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Carcasonne

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About Carcassonne

Once a small successful town and an abandoned fortress, Carcassonne is now a booming city that stands as a testament to the power of restoration on tourism and local business. Painstakingly renovated in the 19th Century by architect Eugene-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, the Old Fortress (now known as the cité) is one of the most iconic sights in France and a jewel of the southern region. Displaying architecture from as early as the 14th Century and with plenty of unique historical sites to explore, the cité is a must for anyone with a keen interest in France’s past.

The climate is common for the south of France, with highs of 29°C in the summer months and lows of 3°C in the winter making it perfect for a summer getaway. The city outside of the Old Fortress is well worth a visit too with more modern attractions, including an Australian park where you can watch kangaroos and camels. With so much to offer, it’s easy to see why Carcassonne is a popular destination for families and couples.

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Carcassonne Hotels

As Carcassonne has developed into a hub for tourism, many hotels have begun to cater to the needs of sightseers. If you want great views of the Old Fortress and its incredible architecture, the regal Hotel du Chateau and rustic Hotel du Pont Vieux both offer breath-taking landscapes from their windows. And if modern accommodation is more your style, the Hotel Restaurant Le Parc Franck Putlet has contemporary rooms boasting picturesque rural views.

Shopping in Carcassonne

The city itself has few high street stores, however there are several places to buy souvenirs and local produce. Visitors will often leave with antiques, books, souvenirs, food and wine from both the Old Fortress and the city. If you’re looking for a place to buy from while avoiding many of the common tourist traps, the Bastide Saint Louis Market is a local market where you can find many goods at a reasonable price.

Food & Drink Carcassonne

The city of Carcassonne offers many world cuisines and a good opportunity to sample French cooking. However, the Old Fortress also has 50 restaurants within its walls which serve a variety of food from the traditional dishes to a selection of fine-dining experiences. One of the most prized dishes in the region is Cassoulet, a stew made with haricots, duck and pork which many restaurants within the cité serve. Carcassonne is also in the centre of France’s vineyard country, making it a great place to try French wine.

Events in Carcassonne

Proud of the renovation of the Old Fortress, many of Carcassonne’s traditions celebrate the achievement of the city and its people:

Festival de Carcassonne

A celebration of Carcassonne with live acts from all over the European music scene, the Festival de Carcassonne takes places over several days in late July and sees many visitors come to the city. The main acts require you to pay for entry, however there are plenty of acts outside of the festival that are completely free of charge.

Carcassonne Ablaze

The city’s regular celebration of the restoration effort and the battles that made it necessary, Carcassonne Ablaze sees the sky fill with fireworks as live performances keep crowds dancing well into the night.

Feria de Carcassonne

A festival dedicated to the south of France’s connection to Spain, the Feria de Carcassonne is when the city’s residents take to the street, dancing Spanish tangos and salsas. With lots of Spanish foods and music to enjoy, this is a great day out for the kids.

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Key facts

Language:French
Currency:Euro
Time zone:GMT +1
Flight time:2 hours 5 minutes
Airport code:CCF
Holiday type:City Break / Summer Sun / History & Culture

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