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Carcassonne & Albi

Carcassonne 6 nights Price from £2,798 per person
Departs: 24 Sep 2023, 13 May 2024, 23 Sep 2024
Departs: 24 Sep 2023

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This tour is based at the pinnacle of the mediaeval citadel of Carcassonne where we stay at the luxurious Hotel de la Cité, built into the ramparts with panoramic views of the countryside. It is from here that we will explore the many distinctive regions of this beautiful part of southwest France. The arrival of the Cathars in the 11th century signalled the beginning of a turbulent and bloody period for the Languedoc as they fought with the established church to defend their religious beliefs. Thus began the Albigensian Crusades as the population struggled against the tyranny of Pope Innocent III. The precipitous mountain strongholds, majestic abbeys and breathtaking scenery all come alive as our tour lecturer Simon Monckton unravels the region’s complex history.


The Hotel

One of our favourite hotels in France, and certainly one of the most dramatically situated, the de la Cité has been beautifully restored. The original beamed ceilings, stained glass windows, wood panelling and floral tapestries have been retained and the hotel is situated in its own gardens with an outdoor summer swimming pool. There are 64 beautifully decorated bedrooms, a library and La Barbacane is a renowned Michelin-starred restaurant with an extensive wine cellar.

What's included

...when you travel with Kirker

  • Return flights
  • Six nights’ accommodation with breakfast
  • Three dinners at the hotel – including one in the gastronomic restaurant ‘La Barbacane’
  • All entrances fees and gratuities as described
  • The services of a Kirker Tour Lecturer


  • Day 1 - Carcassonne

    We fly from London to Toulouse and transfer to Carcassonne where we stay for the duration of the tour at the beautiful 5* Deluxe Hotel de la Cité, one of the finest hotels in France and certainly one of the most dramatically situated.
  • Day 2 - La Cité

    We spend the first day in Carcassonne, a town of two halves, La Cité itself and the more modern town below the hill. The city is located in a uniquely strategic position, between the Atlantic to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south-east, with imposing mountains to the south-west and north-east, and has been occupied for centuries. The current citadel, known as La Cité, is a well-preserved medieval fortress of a concentric design, which has two outer walls with 53 towers and barbicans. After falling into disrepair in the 19th century, it was extensively – and somewhat controversially – restored by the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in 1853.
  • Day 3 - Pays de Foix

    Today is spent in Pays de Foix. We visit the tiny church carved deep into a rock at Vals and then continue to Mirepoix, a perfect example of a small bastide where ancient half-timbered houses line thestreets. Finally we see one of the most impenetrable of all Cathar castles at Montsegur which was the centre of Catharism.
  • Day 4 - Albi

    Today we drive to Albi, a city whose buildings are made of delicately coloured pink and ochre stone. Here we visit the 13th to 16th century Cathedral of St. Cecile and the wonderful collection of works by Toulouse-Lautrec in the museum.
  • Day 5 - Toulouse

    The day is spent in Toulouse, a city still undeservedly little known. Here we see the Musée des Augustins with its important collection of Romanesque sculptures. We will also visit Europe’s largestRomanesque church, St. Sernin; an important stopping point on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela.
  • Day 6 - Narbonne

    We travel to Narbonne which was the Roman capital of Transalpine Gaul. While little remains from the Roman period, it remained an important centre through to the 13th and 14th centuries when the present cathedral was begun in the ambitious northern Gothic style. We explore the old part of the city before heading to the former Cistercian abbey of Fontfroide.
  • Day 7 - Flight

    We drive back to Toulouse airport for the flight to London.

Flight Details

Flights with British Airways:
Depart Heathrow 12:20, arrive Toulouse 15:05
Depart Toulouse 15:45, arrive Heathrow 16:40

Flight times subject to change. Supplement for British Airways Club Europe
available on request.

Departure Dates and Prices

Our prices are per person, based on sharing a twin/double room. Supplement for single occupancy as shown. Supplement for Superior room with garden view: £150 per room.


24 Sep 2023

Status Limited

Price from£2798

Single Supp.£540

Call 020 7593 2284


13 May 2024

Status Available

Price from£2986

Single Supp.£594

Book Now Enquire

23 Sep 2024

Status Available

Price from£2986

Single Supp.£594

Book Now Enquire

Included Hotels


Hotel de la Cité
Carcassonne, France, Europe

One of our favourite hotels in France and certainly one of the most dramatically situated, the De La Cité has been beautifully restored. The original beamed ceilings, stained glass windows, wood panelling and floral tapestries have been retained and the hotel is situated in its own gardens with an outdoor summer swimming pool.

simon monckton Kirker.jpg

Simon Monckton

Tour Leader

More Info

Recent Testimonials

Carcassonne & Albi

By Miss M, Clwyd, 07 February 2019

I could not fault the tour leader's support, professionalism, organisation & knowledge. As usual, Kirker has been first class and the holiday and hotel exceeded all expectations. My garden room at the hotel was superb & the hotel staff were excellent. Many thanks for a great holiday.

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To make an enquiry please speak to one of our experts on 020 7593 2288, or enquire online

Our expert reservations team regularly travel to a wide range of destinations to explore new cities, visit hotels and to research museums, galleries and restaurants so that we can offer the most up-to-date advice and recommendations.