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
The Castrum and Château Fort (Castle)
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
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
Tours in June and September
Cathar tours for Individuals
tours for Groups
Services for Travel Operators
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
The Château Fort (Castle) of Montsegur