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Carcassonne and Cathar Castles of France

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4.1 stars(66 reviews)
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Small Group

A beautiful and captivating region of France

7 days From £1,795 £1,645 per person
Booking Offer

Save £150pp on your Europe 2023 holiday when you book between 16th November 2022 and midnight 12th December 2022, for departure dates between 1st April 2023 and 31st October 2023.

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Booking Offer

Save £150pp on your All Inclusive Europe 2023 holiday when you book before midnight 12th December 2022, for departure dates between 1st April 2023 and 31st October 2023.

View terms and conditions

2023 Tour code: CAB23

About the tour

From timeless vineyards and sun-drenched hills to imposing Cathar castles and historic abbeys, this holiday showcases the very best of the Languedoc region. We explore the walled Cité of Carcassonne and discover the famous flavours of historic Narbonne, fully immersing ourselves in the French way of life.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London and Carcassonne

We meet at London St Pancras and board the Eurostar to Paris. We continue to Toulouse where we board a coach to Carcassonne. Our hotel here is the 5-Star Hotel du Roi & Spa by Sowell, where we stay in deluxe rooms overlooking the medieval city.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 – Carcassonne

We explore Carcassonne on a guided tour. With a UNESCO-listed centre, this historic destination is renowned for its city walls, defensive towers and drawbridges - all original features. Accessed by an ancient bridge which crosses the former moat, the Cité encapsulates romantic medieval France, with our tour also including entrance to Château Comtal - a 12th- century hilltop fortification which boasts a fascinating museum. The rest of your day is free. You may want to cross into the newer part of town, filled with good restaurants and independent boutiques, to sample some traditional regional dishes. You could also take a relaxed stroll along the banks of the Canal du Midi.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 3 - Narbonne

Today's excursion takes us to Narbonne, watched over by its wonderfully dramatic Gothic cathedral. We set out on a guided walking tour of the Robine Canal, lined with pretty promenades, and an exposed section of the Via Domitia Roman Road. Next, we see the grand courtyards of the Archbishop's Palace before moving on to Les Halles market. Built in 1091, this indoor food market is a feast for the senses, and we experience it on a food tour, visiting many of the different stalls for a taste of the region's excellent cured meats and cheeses. We also sample a variety of other specialties, such as locally-grown olives, tapenade and some delicious Muscat wine. We continue our gastronomic adventure with a traditional cassoulet dinner, a dish of pork and duck cooked with haricot beans.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Châteaux de Lastours

We explore the historic Châteaux de Lastours area, set in the heart of the Cathar countryside. The area is famous for its sun-drenched vineyards, tranquil villages, scattered Roman ruins and medieval castles, and is home to a collection of four former Cathar fortresses - historic castles once a place of refuge for the Cathars during the religious persecutions of the 13th century. We visit Belvedere Point, where there's free time to admire the views before exploring the châteaux themselves, afterwards making our way to a nearby restaurant for lunch accompanied by local wine.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 5 - Mirepoix

A coach takes us to Mirepoix for the town's weekly market. Located in the medieval square, Place des Couverts, there's time to sample fresh, regional produce as well as purchase home- made crafts and wine. During your time here, you may also like to visit the town's Gothic-style Cathedral of Saint Maurice, the former Bishop's Palace and the Porte d'Aval - the only original remainder of Mirepoix's 14th-century fortifications. Returning to the hotel, we take a scenic drive through the French countryside, travelling through charming villages and passing ruined castles nestled amidst verdant woodland.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 – Château de Pennautier

Enjoy a free day in Carcassone ahead of a wine tasting and farewell meal in the grounds of Château de Pennautier. Dating back to the 1600s, this golden-coloured stately home is set within beautiful French-style gardens and the trailing vines of plants owned by ten generations of the Lorgeril family. Our delicious dinner, served in a rustic restaurant that's been converted from a former sheepfold, is made up of multiple courses of local specialties, accompanied by wines produced in the château's very own vineyards.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Carcassone and London

We transfer to Toulouse after checking out of our hotel, continuing by rail to Paris where we board the Eurostar to London St Pancras.

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotel

Hotel Du Roi & Spa by Sowell

Hotel Du Roi & Spa by Sowell, Carcassonne

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Trains

Eurostar
TGV

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Upgrades

Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
Extending your European holiday in Paris
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.1 stars4.1 / 5 · 66 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (26)
  2. 4 stars
    (28)
  3. 3 stars
    (8)
  4. 2 stars
    (3)
  5. 1 star
    (1)

C Munday

4 stars

Submitted 15/Nov

This was a really enjoyable holiday for us. We found the train journey to be far more relaxing than air travel. The trips were varied and interesting and the guide was very in-tune with our group and dealt with a range of unforeseen circumstances with good humour and efficiency. The hotel was in a lovely location just by the river with a good view of Carcassone and the breakfasts were very good although being on the wrong side of 60 we did have problems working out how to manage the shower and the hot water generally in our bathroom. I would recommend this holiday.

Collected by Trustpilot

Joyce Jacobs

4 stars

Submitted 28/Oct

This was a lovely and well-organised holiday, and through the good services of the tour manager we survived the French rail strikes. The hotel was very well situated for the old City However, it would have been improved, in my opinion, by giving us a day to do our own thing and to have had a couple more dinners in the hotel, especially on a Sunday when a lot of restaurants in Carcassonne are closed.

Collected by Trustpilot

M Kingdon

5 stars

Submitted 27/Oct

Very good overall. Some changes to programme affected free time in Carcassonne. Very professional guide who went the extra mile to iron out difficulties and ensured everyone was included within the group.

Collected by Trustpilot

Mr M J C Waters

4 stars

Submitted 27/Oct

An excellent trip with a very good tour guide. Interesting sites and good restaurants. More time probably needed to climb the Cathar castles at Lastours. Local guide at Narbonne not fully aware of what had been agreed with GRJ. Excellent accommodation.

Collected by Trustpilot

A V mus

5 stars

Submitted 26/Oct

good hotel as a base and interesting trips out each day.

Collected by Trustpilot

E Popple

5 stars

Submitted 12/Oct

Fabulous castles, excellent hotel in superb location, interesting excursions and small friendly group.

Collected by Trustpilot

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Carcassonne and Cathar Castles of France

A beautiful and captivating region of France

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