Carcassonne is famous the world over as the most impressive fortified town of medieval Europe - even if not everything is originally from that period, but a product of the romantic imagination of the 19th century.
In the year 1 BC, the Romans fortified the market of Carcasso on the way to the Atlantic. In the 6th century it fell into the possession of the Visigoths, then the Arabs (725) and the Franks (759). In 1209, the town, a Cathar stronghold, was conquered by Simon de Montfort; he went on to use it as his base for a brutal war on the Cathars. In 1229 the town and county fell to the French Crown. The fortifications were extended by the Counts of Beziers (1130), Saint Louis (from 1240) and Philip the Bold (around 1280) and were, at last, considered unassailable. From 1240, the Ville Basse was developed along the lines of southern French bastides, in which the citizens expelled from the fortress could settle. The 1659 Treaty of the Pyrenees rendered the fortress redundant. It fell into disrepair until it came to the attention of Prosper Merimee; restoration work began in 1843 under Viollet-le-Duc and was completed in 1910.
Every year Carcassonne holds the biggest firework display for Bastille day. centred around La Cite more than 250,000 people enjoy a whole day of celebrations, picnics and when dusk falls the fireworks begin. this area is also an attraction for La Tour de France. We have enjoyed seeing it pass local villages, even appearing on official photos. The road to Lastours is a cycling challenge that many enjoy.
Every village holds its own Fete during the summer so live music and entertainment can be enjoyed free, just paying for your wine and food and at 2 euro a glass its not going to break the bank.
We have stunning lakes to enjoy, with many offering water sport activities and lake beaches.
Cycle or walk along the Canal du Midii, stop off for lunch along the way.
Lastours Les quatre Chateaux is a stunning walk, with Grotte de Limousis being just up the road from us.
Donkey trekking, wine and chocolate tours, Vineyard tours with lunch or why not enjoy a french cuisine course by the Canal du Midi. there is so much to do and see here you are spolit for choice.