Carcassonne Private Guided Walking Tour with a Licensed Guide

Highlights

  • Explore the famous Castle & Ramparts of Carcassonne

  • Optional visit of the Count's Castle

  • Visit Saint Nazary Basilica including its beautiful stained glass windows

  • English speaking licensed guides, local experts

  • Tour can be fully customized to suit your interests

Summary

Get the Expert Take on Wonderful Carcassonne

Tour info

Duration
2 hours
Group Size
Pricing (From)
Adult: (18-99 years)
€230.00
Commentary
Meeting Point
Dropoff location

Why take this tour?

- Meet at dedicated meeting point in Carcassonne
- 2-hour guided walking tour with licensed guide
- stroll through the narrow streets
- visit the Basilica
- Optional visit of Count's Castle

Carcassonne is located in the Occitanie region of France at about a one hour drive south of Toulouse. The town is divided in two distinct areas with the lower town known as the Bastide and the upper town known as La Cité de Carcassonne.

What makes Carcassonne so unique is that there has been a fortified settlement here since the pre-Roman period on the hill where the actual Cité is located. From then on, the fortified settlement has always been upkept, making it one of the largest fortified towns in Europe.

A private guided tour of the Cité
A 2-hour private walking tour to discover the famous Cité de Carcassonne. Here, you will admire the castle and ramparts at the heart of the medieval city; explore the Cathedral and the Basilica of Saint-Nazaire; and visit la porte Narbonnaise, which was the principal entrance to the Cité. A dreamlike destination with a romantic ambience, this tour is tailor-made to enchant you.

Meet your English speaking local guide
Today, meet your English speaking licensed tour guide that is accredited to conduct visits in hisorical monuments, museums and historical towns. After a short presentation of the program and itinerary, it will be time to begin your tour in the medieval city of Carcassonne.

The Narbonne Gate
Main entrance gate to the Medieval City of Carcassonne, the Narbonne Gate (named after the town of Narbonne) was built around 1280 during of Philippe III and is made up of 2 huge spur towers. In the 19th century Viollet le Duc rebuilt the crenellations and the slate roof and added a draw bridge that did not exist originally. On the right, one can see the sculpture of Lady Carcas. Your tour guide will certainly mention her Legend during the tour.

The Lists of Carcassonne
This space between the two ramparts, a little over 1 km in circumference, was leveled in the 13th century, when the 2nd wall was being erected. It is always interesting to begin the tour of the Lists by heading to the right towards Porte d'Aude as rapidly, one discovers the old ramparts that date back to Roman times. By seeing this, the visitor faces more than 20 centuries of history! Your guide will certainly show you how to spot the old ramparts compared to the new (13th century) ones.

In the 18th century, the poorest Carcassonnais built their homes there before they were destroyed during the restoration of the medieval city by Viollet le Duc in the 19th century. Today, the lists allow you to discover the different characteristics of military architecture and offer beautiful views of the Bastide Saint Louis, the Pyrenees and the Black Mountains. Every summer there are chivalry tournaments take place within the Lists.

The Count's Castle
Ultimate defense, the Count's castle (Château Comtal) was built in the twelfth century by the Trencavel, viscounts of Carcassonne, and was constantly restored or modified over the following centuries. The Castle is in fact a fortress within a fortress.

To access the Count's castle one must first cross the two sets of ramparts before reaching this area. The Castle as you see it today was built by the French (the area was not French at the time of the Trencavel but Occitan), and the oldest parts of the castle are located within including the famous Pinte Tower.

It is possible to visit the Count's Castle during your private guide tour in Carcassonne. During the booking process you will asked if you would like to include the entrance tickets to the castle. If you choose this option, our team of travel specialists will take care of everything for you and most of all you will not have to wait in line!

Saint Nazary & Saint Celse Basilica
The Basilica of Carcassonne is without a doubt one of the highlights of a visit to the walled city. Only expert licensed tour guides will be able to conduct unique visits of this architectural splendor of the middle ages. Built between the 11th and 14th century the Basilica combines two distinct architectural styles: Romanesque and Gothic. The first church to be built on this location dates back to the 6th century under the reign of the Visigoths.

The construction of the Romanesque Cathedral began in 1096 and ended in 1130. Only the nave remains with its broken barrel arches sided by two collaterals made up of semi-circular arches. In 1269 it is decided to enlarge the Cathedral and thus a Gothic choire is built. The transept is also modified and this is when the Rose Windows and Stained Glass Windows are added. They are considered to be the most beautiful of all Southern France. Your guide will certainly point out the two most famous stained glass windows: The Tree of Jesse (13th century) and the Tree of Life (14th century).

After the visit of the Basilica, it will be time to stroll through the streets of the medieval town. Here, depending on your wishes or your guide, you will discover lesser known areas of Carcassonne where the majority of visitors do not go. Other interesting sites include the Great Well and Porte d'Aude. After the visit, that will be the end of our services.

Please remember to wear good walking shoes as the streets are all made out of cobbled stone.

What’s included?

  • 2 hour walking tour of Carcassonne

  • English speaking licensed tour guide, other languages on request

  • Entrance fees, tasting fees or activity fees

  • Personal insurance and expenses

  • Gratuities for the guide

Things to know

Before you book

  • Tour involves some walking, comfortable walking shoes are recommended

  • This tour is not recommended for persons with reduced mobility

  • This tour is not wheelchair accessible

Before you go

  • Please be ready 10 minutes before meeting time

  • Tour available all year round (except May 1st, Dec 25th and Jan 1st)

  • Group size of 1 to 15 participants maximum

  • Tour is operated in English, other languages on request

Covid Policy

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • COVID-19 vaccination required for guides

Cancellation Policy

    Up to 24 hours before the beginning of the activity: full refund Less than 24 hours before the beginning of the activity or no-show: no refund

About operator:

Ophorus Tours is both a licensed Tour Operator, member of Atout France and ETOA, and a Transportation company with headquarters in Bordeaux. We operate since 2005 and conduct Walking Tours, Day Trips, Private Tours, Shore Excursions and multi-regional Tours throughout France. 

Our multilingual office staff is made up of France Travel Experts that design unique itineraries for both individuals and groups. Their perfect knowledge of the destination allows them to suggest carefully crafted programs to professionals of the Travel Trade all over the world. 

Our in house team of licensed, multilingual Tour Guides are local Experts that can conduct any type of tours including (but not limited to) Cultural & Historical, Food & Wine, Luxury, Battlefields, Active, Family friendly, Faith-based etc...