France – Cathar

Cathar Country


If you’ve seen photos of the Cathar castles at Peyrepertuse and Queribus and had a stirring of that, “I want to go there” feeling – make your plans and go! These ruined fortresses are much more spectacular in person than a photo can ever convey. There are about six major and many more minor Cathar sites to explore, and each offers a piece of the tragic story of the religious group which threatened and was destroyed by the Catholic church. Catharism and the response to it by Rome have left a permanent influence on the Occitan culture of this area of Languedoc.

The area does not have 5-star hotels (although those are not too far away), but many pleasant and welcoming inns, bed-and-breakfast accommodations, and plenty of excellent restaurants.


You’ll need a car or car-and-driver/guide to access the fortified sites, and a pretty healthy pair of legs and lungs to make the climbs – the rewards are well worth the effort!

A trip to Cathar country would be an excellent pre- or post-cruise option (especially if your cruise begins or ends in Nice or Barcelona), or a convenient add-on if you’re spending time in Provence, the Pyrenees-Orientale resort town of Collioure, or the Spanish towns along the beautiful Costa Brava.

For your personalized itinerary please call Robert Jones at Bainbridge Travel (206) 780-5010 or click here to email Robert