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2014 Tours



Cathar Castle Tours
Specialist Tours in South of France

Cathar Castles in the Languedoc.


We offer tours centred on the Cathars of the Languedoc, all conducted in English, on location in the Pays Cathare "Cathar Country".

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

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.

Tours include guided visits to Cathar Castles, informal illustrated lectures and 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. (Occitan was the language of the troubadours and the first language of Richard the Lionheart - himself a troubadour as well as King of England)

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 Cathar 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.

There is a choice of tour.

  1. A scheduled One-Week Tour. Click here for scheduled dates, itinerary, areas covered and cost.
  2. Specialist Group Tours (including University groups). Click here for more information.
  3. An Private Tailored Visit. These are exceptionally flexible but considerably more expensive. Click here for more information.


Tour Leader

The tour is lead by the author James McDonald. James has extensive experience as a public speaker and tour leader, 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 the translator of Voltaire's work on the Cathars, published in English as "The Crusade Against the People of the Languedoc".

Click on the following link for more on James McDonald >>>



The Languedoc. Click here to open this site in a new window
James McDonaldWeb LinksContact by e-mail