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Carcassonne is at the heart of Cathar country so no surprise that there is plenty to inspire history lovers here...
In La Cite explore cobbled streets and absorb the medieval atmosphere among eateries and shops before perhaps enjoying one of the traditional jousting performances that take place regularly.
Along the fortifications find 52 stunning towers. Later on try the local speciality cassoulet which is a stew of beans, sausage and duck or take a canal boat ride to enjoy the sights from another viewpoint.
Nestling alongside the historic part of town Villa Basse, the lower part of the city, offers a more modern take on life in the South of France. Hotels, restaurants and shopping facilities are to be found here.
The south of France offers a relatively comfortable climate year-round so choose your travel time according to your own preferences. After collecting your car in Carcassonne Salvaza Airport (CCF) explore the sights this popular city has to offer.
After you have taken in the sights of Carcassonne, a hire car gives you the opportunity to travel a little further afield at your leisure...
Just a short drive from the city, the village of Limoux has a thriving wine industry. The hilltop village Rennes le Chateau, around 40km from Carcassonne, has become notorious as the inspiration for The Da Vinci Code novel and lies at the heart of many conspiracy theories. Well worth a visit for fans of Dan Brown's work.
Further afield, around an hour's drive away you can find Toulouse, explore the secluded, sandy beaches of Beziers and Narbonne. You can also discover Perpignan and the Pyrenees.