Sites of the "Cathar" Country

Treasures around Carcassonne

Castles, abbeys, paths and natural heritage sites near Carcassonne.

A magnificent and generous territory

Carcassonne and its surroundings benefit from an exceptional geographical situation and offer a great diversity of landscapes just near by the city. A generous and preserved nature, between sea and mountain, between vine and forest, between lake and gorges… A rich historical and cultural heritage marked by the imprint of Catharism. Carcassonne guarantees a rich and varied stay!

© J.Roche - Ville de Carcassonne

Aude, Ariège and Pyrénées Orientales

welcome you to the Cathar country

The area around Carcassonne has an incredible cultural and natural wealth. It is the guarantee of a rich and varied stay! The city of Carcassonne benefits from an exceptional geographical situation and offers a great diversity of landscapes.

  • A generous and preserved nature, between sea and mountain, between lake and gorges…
  • A rich historical and cultural heritage, marked by the imprint of Catharism.

What is Catharism?

  • It is a Christian religious movement that developed during the Middle Ages in southwest France. This movement was declared heretical by the Catholic Church and was strongly fought against until the last castle was lost.

  • Many books are available in the bookshops of Carcassonne to discover the complexity of Catharism.

© Wikipedia Comm
© Wikipedia Comm

Castles of the cathar country

Castles of Lastours
These 4 castles perched on a rocky spur proudly dominate the village whose houses spread out over the hills and wind along the shady banks of the Orbiel.
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Castle of Peyrepertuse
A former castle of the crusade against the Albigensians, it was one of the fortresses built by Saint-Louis to protect the border of the Kingdom of France.
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Castle of Puilaurens
This magnificent castle is a perfect example of medieval military architecture.
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Castle of Queribus
This sublime castle overlooks the Corbières, Fenouillède and the Roussillon plain from its 728m altitude.
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Castle of Montsegur
Built at 1216m, this castle, symbolic of the Cathar history of the 13th century, stands over the small village of Montségur.
Castle of Saissac
The least known of the "Cathar" castles and yet one of the oldest and largest.
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Castle of Villerouge-Termenès
Located in the middle of the village of Villerouge-Termenès, the castle with its high walls is nestled in the middle of the Corbières.
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Incredible Abbeys of the Aude

The abbeys of the Aude region stand out for their beauty and preservation. Some of them have been used for the shooting of certain movies. True little jewels of religious heritage to (re)discover.

©Idriss Bigou-Gilles (72)

Lagrasse Abbey

©yannmonel-fontfroide 3

Fontfroide Abbey

Abbaye de Saint-Hilaire 3

Saint-Hilaire Abbey

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Caunes-Minervois Abbey


A rich heritage at your fingertips

There are many castles, abbeys and other religious structures, but also museums all around Carcassonne. The city is your perfect base for discovering all the richness of its territory.

You will also find typical and picturesque villages to discover the conviviality of the South of France.

The Interactive Map will allow you to visualize and organize your stay.



Day Trips

Take your car and discover the area around Carcassonne with our selection of day trips. All tours start in Carcassonne and allow you to return to the city in the evening.