My Fairytale Holiday Destination – Carcassonne

My Fairytale Holiday Destination – Carcassonne

I need a holiday.

The final half term of the school year always seems to wind up rather than wind down. Every day something new is added to an already full to bursting calendar. It is always the same at this time of year.  The children are as exhausted as we are and it is that time  when we start to think about how we will fill the six weeks of summer holidays.

Finding a fairytale location

We haven’t booked a family holiday this year, mainly due to the fact that my husband and I can’t agree on a destination.    After a trip to America this year, we decided to stay in the UK this summer and try and find somewhere new to visit and explore.  We have talked about camping or glamping to give the children a break from screen time but having read this article from about Fairy-tale travel with eleven locations that all look magical, I am now thinking that maybe a fairytale location might just be the thing.

The Walled City of Carcassonne
Copyright: vanbeets / 123RF Stock Photo

So where in the world would I find my ideal fairytale destination?  For me, a fairytale destination is somewhere which is breathtakingly magical.  Having spent quite a lot of time in France over the years, there are a few places there that fit that description.  A country which boasts so many magnificent churches and remarkable castles, I had a few places in mind, some I had seen online and others I have visited or passed by.  A difficult decision but in the end, I settled on the enchanting city of Carcassonne in the Languedoc region of the south of France.

View of the Old Town in Carcassonne

Copyright: jahmaica / 123RF Stock Photo

The French city of Carcassonne

The fortified city rises up as you approach, thanks to its hilltop position. Whether you visit during the day or the night. it is a truly magnificent sight with its medieval towers still standing tall.

Carcassonne old and newCopyright: nito500 / 123RF Stock Photo

It is easy to see why Carcassonne is a popular tourist attraction.  The Citadel with its impressive total of over 50 towers dominates the landscape, there is much more to the city. La Ville Basse is made up of streets filled with charming shops and cafés and dates back to the Middle Ages, long before the Citadel was built. The 17th century Canal du Midi runs through the city and is the perfect setting for strolling or cycling or maybe take a river cruise or simply stop by and have a picnic. An example of Gothic-Romanesque architecture, the Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsus is stunning both inside and out and shouldn’t be missed.

Carcassonne at night

Family friendly?

If you are travelling with children, Le Parc Australien is a slightly unusual place to find in France.  This Australien theme park hosts a number of native Australien species of animals.  Also, there are fun activities such as panning for gold and learning how to use a boomerang. Just outside the city, you will find Lac de la Cavayère.  This is an artificial lake with its own beaches and an array of activities in and out of the water. In the city, there is even a haunted house which may not be for the faint-hearted but may appeal to older children.

Lac de la Cavayere Carcassonne

The historic Citadel

Last but not least, you can not visit Carcassonne without visiting the fairytale towers of the medieval Citadel.  Listed as a World War Heritage site, it contains as much French history as it does archaeological history.  People compare walking into the citadel like walking back into another time and there is so much to explore. Inside the Citadel walls sits the well-preserved Château Comtel which contains a fascinating museum.  Or take in the breathtaking views from the ramparts.  A slightly more unusual but highly recommended tour of the Citadel is on Le Petit Train. This train ride follows a picturesque route and guides you around all 52 towers.

People who have visited talk of history, atmosphere, stunning views, fascinating architecture and an unforgettable trip. It would seem that this is a fairytale destination worth visiting.

Where would your fairytale holiday destination be?

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  1. June 30, 2017 / 12:32 pm

    Carcassonne does look like a magical place to explore. There’s a lot of history there and it looks very scenic. I like the sound of the Le Parc Australien too even if it does sound a bit of a strange thing to find in France.

  2. June 30, 2017 / 5:35 pm

    Wow Carcassonne looks amazing. I had no idea. WE flew to there, but we were travelling onwards and didn’t have time to explore. I wish I’d have known it was so beautiful, we’d have certainly made time to look around.

  3. June 30, 2017 / 7:35 pm

    I have to be honest and say I have never heard of CARCASSONNE before, it looks wonderful though and I love somewhere with a good bit of history and this sounds like it had bags of it. Mich x

  4. June 30, 2017 / 8:35 pm

    I have to admit if I was going somewhere fairytale like I would head for Luxembourg and those Disney-like castles!

  5. June 30, 2017 / 9:56 pm

    Oh that certainly looks like a lovely holiday destination! Had never heard of it before

  6. July 11, 2017 / 9:03 pm

    I passed Carcassonne on the motorway years ago and was struck by its beauty then. I vowed to one day visit but still haven’t made it yet. Fingers crossed for both of us xx

  7. July 12, 2017 / 10:32 am

    Oh it sounds amazing! We’re hoping to camp in France next year.

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