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Destination guide

Enjoying Carcassonne holiday villas

It's difficult not to feel moved the first time you see the stone-hewn walls of Carcassonne rising up over the flowing fields of Languedoc-Roussillon. It's a Harry Potter-esque medley of turrets and spires and chipped battlements, backed by a patchwork of green forests and regimented vineyards. Make it within the walls and you'll find yourself wandering along higgledy-piggledy cobbled ways that cut between haunting churches and half-timbered homes. Head for the outskirts and rustic wine cellars await in centuries-old chateaux. Carcassonne holiday villas are the perfect pick for culture vultures, foodies, history buffs and more. You'll find them dotting the city, and its surrounding hills and valleys.

History

Centuries of history to discover in Carcassonne

Carcassonne's unique geography is what has made it a really important trading outpost since the times of the Romans. It's draped over a bluff on the edge of the Aude River, on a major crossroads between the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Pyrenees and the Alps, so it's hardly a surprise that everyone from the Visigoths to the French monarchs wanted it for themselves. The most striking remnant of centuries past can now be seen towering over all else when you stay in a Carcassonne holiday rental. It's the Medieval City, which bears a UNESCO tag for its restored bulwarks and fairy-tale keeps. Within are where the greatest historical relics reside, in the form of the vaulted Basilique St-Nazaire and the 12th-century Chateau Comtal, now a museum.

Activities

Sightseeing in and around Carcassonne

Are you hoping to discover attractions to see in the city? Venture out of your holiday home and check out everything that makes Carcassonne a fun place to get away to. Here are some of the top attractions to explore, all within 30 miles (48.2 km) of the city centre:

  • Carcassonne Golf (1.7 mi / 2.8 km)
  • Mazamet Golf Course (20.9 mi / 33.6 km)
  • Castres-Gourjade Golf Course (28.4 mi / 45.7 km)
  • L'Archipel (28.6 mi / 46.1 km)
Natural features

Exploring the natural landscape of Carcassonne

Whether you're an active traveller or just want to appreciate the scenery, Carcassonne is a great place to spend some time outside. Here are some of the area’s noteworthy natural features, all within 30 miles (48.2 km) of the city centre:

  • Cabrespine Cave (11 mi / 17.7 km)
  • La Curiosite de L'Auriol (18.6 mi / 29.9 km)
  • Les Gorges de la Cesse (20 mi / 32.1 km)
  • Les Gorges du Brian (22 mi / 35.3 km)
  • Canal du Midi Museum and Garden (22.8 mi / 36.7 km)
  • Canal du Midi Museum and Gardens (22.8 mi / 36.7 km)
How to get there

Transport options to and around Carcassonne

The nearest airport is in Carcassonne (CCF-Pays Cathare), located 2.2 mi (3.5 km) from the city centre. If you can't find a flight that works for your travel itinerary, you can also fly into Castres (DCM-Mazamet), which is 23.7 mi (38.2 km) away.

If you prefer to travel by train, Carcassonne Station, Couffoulens Station and Verzeille Station are the main stations in the area.

How to get around

Getting around in Carcassonne

The roads around Carcassonne come fringed with lines of swaying sunflowers and pretty vistas of wooded hills and vineyards. What's more, many Carcassonne holiday homes hide in the bucolic countryside of Languedoc – precisely why they are such a great escape from the rat race. The upshot is that renting a car is perfect if you really want to explore the gorgeous region that surrounds this medieval castle town. And, talking of castles, the UNESCO-tagged Medieval City of Carcassonne is just 20 minutes on foot from the main train station area. The newer town, and its bistros and wine bars, spreads out on the opposite side of the Aude. Both are walkable.

Food & drink 

Local delicacies to go with Carcassonne holiday cottages

Carcassonne holiday homes could just be tailor-made for fans of French cuisine. The city is surrounded by the fertile lands of Languedoc-Roussillon, and the restaurants and bistros offer a whole medley of rustic and traditional country dishes. The iconic stew of cassoulet, packed with poultry and meaty sausages and beans, takes centre stage. Then there's salty Roquefort cheese, a protected product of the region that's aged in caves to create a unique flavour. That's all complemented by the legendary wines that slosh in vats in countless vineyards around the city – get ready for some seriously full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots.

Essential info

Essential things to remember in Carcassonne

  • There's no parking available in the medieval heart of old Carcassonne, so be ready to leave the car by the gatehouses and venture in on foot
  • Carcassonne draws millions of visitors each year, meaning the narrow lanes of the Medieval City area can get busy, especially during summer
  • Carcassonne's historic walls can look just as dramatic when lit up at night
  • Be sure to reserve a place in a restaurant in Carcassonne if you're travelling between June and August – things get booked up fast
  • Have euros at the ready when staying in a Carcassone holiday rental, and remember that 10% tips are customary
  • Remember to drive on the right-hand side of the road in France

How many holiday rentals are available around Carcassonne?

Our 2020 accommodation listings offer a large selection of 1,292 holiday lettings around Carcassonne. From 180 villas to 546 houses, find unique self catering accommodation for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends for a long holiday or a weekend break.

Can I rent a rural property in Carcassonne?

Sometimes you just really need to get away from it all. Take a break from the crowds and discover the splendour and authenticity of country living. HomeAway has 637 countryside getaway rentals in this destination. Alternatively, you might be interested in trying another style of setting. HomeAway has loads of rental options to choose from, including:

  • 469 village holiday accommodation options.
  • 258 mountainside holiday accommodation options.
  • 243 lakeside holiday accommodation options.

Can I rent a house in Carcassonne?

Our house holiday rentals are real properties for real travellers. With loads of room to move, they're perfect if you want to experience life like a local. There are 521 options available on HomeAway. Prices start from £26 a night. If that doesn't suit your posse's taste, we've got a number of different self-catering accommodation options to choose from, such as:

  • Apartment: 264 self-catering accommodation options. Prices start from £30 per night.
  • Villa: 180 self-catering accommodation options. Prices start from £23 per night.
  • Cottage: 137 self-catering accommodation options. Prices start from £40 per night.

Can I stay in Carcassonne in a large group?

Whether you're taking off on a holiday with the whole family or spending a few nights away with your old school mates, it's always loads of fun staying under the one roof! The best news is that HomeAway has places to suit you. Why not have a peek at the 143 house holiday rentals listed here? They're the most popular choice for large groups of guests. In the area, the properties that can house large groups of guests include:

  • If yours is a squad of 6, we offer 936 properties to rent ideal for that size. Spend a night for as little as £29.
  • If you have 8 in your party, you'll be delighted to learn that there are 582 rental accommodation that are perfect. Prices start at £39 per night.
  • Planning a trip away with 5 guests? We have 273 holiday rentals that match your requirements. Prices begin at just £40 a night.

So don't worry! When you book with us you'll be able to bring your dad, your cousin and all your friends to Carcassonne.

Where are the cheapest holiday rentals in Carcassonne?

Reduce those hefty accommodation expenses with a little help from HomeAway. You'll find a range of excellent holiday rentals and save loads of cash! La Bastide Saint-Louis is an awesome area to consider if you want to keep your budget under control. HomeAway has 186 holiday rentals, and the average price is a very agreeable £91 per night. La Cité Médiévale is another place to consider. We have 138 and the average price is around £107 a night.

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