These tours are designed for groups who book together - typically families, history groups, clubs, societies or friends 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 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
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.
Groups sizes are variable, but 8 is typical. To qualify as a group there needs to be a minimum of 2 people and 8 person-days, eg 8 people for one day, 4 people for two days , or 2 people for four days.
The current cost 500 Euros per person per day
INCLUDED: tour transport, lunches on tour days, entry fees.
EXCLUDED: Travel to and from the Languedoc; breakfasts, suppers, accommodation.