Carcassonne: the top 5 things to see and do

24th November, 2015
A jewel of the southern French region of Languedoc, Carcassonne is a sleepy city with charming shops, restaurants and sights to explore, with its defining landmark being the medieval citadel which sits on the hill overlooking the ?new? city ? the second most-visited landmark in France behind the Eiffel Tower. Alongside the citadel, however, there are certainly a few other things in Carcassonne worth seeing, which we have listed below.

Carcassonne?s central square

Sitting in the very centre of Carcassonne, the central square is dominated by a huge fountain, making it the perfect meeting point or resting place after hours of exploring. Around the square you?ll find some outdoor cafes and restaurants, offering simple yet tasty fare, making it an ideal place to stop for a coffee or an al fresco.

Canal du Midi

Carcassonne?s canal port has to be one of the busiest around, and offers all kinds of services from half-day or full-day boat trips to the opportunity to rent your own boat. Even just half a day on the canal promises tonnes of fun ? grab a picnic at one of the city?s epiceries, before heading down through the tunnel of trees either west towards Bram or east through Trebes.

Chateau des Tours

Just 20 minutes north of Carcassonne, nestled amongst the Haut-Minervois hills, you?ll discover Chateau Les Tours, one of the region?s most picturesque Cathar castles. Just above a small village, the chateau?s four towers sit along the spine of a hill. In comparison to La Cite, Las Tours has a more intimate and atmospheric feel, and is far more of a hidden secret. On the way back to Carcassonne, it is also definitely worth visiting the pretty village of Caune-en-Minervois, which features a medieval abbey and winding streets.

Wine tasting in the Minervois and the Corbieres

Carcassonne is perfectly positioned between two of Languedoc?s finest wine-growing areas ? the Minervois to the north of the city and the Corbieres to the south. Whether you opt for a full wine tour, which includes a tour of the vineyards and learning all about how the wine is produced, or you just want to pop into some of the domaines for a tasting, you?ll find plenty of excellent options.

The walls of the La Cite citadel

Of course, no visit to Carcassonne is complete without visiting the citadel, which also includes the Chateau Comtal, a 12th century castle sporting 31 towers, within its walls. Some of the inner walls date back to Roman times, while the outer wall is the work of Louis IX. There are several guided tours on offer which allow you to take in the chateau and sections of the walls as well as the amphitheatre.

If you?d like to visit Carcassonne and its famous citadel, we have several luxury villas available throughout Languedoc-Roussillon perfect for exploring the city and the surrounding area. We also have a variety of accommodation across France, including villas in Provence, Brittany, Normandy and the Cote d?Azur.

Image: Jondu11, available under the GNU License