\">www.raileurope.com<\/a>.<\/p>","Custom_Departure_-_Sales":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2022-12-27T15:45:45 --><p><strong>Suggested Airport: <\/strong>Toulouse Airport (TLS)<br \/><strong>Suggested Date &amp; Time:<\/strong> Day 9, 12:45 pm or later <br \/><br \/>There will be one group transfer to the Toulouse Airport leaving the Ch\u00e2teau de Mercu&egrave;s at 9:00 am and arriving at 11:00 am at the Toulouse airport. <br \/><br \/><strong>Train and Early Morning Flights:<\/strong> You can also depart from the Cahors train station anytime on Day 9. Your Trip Leader can arrange a taxi transfer for you (at your own expense) from our final hotel.<br \/><br \/>It is possible to fly from Toulouse to Paris earlier in the morning. Trip members departing on early morning flights are responsible for transferring to Toulouse Airport on their own (a taxi could cost more than &euro;200). Your Trip Leaders can assist you with reserving this taxi.<\/p>","Custom_International_Air_Travel":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-19T13:53:46 --><p>You are responsible for making your own arrangements for flights to and from France.<br \/><br \/>There are many online consolidators for booking travel, but for more personal help arranging air transport, you can contact Exito Travel at 1-800-655-4053 in the US or 1-800-670-2605 in Canada. They are very adept at putting flight itineraries together, to even the most far-flung places. More information can be found on Exito's website at <a href=\"https:\/\/exitotravel.com\/\">www.exitotravel.com<\/a>.<br \/><br \/>Depending on your routing, it is necessary to depart from the US one or possibly two days prior to Day 1 of the trip itinerary. The name on your airline ticket must match the name on your passport exactly, and your passport must be valid for at least six months after your date of return to the US.<br \/><br \/><strong>Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip.<\/strong> Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule. It is your responsibility to ensure your flight times coordinate with the arrival and departure logistics for this trip.<\/p>","Custom_Extra_Hotel_Nights":"","Custom_Recommended_Hotels":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Header_1":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-09T11:21:13 --><p>Recommended Hotels<\/p>","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Text_1":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-19T13:55:20 --><p><strong>Paris<\/strong> <br \/>Hotel St. Jacques: <a href=\"https:\/\/www.paris-hotel-stjacques.com\/en\/\">www.hotel-saintjacques.com<\/a><br \/>CitizenM Hotel: <a href=\"https:\/\/www.citizenm.com\/\">www.citizenm.com<\/a><br \/><br \/><strong>Rodez<\/strong> <br \/>Mercure Rodez Cath&eacute;drale: <a href=\"https:\/\/all.accor.com\/usa\/index.en.shtml\">www.accorhotels.com<\/a><br \/><br \/><strong>Toulouse<\/strong> <br \/>Grand Hotel de l'Opera: <a href=\"https:\/\/www.grand-hotel-opera.com\/en\/\">www.grand-hotel-opera.com<\/a><\/p>","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Header_2":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Text_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_1":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_1":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_3":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_3":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_4":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_4":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_5":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_5":"","Custom_file_name":"medieval-france-the-lot-valley","Custom_Passport":"A valid passport is required for your trip. Be sure to check the expiration date. Your passport must be valid for three months after your date of exit from France. In addition, we recommend your passport have at least two completely blank visa pages for every country you will be visiting. It is very important that the blank pages say &#8220;Visas&#8221; at the top. The last few pages of your passport, which say &#8220;Amendments and Endorsements,&#8221; and the final page of your passport, which may not have a page number, are not considered to be legitimate visa pages. The service of adding pages for visas was discontinued as of January 1, 2016. You can request a new passport through <a href=\"http:\/\/travel.state.gov\/passport\">US Passport Services Office<\/a> or use a visa service agency, which can take care of your passport renewal and expedite the process, if needed. We recommend <a href=\"http:\/\/www.passportvisasexpress.com\/?affId=2120\">Passport Visas Express<\/a>. Be sure to allow sufficient time to acquire this before your trip. <br><br>It is very important to carry photocopies of your passport's photo page and any acquired visa pages for your trip (if applicable) in case your passport is lost or as an additional piece of identification, as well as two extra passport photos.","Custom_Visas_and_Entry_Notes":"US citizens do not need a visa for countries visited on this trip. If you are a citizen of any country other than the US, check with a local consulate for entry requirements.","Custom_Money":"The Euro is the official currency of France. The most convenient way to obtain Euros is to use your debit card at ATMs. To use an ATM internationally, you must have a four-digit PIN. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops in cities and larger towns. If you plan to use your credit cards, inform your credit card company before your departure that you will be using the card abroad.","Custom_Tipping":"Tipping is completely discretionary, but over the years, clients have asked us for tipping guidelines to reward guides for outstanding service. We suggest a tip of $160 or more per trip member for each of the Trip Leaders, preferably in local currency. The Trip Leaders take care of gratuities for hotel and restaurant staff, and for local guides and drivers.","Custom_Food":"Please reach out to us directly to discuss any dietary restrictions or concerns you may have. We can easily make arrangements for most diets, but please keep in mind that certain cultural differences or logistical limitations can make it difficult or at times impossible to accommodate all requests. With this in mind, please inform us at least eight weeks before your trip if you have a special diet, and any food allergies in particular, so we can do our best to meet your needs.","Custom_Communications":"<strong>Telephone: <\/strong>The international dialing code for France is 33. Please contact your cell phone company for specific instructions for international use.<br><strong><br>Email &amp; Internet Access: <\/strong>Internet access is available at most of our hotels, but connections may be spotty or unreliable.","Custom_Electricity":"France has 220-volt current. Plugs usually have two or three prongs. You will need to bring a voltage converter and plug adapter for appliance use in hotels.","Custom_Laundry":"","Custom_Ship_Notes":"","Custom_Inoculations":"No inoculations are required. However, it is easy to get a small cut, so a tetanus booster is strongly recommended (good for 10 years). If you take prescription medicines, be sure to bring enough for the duration of your trip.","Custom_International_Health":"","Custom_Malaria_Prevention":"","Custom_Staying_Healthy":"You can reduce your risk of getting sick on the trip by washing your hands often and not touching your face with unwashed hands. If you arrive on the trip with a cold or feel the symptoms of a cold, avoid close contact with others and move away from people before coughing or sneezing. The CDC recommends coughing or sneezing into a tissue or into the crook of your elbow or upper sleeve, not your hands.<br>","Custom_Getting_In_Shape":"We strongly urge you to train for your trip, as your enjoyment will be highly dependent on your level of fitness. The best training for a hike is to hike, especially over hills or rough terrain. Next best are running, swimming, bicycling, or other cardiovascular exercise. Stair climbing machines are excellent preparation for hiking uphill. Your feet should also be well prepared&mdash;make sure your hiking boots are sturdy, comfortable, and thoroughly broken-in.","Custom_Medical_Care":"","Custom_Altitude_Considerations":"","Custom_Covid-19":"","Custom_Reading_List":"Elevate your travel experience by delving into this curated collection of books tailored to your upcoming adventure. They will not only entertain but also provide invaluable insights into the history, culture, cuisine, wildlife, mountain trails, or even folklore of the places you're about to explore. Discover the perfect companions for your journey ahead by <a href=\"https:\/\/bookshop.org\/lists\/wilderness-travel-medieval-france-the-lot-valley\">following the link<\/a> or scanning the QR code.","Custom_Photography":"","Custom_Cultural_Considerations":"","Custom_Giving_Back":"","Custom_Enviromental_Concerns":"","Custom_Shopping_and_Souvenirs":"","Custom_Seasickness":"","Custom_Explore":"","Custom_Additional_Information":"","Custom_Essentials":"<ul><li>\rAir tickets (or E-tickets)<\/li><li>\rPassport<\/li><li>\rOne other picture ID, such as a driver's license<\/li><li>\rExpense money<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Luggage":"<div>We ask that you pack everything in one piece of luggage as this simplifies the transportation of luggage en route. <br><br>Although airline service to Europe is generally reliable, it is best to wear or carry your hiking boots with you on your flights in the event that your luggage is lost or delayed. Likewise, don't pack valuables, such as travel documents, camera gear, or prescription medicines in your checked luggage.<\/div><div> <br><br><\/div><ul><li>Soft-sided suitcase, with a small padlock (must be unlocked for air travel).<\/li><li>Daypack, large enough for a jacket or rain gear, water bottle, camera, and other items you want on the trail.<\/li><li>(Optional) Small roll-up duffel to carry home purchases.<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Clothing":"Bring clothes you find most comfortable for hiking. Although it will be warm enough for shorts on many days, bring some lightweight long pants for cooler weather and protection from tall grasses. Dressing in layers is the best way to stay comfortable. Suits and dresses are not necessary, but we recommend bringing one or two pairs of nicer clothes for the evenings that we enjoy meals at finer restaurants. <br><br>\rThe clothing list below is provided as a guideline only.<br>\r<br><ul><li>\rLightweight rain gear, such as a Gore-Tex rain\/wind shell jacket with hood, and Gore-Tex rain\/wind pants<\/li><li>\rFleece jacket or nylon windbreaker<\/li><li>\rLight fleece sweater or sweatshirt<\/li><li>\rLong-sleeved shirt. Quick-drying &#8220;travel&#8221; fabrics like nylon are recommended.<\/li><li>\rT-shirts or short-sleeved shirts<\/li><li>\rHiking pants. Lightweight cotton or synthetic hiking pants are a practical choice. Jeans are not recommended because they can be hot and they take a long time to dry if they get wet.<\/li><li>\rHiking shorts. Quick-drying fabrics are recommended.<\/li><li>\rShade hat with a wide brim&mdash; preferably a waterproof one you can use as a rain hat as well<\/li><li>\rSturdy walking shoes or lightweight hiking boots<\/li><li>\rTevas or running shoes for sightseeing in towns<\/li><li>\rHiking socks. Some people like thick Thorlo-type socks with padded toes and heels, or an outer sock and synthetic liner sock.<\/li><li>\rUnderwear\/sleepwear. Synthetics dry faster.<\/li><li>\rBathing suit (for hotel pools)<\/li><li>\rOne or two pairs of nicer clothes for the evenings that we enjoy meals at finer restaurants<\/li><\/ul><br>","Custom_Hiking_Boots":"","Custom_Equipment":"<ul><li>Reusable water bottle, 1 qt. capacity.<\/li><li>\rGood quality sunglasses with case.<\/li><li>\rMoney belt or neck pouch. Always carry your passport, credit cards, and cash with you in a money belt or neck pouch tucked down inside your shirt or blouse.<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Personal_First_Aid":"Every trip member must bring a small kit for personal use. Your own experience will influence your choices.<br>\r<br><ul><li>\rSunscreen SPF 30 or higher and lip balm with sunscreen. We recommend mineral-based sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because they do not contain harsh chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Brands such as Honest Company, Badger, and Alba Botanica are found in most sporting goods stores and drugstores.<\/li><li>\rAspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol for muscle pain or headaches, Tylenol PM for sleep<\/li>\r<li>\r\rBlister kit. Look for long-lasting gel-type bandages that you can apply directly on blisters, such as Band-Aid Advanced Healing Bandages or Curad Gel Multi-Day Bandages. &#8220;Liquid band-aids,&#8221; such as New-Skin, are useful because they dry rapidly to form a tough protective cover over a blister.<\/li><li>\rPrescription medications properly labeled<\/li><li>\rSpare contact lenses or spare prescription glasses<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Optional_Items":"<ul><li>Voltage converter and plug adapter for appliance use in hotels. Europe has 220-volt current. Plugs usually have two or three prongs.<\/li><li>\rCollapsible walking stick or trekking poles<\/li><li>\rCamera, spare batteries, spare memory cards<\/li><li>\rBandanas (many uses)<\/li><li>\rLightweight binoculars<\/li><li>\rReading\/writing material<\/li><li>\rSmall umbrella<\/li><li>\rLaundry soap for hand-washing clothes<\/li><li>\rWashcloth, if you like to use one (most European hotels do not provide them)<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Prohibited_Items":"","Custom_When_to_Go":"","Custom_Children":"","Custom_Tag_Line":"Country Walks, Prehistoric Caves, and Magnificent Chateaux","Custom_Lodging":"8 nights charming inns and a restored ch\u00e2teau","Custom_Meals":"All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner","Custom_Difficulty":"A mix of easy to moderate walks and hikes, 2-4 hours a day, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day&apos;s hike)","Custom_Currency_Exchange_Rate":"","Custom_Fuel_Surcharge":"","Custom_Signing_Up_For_a_Trip_-_Email":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_This_Year":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_Next_Year":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Header":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Text":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like":"This trip is rated <strong>Level 2+, Easy to Moderate<\/strong>, according to our trip grading system. You will need to be comfortable hiking 5 miles a day and being on your feet for up to 5 hours a day. Trail conditions, weather, and the group's level of fitness can affect hiking times and pacing. <br><strong><br>Average Hiking Day<\/strong><ul><li>4 miles <\/li><li>3 hours <\/li><li>400 feet gain\/loss<\/li><\/ul><strong>Challenge Day<\/strong> <ul><li>Day 5: 5 miles, 4 hours, 650 feet gain, and 250 feet loss<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Terrain":"We enjoy day walks and hikes over variable terrains, including rolling countryside walks, riverside trails, clifftop paths, and country roads. The trails are generally shaded by trees, and there are some stony sections, but most are well-maintained and easy to navigate.","Custom_Getting_in_Shape":"","Custom_Weather":"Temperatures are mild, typically reaching the high 60s\u00b0F to the low 70s\u00b0F during the day and cooling to the 40s\u00b0F or 50s\u00b0F at night. While weather conditions are usually stable, it is necessary to be prepared for a variety of conditions, as it can unexpectedly shift from warm and pleasant to damp and chilly with rainy conditions. Raingear and warm layers are necessary to bring on every hike.","Custom_Accommodations":"In an effort to capture the spirit of old Europe, the hotels that we use are often family-run converted chateaux or inns, full of ambiance and colorful local history. Since they are often in historic buildings, the rooms are not always of uniform or international size. Our leaders do their best to assign rooms in a fair way so that all participants experience an equal advantage throughout the trip as a whole. Single rooms can be requested but are not always available, due to the limited space in the hotels. If you prefer a single room, please make your request as early as possible.","Custom_Cuisine":"We will have a variety of delicious regional cuisine including many of the local products that the region is known for. Lunches are either picnic-style during our hikes or taken at a restaurant in town. Dinners will be at our hotel or at a local restaurant, and all menus are preset. Please note that in Europe, the dinner hour is considerably later than what it is in the US. We do our best to secure early reservations for our groups, but most often the evening meal will be at 7:30 pm.","Custom_Transportation":"Our support vehicle will transport the group's luggage, so you only need to carry a daypack (rain gear, sweater, camera, water bottle, etc.). Trip members are always free to skip a day's hike and travel to the next destination in the support vehicle (or remain at the hotel if we are not transferring that day).","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_1":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_1":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_2":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_2":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_1":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_2":"","System_Choosing_the_Right_Trip":"<p>Adventure travel often involves exotic destinations, unusual levels of physical exertion, or activities you may not have participated in previously. We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please call Wilderness Travel at 1-800-368-2794 or email us at <a href=\"mailto:\/\/info@wildernesstravel.com\">info@wildernesstravel.com<\/a>.<\/p>","System_References":"<p>We&rsquo;d be happy to put you in touch with a past client that has traveled with us.<\/p>","System_Visit_Our_Website":"<p>At <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/\">saito8.com<\/a>, you can book your trip online or find out about added departures, last-minute deals, and one-time Limited Edition adventures that aren&rsquo;t listed in our catalog. You can also access our complete library of detailed itineraries filled with enticing photos and videos, read bios of our Trip Leaders, find descriptions of trip accommodations, and check real-time availability of any trips that interest you.<\/p>","System_Helpful_Links":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:52:03 --><p>Wilderness Travel has compiled a list of useful websites for travelers. Find the Toucan Club tab on the home page of our website and choose Helpful Links: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/ toucan\/links\">saito8.com\/ toucan\/links<\/a>.<\/p>","System_About_New_Trips":"This is a new adventure and one that we are particularly excited about offering. However, as with all new departures, flexibility and a spirit of adventure are always appreciated! Activities are described in the itinerary but they can vary, sometimes considerably, depending on weather conditions, the group, and other factors.","System_About_Private_Journeys":"<p>Wilderness Travel Private Journeys are designed for people who want to travel with their own small private group, but who still want to experience the same superb itinerary design, great accommodations, and signature quality of Wilderness Travel's escorted group trips. These Private Journeys allow you to choose your own dates and your traveling companions&mdash;and enjoy the WT touch on all aspects of the journey.<\/p>","System_Limited_Edition_Adventures":"This is a Limited Edition adventure&mdash;which means a unique trip we've never run before or offer only every few years. Led by our most experienced Trip Leaders, these journeys often take place in remote destinations with only the most basic infrastructure for tourism. If you see a Limited Edition trip scheduled for this year, now is the time to sign up, as spaces fill very early and the trip may not be back for a while! Planned daily activities and actual timings may vary due to local conditions or the discretion of your Trip Leader&mdash;it is important to bring your spirit of adventure for these special exploratory journeys!","System_Social_Media":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:33:43 --><p><strong>SOCIAL MEDIA:<\/strong> We invite you to share your adventure with us on social media. Tag @wildernesstravel and we may even feature your content on our pages!<\/p>","System_If_You_Miss_Your_Flight":"<p><strong>IF YOU MISS YOUR FLIGHT<\/strong><br>If you miss your flight or are otherwise delayed, contact our Wilderness Travel office, as well as our local partners, with your new flight information. Refer to the Emergency Contact Information listed in this Final Bulletin.<\/p>","System_Valid_Passport":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-16T10:26:21 --><p><strong>VALID PASSPORT:<\/strong> Check that your passport is valid for at least six months from the last day of your trip, and that you have at least two blank pages for any necessary visa or entry and exit stamps.<\/p>","System_Insurance_Policy":"<p><strong>INSURANCE POLICY:<\/strong> If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan, you should have received an email confirmation of your policy. Please bring a digital or printed copy of this policy with you. If you cannot find your email confirmation, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. If you have not purchased Travelex insurance already, you have the option to do so up to 24 hours prior to your departure.<\/p>","System_Covid-19_Travel_Requirements":"<p><strong>PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION<\/strong><strong>: <\/strong>Please review your Pre-Departure Information booklet included in this packet for important information regarding Wilderness Travel's COVID-19 protocols, packing lists, recommended reading, tipping, etc.<\/p>","System_Wilderness_Travel_Office":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:07 --><p>Our office in Berkeley, California can be reached at 510-558-2488, or by email at info@wildernesstravel.com. We are available during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30 am-5:00 pm, PST). <\/p>","System_ECI_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:31 --><p>If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan through Wilderness Travel, please remember to bring your Confirmation of Coverages (COC) with you on the trip, including your Plan Number and important emergency contact information.<\/p><p>If you've purchased a travel protection plan on your own, we recommend that you bring a copy of your policy, including all coverages, with you on your trip.<\/p>","System_Face_Masks_and_Hand_Sanitizer":"","System_DidNotPurchase_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-02-28T12:27:44 --><p>Travel Insurance: We recommend that you purchase travel insurance for this trip. For your convenience, we offer Travelex travel protection. Please let us know if you would like us to add the Travelex Travel Protection Plan to this final invoice. You can learn more about the policy on our <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/toucan\/travel-insurance\">website<\/a>.<\/p>","System_Purchased_Insurance":"Please remember to bring a copy of your Travelex Confirmation of Coverage and State Specific Policy with you on your trip. You should have received an email directly from Travelex with these documents. If you need this email to be re-sent, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. <br><br><br>","System_COVID-19":"The Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 declared by the World Health Organization and the US Department of Health and Human Services expired in 2023. As of March 2024, we no longer require guests who exhibit cold or flu symptoms to test for COVID-19. Guests who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to follow local health protocols, wear a mask in group vehicles and during indoor activities for the remainder of the trip, and may be asked to dine separately. Any travel companion sharing a room with them will also be required to wear a mask at all times in the shared group vehicles for the remainder of the trip.<br><br>We encourage all travelers to actively monitor their own well-being and to use common-sense preventative measures such as regular handwashing (or use of hand sanitizer) and\/or wearing a face mask. If you are feeling sick, we encourage you to self-isolate and\/or wear a mask to protect your fellow travelers. Guests may be required to wear a mask if the Trip Leader believes the situation warrants it.<br><br>Leading up to the trip, we encourage you to do everything possible to stay healthy, including avoiding close contact with anyone displaying cold or flu symptoms and washing your hands often. As always, by traveling with Wilderness Travel, guests agree to be accountable for their own well-being. If you are worried about a fellow traveler's cold or flu-like symptoms, you may opt to wear a mask or distance yourself as needed. It's important to remember that there are inherent risks associated with travel and group settings.<br><br>These protocols will be reviewed and adjusted as guidance evolves. <br><br>","System_Photography":"<strong>Camera Recommendations<\/strong><br>With the many advances in digital technology, a simple compact digital camera or even your smartphone is capable of taking pictures suitable for the needs of most people. For higher quality images and the ability to use long lenses for closer wildlife pictures, a DSLR camera is well worthwhile, though heavier. Most digital cameras and phones have good video options, but you may want to consider a GoPro for a lightweight, waterproof option. Always practice ahead of time with new equipment and bring your manual with you. You may want to consider renting camera equipment for your trip from places such as <a href=\"https:\/\/www.lensrentals.com\/\">lensrentals.com<\/a>. This is an especially good idea for renting large zoom lenses that you may need for just one trip. Adding their extra insurance fee to cover expensive equipment is recommended. <br><strong><br>Camera Accessories<\/strong><br>We recommend bringing at least two large capacity memory cards or a small digital storage unit (or tablet) to back up your photos, freeing space on your memory cards. Don't forget to bring a battery charger and a backup battery so one is always charged and ready to use. For trips where you may be away from power sources for multiple days, consider looking into a solar-powered battery charger or buying additional backup batteries, and check that you have the appropriate adapter for the electrical outlets in your destination.<br><strong><br>Sharing Your Images<\/strong><br>We would love for you to share photos from your trip, and with your permission, may even use your photos in our marketing materials or on our photo blog. We request that you send us a small sample of your best images. Please email your photos to wtphotoblog@gmail.com or tag us @WildernessTravel on social media.<br><strong><br>Photography Etiquette<\/strong><br>When taking pictures of local people, be aware of cultural considerations. Approaching people with a warm smile and using polite gestures or simple phrases to ask permission to photograph them usually works well. It is always recommended to engage people in conversation before asking to photograph them, but if people do not wish to have their photo taken, please honor their requests. We urge travelers to avoid giving money in exchange for photo opportunities, which makes it harder for future travelers to have a meaningful personal interaction with local people. Please always heed your Trip Leader's guidelines for what is appropriate. ","System_Gear_Store":"To help you prepare for your next WT adventure, we've put together a great collection of top brands including Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Eagle Creek, and more at our WT Gear Store (<a href=\"https:\/\/wildernesstravel.newheadings.com\/\">wildernesstravel.newheadings.com<\/a>).","System_Questions?":"<p>Our Area Specialists are your single point of contact and would be happy to answer any questions about your trip!<br>800.368.2794 | 510.558.2488<\/p>","System_Pricing_Detail-Small_Group_Adventure":" <br><br>To offer the lowest possible cost, our trips are priced according to the number of participants on the trip. All costs are per person, based on double occupancy. If you wish to have a single room, you must pay the single supplement fee. Please note that Wilderness Travel staff, or guests of Wilderness Travel such as travel writers, photographers, or leaders-in-training, are not included in the tier pricing count.","System_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:58:05 --><p>We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance. You can take advantage of a comprehensive Travel Protection Plan designed for Wilderness Travel by Travelex, or purchase other insurance on your own. See our website for details: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/insurance\">saito8.com\/insurance<\/a><\/p>","System_Make_it_Your_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:18 --><p>The prices above are for the ready-to-book adventure outlined in this Detailed Itinerary, a popular option that has been handcrafted by our Area Specialists to include the best of every destination. While many travelers choose to book this tour as is, our Area Specialists are also happy to work with you to customize this Private Journey to suit your specific interests and style of travel. We can arrange for longer or shorter stays, offer hotel upgrades (see below for sample costs), or add an extension to additional places of interest. We can even add special activities or customize excursions depending on your interests. We invite you to contact us to discuss your options!<\/p>","System_Signing_up_for_a_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:42 --><p>Early reservations are recommended since accommodations often sell out far in advance. Please call 1-800-368-2794 and ask for our [Africa Manager] or email us at [africa@ wildernesstravel.com] with any questions that you may have about this trip. To reserve your Private Journey, we will need to know your preferred dates of travel. We will then check availability and send you a proposed itinerary with exact pricing for your adventure. We can typically hold a provisional booking for one week. At that time, we must collect your initial deposit or accommodations will be released. We accept Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will send you a Welcome Packet that includes a letter of confirmation, Detailed Itinerary, Trip Application, Medical Form, and Pre-Departure Information Booklet with information to help you prepare for your adventure. Please see our Cancellations and Transfer Fee Schedule for specific payment information.<\/p>","System_Trip_Leaders":"<p>Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please visit <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/leaders\/\">wildernesstravel.com\/leaders<\/a>.<\/p>"},"terms":{"PaymentSchedule":"<p>$600 due at time of reservation <br \/>90 days prior to departure: Balance<\/p>","CancelSchedule":"<p>Up to 91 days prior to departure: No Charge!<br>61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost<br>46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost<br>45 days or less: 100% of trip cost<br><\/p>"}}