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Five-Star Carcassonne, Châteaux & Vineyards

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7 days From £1,795 £1,745 per person
4.2 stars(90 reviews)

Discover captivating Carcassonne, Cathar castles and historic Narbonne, on a luxurious five-star break

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Mobility Rating 3

2024 Tour code: CAB24

About the tour

Explore Cathar castles, timeless vineyards and sun-drenched hills on an indulgent break, staying in five-star luxury. We tour the walled fortress city of Carcassonne, explore the enchanting Châteaux de Lastours area, enjoy lunch and wine tasting at the wonderful Château de Pennautier, discover the foodie flavours of historic Narbonne and visit the colourful weekly market in medieval Mirepoix.

Unforgettable experiences

Stay in the Five-Star Hotel du Roi & Spa by Sowell
Stay in the Five-Star Hotel du Roi & Spa by Sowell
Set on the banks of the River Aude, perfectly situated to explore the glorious citadel of Carcassonne and to venture into the city, our luxurious hotel has excellent facilities, and beautiful views of the castle and its ramparts.
Explore the fascinating Châteaux de Lastours
Explore the fascinating Châteaux de Lastours
From the panoramic Belvedere viewpoint we experience a stunning panoramic view of four historic Cathar fortresses perched among rugged hills. Here we can walk up the hills to see the ruined castles or enjoy spectacular views from the café.
Indulge in a delicious lunch and wine tasting at Château de Pennautier
Indulge in a delicious lunch and wine tasting at Château de Pennautier
This grand 17th century stately home is set within beautiful French-style gardens, with trailing vines cultivated by ten generations of the Lorgeril family. A traditional rustic lunch of several courses is accompanied by wines produced on the estate.
Discover historical Narbonne and Mirepoix’s weekly market
Discover historical Narbonne and Mirepoix’s weekly market
We explore the fascinating ancient city of Narbonne and take a guided tasting tour of Les Halles, its indoor food market. A feast for the senses, we sample the region's excellent cured meats and cheeses, olives, tapenade and Muscat wine. We also visit Mirepoix’s celebrated weekly market of fresh produce, home-made crafts and wine.
Tour of the medieval fortress town of Carcassonne
Tour of the medieval fortress town of Carcassonne
We step back in time to medieval France, on a guided walking tour of this wonderful UNESCO World Heritage site. Our tour includes entrance to the castle within its fortress walls, Château Comtal, and its intriguing museum.

What’s included


Day 1 - Meet in London for our journey to Carcassonne

We meet at London St Pancras and board the Eurostar to Paris. Travelling in style in Standard Premier Class, drinks and a light lunch are served at our seats. We continue by First Class rail to the city of Toulouse, travelling south through the heart of the French countryside. Arriving in the evening, we board a coach to our delightful destination, Carcassonne. Our hotel here is the elegant 5-Star Hotel du Roi & Spa by Sowell, on the banks of the River Aude, where we stay in Deluxe rooms with private terraces, offering outstanding views of the medieval walled city. Besides its stunning location, the hotel has excellent facilities including a peaceful spa and swimming pool. On arrival this evening, we enjoy a three-course dinner in our hotel restaurant.

  • Dinner
  • Eurostar light meal
Day 2 – Exploring the walled medieval city of Carcassonne

This morning we explore the fabulous walled city of Carcassonne on a guided tour. Unsurprisingly - with its beautifully-restored slate roofs, pointed towers and fortified walls - this medieval citadel is listed as a World Heritage site. Entering the ancient bridge across the former moat feels like stepping back in time to romantic medieval France. Our tour includes entrance to Château Comtal, the hilltop castle within the walls, which houses a fascinating museum.

After our tour, from lunchtime, the rest of your day is free. You could choose to continue exploring the citadel, maybe visit the Gothic Basilique Saint Nazaire with its exquisite stained glass windows, or walk along the ramparts for views of the surrounding countryside. There are also a few restaurants set in a shady square within the citadel walls. Just across the Pont Vieux, ten minutes' walk away, is the newer part of town where our hotel is based. There you'll find lively squares, an arts museum, independent boutiques, cafés and restaurants. A stroll along the banks of the Canal du Midi is another lovely way to soak up the atmosphere of this historic city.

  • Breakfast
Day 3 - Historic and beautiful Narbonne

Today's excursion takes us to Narbonne, whose main square is overlooked by a spectacular, yet unfinished, 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. This historic indoor food market is a feast for the senses, and we enjoy a private tasting experience, visiting different stalls and tasting the region's excellent cured meats and cheeses. We also sample other specialties, such as locally-grown olives, tapenade and some delicious Muscat wine. After our tour you are free to explore independently - one option is to visit the fascinating cathedral, or relax in its peaceful and shady cloister. Back at our hotel this evening, we continue our gastronomic adventure with a traditional cassoulet dinner, a dish of pork and duck cooked with haricot beans.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 – Explore the Châteaux de Lastours area

Today we explore the historic Châteaux de Lastours area, set in the heart of the Cathar countryside. Our first stop is the Belvedere viewpoint where we have a stunning panoramic view of four Cathar fortresses, set among rocky hills and valleys. These historic castles were once a place of refuge for the Cathars during the religious persecutions of the 13th century. From here we can either follow one of the marked routes up to the ruined castles or, as the terrain along the path is uneven, enjoy a slide show in English on the history of the Cathar Castles. There's a café at the site which is an ideal place to appreciate this special viewing spot of the castles. After free time to admire the views or explore the châteaux themselves, we make our way to a traditional auberge in the scenic Minervois wine region, where we enjoy a delicious four-course lunch accompanied by locally-produced wine.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 5 - Market day in medieval Mirepoix

Today a coach takes us to historic Mirepoix for the town's celebrated weekly market. Entering the wonderfully-preserved market square, Place des Couverts - which is bordered by half-timbered houses from the 13th to 15th century - the aromas, and the sound of lively trading and local performers evoke a sense of medieval times. Here you're free to explore at your own pace and to sample fresh, regional produce or purchase home-made crafts and local wine. While you're exploring the town, you may like to visit the Gothic-style Cathedral of Saint Maurice, the former Bishop's Palace, and the Porte d'Aval - the only remains of Mirepoix's original 14th-century fortifications. On our return journey to Carcassonne we take the scenic route into picturesque French countryside, travelling through the charming villages of Chalare, Puivert, Nebias, Quillan and Limoux, passing forested hills and ruined castles set in verdant woodland.

  • Breakfast
Day 6 – A private wine tasting and dinner at Château de Pennautier

After a leisurely breakfast at our hotel, we are taken by coach for a wine tasting and farewell meal in the grounds of Château de Pennautier, 15 minutes' drive away. Built in the 17th century, this golden-hued stately home is set within beautiful French-style gardens, and its trailing vines have been cultivated by ten generations of the Lorgeril family. On arrival we are given a guided tour of the castle, the King's chamber, and grounds. Our delicious three-course lunch is served in a rustic restaurant converted from a former sheepfold, and is accompanied by wines produced in the château's very own vineyards. After lunch we visit the château's wine cellar for a wine tasting and guided tour of the production room. We return to our hotel mid-afternoon and our afternoon and evening is at leisure to enjoy the sights of Carcassonne or perhaps to revisit a favourite restaurant.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7 - Homeward bound

After our last breakfast in our lovely Carcassonne hotel, we transfer to Toulouse by coach, and continue by First Class train to Paris. As the changing scenery rolls past our windows, there's time to reflect on our holiday experiences in medieval France. In Paris, we join the Eurostar service to London St Pancras where our journey ends.

  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar light 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 · 90 reviews

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

M Reid

5 stars

Submitted 18/Sep

excellent tour

Collected by Trustpilot

Chris C Eastbourne

5 stars

Submitted 7/Sep

A great tour, in spite of the heat. Judith, the Tour Manager, was excellent, well-organised and caring. I doubt whether we have ever had such a good Tour Manager. And the hotel and transport arrangements were also excellent.

Collected by Trustpilot

Mr. Sorrell

5 stars

Submitted 2/Sep

Great Holiday, we’ll organised and lovely hotel

Collected by Trustpilot

Mr Green

4 stars

Submitted 31/Aug

Hote du Roi was splendid. Both the facilities and the view of the old town. The tour manager did not know the area. We were lucky to have Regisse as a coach driver. The two guides in Carcassonne and Narbonne concentrated on the building architecture. We were in the land of the Cathars but they were scarcely mentioned. The trip to Narbonne included a wine tasting which was a waste of time. We briefly went round the market before going to the restaurant and tasting 3 wines that we didn't know and were unlikely to find subsequently. There were not enough table/chairs nor charcuterie/olives. We returned to the market to find it closed. A shame because there were many opportunities to eat. I should mention that we were there in the hottest week of the year, 40 degrees at peak. We went to the chateaux of Lastours and made the steep climb to the top. Less than half the party did this. The others stayed in the café at the base. We enjoyed it. The trip to the market at Mirepoix was excellent. The wine tasting and dinner at Pennautier was moved from lunch to the evening. It was a good move and should continue like this.

Collected by Trustpilot

Mr. Roger Morris

5 stars

Submitted 30/Aug

Lovely area to explore.

Collected by Trustpilot

Christine Kenyon

5 stars

Submitted 30/Aug

A very smooth tour from start to finish. The tour manager Judith kept us in order during train transfers and tours. The hotel was amazing with views of Carcassonne from the balcony. Would thoroughly recommend this tour

Collected by Trustpilot

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