More About Carcassonne
For a taste of medieval France, visit the city of Carcassonne. Fortified walls and watchtowers combine to deliver a breathtakingly beautiful skyline to all who visit. Whilst holidaying in villas in Carcassonne, take time to indulge in all that this unusual city has to offer, from not-to-be-missed historical tours to sampling a plate of cassoulet, a traditional bean dish from the area. As a world heritage site with over 3 million visitors a year, villas in Carcassonne are obviously in high demand, especially in mid July when celebrations for Bastille Day will be in full swing! As such we suggest booking villas in Carcassonne well in advance if you are planning to visit during the summer months.
Carcassonne is blessed with not one but two UNESCO World Heritage Sites on its doorstep, making the town one of the most popular tourist sites in all of France. The castle, towers, ramparts and drawbridge of the upper town Cité de Carcassonne and the picturesque leafy waterway Canal du Midi steal much of the limelight, but the lower town of La Bastide Saint-Louis is full of cultural attractions and the countryside is covered in vineyards making some of the country’s best wines. In all, Carcassonne offers a quintessential French rural holiday experience with a Disneyesque twist in the form of the ancient fortifications of the majestic Cité.
Attractions in and around Carcassonne
Standing on a hill overlooking the Aude River and La Bastide Saint-Louis, the Cité de Carcassonne dominates the skyline. Its enormous size gives it a kind of ethereal nature, like something out of a fairytale. It’s not until you actually pass over the drawbridge and onto the cobbled streets that you’re sure it’s real. Inside there are enough sights, shops and museums to keep you wandering around the narrow cobbled streets for hours. See torture equipment used by the Catholic Church during the Inquisition at the Musée de la Torture or stand at the Aude Gate where scenes from “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” were shot. A stone’s throw away from the Cité is the Canal du Midi with its still waters and leafy tree-lined banks. The canal’s rustic beauty belies its size and importance, stretching 240km to help connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. Stroll along its banks on the outskirts of Carcassonne or hire a bike and ride to the nearby towns of Trèbes or Castelnaudary.
Our Top Picks in and around Carcassonne
We want you to enjoy the best that Carcassonne and the surrounding area has to offer and so here's a selection of our favourite things to see and do;
Embrasement de la cite
As if the Cité de Carcassonne didn’t look impressive enough already, every July on Bastille Day the fortifications are ‘set ablaze’ while a spectacular fireworks display goes on in the sky above. Flares turn the castle, turrets and ramparts a striking red and envelope them in smoke. It’s one of the most impressive displays you’ll see anywhere in France.
Carcassonne is located in the heart of a large wine producing region and so there are plenty of vineyards where you can learn more about the process and sample the goods. To the north are the Minervois vineyards, to the southeast are the Corbières vineyards and to the northeast are the Malepère vineyards. Take your pick from red, white, rosé and bubbly wines.
As an alternative to relaxing afternoons sightseeing around the Cité de Carcassonne, head over to the O2 Aventure for some high-wire fun on its adventure rope circuits. The centre has around half a dozen circuits of varying levels of difficulty. One minute you’ll be making your way through the forest canopy, the next you’ll be traversing over a lake.
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