Carcassonne, France: Average Review Ratings

Average Review Ratings for Carcassonne

Weather:
4.5
Holiday:
4.5
Accommodation:
4.5
Food:
4.5
Nightlife:
#TODO3.5
Overall:
4.5
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1. Long Weekend in Carcassonne

Weather:
5
Holiday:
5
Accommodation:
5
Food:
3
Nightlife:
4
Overall:
5

Weather

It was just coming to the end of the season in September but the weather was still warm during the day but at night time a jacket was required which is only to be expected at this time of year.

Holiday

I never go back to the same place twice but I have to say I have fallen in love with Carcassonne.

We discovered the city during a holiday on the canal and returned the year after to stay within the walled city.

Every night we went and had aperitifs under the olive trees.

I loved the fact that there is no traffic within the walled city, apart from the odd taxi and you could really stroll and take in the atmosphere, day and night.

There are many restaurants but the menu's are basically the same.
This does not mean the food was bad just not a lot of choice and you can only have so many versions of the local dish cassoulet, which I have to add is yummy.

Places Recommended

A wander down into the new town where there is a lovely main square and canal.

The train station is near the canal and transport is very good.

In the evening a walk round outside of the city walls is lovely when it is all lit up.

Recommend Carcassonne to others

Yes

Review by :

Noel Edgar

2. Our stopovers in Carcassonne

Weather:
5
Holiday:
5
Accommodation:
4
Food:
3
Nightlife:
1
Overall:
5

Weather

Rather changeable in Carcassonne. Hot on arrival on August 22nd, some rain that evening, hot the next day. Very hot indeed on our return on August 30th, then cool and overcast in the evening and early the next day before our return flight. Everywhere else during the week, in Perpignan and further south, it was hot to very hot. However the lower humidity in most places for most of the time makes this much more bearable than lower temperatures in the UK.

Holiday

We spent two nights in Carcassonne, en route to a holiday home further south near the Spanish border. We decided to fly by Ryanair from the East Midlands to Carcassonne rather than from Birmingham to Perpignan, because the flight days fitted better. We stopped over for one night at each end. If we were to do this again, we would probably take the ferry and drive down from Ostend. Despite the distance, this would avoid the weight limits on the plane, excess baggage charges, queueing, security checks etc. and hassle of picking up and returning the hire car. The hire car lots (for Avis, Europcar, Budget and no doubt others) at the airport are rather chaotic. The car was covered in vandal scratches, had several nasty scrapes, and we had to go back to the office to report these so that we were not charged for them. On our return, it was difficult to work out how to get into the parking lot (through an unpaved road round the back, it turned out) or find where to park when we had. All the Europcar spaces were full (before 9:00 on Sunday morning) and we had to leave our car in the one remaining space in the Budget section.) It's also worth knowing that UK credit and debit cards do not work in the 24 hour automatic service stations, although they are accepted everywhere else. Many of the roads off the dual carriageways run into mountainous areas and are terrifyingly narrow and winding, often with unguarded sheer drops! This was worst when driving to Andorra, which we do not recommend doing - take a coach excursion instead!

Places Recommended

We stayed in the Fasthotel near the airport, which was clean, cheerful and quiet, but which we would not recommend for more than one night because of the distance from the city and the industrial location. The Hotel Terminus near the railway station and the Canal du Midi seemed impressive, good value and well situated, and we met a couple who had enjoyed their stay there.

The Cite is the old walled city containing the Chateau Comtal and Cathedral. It has been heavily and not very authentically restored, but looks magnificent with its double walls and German-style pepperpot turrets.

The Bastide is the mediaeval lower town centre, originally fortified and surrounded by walls, and contains charming squares, another Cathedral, modern shops and charming squares. Both Cite and Bastide contain many bars and restaurants, those in the Cite being very tourist-oriented.

Some of the attractions in Carcassonne were rather disappointing - the Cite des Oiseaux promised by the Rough Guide for displays of falcons and wolves seemed to have closed permanently, and the nearby Parc Australien contained many animals not specific to Australia such as ostriches, goats, a donkey, a lama and a camel, though there were also emus and kangaroos.

If you are travelling further south towards the busy seaside resort of Argeles-Plage and the even busier but very charming one-time fishing village of Collioure (where it is almost impossible to park), there are very good displays of flying birds of the predator, parrot and stork species at Les Aigles de Valmy, off the dual carriageway between these two places.

Recommend Carcassonne to others

Yes

Review by :
Noel Edgar
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