Cathar Tours in Ariège and Aude
Castles, abbeys and medieval cities, a collection of 22 monuments gathered around a shared history, that of the Cathars are all waiting to invite you to experience the slower pace of life in Occitanie.
The Pays d’Oc region was not united not by politics in the Middle Ages, but rather by its culture and its language. In this region of southern Europe, which reached from the Atlantic to the Alps and from the north of the Massif Central to the Pyrenees, people spoke the language of Oc, or more precisely, different dialects that come from the Occitan language. This Romance language was the language of troubadours and literary creation, and, together with Latin, that of the notaries and communal administrations. This lasted until French began to take hold, first of all in written language, at the beginning of the 16th Century, via the prestige of the French monarchy.
The Middle Ages saw the economic and cultural explosion of Europe. Romanesque and Gothic art give birth to masterpieces of architecture, sculpture, painting and even music. Under the all-powerful leadership of the Roman Church. In terms of politics, two great powers clashed in Occitanie: the counts of Toulouse and the Catalan counts. But this principle antagonism was actually a multiplicity of alliances and rivalries, between two vassal lords or more, and sometimes all of them at once... conflicts were numerous, long and complex.
The Albigensian Crusade would put an end to this dissension. The Crusade, initially waged for religious reasons, became the defining event in the mediaeval history of this region, not only for its violence but also for its political impact: a border began to emerge at the South, a border that will eventually become the kingdom of France.
In Aude ther are over 22 outstanding heritage sites open to the public, inviting you to travel through time at a more relaxed Southern French pace. The castles, abbeys, museums and medieval citadels in Cathar Country will immerse you in History; the history of the men and women who lived here, the history of the stones that built these places and the history of Catharism.
The route you will take is a journey through winding countryside of Corbières and over the edge of the Pyrenees. Stunning views and Mountain-top fortified castles, overlooking a non-existent border: after almost being forgotten, which are today enjoying a resurgence. The Abbey and its village nestled in the hollow of the valley. The history of these castles and abbeys is deeply intertwined with Catharism...
Tours & Itinenaries
We offer a variety of tours throughout Cathar Country from 2 Nights to 7 Nights stopping off at many of the 22 monuments gathered around a shared history all situated in an authentic landscape that gives the Cathar country all of its character... However with so much more to do in the region including visiting the many wine appelations, grottos, picturesque villages and fine dining restarrants we are more than happy to tailor any of our breaks to suit you itinerary or wishes.
All our tours offer the maximum flexibility to our clients andyare available both midweek and weekend, providing you with the complete freedom to choose your travel dates.