Hey guys! So as some of you may know, last month Jason and I visited Carcassonne in the South of France. It was the most incredible holiday, and now that I’m home in wet and windy England, I can tell you that there isn’t much I wouldn’t do to be back there.
Jason and I love travelling, and over our four years together we’ve accumulated a pretty big list of places we want to visit. Carcassonne, however, was completely unknown to me before Jason mentioned it a few months back when we were looking for our latest holiday.
I think the fact that I hadn’t heard of Carcassonne prior to our trip sums it up pretty well- you probably haven’t heard of it either (or if you have, you’re a much more well travelled and well educated person than myself, and I take my hat off to you). It’s a hidden gem in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France, possibly lost to most tourists under the shadow of the more well known, nearby cities of Montpellier and Toulouse. The town itself is pretty much what you would expect from any French market town, but the true magic of Carcassonne lies just outside the town centre and across the river Aude, surrounded by vineyards for as far as the eye can see. Here you find the Cité de Carcassonne, the medieval citadel, where the first Roman defences were in place by 333 AD!
The citadel is steeped in history, and such a fantastic place to visit. I couldn’t recommend it enough. Inside the walls are a multitude of shops, cafes and restaurants. Bustling with tourists, the citadel is a vibrant and lively place to visit throughout the day and well into the evening; and it’s easy to see why. The beautiful medieval architecture accompanied by the quaint shops, selling local produce and stylish souvenirs, makes you feel as though you’ve just stepped into a Disney tale. There’s also several hotels located inside the citadel, for those wanting to immerse themselves in these beautiful surroundings!
I couldn’t begin to describe all the different shops that are situated inside the walls of the citadel. Locally produced biscuits, infused oils, soaps and meringue to name a few, can be found in abundance in many of the countless businesses located here. I could’ve gone wild buying goodness knows how many Languedoc-Roussillon produced preserves and foods.
At the very heart of the citadel, you will find the Battlements. The Battlements are open to visitors, and the best bit was they were free for EU citizens under 26 years old! Free entry to look around this medieval fortress, steeped in history, was a wonderful experience without a doubt! There is plenty of information and signs to read as you make your way around the battlements, detailing the history of the Cité de Carcassonne. If you’re into the history side of things more than the shops, this part of the citadel is perfect for you!
To be honest with you, I could carry on talking about the citadel all day- but this post is already long enough! The sight of the towers and turrets rising above the vineyards is something quite surreal. I cannot recommend the Cité de Carcassonne enough! Be sure to visit if you are staying in the area, you won’t regret it!
I hope you enjoyed this post! I’ll be back with a post on Wednesday, but why not check out some of my other travel posts in the meantime?
Best wishes to you all!