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The Cathar Citadels


4 days / 3 nights Private Tour 

 

Prices on request

 

Included:
3 nights in Half-Board accommodation
Private services with transport in executive minivan and qualified English-speaking driver-guide
Visits as mentioned

 

 


Request an individualized estimate

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How it works

 

This private escorted tour around the Cathar Citadels is for parties of 2 to 6 people of friends or family that get together. With daily departures, fix your dates for any time of the year and we'll take care of the rest:

 

Travel in air-conditioned minivan with a qualified, English- or Spanish-  speaking driver-guide with accommodation in carefully selected hotels.

 

Optional: Should you wish to combine elements of other escorted tours or wine tours with this selection, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

 

 


Highlights

 
This private escorted tour explores the Cathar sect, their lifes, times and final persecution at the hands of the Inquisition. The Cathars were a pious and peaceful movement but were deemed a threat to the established church and to the French throne and so were hounded mercilessly into seeking refuge in some of the most dramatic and spectacular chateaux in the South of France.

Our tour traces the fight of these dissidents with visits of countless medieval castles and fortresses including the world famous old city of Carcassonne; excursions through the Minervois vineyards with wine tastings at Limoux; visits of villages classed among France's "Most beautiful villages" such as visits to Minerve, and guided tours with English explanations as to the religious and historical importance of Catharisme.

 


Day 1: Toulouse - Minerve - Carcassonne - Lastours - Quillan

Pick up by your driver-guide in Toulouse  and departure for Minerve in the Minervois wine region. This extraordinary village perched on a limestone pedestal and surrounded by deep gorges in the Languedocien garrigue is classed as one of the 'Most Beautiful Villages of France'. Route to Carcassonne through the Minervois vineyards.


The afternoon is devoted to exploring the Medieval Citadel la Cité de Carcassonne – which is visited by foot.
Carcassonne was classed as a UNESCO World heritage site in 1997. Originally an Iron age oppidum the site was used in the 1st century as a Roman villa before re-appearing in the 11th century as a fortification belonging to the powerful Viscount Trencavel. During the Albigensian crusade new battlements were added as it became an emblem of Royal power.
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Next stop the four towers of Lastours 16 km north of Carcassonne: an archaeological complex comprising mediaeval castles, a working archaeological site and visitor centre explaining the strategic, religious and historical importance of the site.
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Transfer to Quillan and settle into your hotel.


Dinner & overnight in Quillan.


Day 2: Quéribus - Peyrepertuse - Quillan

After breakfast, pick up at your hotel by your driver-guide and departure for Rennes-le-Château, small medieval castle village, known internationally for being at the centre of various conspiracy theories.
The story became the origin for hypotheses in documentaries and bestselling books such as The Da Vinci Code.
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Then on to Quéribus and Peyrepertuse castles built on impressive rocky outcrop.
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Dinner & overnight at the hotel in Quillan. 


Day 3: Montségur – Foix – Limoux - Quillan

After breakfast, pick up at the hotel by your driver-guide and departure for Montségur : The capital of the Cathar church sect. The famous siege of the citadel in 1244 lasted over 11 months before the 600 Cathars and soldiers within capitulated. 230 Cathars, unwilling to deny their faith, were burnt at the stake.


Onwards to Foix and a visit of its château, seat of the last count of Foix, Gaston Phoebus. Built on the site of 7th and 8th century fortifications in 1034, the castle became the stronghold of the Count of Foix and played a significant role in Medieval military history.

Departure for the medieval Bastide of Mirepoix to visit its superb Grand Place with fine half-timbered arcades and houses. Particularly fine sculpted wood facades dating from 1501 are to be found on the Maison de Justice and the Maison des Consuls: coiffured gentlewomen, bearded faces and tortoises.


Return to Quillan, stopping en route for wine tasting at a Limoux vineyard, home to a champagne-method sparkling white.

Dinner & overnight at the hotel in Quillan.


Day 4: Departure

Breakfast & transfer to Toulouse airport.

 


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