Enjoy a winter visit and Christmas in Carcassonne Languedoc France

Written by on November 29, 2017 in Languedoc-Roussillon

View of the citadel of Carcassonne at night all lit up against a dark sky

France is an all year round destination offering something for everyone. When we think of winter in France, we generally think of skiing in the Alps or the Pyrenees. But, there is so much more to this fascinating country at this time of the year. If you are a lover of myths and enchanting stories then the perfect place to visit in the winter would be Carcassonne in Languedoc as well as some other incredible towns in the area.

Carcassonne is the world famous medieval citadel seen for miles from the motorways taking you down to the Pyrenees. Some say that Carcassonne was Walt Disney’s inspiration for the creation of Sleeping Beauty. From a distance it is breath-taking, but once there, inside the Citadel, your spirits will be lifted by the magic of this magnificent place. Carcassonne was also the inspiration for Kate Mosse’s best-selling book “Labyrinth” – a story revolving around an ancient grail.

Carcassonne Christmas market

Carcassonne at Christmas

From early December until early January, Carcassonne’s magic is at its best as it comes alive with festivities for the Christmas period. There are twinkling lights everywhere, concerts, street entertainment, an ice rink, Christmas market and a wonderfully festive atmosphere. The celebrations take place in the Citadel as well as in the ancient city centre of Bastide Saint Louis at the base of the old city.

What else to see near Carcassonne

Hiring a car is a good idea as not too far from Carcassonne are two other enchanting towns. Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer is approximately a two hour drive from Carcassonne. It was once a fishing village built on an island in the heart of the beautiful Camargue region of France where you will see stunning white horses running wild. According to local legend, after the resurrection of Christ, Mary Magdalene and several disciples were forced to flee the holy land in 45 AD. They arrived in Saintes-Maries-de-la-mer and it is said Mary Magdalene remained here until her death many years later. It is now a holy place and is referred to in books as ‘The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail’ from which Dan Brown used information and references for his book The Da Vinci Code.

Aigues Mortes, very close to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, is a city marked by crusades and the Knights Templar. It is a tourist site today but with an intriguing history and it’s a wonderful place to relax and chill enjoying the French lifestyle.

In December the Cathar Castles and heritage sites are open and many appreciate that there are no crowds of tourists. The weather is generally sunny but cold, around 10 degrees. And, if you’re a wine lover now is a good time to visit as vignerons in the area have a lot more time to spend with wine enthusiasts.

Website for Carcassonne Tourist Office

Related Articles

What to see and do in Bastide Saint-Louis Carcassonne

Back in the middle ages, a new Carcassonne was created at the base of the hill of the ancient citadelle of Carcassonne. The town of lower Carcassone was built on the left bank of the river Aude and is called the Bastide Saint-Louis. Most visitors to Carcassonne miss it completely and what a shame that […]

Continue Reading

What to see and do in Carcassonne France

Almost always the first place that all visitors head to when they go to Carcassonne is the old city. You can see it from miles around and it is a sight that’s memorable. A chateau perched on top of a hill surrounded by ramparts dotted with fairy tale pointy turrets that contain an entire medieval […]

Continue Reading

Guide to Montpellier old town

Montpellier is the capital city of the Herault department, Occitanie (formerly called Languedoc-Roussillon). It used to be a fishing village many years ago, now it’s a cool town with a hip vibe. The sun shines pretty much from spring through autumn and then some – 300 days a year on average of sun. There’s no […]

Continue Reading

Mazamet the perfect base close to Carcassonne, Toulouse and Albi

There are so many reasons to visit this largely undiscovered heritage town in the Tarn – not least of all because it’s home to one of the top luxury B&Bs in France and we all deserve a little luxury now and again. Mazamet is nestled at the edge of the Montagne Noire (Black Mountains) with […]

Continue Reading

The wines and terroir of Aude, southwest France

Producing over 7 billion bottles of wine each year French wine making is big business. Along with neighbours Spain and Italy, their wines account for 50% of the world’s total wine exports. With viniculture in France dating to the 6th century BC there’s a lot of history and heritage in every bottle. But, look beyond […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top