Carcassinne & Albi - Carcassonne

This tour is based at the pinnacle of the mediaeval citadel of Carcassonne where we stay at the luxurious Hotel de la Cité, built into the ramparts with panoramic views of the countryside. It is from here that we will explore the many distinctive regions of this beautiful part of southwest France. The arrival of the Cathars in the 11th century signalled the beginning of a turbulent and bloody period for the Languedoc as they fought with the established church to defend their religious beliefs. Thus began the Albigensian Crusades as the population struggled against the tyranny of Pope Innocent III. The precipitous mountain strongholds, majestic abbeys and breathtaking scenery all come alive as our tour lecturer Simon Monckton unravels the region’s complex history.


    We fly from London to Toulouse and transfer to Carcassonne where we stay for the duration of the tour at the beautiful 5 star Deluxe Hotel de la Cité, one of the finest hotels in France and certainly one of the most dramatically situated.


  • DAY 2 - LA CITÉ
    We spend the first day in Carcassonne, a town of two halves, La Cité itself and the more modern town below the hill.


    Today is spent in Pays de Foix. We visit the tiny church carved deep into a rock at Vals and then continue to Mirepoix, a perfect example of a small bastide where ancient halftimbered houses line the streets. Finally we see one of the most impenetrable of all Cathar castles at Montsegur which was the centre of Catharism.


  • DAY 4 - ALBI
    Today we drive to Albi, a city whose buildings are made of delicately coloured pink and ochre stone. Here we visit the 13th to 16th Century Cathedral of Ste. Cecile and the wonderful collection of works by Toulouse-Lautrec in the museum.


    The day is spent in Toulouse, a city still undeservedly little known. Here we see the Musee des Augustins with its important collection of Romanesque sculptures. We will also visit Europe’s largest Romanesque church, St. Sernin; an important stopping point on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela.


    We travel to Narbonne which was the Roman capital of Transalpine Gaul. While little remains from the Roman period, it remained an important centre through to the 13th and 14th centuries when the present cathedral was begun in the ambitious northern Gothic style. We explore the old part of the city before heading to the former Cistercian abbey of Fontfroide.


  • DAY 7 - FLIGHT
    We drive back to Toulouse airport for the flight to London.


Included Hotels

Hotel de la Cité 5* Deluxe - Carcassonne, France, Europe

One of our favourite hotels in France and certainly one of the most dramatically situated, the De La Cité has been beautifully restored. The original beamed ceilings, stained glass windows, wood panelling and floral tapestries have been retained and the hotel is situated in its own gardens with an outdoor summer swimming pool.

Carcassinne & Albi

Guide price per person,
based on the shared occupancy of a twin/double room. Supplement for single occupancy rooms will apply. Insurance is not included
Prices start from £2,450
All prices and details are subject to change and availability.  Terms and conditions apply.

Holiday Name : Carcassinne & Albi 
Reference : KKM