Carcassonne Hiking, France, Hiking the Canal Du Midi

Carcassonne is an ancient city  on a hilltop near the Canal du Midi in southern France.
The 12 Century site which has over fifty towers is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

South of Carcassonne there are trails through the Pyrenees for hiking the Pilgrimage routes over the mountains to Spain
The Canal du Midi is a 17th Century link between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea that provides tour barges and tree-lined walkways on both sides for biking and hiking.
All Photos Copyright Willy Scholliers

Archaeological evidence points to settlement of the area of Carcassonne in 3,500 BC and evidence of trade and commerce by Celtic people during the 6th century BC. The Romans built fortifications on the hill in 100 BC, some of which is still evident in the base of the later walls.

The Visigoth King Theodoric took control of Carcassonne in 453 as Roman power waned and the Empire receded.    
The Visigoths enlarged the city and held the fortified town until the Saracens captured the fort and held it until 759, when the Frankish king Pepin the Younger defeated them.
The fort eventually passed to French and Spanish kings and counts and by the early 1200s was an important bastion for the crusades, becoming a French citadel by 1247.
Political treaties reduced the forts military importance and in the early 1700s the fort was abandoned. But for the efforts of architect Viollet-le-Duc and others, the buildings, under order by the French government for demolition, would have been destroyed. Although the restorers were criticised for their 1850s restoration, the use of non-traditional cone shaped towers, their work is considered crucial to the saving of this splendid example of Gothic and Medieval architecture.

Modern Carcassonne is now a city in southern France located astride the Aude River and the Canal du Midi and currently the capital of the Aude Department.  The settlement is divided by the river into the Ville Basse and the medieval walled city called the Cité.  
The commerce of Carcassonne is centered in the Ville Basse, the town below the fort known for its clothing factories and as a center for the region's wine, grain, and fruit production, and for its tourist activities.
Building of historic interest in the Ville Basse are the 13th century Cathedral of St. Michael and the Church of St. Vincent.
In the fortified town across the river known as the Cité, of interest are  ramparts and towers that date to the Visigoths of the 5th century and building phases that span the 11th and 13th century. Also of historic interest within the Cité, the 12th-century castle and the Romanesque and Gothic Church of St. Nazaire, built in the 11th and 14th century.    
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Hiking and biking are offered on the Canal Du Midi.
The Canal offers tree-lined walkways on both sides for biking and hiking on the 17th Century link between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.  The Canal  also offers tour barges.
Carcassonne Hiking in the south of France can start with a hike of the Canal Du Midi
Carcassone is in south France between Toulouse and NarbonneWhen in the Languedoc region of and Narbonne visit the old walled city of Carcassonne, a Gothic and Medieval city comprised of two miles of walls. Perched high on a hill and capped by 56 towers the fort gives you a view of the Pyrenees Mountains and the border with Spain.

Carcassonne History

Carcassonne describes a walled City on a hill and the town below spaning the River Aude.
The lower town is a 13 the century settlement designed in a grid-like pattern surrounded by walls.    
The first settlement in the area dates to the Gauls of the 9th to the 6th century BC and the region was later inhabited by the Romans around the 1st century BC.
Most of what is visible today is a nineteenth century restoration ( 1853) by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc that some said was heavy-handed. Most of the walls and towers are original, however, as can be seen by archival paintings done before the restoration. Without this work the walls would have been destroyed.
Canal barges make tours of the canal
Carcassonne Hiking in the south of France
South of Carcassonne, Hiking the Pyrenees and the  mountains of Spain
Carcassonne Accommodations
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Carcassonne Activities
Carcassonne Trains
Carcassonne Culinary
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Carcassonne Hiking
Where is Carcassonne
Carcassonne Map
Provence, France
In France and Italy you can rent a car and do not need to show an International Permit, only your drivers license    Italian law, however,  requires that.....  See Article
 For selection, price, and ease of booking on the web. Shop online well ahead of your trip for a rental car and choose diesel (more economical) or gas, luggage space,
(important)  standard or automatic,(important)  two door, four door and other options.     see  renting a vehicle in Provence

Carcassonne Vacation Hiking, Biking  Southern France

Restaurants to write home
about: Near Eygalieres   
When To Go To Carcassonne, The South of France:   
Mid March to Mid November
is a good time to visit Carcassonne although October and November will have more
rainy days.  Winter months are without snow but could be cold in higher elevations.  Carcassonne is about
400 feet above sea level.   Carcassonne biking and hiking is good any season.
March, April (41f-60 f) and May(50f-70f) and the early part of June (60f-80f ) are less crowded and pleasant times
to visit.    The end of June, and all of July and  August (60f-80f) can be warm in the mid day and crowded at times as
much of Europe takes its summer vacation.  Much of France goes on a six-week July August  vacation and many
people head south.     
Summer months are warm and dry.  September to mid November (40f-60f) offers fewer crowds and good weather.
 Weather is ideal in May and June and September October, great months to visit.
Showers could come in any month but will be infrequent in the summer, more frequent in October.   Mid March
to Mid November will find most seasonal attractions open.
Carcassonne is in the Aude Department of Languedoc-Roussillon of Southern France.  Carcassonne can be reached by TGV train from Paris, by high speed road, and by air.     
Hiking, Biking,  Vacation Rentals, Canal du Midi hiking and boat rides, are located within a short walk or drive from Carcassonne
Hiking, France
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Carcassonne A World Heriage Site UNESCO