Carcassonne, most people visit for a only a day, stay longer and uncover it’s secrets and to help you here are my suggestions of great places to stay.
I remember the first time I saw Carcassonne. It was back in the early 1990’s and I was travelling along the autoroute with my husband and children on our first trip to Languedoc when it loomed into site in the near distance. My heart stopped and my children gasped. It is the perfect medieval town surrounded by high crenelated walls, sturdy ramparts, and cone shaped turrets. These days Carcassonne is a dear old friend and one that I hope you will get to know like I have but sadly too many people only visit for a day and all you get from that experience is an ancient town crammed full of tourists. But stay a little longer and you will start to uncover the secrets that lie hidden here, that take time to unearth and need yet more time to be enjoyed.
For a start there are 2 towns here. The medieval one known as La Cité and the ‘new’ bastide town called Saint-Louis and outside these two places is a stunning landscape of vines, olive groves, gorges and beautiful and ancient villages.
If you’re tempted to stay, discover and explore then here is my list of favourite places to stay in Carcassonne.
Carcassonne Bed and Breakfast is found in a quiet street directly below Carcassonne’s medieval Cité and is a great location to enjoy everything that Carcassonne has to offer. From here you can stroll up to La Cité passing through the bas town where there are a great choice of bars and restaurants. Or you can turn in the other direction and head over the Old Bridge and into the Bastide town to enjoy its Mediterranean vibe.
At Carcassonne Bed and Breakfast there are five comfortable bedrooms each individually furnished and designed and enhanced by art and antiques. Insider tip – the suites offer a fantastic view of the Cité. It’s a very stylish place to stay and also very ‘French’ although your hosts are Mike & Peter who hail from the UK and have many years of experience looking after people. This fabulous couple have created a lavishly and inventively designed jewel of a B&B that I am sure you many of you would love to stay in.
12 Rue Fernand Merlane, Carcassonne
Tel : +33 (0)4 68 25 80 34
Carcassonne Townhouse is one of my favourites B&B’s in Carcassonne and is also a favourite with many of my clients. It is situated in the Bastide next to the river that divides this part of Carcassonne from the medieval La Cité that sits on a hill a short walk away.
The 5 fabulous guest rooms are each en-suite and individually decorated in great style and with a classic French feel. The owners clearly have design flair and I am sure they must have enjoyed seeking out the right furniture and colour schemes to make sure their rooms are individual but with comfort at the heart of them. The breakfasts are great too and include delicious pastries and fresh yoghurt and muesli.
Owners Rachel and Mark are fantastic hosts and will make sure you have a fabulous stay in Carcassonne.
4 Rue Bellevue, Carcassonne 11000
Tel : UK +44 7963510745
Tel : France +33 688485939
45BB is a period property nearly 200 years old and recently renovated to upgrade and provide en-suite bedrooms with air conditioning in all the rooms. It’s located right on the edge of Bastide Saint Louis where inside you will find a wonderful collection of shops, restaurants, townhouses, churches and even its own cathedral. There is an open and covered market to explore, and a lovely central square that is home to the weekly farmers market.
This B&B is owned by a delightful couple who came here from London looking for a change in lifestyle. They must have found exactly what they were looking for because I have never met such a happy and relaxed couple running a B&B before.
The exterior of the house had given me no clues to what I was about to find inside. The large front door swung open to reveal stylish reception rooms and looming beyond was the welcoming vista of a relaxing terrace and swimming pool. The moment I stepped into the house I felt a veil of comfort settle around my shoulders and I have to say I didn’t want to leave. As you might expect all the bedrooms are en-suite plus some have views down to the terrace and pool and lovely balcony’s on which to sip your chilled glass of rosé after a day of sight-seeing. Parking is simple, its right outside and you are well located to head off in all directions be it on foot or on wheels.
I think this would be a lovely place for a few days and the perfect reason to stay even longer.
45 Boulevard Barbes, Carcassonne
Tel : +33 04 68 25 52 73
Tel : +33 07 55 24 05 59
This delightful chambres d’hote and table d’hote is owned by equally charming Parisian gentleman called Régis who has made Carcassonne his new home. Having worked in IT project management for many years he felt it was time to get out of the rat race and into the tranquillity of the South of France. Why Carcassonne I asked? His answer, because he wanted to run a successful chambres d’hotes in a tourist town and as Carcassonne is the 8th most important tourist town in France it seemed like the perfect choice. In fact, he had never visited Carcassonne before he came on a visit and found the comfortable maison de maître in the heart of the bastide town. The handsome house with its light blue shutters stands on a small service road shaded by plane trees and beyond them is plenty of parking. A short stroll away is the indoor market where Régis buys local produce which he tuns into delicious meals for his guests. Dinner is accompanied by excellent local wines that he selects himself and he also enjoys pairing the wines with his meals. The 5 bedrooms rooms are all a good size with excellent en-suit bathrooms and there is a ground floor room ideal for anyone who is disabled or wants to avoid stairs. There is also a shady courtyard at the rear for guests to use.
18 Boulevard Barbes, Carcassonne
Tel : +33 (0)6 16 96 58 42
This chambres d’hote is set inside a fabulous building that was built in the late 1800’s however its façade was altered in 1910 endowing it with the riotous beauty of the Art Nouveau style. It’s located close to the centre of the bastide and was once the private residence of the French Ambassador to Finland. Like many grand houses of that era this one was left empty for more than two decades and was sadly crumbling when it was rescued by its current owner who bought it at auction in 2019. After a complete make over that ensured all the finest elements of the house were restored, and modern bathrooms replaced the ageing 1980’s models, La Maison de l’Ambassadeur Is now ready to receive guests.
The house is managed by Amélie Boleyn, a lovely and friendly English woman who will welcome you into the house which has 5 guest bedrooms. She will help you plan your choices of places to visit and things to do. All the bedrooms are large and airy and have lovely en-suite bathrooms and I particularly loved the Ambassadeur’s room which as you can imagine is gracious and elegant. So if you fancy feeling like monarchy for a few nights this is the room to book. All rooms have air conditioning and the ones that face the street are sound proofed.
If you are a large party looking for a rental home for 10 to 14 people, then maybe this is the place for you as the whole house can be rented including a 2 bedroomed apartment at the top of the 3 floors. It’s the perfect place for people who want to wander the old bastide town including the market that takes place on Place Carnot or walk up to medieval La Cité which is about a 15 minutes stroll.
50 Rue Aimé Ramond, 11000 Carcassonne
Contact : Amélie Boleyn – Fr, Eng, De.
Tel : +44 (0) 75 83 54 72 10
Tel : +33 (0) 6 26 60 17 04