Carcassonne is a city in south-west France that is best known for its UNESCO World Heritage listed walled city. It can be visited comfortably as a day trip. Carcassonne is divided into two main parts:
The Cité de Carcassonne, a medieval fortress settlement with a history that exceeds two and a half thousand years. Picturesque fortifications (over 3 km of walls with 52 towers, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was partly shot here) were reconstructed by Viollet-le-Duc in 19th century (like with most monuments reconstructed in that time authenticity was not the main objective). It is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The town center, known as the ville basse (literally ‘lower city’), where the other sights and hotels are located.
There is much to see in this somewhat neglected region of France. Get into the hills and visit little villages like Minerve. Try using the Michelin maps but forsake the red roads and take to the little white roads. You will be rewarded by seeing lovely little places that tour buses never visit. Medieval jousting displays are held twice a day between the two walls. Whilst this may sound like a typical tourist activity, this is actually a very impressive and entertaining display of horsemanship and combative competition. This is something you should definitely check out.