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CASTLES
You'll love to conquer them

With almost 300 castles to visit, Occitania is like a kingdom filled with heroic figures, military architecture, winding corridors and countless towers.

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Château de Montségur en Ariège
Château de Montségur en Ariège

IN CATHAR COUNTRY

Cathar castles are the special feature ofOccitania, its trade mark.

They are concentrated in Aude and Ariège. Montségur, Foix, Roquefixade, Lastours as well as Quéribus, Peyrepertuse, Puilaurens, Termes and Aguilar (the "5 sons of Carcassonne"): these hilltop castles reign over breathtaking landscapes.

Experience an encounter with the Cathars who challenged the Pope in the 13th century. The castles where they found refuge during the crusade against the Cathars are places with real soul and giving rise to powerful emotions.

Château de Foix en Ariège
Château de Foix en Ariège

In Occitania you can explore a remarkable heritage left behind by the mighty feudal lords. They include Gaston Phébus, the Counts of Toulouse, the Counts of Armagnac…

Occitania was independent from the kingdom of France until the 13th century and played a key role during the Hundred Years War (1337-1453): many castles were built to face neighbouring Aquitaine, which was then ruled by the English.

In our castles and châteaux, you can also savour all the elegance of the Renaissance and the pomp of the 18th century.

Well worth a visit

See the Pyrenees joining up with the Mediterranean in the distance, look down on the Corbières mountains and the beautiful village of Cucugnan below: a truly exceptional view awaits you at Quéribus castle (Aude).

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Château de Flaugergues dans l'Hérault
Château de Flaugergues dans l'Hérault

NEAR TOULOUSE

Several finely built castles, such as Merville, Caumont, Laréole, Mauriac will take you back in time, from the Middle Ages to the age of the Enlightenment.
Some of the castles are located on grandiose sites, such as the Penne and Bruniquel castles in the Aveyron Gorges.

NEAR MONTPELLIER

The Flaugergues and La Mogère castles are among the "Languedoc follies" adorning Montpellier.

Along the shores of the Mediterranean are other princely castles, such as the ducal castle ("the Duchy") of Uzès, the royal castle of Collioure and the Saint-Elme fort looking down on the Côte Vermeille.

Original

30 minutes north of Toulouse, the château de Merville has the biggestboxwood maze in Europe (6 km). Here you can lose yourself and enjoy trails with puzzles and games!

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Château de Montal dans le Lot
Château de Montal dans le Lot

FROM GASCONY TO QUERCY

In Gascony, D’Artagnan's native land, the castles are majestically anchored in the famous Gers valleys. As can be seen in the castles of Flamarens, Plieux, Lavardens.

In the Lot region (formerly the province of Quercy), your thirst for history will also be quenched with the exquisite castles of Castelnau-Bretenoux and Montal in the Dordogne valley, and the castles of Larroque-Toirac and Cénevières in the Lot valley, for example.

Forteresse de Najac en Aveyron

FROM ROUERGUE TO THE CÉVENNES

Aveyron (formerly the earldom of Rouergue) is well supplied with castles that seem to come straight out of a children's book about knights. They include the castles of Najac, Brousse, Calmont d’Olt, Valon,...

L’Aveyron (l’ancien comté du Rouergue) est fort bien pourvu en châteaux tout droits sortis des livres de chevaliers pour enfants. A vous les châteaux de Najac, Brousse, Calmont d’Olt, Valon,

In the untamed surroundings of Aubrac and Cévennes, you can add the castles of La Baume, du Castanet and du Champ to your list of favourites.

Our favourite

As a child, the painter Toulouse-Lautrec spent his summers at the Château du Bosc, between Albi and Rodez. You can sense his presence through the drawings, graffiti or personal belongings he left here.

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Vertigo citadels

They are called the "vertigo citadels", and you will see why when you watch this video (© Freeway Prod). The Cathar Country castles (Aude) are among the major sites of Occitania and are in the running to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

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Château de Foix
Cami dels Bons Homes
Château de Foix
https://www.instagram.com/p/BiE9Yv0DLMI/
Château de Peyrepertuse
Château de Peyrepertuse
Château de Peyrepertuse
https://www.instagram.com/p/BFgXnitqbG2/
Château de Castelnau-Bretenoux
Florent Piednoir
Château de Castelnau-Bretenoux
https://www.instagram.com/p/BY7qeZ1BkR3/

Our selection

Cultural heritage

Château de Cénevières

CENEVIERESLot
How to get there
  • By car: Occitania has a large number of motorways (A9, A20, A61, A75, etc.).
  • By plane: the region has several airports, including the international airports of Toulouse, Montpellier and Lourdes.
  • By train: the region is accessible from all the major cities of France and the European capitals.

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