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Carcassonne and Cathar Castles of France

4.2 stars(24 reviews)
Small Group

A beautiful and captivating region of France

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
7 days From £1,695 per person

2021 Tour code: CAB21

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, visit the historic city of Narbonne and immerse ourselves in the French way of life.


What’s included


Day 1 - London to Carcassonne

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

  • Day 1 - Eurostar meal, Dinner
  • Day 2 - Breakfast
Day 2 - Carcassonne

On Day 2, we explore on a guided tour. UNESCO-listed Carcassonne 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 and our tour includes entrance to Château Comtal. The rest of your day is free.

Day 3 - Narbonne

Today 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, in the town square. 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. Enjoy time to relax in one of the market's fantastic wine bars and get a taste for the region's excellent cheeses and meats with an authentic charcuterie board. Tonight, we enjoy a traditional cassoulet dinner, made with pork and duck and cooked with haricots beans.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Châteaux de Lastours

We explore the historic Châteaux de Lastours area today. Set in the heart of the Cathar countryside, this is a region famous for its sun-drenched vineyards, tranquil villages, and scattered Roman ruins and medieval castles. Home to a collection of four former Cathar fortresses - historic castles once a place of refuge for the Cathars during the 13th century - we visit Belvedere Point, where we have some free time to soak up the views over Châteaux des Lastours before exploring the châteaux themselves. Walk amongst the rugged landscape, admiring the magnificent castles perched atop, and built into, the surrounding hills. We continue to a local restaurant for lunch, accompanied by local wine, before transferring back to Carcassonne.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 5 - Mirepoix

This morning we travel by coach to Mirepoix for the town's weekly market. Located in the medieval square, there's time to sample fresh, local produce as well as home-made crafts and wine. Returning to the hotel, we take a scenic drive through the French countryside, travelling through charming villages, passing ruined castles and verdant woodland.

  • Day 5 - Breakfast
  • Day 6 - Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Château de Pennautier

On Day 6, enjoy a free day to relax in Carcassonne ahead of a wine tasting and a farewell meal in the grounds of Château de Pennautier this evening. Our delicious dinner is accompanied by wines produced in the castle's own vineyards.

Day 7 - Homeward bound

Checking out after breakfast this morning, we take the coach to Toulouse, continuing by rail to Paris for the Eurostar to London St Pancras.

  • 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 Du Roi & Spa by Sowell

Hotel Du Roi & Spa by Sowell, Carcassonne

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4.2 stars4.2 / 5 · 24 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

Mr H Knowles

4 stars

Submitted 12 Jul 2019

The tour manager was very good particularly when we encounted major problems at the Gare du Nord on the return journey. The trip down the Canal du Midi was boring but all the other organised trips were good. The hotel at Carcassonne was of a good standard

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr L Mead

5 stars

Submitted 14 Oct 2018

Excellent itinerary, fantastic hotel, first rate tour manager and great weather!

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr G MB Brady

3 stars

Submitted 06 Oct 2018

Hotel good, visit to market waste of time but more importantly party size - 40- far too large!

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Mrs P Barrett

5 stars

Submitted 30 Sep 2018

I had an excellent experience.

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Dr P Kerry

4 stars

Submitted 21 Sep 2018

It was an excellent holiday that fell just short of 5 stars. The Canal du Midi return trip (about 2 hours altogether) was pleasant but a little underwhelming, involving a cruise along the canal including some of the suburbs of Carcassonne (i.e. perhaps not the most scenic one might have hoped for). Also the trip to the vineyard for a tasting and dinner (also on the last day) was not memorable (neither were the wines), although our local host and his team were very good. The meals included on the trip (apart from the superb breakfasts) were also not too special but the 'self catering' meals of local produce were wonderful as was our hotel in the old city of Carcassonne and the city itself!

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs M Williams

3 stars

Submitted 10 Jun 2018

the hotel was super but the restaurant you picked for the meals out was VERY poor school meals would have been better Too long in Toulouse as was difficult to find things to do on a wet day NOT one of your better trips The guide was very good Pamela

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Carcassonne and Cathar Castles of France

A beautiful and captivating region of France


Luke Simpson
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