Located in the south of France to the east of Toulouse, Carcassonne is a popular holiday destination most commonly known for its UNESCO World Heritage-listed castle which overlooks the city from a hilltop. History, culture and the Mediterranean climate are the three main draws to the area; the city and its surroundings enjoy long, hot summers and cool but mild winters.
February is still considered winter in Carcassonne. However, the pleasant winter weather that occurs in the region provides an excellent opportunity to see what the city has to offer in terms of sightseeing, food and history without fighting large summer crowds.
The average temperature at this time of year is 7°C with highs that often peak at 10°C during the day a sign that temperatures are starting to warm up towards spring. However, nights can still get quite chilly, with lows of 4°C of an evening, so it is advisable to wrap up warm when heading out for an evening meal or drinks.
The good news is that Carcassonne is located in one of the sunniest regions of France and even in winter, there's sunshine to be seen. In February, there's an average of 11 daylight hours, with 2 full hours of sunshine everyday, which will certainly make things feel a bit warmer.
Rainfall levels are also decreasing from January to February, though there is still some wet weather around. Holiday makers should expect an 80% chance of rain, with around 60mm of rain falling over 9 wet days on average. Though an umbrella may be needed, the rain shouldn't dampen your holiday too much, as most of it tends to fall in short, sharp showers which pass quickly.
While February doesn't offer the blazing temperatures and long days of sunshine that you can expect in the summer, it's a great time to visit Carcassonne if you're looking for a relaxing break. The city will be much quieter at this time of year.
Many hotels in the Carcassonne region offer special discounted rates for those visiting outside of peak season in February and other winter months. Plus, with less crowds of tourists, you'll be spoiled for choice of where to stay.
A great option is the Hotel L'Aragon, a small and friendly hotel that comes highly rated by past guests. Located just outside of the Cité de Carcassonne and a short walk to many of the city's main attractions, it provides the perfect base for your holiday. This three-star hotel has a charming feel, with traditional French-style décor and clean, comfortable rooms where guests can relax after a busy day.
Brit Hotel Bosquet Carcassonne is located a little further outside of the city, but provides a peaceful stay in the region and is within easy driving distance of the centre. This budget-friendly hotel features spacious guest rooms with private bathrooms and satellite TV while a buffet breakfast is served each morning. An affordable choice for families or couples.
Whether you're heading to Carcassonne for a quick visit or a week-long stay, Kyriad Carcassonne Ouest - La Cite is conveniently located within reach of everything you'll need. The town centre is just 2 km away while it's only 1 km from the airport. Here, you'll find bright and contemporary accommodation with well-equipped rooms as well as a restaurant and a bar.
After a busy day of sightseeing in Carcassonne, your stomach will most likely be rumbling. Luckily, there are plenty of great places to eat around the city.
For a memorable dining experience, La Table d'Alais is a popular restaurant in Carcassonne; in fact, it's one of the most highly rated. Located in the centre of the historical Cité de Carcassonne, this charming little restaurant offers a taste of authentic French cuisine such as traditional cassoulet and foie gras.
Restaurant le 37 is another popular spot that's tucked away down a side street just outside of the city walls. This hidden gem is run by a husband and wife team, so you can expect a warm welcome and friendly service here. Every dish on the menu is homemade and cooked to perfection, with something to suit every taste, from meat and fish dishes to vegetarian options.
Finally, meat lovers should not miss the chance to visit La Table de Norbert which is a haven for hungry carnivores. The barbecue restaurant specialises in succulent steaks and melt-in-the-mouth beef served alongside a range of delicious appetisers, sides and a wide selection of drinks. While the outside looks unassuming, inside the restaurant is bustling with activities most evenings, even in February. A popular venue for locals and tourists alike.
Carcassonne's main attractions are open all year round, so you'll always find plenty to do during your visit, even in February. Many tourists go to Carcassonne to see the castle walls whose origins date back as early as 3500 B.C. The walls, a national landmark, became a World Heritage Site back in 1997 and are a must-see attraction. However, Carcassonne offers much more than just its castle.
One of the best ways to see the beauty of the area is with a relaxing boat trip. There are various boat tours along the Canal du Midi, which runs through the centre of the city. Companies such as Locaboat offer trips that depart from the train station and can be taken in both the Narbonne direction and the Toulouse direction.
With weather that's comfortable for walking around a lot, February is also an ideal time for shopping in Carcassonne's many souvenir and gift shops located both inside and outside of the city walls. One of these includes Esprit de Sel, a sort of knick-knack shop that houses unique treasures from both local and surrounding companies. You're sure to find something interesting here.