This stylish, first-floor apartment is situated in the heart of the Bastide, only minutes from Place Carnot. It takes its name from nearby St. Vincent church whose Sunday morning bells can be heard from the apartment. If you're feeling energetic you can climb the magnificent bell tower for wonderful views of the city and surrounding countryside. The apartment is within minutes walk of a variety of restaurants, bars and cafes as well as local supermarkets and shops and of course the wonderful outdoor market in Place Carnot. In summer you can take advantage of a whole range of events during the month long Festival including the many free outdoor concerts held in the nearby squares and at Xmas Place Carnot is transformed into a skating rink, with a Xmas market in nearby Place Gambetta. It is a short walk across the river Aude to the world-famous medieval walled Cite with its many shops and galleries and a wide choice of outdoor restaurants and cafes. Newly refurbished, with a king-size bed and modern shower room the apartment has everything you need for a carefree holiday and is close to all transport links for days out in the surrounding area. A car is not necessary but free parking is available nearby if required. Ideal location for those who like to be at the centre of things and enjoy a wide range of daytime activities and a good choice of nightlife. Unfortunately we do not currently have internet access but free Wifi is available at the friendly local bar 50m away.
|Size||Sleeps up to 2, 1 bedrooms|
|Rooms||1 bedroom, 1 bathrooms of which 1 shower room|
|Nearest beach||Lac Cavayere 8 km|
|Access||Car not necessary|
|Nearest Amenities||100 m|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Carcassonne 5 km, Nearest railway: Carcassonne 500 m|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
|General||Central heating, TV, CD player|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Microwave, Fridge, Washing machine|
|Furniture||Dining seats for 2, Lounge seats for 4|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Access||Not suitable for wheelchair users|
Carcassonne is situated in the centre of a varied and ever-changing landscape from the agricultural plains of the Lauragais to the west, the vineyards of Minervois to the east , with the Montagne Noire in the north, the Pyrenees mountains to the south-west and the beaches of the Mediterranean an easy drive away. Running across the region is the World Heritage listed Canal du Midi which offers opportunities for fishing, boating, cycling and walking, not to mention the many pretty towns and villages which dot its banks. Many artists and photographers are drawn to the area because of its wonderful scenery.
The region's history goes back to the Stone Age with ancient relics still to be seen dotted around the landscape. There is a wealth of ancient abbeys such as Lagrasse or Saint-Hilaire, while the religious wars of the 13th century have left a rich legacy of Cathar castles perched on rocky outcrops ( eg Peyreperteuse, Puilarens and Queribus) and many fortified towns and villages. The stunning town of Minerve built on the edge of a ravine is well worth a visit - the views as you approach by road are quite breath-taking, while the beautiful riverside village of Lastours boasts four ruined castles - the subject of a Son et Lumiere display in the summer months.
For a relaxed day out there are many picturesque local towns and villages where you can enjoy a gentle stroll, browsing the local shops, galleries and artisan centres , perhaps enjoying a glass of local wine in one of the outdoor cafes or sampling the local produce during a leisurely lunch. The nearby village of Montolieu is a must for booklovers with its book museum, annual book fair and a variety of bookshops scattered along the streets. If you enjoy architecture in the shape of timbered houses then Limoux and Mirepoix are worth a visit.
From the railway station you can take a trip on the 1 euro train (each way) stopping off at either Limoux, famous for its sparkling wine which claims to rival Champagne, or Quillan in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Both towns are situated on the river Aude and the route follows the river closely and is enjoyable in itself for the views of the countryside. If you want to venture further afield you can catch the train to Toulouse with its many attractions or to the roman city of Narbonne close to the coast. By car you can further explore the Pyrenees, perhaps visiting the independent state of Andorra or even Barcelona.
The local cuisine and wines attract many visitors with the vineyards of Corbieres and Minervois nearby and many locally produced specialities including the famous local dish of cassoulet ( a casserole of white beans, duck, and sausage ) said to originate in Castelnaudary.
Carcassonne is dominated by the World Heritage site of La Cite. Situated on a mound overlooking the river and best approached via the picturesque Pont Vieux it is an obvious attraction for visitors. Within the walls the narrow medieval streets are mostly vehicle free and very popular with tourists moving from one photo opportunity to another. You can visit the Chateau Comtal and Basilique St. Nazaire(made famous by Kate Mosse in her novel "Labyrinth". The bars, restaurants, shops and artisan workshops are well worth a visit too. Descending from the walled city through the Aude gate, the full power of medieval fortifications as imagined by Viollet-Le-Duc can be experienced. The path from the gate leads to the church of St Gimer which is a rare example of Viollet-Le-Duc's original architectural work.
Cross the pedestrian bridge back to the Bastide and see what most tourists do not always experience. This medieval 'New Town' laid out in a strict grid pattern holds a wonderful range of historical, architectural and cultural treasures. On the edges of the Bastide one of the massive bastions has been surmounted by a 'calvary'. The story of the passion is marked out in tableaux of life sized iron and terracotta figures. Within the Bastide are restraunts and bars, shops and both an indoor and open-air market. The quality and range of produce is a sight worth getting up early for. During the summer when the Carcassonne festival is in full swing Place Carnot and Place Andre Chenier are used as venues for free concerts hosting performances from international stars. The world-famous Bastille Day firework display in the Cite attracts many visitors to view the stunning spectacle. During the Christmas period Place Carnot becomes a public ice-rink and is also used for performances by local groups. The Xmas market in Place Gambetta and wonderful illuminations throughout the town make it an ideal location for a pre-Xmas break.
The museum de Beaux Arts houses an eclectic permanent exhibition and also hosts regularly changing exhibitions by recent and modern artists. Close by on Rue Verdun is the Maison de Memoire, the home of Joe Bousquet who, when he became bed-ridden, hosted visits from world famous artists and politicians. Now his house is open to the public with frequently changing exhibitions of diverse contemporary art.
Finally within the bastide is the church of St Vincent with a beautiful organ used for frequent recitals. The tower provides superb views of La Cite and the surrounding countryside for those willing to make the climb. On Sunday mornings the peel of 54 bells runs for about 45 minutes through a range of tunes.
With the bus, rail station and the canal dock an easy 5-minute walk from the apartment access to transport links beyond the city are easy and can provide superb day-trips into the historic area beyond. In summer there are many boat trips available on the Canal and bikes can be hired for cycling along the towpath.
Whether you are seeking an active, outdoor- based holiday, a relaxing, indulgent break or a lively fun-filled time with great entertainment Carcassonne and its surrounding area is the perfect choice.