How do I find a campsite near Carcassonne?
With its 3 kilometres of ramparts and 52 towers, the upper town of Carcassonne, located on the right bank of the Aude, is the largest fortified city in Europe! In order for you to be able to choose the best suited accommodation for your needs, we suggest that you quickly get in touch with the hosts on HomeCamper. If you want to spend your stay directly with the locals of the area who can share their knowledge of the region with you, don't hesitate to book your stay in advance!
What to visit in Carcassonne?
Located in Languedoc-Roussillon, between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, Carcassonne is famous as a medieval city, which was restored in the 19th century by Viollet-le-Duc and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fortified city stands on a rocky hill, and you can see its battlements and turrets from a distance.
Things to visit include:
The fortified city: it is surrounded by two rows of ramparts bristling with battlements and 52 stone towers. You enter it through the Narbonne gate or through the Aude gate. In the heart of the city, there is the Count's Castle, a fortress where the Viscounts of Carcassonne used to live. You can visit it and access the ramparts.
Saint-Nazaire Basilica: it is an 11th century Romanesque church, which was consecrated a cathedral. Built in sandstone, it was then enlarged in the Gothic style. Inside, the two styles mix in stained glass windows and sculptures.
The bastide Saint-Louis: It is also called "the lower town"; built on the left bank of the Aude in 1260, it is located around the central square (Place Carnot) and has kept the old layout of the chequered streets. You can admire superb 18th century private mansions, the Seneschal house dating from the 14th century, but also monuments such as the Jacobins portal, the halls, the fountain in Place Carnot, and the Pont Vieux which was the only access between the Bastide and the City until the 19th century. It is currently reserved for pedestrians.
The Canal du Midi: it was designed in the 17th century by Pierre-Paul Riquet to link the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, and was used to transport goods and passengers. It is also called the Canal des Deux-Mers. Initially, it did not pass through Carcassonne, it was only in 1810 that the new route diverted it so that it would integrate the city into its route, which would have significant consequences on its economy and development.
The Fine Arts Museum: it is located in the lower town, housed by the former President, and it exhibits collections of French, Italian and Dutch paintings. There are also earthenware, tapestries and other works of art. Educational workshops and conference cycles are also offered.
Saint-Vincent church: it is a Gothic style church with a very beautiful vault and a large nave, as well as an octagonal bell tower 54 metres high that houses a carillon of 47 bells. You can access it by a long staircase of 232 steps from where you can admire a superb panoramic view of the city. In addition, the interior of the church houses paintings and a lectern from the 17th century, glass roofing and rosettes from the 15th century.
The Museum of the Inquisition: it presents the history and instruments of torture used between the 12th century and the Revolution, with a very explicit scenography showing models undergoing torture, as well as cells, torture rooms and engravings that depict them. Most of the scenes are based on true stories and torture inflicted on heretics by the inquisitors. Impressive... To avoid with children of course!
The wine route: the wines of the Aude return to those who taste them all the sun they have enjoyed, and the region has made it a true tradition, to be discovered along the roads that will take you from vineyard to vineyard; Cabardès, Clape Quatourze, Corbières, Fitou, Limoux, Malepère, Minervois, then the natural sweet wines like Muscat de Rivesaltes, through them you will appreciate the diversity of flavours and the wealth of the terroirs.
Cathar castles: there are no less than ten Cathar castles in the surroundings of Carcassonne. Aguilar on its hill overlooking the scrubland and the vineyards of Haut Fitou; Arques and its lake, its forests and its high keep; the 4 castles of Lastours in the Montagne Noire; Peyrepertuse on its vertiginous promontory, as vast as the City of Carcassonne; Puylaurens, at an altitude of 700 metres, the southernmost fortress of the country; Puivert, very well preserved and exuding an impression of strength and serenity; Quéribus on its rocky peak with its polygonal keep; Saissac on the edge of a ravine; Termes, an impregnable eagle's nest; and Villerouge-Termenès, built in the heart of the medieval village, surrounded by four towers. Each site has its own charm, which will take you back centuries.
When to go to Carcassonne?
Carcassonne, a city in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France, is characterized by a Mediterranean-type climate, identical to the climate on the west coast of Italy: mild winters and hot summers, while spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit the city under a benevolent sun. It attracts more than four million visitors every year, and it is advisable to discover it in the low season to better enjoy its charm!
Whether you own a caravan, a motorhome, or a van, get ready for a roadtrip filled with unique camping and sightseeing experiences!