Cathar Country Tours of Cathar Castles in the Languedoc, France.

Cathar Country Tours
Historical Tours of Cathar Castles in deep rural France
Led by James McDonald

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We offer top-of-the-range historical tours centred on the Cathars of the Languedoc, all conducted in English, on location in the Pays Cathare "Cathar Country" in Southern France.

The Cathar movement and the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathars were two of the most important events in European history - with many, often surprising, world-wide resonances even today, eight centuries later.

The Castrum and Château Fort (Castle) of Carcassonne

The Castrum and Château Fort (Castle) of Carcassonne

Our organized tours are led by an English speaking expert on Catharism who lives locally, just south of Carcassonne in the heart of Cathar Country. He has written a number of books and is the author of the leading English Language website on the Cathars ( You will not need to speak any French on our escorted tours.

Our unique selling point is that tours are top-of-the-range. They cover historical information in much greater breadth and depth than any other tour, and are founded on primary historical sources. Tours include guided visits to "Cathar Castles" and other Cathar related sites, informal talks on Catharism, Cathar beliefs and practices, the concept of heresy, Medieval warfare and the Albigensian Crusade, along with the history of the "Pays Cathare" - Cathar Country. Talks also cover the ancient culture of the area including the role of the medieval Counts of Toulouse and the medieval Inquisition. You can also learn about the local language, Occitan, the first post-classical literary language of Europe, spoken throughout Occitania (the language of the troubadours).

The Château Fort (Castle) of Foix

The Château Fort (Castle) of Foix

Information provided includes historical and cultural background, illustrations, maps and timelines - even an introduction to the esoteric world of Gnostic Dualism. You will learn how to spot medieval Cathars and how to besiege a Medieval Castle. Escorted visits include trips to key historic locations such as Carcassonne and Montsegur. While we endeavor to ensure strict historical accuracy of the information provided, we appreciate that this is a vacation in the South of France, rather than a university course. - and no one will mind if you decide to spend some of your holiday sitting in the Languedoc sun and drinking some of the famous Languedoc wines.


Week Tours in June and September

Private Cathar tours for Individuals

Private tours for Groups

Tour Services for Travel Operators


James McDonaldThe tour is lead by the author James McDonald. James has extensive experience as an author, public speaker and broadcaster, and lives locally in the heart of Cathar Country. His has an encyclopedic knowledge of all aspects of Catharism and its history in the Languedoc. He is an author and the translator of Voltaire's work on the Cathars, published in English as "The Crusade Against the People of the Languedoc".

Although James’ knowledge is encyclopaedic, his style is refreshingly entertaining and he has a gift for weaving apparently disparate threads together into a coherent narrative appealing to people of all ages and levels of knowledge


To read what previous tour participants have said, please click Testimonials (including Tripadvisor reviews).

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