48 hours in... Carcassone

Friday, noon: Check into the Hotel de La Cité (Place August-Pierre Pont, www.hoteldelacite.com), a luxury cocoon just inside the ramparts of Carcassone’s Cité Mediévale.

• 12:30pm Lunch at the hotel’s garden restaurant, Jardin de L’Eveque.

• 2pm Walk round the battlements for a sense of déja vu – you’ve almost certainly seen them in movies such as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

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• 3:30pm Visit the Chateau Comtal for a one-hour guided tour of the 12th-century seat of the Trencavel dynasty.

• 6pm Amble to Place Marcou, the hub of the Cité Médievale for an apéro – perhaps a kir royale made with sparkling Blanc de Limoux – in an open-air café.

• 8pm Sample cassoulet, the region’s signature dish of sausage, duck, pork and beans, at the hotel’s Brasserie le Donjon.

• Saturday, 9am Cross the Pont Vieux to the Bastide de Saint Louis, Carcassonne’s “new” town and the open-air market on the Place Carnot. Ramble among the stalls, then take a coffee under the orange awnings at Bar Felix.

• 11am Visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts on the Rue Verdun with its collection of 18th-century landscapes.

• Noon Lunch at Chez Fred (31 boulevard Omer-Sarrault, tel: 0468 72 02 23, www.chez-fred.fr). The gastronomic menu features such treats as lamb sausage in a honey infusion.

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• 2pm Board at the Port de Carcassonne for a cruise on the historic Canal du Midi with Carcassonne Crosieres (www.carcassonne-croisiere.com).

• 6pm Take the navette shuttle back to the Cité.

• 8pm Dinner at Le Parc (www.leparcfranckputelat.com), Carcassonne’s only Michelin-starred restaurant.

• Sunday, 11am Check out, fly home.


Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) flies to Carcassonne from Glasgow Prestwick twice a week in the summer months from £145; www.carcassonnetourisme.com