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



Private Tours


 

Tours of Cathar Castles in the Languedoc, France

 

Click below for more information

Introduction
 
Week Tours - dates
Private Tours
 
Testimonials
Prices & Reservations
What to bring
Recommended Reading
Locations & Sites Visited
FAQs
 
Contact Us:
tours@catharcountry.info
Terms & Conditions

 

 
 
 

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Tour Locations
Aguilar
Albi
Alet-les-Bains
Arques
Avignonet
Béziers
Bram
Cabaret
Carcassonne
Cordes-sur-Ciel
Fanjeaux
Foix
Fontfroide
Hautpoul
Lagrasse
Lastours
Lavaur
Le Bezu
Les Casses
Mazamet
Minerve
Montaillou
Montségur
Muret
Peyrepertuse
Prouille
Puilaurens
Puivert
Queribus
Rennes-le-Château
St Hilaire
Termes
Toulouse
Villerouge-Termenès
 

 

We offer customised private tours for individuals, for groups of up to 80, and anything inbetween.

Private Cathar tours for Individuals

Private tours for Groups

Tour Services for Travel Operators

 

 

 


 

Private Tours of Cathar Castles

We offer Private Languedoc tours customised to your requirements, you chose the places to visit and you set the pace, staying, if you choose, in the best local hotels and eating at the best restaurants.

 

Dates

Flexible

 

Group Size

Groups sizes are variable, but 1 to 4 is typical.

 

Topics Covered

  • Who Were the Cathars?
  • Cathar Beliefs
  • Historical Context - The High Middle Ages
  • Some Problems
  • Where did Catharism come from?
  • Medieval warfare
  • The Albigensian Crusade
  • Cathar Castles
  • The End of Catharism
  • Some Interesting Questions
  • Consequences, Vestiges and Ramifications

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

Many books have been written about alleged links between Cathars, their treasure at Montsegur, Knights Templar, The Holy Grail, and the Mystery of Rennes-le-Château. Included is half a day with Henry Lincoln,co- author of the Holy Blood and the Holy Grail to discuss these the subject.

 

Places Visited

The schedule is flexible. Participants are free to select from the following, and we can probably accommodate requests to visit any other locations within 100 miles of Carcassonne.

 

Suggested Sites

  • Aguilar - Cathar Château
  • Albi - picturesque town which gave its name to the Albigensian Crusade, Cathedral
  • Alet-les-Bains - Natural spring, Medieval Cité, Ruined Abbey / Cathedral
  • Arques - Crusader Château & museum
  • Avignonet - Site of a Château belonging to the Count of Toulouse where a team of inquisitors were murdered in 1242
  • Bram - Circulade & site of an atrocity during the War against the Cathars
  • Carcassonne - Cathar Château (Château Comtal), Cité, Basilica, museum, Canal du Midi
  • Foix - Cathar Château, Capital of the medieval county of Foix
  • Fontfroide - Cistercian Abbey
  • Lagrasse - Benedictine Abbey
  • Lastours (Cabaret) - 3 Cathar Châteaux + medieval village
  • Lavaur - Cathedral, site of atrocity during the Cathar Wars
  • Le Bezu - Cathar Château
  • Mazamet - Museum of Catharism
  • Megalithic Sites - throughout the region
  • Minerve - Cathar Château
  • Montaillou - the famous Cathar village where everyone was arrested by the Bishop of Pamiers
  • Montsegur - Cathar Château, medieval village & museum
  • Peyrepertuse - Cathar Château
  • Puilaurens - Cathar Château
  • Queribus - Cathar Château
  • Puivert - Cathar Château & museum
  • Rennes-le-Château - Roman town, now a Hilltop Village with a notable church & museum
  • Rennes-les-Bains - Roman thermal spa town, & museum
  • St Hilaire - Benedictine Abbey
  • Termes - Cathar Château + medieval village
  • Toulouse - Capital of the county of Toulouse,Museums, Cathedral, important Churches
  • Villerouge Termenes - Château of the Archbishop of Narbonne where the last known Cathar parfait was burned alive.

Dates and schedules can be tailored to special requirements. Examples are:

  • Cathars and Wine Tours in the Languedoc
    (see La Tour du Château)
  • Cathar Castles Photography
  • Cathars and Megalithic sites in the Languedoc
  • Cathars and Archaeology in the Languedoc
  • Cathars and History in the Languedoc
  • Cathars and Languedoc Mysteries
  • The Cathar Crusade and Heraldry in the Languedoc
  • Cycling the Cathar Castles
  • Horse Riding the Cathar Castles
  • Hiking the Cathar Castles

Cathar Country Tours offers escorted tours of castles, abbeys, fortified towns and other major historical sites across the Languedoc region of France. All tours are in English and present unique, carefully researched insights into the tumultuous history of the region, with an emphasis on the Medieval Cathars, the Cathar Crusade launched against them by the Roman Catholic Church in the 13th Century and the subsequent Inquisition established by the papacy to exterminate the surviving vestiges of their beliefs.

Tours of Cathar sites are designed and personally led by Cathar researcher, writer and public speaker James McDonald, who offers the insights of an Oxford-educated historian to Cathar Country Tour participants. The focus of Cathar Country Tours is on offering you an opportunity to spend time with an educator who brings his knowledge of the history and the sites of the Cathar region out of the textbooks and to the very places where history was made. His broad and deep understanding of the Cathars and their adversaries is based on decades of meticulous research into scholarly sources. His combination of wit and erudition – and his frequent use of colourful quotations from the Cathars and Crusaders themselves – enable him to make complex historical themes accessible in a way that is unique and memorable. Your historical immersion experience with James will be highlighted by key places selected by him to explain not only what happened in the Languedoc eight centuries ago, but also why it happened and why it still matters.

Key themes addressed on tours include: the roles of the papacy, the French monarchy and regional secular leaders (e.g., the Counts of Toulouse); techniques of Medieval warfare; the concept of heresy; the troubadours; knighthood; the High Middle Ages; and the political implications of the Cathar Crusade. 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 knowledge levels.

While our tours will always highlight key Cathar sites and history, the Languedoc offers unique opportunities to explore a wide range of pre-historic and historic themes. Prehistoric humans, Greeks, Etruscans, Romans, Celts, Visigoths, Moors, Franks, Medieval Counts, Troubadours and others have all left traces behind in this enchanting region. The Languedoc is studded with spectacular mountains, megaliths, caves, castles, churches, abbeys, wildlife, thermal springs and even dinosaur fossils. This living library of human and natural history offers endless opportunities for you to learn about an amazing range of fascinating topics.

Cost

The cost is 1000 Euros per person per day for the first person, and 500 Euros for each subsequent person.

 
 
 
 
 

 

 


Private tours for Groups

These tours are designed for groups who book together - typically academic groups, clubs or societies with a shared interest.

Dates and schedules can be tailored to special requirements. Examples are:

  • Cathars and Wine Tours in the Languedoc
  • Cathar Castles Photography
  • Cathars and Megalithic sites in the Languedoc
  • Cathars and Archaeology in the Languedoc
  • Cathars and History in the Languedoc
  • Cathars and Languedoc Mysteries
  • The Cathar Crusade and Heraldry in the Languedoc
  • Cycling the Cathar Castles
  • Horse Riding the Cathar Castles
  • Hiking the Cathar Castles

Cathar Country Tours offers escorted tours of castles, abbeys, fortified towns and other major historical sites across the Languedoc region of France. All tours are in English and present unique, carefully researched insights into the tumultuous history of the region, with an emphasis on the Medieval Cathars, the Cathar Crusade launched against them by the Roman Catholic Church in the 13th Century and the subsequent Inquisition established by the papacy to exterminate the surviving vestiges of their beliefs.

Tours of Cathar sites are designed and personally led by Cathar researcher, writer and public speaker James McDonald, who offers the insights of an Oxford-educated historian to Cathar Country Tour participants. The focus of Cathar Country Tours is on offering you an opportunity to spend time with an educator who brings his knowledge of the history and the sites of the Cathar region out of the textbooks and to the very places where history was made. His broad and deep understanding of the Cathars and their adversaries is based on decades of meticulous research into scholarly sources. His combination of wit and erudition – and his frequent use of colourful quotations from the Cathars and Crusaders themselves – enable him to make complex historical themes accessible in a way that is unique and memorable. Your historical immersion experience with James will be highlighted by key places selected by him to explain not only what happened in the Languedoc eight centuries ago, but also why it happened and why it still matters.

Key themes addressed on tours include: the roles of the papacy, the French monarchy and regional secular leaders (e.g., the Counts of Toulouse); techniques of Medieval warfare; the concept of heresy; the troubadours; knighthood; the High Middle Ages; and the political implications of the Cathar Crusade. 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 knowledge levels.

While our tours will always highlight key Cathar sites and history, the Languedoc offers unique opportunities to explore a wide range of pre-historic and historic themes. Prehistoric humans, Greeks, Etruscans, Romans, Celts, Visigoths, Moors, Franks, Medieval Counts, Troubadours and others have all left traces behind in this enchanting region. The Languedoc is studded with spectacular mountains, megaliths, caves, castles, churches, abbeys, wildlife, thermal springs and even dinosaur fossils. This living library of human and natural history offers endless opportunities for you to learn about an amazing range of fascinating topics.

 

Group Size

Groups sizes are variable, but 8 is typical. Minimum 5. Not more than 40.

 

Cost

Please contact us to discuss as the cost will depend on group size and your requirements.

 

 

 


Tour Services for Travel Operators

We have provided tours for a number of Travel Operators. Typically we provide talks anf guided tours, the Operator broviding transport, accommodation, meals, etc.

 

Dates

Flexible

 

Cost

Please contact us to discuss, as the cost will depend on group size and your requirements.

 

Previous Clients

 

 
 
 

 

Amis du Chateau de St-Ferriol

 


 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
     
 

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• © James McDonald • e-mail: contact@catharcountry.info •