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

Tours of Cathar Castles in the Languedoc, France


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Tour Locations
Le Bezu
Les Casses
St Hilaire

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

The "Advanced" One Week Tour

We are offering a tour designed for for academics, experts and aficionados who already have an in-depth knowledge of Cathar history, including those who have already attended the "Original" one week tour.

We visit different sites and discuss topics such as the likely origins of Catharism, primary documents and various academic theories and esoteric traditions about them. This tour is also slightly more physically demanding than the "Original" One Week tour and visits some less well known sites.


2017 Tour Dates

22nd to 29th September.

(Private tours for groups of 5 or more at other dates by arrangement)


Group Size

Groups sizes are variable, but seven is typical.


Topics Covered

  • Topics covered in the "Original" Tour, in further depth, plus
  • Cathars outside the Languedoc
  • Cathar Origins - Bogomils and Manichaens
  • Saint Bernard, Cistercians and Knights Templars
  • Saint Dominic and the Dominicans
  • Primary Sources
  • Academic controversies
  • The develoment of the Inquisition
  • Key Personalities
  • The English connection
  • The Troubadour connnection
  • Modern theories - popular and academic

Included is information on related topics such as techniques of medieval warfare, castle architecture, heraldry, feudalism, the role of the Catholic Church, the Count of Toulouse, Occitan culture and medieval politics.


Places Visited, Outline Itinerary

Schedule over 7 nights:



Arrive. Supper..


DAY 2 — Albi -& Cordes sur Ciel

Albi - picturesque town which gave its name to the Albigensian Crusade. Spectacular Cathedral.

Cordes sur Ciel - Hilltop town founded by the Count of Toulouse for refugees from the Crusaders.


DAY 3 — Mazamet, Hautepoul, Bram

Mazamet - Museum of Catharism with an interesting recreation of Cathar ceremonies.

Hautepoul - Site of a siege during the War against the Cathars

Bram - Circulade & site of an atrocity during the War against the Cathars


DAY 4 — Lastours & Minerve

Lastours (Cabaret) - medieval village + 3 Cathar Châteaux which withstood repeated sieges by the Crusaders.

Minerve - Cathar Château and castrum where between 140 and 180 Cathars were burned alive in 1211.


DAY 5 — Free Day

Possible visits to.

  • Lagrasse - Benedictine Abbey
  • Peyrepertuse - Cathar Château
  • Puilaurens - Cathar Château
  • Queribus - Cathar Château
  • Aguilar - Cathar Château
  • St Hilaire - Benedictine Abbey
  • Fanjeaux - Headquarters of Saint Dominic
  • Bezièrs - Site of a massacre of the whole population of the town by Crusaders.


DAY 6 — Avignonet, Lavaur & Les Casses

Avignonet - Site of a Château belonging to the Count of Toulouse where a team of inquisitors were murdered in 1242

Lavaur - Cathedral, site of atrocity during the Cathar Wars (over 400 were burned here)

Les Casses - Site of a mass burning of Cathars. (60 Cathars were burned here)


DAY 7 — Foix & Montaillou

Foix - Cathar Château, Capital of the medieval counts of Foix

Montaillou - the famous Cathar village where everyone was arrested and interrogated by Jacques Fournier, the Bishop of Pamiers







The price for scheduled tours is 3,000 Euros per person. This includes accommodation, meals, wine with meals, including supper at the Château St Ferriol, entrance fees and transport.

The tour price excludes travel to the Languedoc, airport collection, bar bills, and meals and transport on the free day. A single room occupancy supplement is 210 Euros for the whole week.

If you are flying in and would like picking up from any local airport - Carcassonne, Toulouse, Perpignan, Bezièrs, or Puivert private airport - please let us know and we will help you make arrangements. (Ryanair Flies to Carcassonne airport from England, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium, Denmark, Holland and Portugal)

If you are driving there, we can provide detailed instructions.

For Group rates (6+) and any other queries, please contact us.



We aim to be as flexible as possible. Just let us know if you have any special requirements and we will try to accommodate them.

These tours are primarily historic, factual and focused on the Cathars, though we do touch on some of the popular mythology now attached to them - "Languedoc Mysteries", including beliefs concerning Mary Magdelene, Rennes-le-Château (a neighbouring village) and its reputed treasure, Bugerach (a nearby "sacred mountain"), Languedoc Templars, the Medieval Kabbalah, and the Voynich Manuscript.





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