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recommendations for day trips from Carcassonne and Toulouse

Spending 3 nights in Carcassonne and then 4 nights in Toulouse. We have a car. We are looking for interesting small villages and places for great views of the Pyrenees as well as a great experience in this part of southern France. Last summer we spent time in Provence and so we want to experience this area of southern France. Any recommendations for restaurants would also be appreciated... Looking forward to the great food of this region.
Thank you in advance.

Posted by
8 posts

Check out the Châteaux de Lastours, 4 Medieval Cathar castles above the village of Lastours.
They are only a short drive from Carcassonne—approximately 11 to 12 miles—and can be viewed
on an overlook above Lastours or seen up close by a short hike to each. Very evocative and on a clear day make nice photos.

Posted by
4132 posts

What Carol said about Lastours. Also, you may consider driving down to the Haut Corbieres, Peyrepertuse and Querebus, in the foothills. Not for the fearful of heights, however!

There's a kind of justifiable presumption that you want to get out of Dodge during the day in Carcassonne, when the place is mobbed with tourist buses. But Toulouse is a charming city that does not have that problem. Still if you are determined to leave, Albi is not far. You could even visit by train. or make a detour and stop there on your drive to Toulouse.

Posted by
485 posts

At about 26 miles is Mirepoix, and from there it's another 30 to Foix.

Mirepoix is a charming town, and Foix has an impressive castle and it is at the entrance to the Pyrenees.

Posted by
711 posts

We loved is a little drive...about one to one and a half hours, but a lovely village.Also we drove from there across the border into Spain to see Dali's home...very interesting drive. We stayed in Collioure, but the drive would not be bad.

Posted by
489 posts

Thanks everyone for the recommendations.
Will look up each!


Posted by
3387 posts

Lourdes is about 1 hour 45 minutes away. Whether you are religious or not it's a fascinating place to spend part or all of a day. The entire town is built to support the activities of the grotto and all of the pilgrims who come for healing or other reasons. It's quite interesting to walk around the town and then visit the grotto and the complex surrounding it.

Posted by
489 posts

Thanks about the advice to Lourdes. We are actually staying there one night before heading to Carcassonne.