We did a little road trip down to the South Of France from the Dordogne, stopping of in Carcassonne to spend the night. The Cité de Carcassonne in France is an outstanding example of a medieval fortified town and well worth a visit. Despite perhaps relying a little too heavily on tourism these days – the old area is very busy and commercial, if you have any children with a penchant for waving a wooden sword about and donning a tabard, then this is the place for you.
It’s breathtakingly beautiful, with a rich history, dating back to 3500 BC – after it’s exceptional renovation in the 1800’s (can’t believe things were already being renovated back then!) it is very easy to imagine what it must have been like back in the day. With it’s massive defences encircling the castle and Gothic cathedral, a drawbridge, a ditch, an Inquisition Tower, apparently there is an area where you can still see the blood stains on the floor.
Even without children, it’s fun to wander up through the cobbled streets, but we also skirted the outside of it when going out for dinner and admired the whole area lit up beautifully, with help via the moonlight – how beautiful is that?
We stayed in a lovely little hotel overlooking the old part of the town called Hotel du Chateau and Spa, un petit bijou d’hôtel, overlooking the old town, which was the perfect location for us to easily walk around:-
We ate at a little restaurant called La Table de la Bastide after researching some reviews – this restaurant won for unusual food and it didn’t disappoint. It wasn’t in the old town and we sat in the cave area, I wouldn’t say it has the best ambience, but the food was delicious:-
We also found a lovely little wine bar called Barriere Truffles on the way home run by an ex-rugby player who now specialises in all things truffle – pretty walking the streets at night.