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Ophorus Tours - Rennes Le Chateau & Montsegur Castle Private Day Trip From Toulouse

Toulouse

Rennes Le Chateau & Montsegur Castle Private Day Trip From Toulouse

  • private tours

  • Cultural

  • 08 hours

  • Small Groups ( 2~8 )

  • Active

  • Multi-languages

    English Français
  • Highlights
  • Program
  • Gallery
  • Know before
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  • Inc. / Exc.
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A Day Trip to Intriguing Destinations Around Toulouse

Highlights

  • Learn about the Cathars with your Expert Guide
  • A Day Trip to Intriguing Destinations Around Toulouse
  • Discover the Conspiracy Theories Surrounding Rennes le Chateau
  • Visit the Château de Montségur and Take In the Stunning Views
  • Local Tour Guide - Driver

Program & Itinerary

Fascinating Culture and Legends in the Towns Beyond ToulouseThis morning, we will come and pick you up at your centrally located hotel in Toulouse. Meet your English speaking driver who will go over the itinerary and program of the day. Then board your premium air conditioned minivan and depart for the foot hills of the Pyrénées mountain range. This is where the small village of Rennes le Chateau ...

Fascinating Culture and Legends in the Towns Beyond Toulouse

Meet your English speaking local guide

This morning, we will come and pick you up at your centrally located hotel in Toulouse. Meet your English speaking driver who will go over the itinerary and program of the day. Then board your premium air conditioned minivan and depart for the foot hills of the Pyrénées mountain range.

This is where the small village of Rennes le Chateau and the Cathar castle of Montségur are located. Don’t forget to wear good walking shoes as the climb to the castle is made on rocky, uneven grounds.

Make your way to Rennes le Chateau

Experience Rennes le Château, a small French hilltop village known internationally for being at the center of various conspiracy theories and for being the location of an alleged buried treasure discovered by its 19th-century priest Bérenger Saunière (name of the curator of the Louvre in the Da Vinci Code).

Between 1886 and his death in 1917, Father Saunière would not only completely renovate the village church of St Mary Magdalene and its presbytery, but buy up the land directly adjacent and build a smart new villa and Gothic Revival tower, create a panoramic terrace and lay out formal gardens. The question that remains unanswered is how was it possible that a priest of such a small parish, with low income, be able to finance such important renovation works that have an estimated cost of roughly 12 million euros today?

Marie-Madeleine Church of Rennes le Château

One of the most important renovation works done by Father Saunière is without a doubt the village church. The construction of the church dates back to the 8th or 9th century and used to be the chapel of the local lords. When Saunière arrives in the village the church is in a miserable state. The renovation works begin in 1887 and will last for approximately 10 years. Inside all the furniture and decoration were replaced accoding to the wishes of the priest. According to many, the elements of decoration and the furniture are coded and to decipher it would lead to a treasure.

Visit the Marie-Madeleine church with your guide and listen to the different hypotheses that have been made by visitors from all over the world and their vision or approache to the coded mysteries of the building. Admire the unique tympanum, be greated as you enter the church by the demon Asmodeus, listen to the story of Sainte Germaine de Pibrac or interrogate yourself as you face Joseph & the Virgin Mary each holding a child in their hand.

The domain of Abbe Saunière

Known as the Domaine of Abbé Saunière, this part of the village consists of the other renovations works or constructions that were done by the priest while living in Rennes le Chateau. These include a garden located next to the church, the Bethania Villa built in 1901, the private chapel and the Magdala tower built in 1902. You will have some free time during your tour to discover the different locations that make up the Domaine. Don't hesitate to question your guide on these different buildings and sites for further information.

Free time for lunch (at own expense)

After your visit, enjoy some free time in the village for personal discovery and lunch. There are several options for lunch in the village but if you wish, it is also possible to organize a lunch in the surrounding area of Rennes.

Make your way to Montségur castle

After lunch, follow the Cathar road and arrive at Château de Montségur, which was built on the ruins of one of the last strongholds of the Cathars. It is one of the most symbolic destinations in this part of France.

Climb to Montségur Castle

Upon arrival, it will be time to climb to Montségur castle. You must wear very comfortable walking shoes as the climb can be strenuous at times. Your guide will adapt his pace to your wishes. Please see recommendations below concerning the walk.

The Castle of Montségur is the most famous of all the Cathar Castles. Seat and head of the Cathar Church in 1232, the castle was their last stronghold. Montségur was besieged in 1243 by the armies of the French King Louis IX and finally the defenders surrendered in March of 1244. After a two week truce, the remaining Cathars who did not abjure their faith were mounted on a pyre and more than 230 perished in the flames.

As you reach the fortress, listen to your guide who will explain how the Cathar stronghold was organized as the ruin you have reached is in fact the reamains of the French castle that was built after the siege of Montségur. The commented visit will certainly include the story behind the siege and how the French army was able to take over a fortress that was reputed to be impregnable. After the visit, enjoy some free time for personal discovery and take some time to admire the landscape.

It will be then be time to descend and make our way back to Toulouse and that will be the end of our services.

Important note:

Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level. A 40 minutes hilly access to the castle represents rough path without handrails, comfortable walking shoes are required, please note that the access is strenuous and is not recommended for travelers with medical conditions or heart problems. This private tour requires minimum 2 adults to operate.

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  • Meet your Guide at your Accommodation in Toulouse

  • Make your way to Rennes le Châteaux

  • Visit Sainte Mary Magdalene's Church

  • Enjoy some free time for personal discovery in Rennes le Château

  • Continue your way to Montsegur

  • Climb up to Montsegur Castle or visit the tiny village

  • Drop off at your accommodation in Toulouse

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Ophorus Tours - Rennes Le Chateau & Montsegur Castle Private Day Trip From Toulouse
Ophorus Tours - Rennes Le Chateau & Montsegur Castle Private Day Trip From Toulouse
Ophorus Tours - Rennes Le Chateau & Montsegur Castle Private Day Trip From Toulouse
Ophorus Tours - Rennes Le Chateau & Montsegur Castle Private Day Trip From Toulouse
Ophorus Tours - Rennes Le Chateau & Montsegur Castle Private Day Trip From Toulouse

Know before you book

  • Tour available all year round (except May 1st, Dec 25th and Jan 1st)
  • 8 hour tour to Rennes le Chateau and Montsegur
  • Comfortable walking shoes are required
  • Access to the Castle lasts 40 minutes: rough paths, mostly without handrails
  • Entrance fees can be paid directly on site
  • Tour is operated in English, other languages on request
  • Prices are per group from 2 to 8 persons - Larger groups please contact us
  • Tour is not wheelchair accessible

COVID-19 SAFETY MEASURES
  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Hand sanitizer available for travelers and staff
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands

Meeting point

Train station, Hotel or accommodation in Toulouse

Departure

We will pick you up at Toulouse Blagnac Airport, Toulouse Matabiau Train Station, your Toulouse Hotel or AirBnB.

Return

Tour returns to original departure point.

Included / excluded

Included

  • Pick up and drop off at hotel
  • English speaking driver guide
  • Travel in premium A/C minivan

Excluded

  • Entrance to Montsegur (if you wish to climb the mountain)
  • Entrance to Domaine of Abbey Sauniere in Rennes le Château
  • Entrance fees to monuments or attractions 
  • Personal insurance & expenses
  • Meals & drinks
  • Gratuities for the driver/guide

FAQ

  • Do you organize pick up and return at accommodation for Toulouse private tours?

    Yes, all private tours include a pick up and drop off at requested location – hotel, AirB&B, train station or airport.
  • What type of vehicles are used during a day trip from Toulouse.

    Our company uses only premium cars & minivans that can take up to a maximum of 8 passengers. All vehicles are new or recent, comfortable, spacious and have A/C. For larger groups, you will need to contact us directly.
  • Is the price per person or per group?

    All our private tours are priced per group of 2 to maximum 8 passengers, not per person. 
  • Can we adapt the tour to fit our wishes?

    Yes, of course. Please let our team of travel advisors know which places you would like to discover and we adapt the tour accordingly.
  • How strenuous is this private day trip from Toulouse?

    Important notice: this tour involves a small hike that lasts around 40 minutes to reach the Castle of Montségur. You must be in good physical condition to make it to the top. If you are interested in the tour but do not want to climb or do not think that your physical condition is good enough then we will see the castle from below and visit the village of Montségur instead.
  • Is lunch included on this full day trip from Toulouse?

    No, we never include lunch on our private tours. However, let us know if you would like us to suggest and pre-book a local restaurant. Our team will be happy to organize this for you at no extra cost. You can also talk with your guide directly in the morning. Let him know your wishes and she/he will adapt the tour accordingly and suggest the best possible options.
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