Tours en l'air organizes ballet-themed escorted holidays to see the best companies perform great ballets in beautiful places. You can join a trip from anywhere. A highly knowledgeable balletomane who has enjoyed 100s of performances in over 20 cities around the world,I speak English, French, and German, and am a Travel Industry Council of Ontario certified Travel Counsellor. I also teach ballet appreciation courses.
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Tours en l'air Ballet Holidays are offered in partnership with CWT Victor Travel, 101 - 8800 Dufferin Street, Concord, ON L4K 0C5, 416-736-6010, TICO # 1892647


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Monday, August 1, 2016

Food, Wine, Sightseeing...and Ballet Trip: South of France (Toulouse and Bordeaux)

The "Miroir d'eau", the amazing reflecting pool at the Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux
At last, the Tours en l'air trip for those of you whose partner "isn't into ballet that much".

While most Tours en l'air trips squeeze as much ballet into as little time as possible, this wonderful trip to beautiful southwest France offers ballet (of course) but with more time spent enjoying all the other things the region has to offer.

Rendez-vous à Bordeaux from Bordeaux Tourisme on Vimeo.
Le Grand Theatre, Bordeaux

Wine. Gourmet meals. Beautiful medieval villages and impressive castles. Farmers' markets. Striking landscapes. Gardens. Prehistoric cave paintings. And, for aviation buffs, the possibility to visit a brand new aviation museum and the Airbus assembly line to see a super jumbo A380 under construction.

The gardens at Eyrignac

Bordeaux. Listed by the New York Times as its #2 of 56 places to visit in 2016, whose entire elegant 18th-century centre is the world's largest urban Unesco world heritage site, and boasts one of Europe's oldest opera houses, the Grand Theatre dating from 1780.

Did I also mention wine? Enjoy a daytrip to the world-famous vineyards of Saint-Emilion (and taste the local vintages, of course). You can also visit Bordeaux's brand new all-about-wine museum "La Cité du vin":

We aren't forgetting the ballet, though. Here's the program (as usual I would see if I could arrange for us to watch class or rehearsals and have a backstage tour). PLUS!!! Exclusively for Tours en l'air, lunch and Q&A with recently retired international ballet star ROBERT TEWSLEY at Chateau Mathias.

Chateau Mathias

Chateau Mathias

Seize the opportunity in 2017, because it's not every year that these two companies' schedules align so that you can see a performance in each in one week. No guarantees that this trip will be available in 2018!

Booking is now open. Full info available here:

June 29 - July 10, 2017
 South of France:
Toulouse and Bordeaux (day trips to Saint-Emilion, Sarlat, and Carcassonne)

Ballet du Capitole de Toulouse

Les Sylphides, MC14/22 (Ceci est mon corps) (Preljocaj)
Ballet de l'Opéra National de Bordeaux

Romeo and Juliet (Jude)


Are you tempted? Email me at and I will add your name to the priority notification list and will update you as the itinerary and pricing firm up. No commitment is required yet, just an expression of interest.

South of France:
Toulouse and Bordeaux

Wine, Food, History, Gardens, and Ballet

(day trips to the Dordogne, Carcassonne, St-Emilion)

29 June – 10 July 2017
12 days, 11 nights

Hotel Mercure Wilson Toulouse

Thursday 29 June
Arrive Toulouse, France's “rose-coloured city”. Check in to four-star Hotel Mercure Wilson, a typical Toulouse red-brick building, 9 minutes walk from the Halle aux Grains theatre.

Friday 30 June
Morning: Private 2-hour walking tour of the historic centre of Toulouse. Backstage tour, Theatre du Capitole. Afternoon at leisure. Suggested activities: For aviation and aerospace buffs, visit the Cité de l'espace or the brand new Aeroscopia museum, with over two dozen vintage and modern aircraft, including 2 Concordes, on display. Or see a giant Airbus 380 under construction at the Airbus factory tour. 6pm: 1-hour lecture demonstration (in French) about the ballet program at the Halle aux Grains. See some of the tango festival events around the city. Welcome dinner.
Market day, Sarlat-la-Canéda

Saturday 1 July
Day trip to the Dordogne.
Wending its way past chateaux and villages, our private coach takes you to the picturesque medieval town of Sarlat-la-Canéda. Brief stop in Gourdon. The weekly farmers' market will be in full swing in Sarlat and you can sample the local foie gras, truffles, duck confit, and other produce. Walking tour of the old town (1 hr). We carry on to the nearby gardens at the Manoir d'Eyrignac, a fabulous reconstruction of a French formal garden with amazing topiary, as well as more informal Italian-style and English gardens. Return to Toulouse.
Jardins du Manoir d'Eyrignac

Sunday 2 July
Day at leisure. Suggested activities: Enjoy Toulouse's “Car-Free First Sunday of the month” and visit its museums and markets. Take a boat ride on the Garonne River or the Canal du Midi. Visit one of the tapas bars that seem to be on every corner in Toulouse.

Monday 3 July
Day trip to the Causses du Quercy regional park. Our private coach takes you to St-Cirq-Lapopie, “France's favourite village” (1 hr 45). One-hour guided walking tour. St Cirq, enclosed by fortified gates, includes many beautiful old houses whose facades of stone or wood were built between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. They are characterized by their steep-sloped, flat tile roofs. In the streets, open arcades of shops preserve the memory of craft activities that created the wealth of St. Cirq: coppersmiths and especially wood turners with workshops producing button moulds, bowls, cups and cooper's taps.
At the foot of Lapopie, mills, dams, ports, locks and a towpath evoke the glorious age of river commerce. Gourmet lunch.
Continue on (20 minutes) to Pech-Merle.
The medieval citadel at Carcassonne
230pm – 330 pm Visit the caves with their limestone formations and 25,000-year-old wall paintings. Return to Toulouse.

Tuesday 4 July
Day trip to Carcassonne.
8h15: depart Toulouse (1 hr 15 mins)
10-1230: Guided tour of the medieval citadel, including the castle of the counts, the Saint-Nazaire basilica with its remarkable 13th-century statues and stained glass, and the ramparts. “Medieval menu” 3-course lunch
230: return to Toulouse.
8 pm Ballet performance: Les Sylphides (Fokine), MC14/22 Ceci est mon corps (Preljocaj)

Wednesday 5 July
Morning: check out of Toulouse hotel. Our private luxury coach departs Toulouse for Bordeaux.
Arrive Château Mathias, Virazeil. 


Homemade buffet lunch of local specialities overlooking the Garonne valley.

1-hour Q&A with recently retired international ballet star ROBERT TEWSLEY
Continue to Bordeaux, listed by the New York Times as its #2 top destination to travel in 2016. Check in to centrally located three-star hotel.

8 pm Ballet performance: Romeo and Juliet (Jude) in one of Europe's oldest opera houses, the magnificent Grand Theatre de Bordeaux, built in 1780 (and the venue for the first performance of La Fille mal gardée in 1789).

It was here that Marius Petipa finished his training, was a principal dancer, and mounted his first full-length productions, before embarking on his famous career in Russia.
Grand-Theatre, Bordeaux

Thursday 6 July
Notre-Dame Church, Bordeaux
Morning at leisure. Suggested activity: Bordeaux's brand new all-about-wine museum, La Cité du Vin. Afternooon: Private walking tour of Bordeaux's classical 18th-century old town,the world's largest urban UNESCO world heritage site. Dinner.

Friday 7 July
Vineyards, St-Emilion

Private day trip by luxury coach to some of the region's most famous vineyards in St-Emilion: visit and tasting at two wineries, lunch, private guided tour of the medieval town. Return to Bordeaux.

Saturday 8 July
Afternoon: Private guided tour of Grand Theatre.

Sunday 9 July
Day at leisure. Farewell dinner.

Monday 10 July
Check out of hotel and depart Bordeaux.

The Dordogne river

Interior of Theatre du Capitole, Toulouse

Typical early July weather: daytime highs 24-29 degrees Celsius (75-84 degrees Fahrenheit), mostly sunny.

If you love seeing beautiful places and things, and bingeing on ballet, please check out my other outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.

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