Photographic Tour to Romantic Southwest France in April, 2016

What: A week with a small compatible group of photographers in a 15th Century castle in the lush countryside of southwest France in the springtime.

Where: Mas de Garrigue, a 15th century fortified farm near the Lot River: gardens, gourmet French home cooking, ancient medieval villages and castles, and a photographer’s and walker’s paradise.

Mas de Garrigue

Mas de Garrigue

When: Thursday April 21, 2016 (leave US April 20) to Friday April 29, 2016 (eight nights and nine days).

Group Size: This exclusive, small photo workshop tour is limited to six photographers (non-photographer significant others are also welcome).

Valentre Bridge © Harold Davis

Valentre Bridge © Harold Davis

Details: The group meets at a luxurious hotel in Toulouse in the southwest of France on the afternoon of Thursday April 21, 2016. Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France, and the capital of the modern French aerospace industry. It is easily accessible by plane or train from Paris and other points in Europe. There are many photographic opportunities in Toulouse itself, and we will visit some of these with a private guided tour, followed by an introductory group dinner (included in the cost).

On Friday April 22 we will transfer by private mini-bus to Mas de Garrigue in Calvignac on the banks of the beautiful Lot River. This is a region of beautiful rivers and valleys, stark cliffs with ancient clinging villages, sacred pilgrimage routes, stone bridges, churches that date from the era of the crusaders, beautiful flowering gardens, and much more.

Morning on the Lot River © Harold Davis

Morning on the Lot River © Harold Davis

The Mas de Garrigue will be our home away from home for the next seven nights, hosted by Sarah and Steven. Here’s a description: “Mas de Garrigue, a 15th century former hunting lodge and fortified farm is a stunning and important historic house retaining many original features within such as vast stone fireplaces, arrowslits, a 15th century window, stone sinks, magnificent oak beams and pigeon coops. Sarah and Steven have lovingly and respectfully restored the house, with elegant taste and sometimes a contemporary twist. The marriage of Irish antiques and art with French architecture is harmonious and charming.


Noir de Gascon piglet

“Sarah and Steven provide warm Irish hospitality in the beautiful Midi Pyrenees of South West France. Sarah studied cuisine in Paris and Steven hails from the well known Irish culinary and hospitible Allen clan. Passionate about food and wine, they offer sumptious dinners of homegrown and locally sourced produce. Steve rears two “Noir de Gascon” pigs every year which Sarah transforms into delicious terrines, pates, saucisse and hams. Steven keeps the kitchen stocked with vegetables, tomatos, herbs and even Saffron.”

Dinner setting at the Mas de Garrigue

Dinner setting at the Mas de Garrigue

While at the Mas de Garrigue Sarah and Steven will provide us with three wonderful dinners and a number of box lunches (these are included in the tour cost).

Room at the Mas de Garrigue

Room at the Mas de Garrigue

We could happily spend our time photographing right around the location of the Mas de Garrigue (and if you choose to do so, no one will think the less of you!), but three extensive professionally-guided excursions are included in the workshop.

Excursion destinations by private vehicle with guide will include:

When (alas!) our time in the Lot River Valley draws to a close on Friday April 29, transfer by private mini-bus to Toulouse train station or airport for return to the United States or further adventures in Europe is included.

Cost: $4,695 per person (single supplement $675); $500 early-bird discount for completed registration by August 31, 2015.

Inclusions: Eight nights lodging (one night at a 4-star hotel in Toulouse, seven nights at Mas de Garrigue), all breakfasts (8), many meals (four dinners, four lunches), walking tour of Toulouse with licensed guide, transfers from Toulouse to Mas de Garrigue (Calvignac) on arrival, and from Calvignac to Toulouse returning, three extensive excursions including admissions and licensed guides, and service charges.

Exclusions: Airfare and transportation to Toulouse (Toulouse is easy to reach by plane or train from Paris and many other points in Europe), meals except as indicated, wine and spirits, and personal items such as souvenirs.

To Register: Please send us an email expressing interest right away; a completed registration requires a $1000 deposit.

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie © Harold Davis

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie © Harold Davis

This entry was posted in Photography.


  1. Dennis Ducklow June 9, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

    I am very interested in this trip. My wife is also interested as a non-photographer. Please tell me the price for a non photographer spouse.


    Dennis and Joan

  2. Harold Davis June 9, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

    Hi Dennis and Joan,

    Thank you very much for your comment. I do always like to have couples on my trips, particularly this case as it will be so romantic amid the castles and antique villages, and at the Mas de Garrigue.

    Our policy is not to provide a discount for non-photographer spouses, because we think they will want to be part of the group in terms of going on excursions, joining the group at meals, and so on. This means that the costs, which we’ve tried to keep as low as possible, will essentially be the same for photographers and non-photographers.

    Please note that I am offering a $500 discount for early registration. This is per person, so it would amount to $1,000 discount for the two of you.

    Hope to see you in France!

  3. Harry Kimball June 9, 2015 at 10:08 pm #

    Hello Harold:

    I am seriously interested in attending this workshop in southwest France. After my visit last year to Provence, I am anxious to visit the western side as well. My photographic interest is mainly in landscape and I have a long standing preference for monochrome images. I am the founding member of a group of B&W photographers that meet in person and online to share ideas about how to advance our work. We self publish a yearly monograph of the “Tucson Seven” which can be viewed in the Blurb bookstore. A brief bio is included on my website along with images most of which are recent
    Most likely I will be coming alone so would opt for the single supplement.

    I look forward to hearing from you. Do I understand that you will provide a registration form if space is available? Since my wife and are leaving for a three week trip to Iceland and the Baltics on June 17th, could you please respond (email preferably) as soon as possible.

    Thanks so much,

    Harry Kimball
    4931 Orcas St NE
    Lacey, WA, 98516

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