There is certainly no shortage of fascinating attractions to be discovered by those taking advantage of canal boats for hire in the Languedoc. There are many popular stop-off points along the full length of the Canal du Midi. Either enjoy your holiday on our Broom Mahogany Broads cruiser moored to the bank near La Somail or enjoy a three or five day piloted tour towards Carcassonne.
There is one location that will always enter the conversation concerning trips across ‘Cathar country’, and that is Carcassonne. This fortified town in the Aude department is certainly a major draw for history buffs, being home to the remarkable architectural treasure, the Cité de Carcassonne.
A medieval fortress that was restored in 1853 and became an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, the Cité de Carcassonne is certainly the focal point of any visit to this remarkable settlement. It was founded during the Gallo-Roman period and played an integral role through the ages of the Romans, Visigoths, Saracens and Crusaders.
Since the 1659 Treaty of the Pyrenees, the town has lost its military significance and the citadel has instead resumed the status of an infinitely fascinating historical monument. However, it is far from the only reason to visit Carcassonne, with other must-see sights including Carcassonne Cathedral, the Basilica of St. Nazaire and St. Celse and the Church of St. Vincent.
While the Cité de Carcassonne dominates the city – indeed, it practically is the city – there is much else to see and do here for those stopping off from one of the many canal boats for hire in the Languedoc. To get a rundown of the history of the city, you may want to take one of the many tours available in various languages, which will also draw attention to other points of interest.
Alternatively, you could simply while away the hours contentedly strolling the medieval cobbled streets, perhaps helping yourself to a traditional cassoulet – a hot dish akin to a stew, consisting of pork, sausage, white beans and occasionally a hunk of duck. The modern city around the Cité de Carcassonne is known as Ville Basse, and is well worth investigation when the tourist crowds within the fortress itself become too much.
For those who are nearby on Bastille Day in July, there’s an extra treat on offer in the form of the Festival de la Cité, which serves up special music and theatre performances as part of a city-wide celebration. Here at La Souqueto B&B, we certainly couldn’t think of many better ways to spend your time away from our canal boats for hire in the Languedoc.