Carcassonne is a town and holiday resort located in the South of France's Languedoc region that's famous for its imposing walled castle, or 'Cité de Carcassonne'. Thanks to its location, the region has a typically Mediterranean climate with hot sunny summers and cool but mild winters.
In March, the weather really begins to warm up in Carcassonne as winter departs and spring arrives on the scene. Temperatures rise and days get longer and sunnier, which provides perfect holiday weather.
The average temperature at this time of year is a pleasant 10°C though highs often peak at an even more agreeable 14°C during the day. This makes it a comfortable temperature for shopping, sightseeing, or any holiday activity that visitors might have in mind.
Visitors should keep in mind that nights can still be quite cool though, as temperatures drop to lows of 6°C. This is warm enough for an evening stroll (as long as you pack some warm layers) but al fresco dining may be out of the question until later in the season. It is also quite windy at this time of year, with a 40% chance of wind which will also make temperatures feel a little cooler.
Spring is quite a wet season in Carcassonne, and rainfall remains relatively high in March compared to the drier summer months. The average precipitation for the month is around 70mm which tends to fall over 9 wet days, resulting in an 80% chance of wet weather. Spring thunderstorms can be sudden and intense but are generally short-lived and will pass to reveal sunshine.
Speaking of sunshine, Carcassonne is located in one of the sunniest regions of France and sees sunny weather all year round. In March, there's 12 hours of daylight and around 2 hours of bright sunshine on average. Find out more about how we calculate these averages.
March is a fantastic time to visit Carcassonne if you're looking for a good deal on accommodation. As the month is outside of peak season, prices are generally more budget-friendly than the summer months.
Those looking for a convenient and comfortable stay should look no further than Hotel Montmorency which offers three-star accommodation just a short walk from Carcassonne's medieval Old Town. The hotel has a bright and contemporary look with spacious rooms that feature stylish private bathrooms. There's also an on-site bar where guests can enjoy an evening drink as well as a relaxing spa with an indoor pool and steam room available for use.
Hotel Restaurant Ibis La Cite Carcassonne Est is a great choice if you're trying to travel on a budget. The affordable hotel is just a 5 minute drive from the centre of Carcassonne and offers free parking, which is ideal for those wishing to explore the whole region. The hotel features its own restaurant, the Café Vins et Cie, which serves traditional French cuisine and a buffet breakfast every morning.
For a true taste of French history and culture, Chateau de Palaja is set within a beautiful 18th century building surrounded by gardens. Guest rooms are individually decorated in a modern style with private bathrooms and there's also access to a sauna and fitness room. Located in Palaja village just a short drive from Carcassonne, guests can enjoy a stay in peaceful surroundings while the city's attractions are within easy reach.
French cuisine is world-renowned and is a must-try when you're in Carcassonne. Luckily, there are many restaurants and cafés serving authentic and traditional French fare, from gourmet dinners to quick bites.
Located in the centre of Carcassonne, Brasserie Donjon is an all-round great dining option for lunch or dinner and is always busy, which is a great sign of good food. The fixed-price menu is excellent value for money and features a selection of tasty French dishes as well as some desserts which come highly recommended by past diners.
Le Plo is a small local restaurant with a menu full of home cooked traditional dishes that set it apart from the more touristy restaurants in the area. The cassoulet is particularly recommended. Located right in the centre of the old walled city, it's a great place to satisfy your hunger during a busy day of sightseeing.
Finally, if you've had your fill of French food and you fancy something a little different, a dinner at Bourdasso will not disappoint. This Italian eatery is renowned for its delicious homemade 'farm to plate' dishes made with fresh and organic produce. The remote restaurant is located outside of the city centre but is certainly worth the journey if you like great food.
March visitors to Carcassonne are in for a treat as the first of three annual fairs is held at the beginning of the month. The fair is home to a plethora of crafts and produce from Carcassonne as well as areas much further away. Because of the variety of items offered, the fair draws both tourists and locals, so it can be quite crowded, however it's an excellent event to attend if you want an authentic experience and a chance to mingle with everyday citizens of Carcassonne.
No trip to Carcassonne is complete without a visit to the walled castle that sits atop the city. Approximately 3 million visitors frequent Carcassonne each year, and the castle is arguably the most popular tourist destination. It is rumoured to have been the inspiration for Walt Disney's castle. There's an entrance fee to the castle itself, but this includes access to the castle, a short film and a guided tour of the ramparts.