Carcassonne

Carcassonne

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About Carcassonne

Medieval skyline with a truly inspiring quality

To escape the humdrum of modern life the imposing spectacle of this walled, medieval city is the perfect place to start. Carcassonne possesses a medieval skyline with a truly inspiring quality, allowing you to wander at your leisure and take in the surrounding beauty, as well as taking advantage of the excellent selection of local hotels, restaurants and antique shops.

Flight deals to Carcassonne

A spectacular town in southern France, you can compare flights from Stansted to Carcassonne, and touch down in the country’s Aude department. Renowned for the medieval Cité de Carcassonne fortress that encloses the old town, you can fly from London to Carcassonne in just under two hours; there’s usually good availability of direct services on this route. Once you touch down there are regular shuttle buses that run from the airport to the centre of town. There’s also a selection of car hire companies to choose from, and taxi facilities available.

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Hotel deals to Carcassonne

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Holiday deals to Carcassonne

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City break deals to Carcassonne

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Its fairytale Middle Ages skyline makes Carcassonne one of the most visited spots in the whole of France. By consequence, it has no shortage of impressive accommodation options – the Hôtel de la Cité Carcassonne (Place Auguste Pierre Pont) is set within the old medieval citadel and boasts its own gardens, while the 61-room Best Western Le Donjon (2 rue du Comte Roger) is another that’s surrounded by the town’s ancient ramparts. For a winning spot away from the centre, try the 18-room Hôtel du Château (2 rue Camille Saint-Saëns), which has an outdoor pool, or the nearby three-star Hôtel Montmorency (11 rue Camille Saint-Saëns).

Carcassonne’s drawbridges and cobbled streets make it a hugely rewarding place to wander with no fixed agenda, and likewise its shoulder-to-shoulder boutiques serve up a diverting range of souvenirs for those engaging in a spot of window-browsing. The quality can differ, although there are some great antique shops on Rue Trivalle (close to the city gate at La Porte Narbonnaise). La Ferme (corner of rue Chartran and rue de Verdun) is a top-notch food emporium with a selection of some 6,000 local gourmet products. There’s also a notable open-air market on Place Carnot three times a week.

The meaty, white-bean stew known as cassoulet is a regional speciality here – try the acclaimed version at Restaurant Comte Roger (14 rue Saint-Louis), where the menu puts a focus on Occitan cooking with a modern twist. There’s Michelin-starred dining in the old citadel at La Barbacane (Hôtel de la Cité, Place Auguste Pierre Pont), while close by there’s authentic bistro fare to be enjoyed at Restaurant Robert Rodriguez (39 rue Coste Reboulh). And for a café that’s popular with both locals and tourists, try to snag a table for lunch at Café Saillan (31 rue du Docteur Albert Tomey).

Carnaval de Limoux

January-March

Taking place in the nearby town of Limoux, this carnival sees costumed dancing each weekend and gives colourful insight into the varied traditions of the Languedoc region. Its long history makes it one of the oldest such carnivals on the planet – it’s also one of the longest, lasting three whole months!

Festival de Carcassonne

June-August

One of the biggest cultural events in the South of France, the Carcassone Festival runs for six weeks and stages more than 100 separate shows, from opera and classical music to dance and theatre performances. The majority are free.

Bastille Day

14 July

Bastille Day sees towns and villages across France in party mode, but Carcassonne takes the annual celebration to another level with a massive firework celebration that draws some 700,000 visitors to the banks of the Aude River. It takes place at 10.30pm.

Feria de Carcassonne

August-September

A late-summer music festival featuring flamenco and salsa bands alongside traditional local Occitan performers – not to mention everything from marching brass bands to contemporary pop singers – the Feria is a celebration of music in all its forms.

La Magie de Noël

December/January The Christmas period sees the old citadel come alive with all manner of festive events, from craft markets and torch processions to costumed medieval performances and illuminations. The month-long programme of events runs through until early January.

Useful Information

Key facts

Language:French
Currency:Euro
Time zone:GMT +1 hour
Flight time:2 hours
Airport code:CCF
Holiday type:City Break / Sightseeing

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