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Ophorus Tours - Carcassonne & Languedoc Wines Private Shore Excursion From Port Vendres

Port-Vendres

Carcassonne & Languedoc Wines Private Shore Excursion From Port Vendres

  • shore excursions

  • Cultural

  • 30 days

  • Small Groups ( 2~8 )

  • Active

  • English

  • Highlights
  • Program
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1,400.00
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An Idyllic Private Full Day Trip from Port Vendres Cruise Port to Medieval Carcassonne, a Unesco World Heritage site. Enjoy a private guided walking tour of the Cité, free time for lunch followed by a Languedoc wines tasting session.

Highlights

  • Pick up and drop off at Port Vendres Cruise Terminal
  • Explore the famous Castle & Ramparts of Carcassonne
  • Visit Saint Nazaire Basilica with its beautiful stained glass windows
  • Discover the amazing Lastours Belvedere
  • Learn about the Cathars as you visit Minerve village
  • English speaking Driver or Driver/Guide
  • Tour can be fully customized to suit your interests

Program & Itinerary

Carcassonne looks like some fairy-tale medieval city. Bathed in late-afternoon sunshine and highlighted by dark clouds, La Cité, as the old walled city is known, is truly breathtaking. The visit of the Basilica with its outstanding stained-glass windows is a must. From Port Vendres Cruise Port depart for a full day private tour to the fortified city of Carcassonne one of the most famous Unesco ...

Capture The Best Of the Languedoc Region on this Full Day Private Shore Excursion from Port Vendres 

Carcassonne looks like some fairy-tale medieval city. Bathed in late-afternoon sunshine and highlighted by dark clouds, La Cité, as the old walled city is known, is truly breathtaking. The visit of the Basilica with its outstanding stained-glass windows is a must. 

Pick up at your Cruise Ship in Port Vendres

From Port Vendres Cruise Port depart for a full day private tour to the fortified city of Carcassonne one of the most famous Unesco World Heritage Sites of the region. On this full day trip to Carcassonne, we will first come and pick you up at your Ship located in Port Vendres. Meet your English speaking driver who will go over the itinerary and program of the day with you.

Then you will board your air-conditioned vehicle and it will be time to drive off to this day’s destination. The drive from Port Vendres to the medieval town & Cité of Carcassonne is just under 2 hours. As you drive, admire the Languedoc region landscape with its rolling hills, fields of bright yellow sunflowers and of course the Canal du Midi that you will follow until Carcassonne. This full day tour also enables you to take in some panoramic views of the area especially as you pass the Alaric mountain range.

Visit the Walled Town of Carcassonne – La Cité

A bit of History

The oldest traces of mankind - 6th century B.P - were found on the promontory where the now medieval Cité lies. Around 300 B.P, the Volques Tectosages brought the Iberians of Languedoc to submission.

In 122 B.P, the Romans conquered the Provence and the Languedoc regions of France. They fortified the oppidum which took the name of Carcaso and occupied our region until the middle of the 5th century. The Visigoths then became the masters of Spain and the Languedoc. The Cité remained in their hands from 460 to 725 A.D. In the spring of 725, the Saracens took the Cité. 

They were driven away in 759 by Pépin le Bref, king of the Franks. After the death of Charlemagne, the dismembering of the Empire gave birth to the feudal system. It was under the dynasty of the Trencavels, from 1082 to 1209, that the town began to gain tremendous influence.

During this prosperous period, Catharism grew rapidly. Raymond Roger Trencavel, vicomte of Carcassonne (1194-1209) both tolerated and protected the heretics on his own lands. He suffered the first impact of the crusade preached by Pope Innocent III and on August 15th, 1209, after a two-week siege, it was all over. The Cité and the lands of Trencavel were first handed to the military commander of the crusade, Simon de Montfort, then to the King of France in 1224.

As the Cité made its entry into the Royal Estate, its destiny took a new turn. Under the successive reigns of Louis IX, Philippe Le Hardi and Philippe Le Bel, it grew its modern-day shape. A new borough was born on the left bank in 1262: La Bastide Saint-Louis. Set on fire by the Black Prince in 1355, it was immediately rebuilt. While this new town was bustling with activity, the Cité consolidated its role as a royal fortress.

But due to the use of new war techniques (gunpowder, cannon) and above all to the recession of the Franco-Spanish border in 1659 after the Peace of the Pyrénées, it was gradually abandoned. In the 18th century, the Cité was little more than a slum, a poverty-stricken, outlying area in a town made wealthy by the wine trade and the cloth manufacturing industry.

Only through the joint efforts of Jean-Pierre Cros-Mayrevieille, a historian and a citizen of Carcassonne, of Mérimée and the famous architect Viollet-le-Duc was it saved from demolition. Thousands of people today are able to see and admire the most accomplished fortified town in Europe.

Visit of Carcassonne with your licensed tour guide

Reach the cité de Carcassonne that looks like some fairy-tale medieval city. Bathed in late-afternoon sunshine and highlighted by dark clouds, La Cité, as the old walled city is known, is truly breathtaking. The fortress is the largest remaining fortified city in Europe. Follow your guide as you listen to the local stories and legends and be amazed by its old stones and its history.

Follow the ramparts with your guide, to get a feel of the medieval beauty of the biggest fortified city then stroll through the narrow streets lined with shops. Reach the Cathedral of Carcassonne. The visit of the Saint Nazaire Basilica with its outstanding stained-glass windows that date back to the middle ages is a must. 

Free time for lunch

After your guided walking tour of Carcassonne, enjoy some free time for personal discovery and lunch (at own expense). There is a large choice of restaurants within the Cité so don't hesitate to ask your guide for recommendations. If you are interested in local food, why not try the most popular dish of the region: Cassoulet. This rich, slow-cooked stew contains meat, pork skin and white beans. Bon apétit!

Languedoc Wines tasting session

Upon return to your Cruise Ship, we will make a stop along the way in a carefully selected winery of the region. Here taste the bold red wines and fruity white wines of the region. Depending on the winery visited, you might also taste some Rosé wine as the Languedoc is by far the largest Rosé wine producing region of France. After your wine tasting session, we will take you back to Port Vendres and drop you off at your Cruise Ship.

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  • Pick up at your Cruise Ship in Port-Vendres

  • Guided Walking tour of Carcassonne

  • Free time in Carcassonne for personal discovery and lunch (at own expense)

  • Visit the Lastours Belevedere

  • Visit the most beautiful village of Minerve

  • Drop off at your Cruise Ship in Port-Vendres

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Ophorus Tours - Carcassonne & Languedoc Wines Private Shore Excursion From Port Vendres
Ophorus Tours - Carcassonne & Languedoc Wines Private Shore Excursion From Port Vendres
Ophorus Tours - Carcassonne & Languedoc Wines Private Shore Excursion From Port Vendres
Ophorus Tours - Carcassonne & Languedoc Wines Private Shore Excursion From Port Vendres
Ophorus Tours - Carcassonne & Languedoc Wines Private Shore Excursion From Port Vendres

Know before you book

If you want to share your tour with others, you can put it on Cruise Critic. Most of the time this gives good results. You must do this yourself as we are not accepted on their site as a professional business. We accept split payment transactions by credit card.

  • Small group, personalized experiences
  • Worry free shore Excursion, guaranteed return to Ship
  • Entrance fees to Count's Castle can be booked as extra
  • Prices are per group from 2 to 7 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

Port Vendres Cruise Ship Terminal

Departure

Pick up at Cruise Ship – Port Vendres Cruise Ship Terminal.
Please proceed to exit where your guide will be waiting for you with a sign bearing lead traveler name.

Return

Drop off at Cruise Ship – Port Vendres Cruise Ship Terminal

Reviews

1 reviews
  • ThunderDownUnder111

    23, May 2019

    We had a fantastic private excursion from Sète, France (where our cruise ship docked) to Carcassonne, France (fortified town which is a UNESCO World Heritage...
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Included / excluded

Included

  • Pick up and drop off at Cruise Ship in Port-Vendres
  • Guided Walking tour of Carcassonne
  • Optional entrance fees to Count's Castle
  • Visit Lastours Belvedere
  • Visit Minerve village
  • English speaking driver or driver/guide
  • Premium A/C vehicle

Excluded

  • Entrance fees to monuments, museums
  • Meals and drinks
  • Personal insurance and expenses
  • Gratuities for the guide

FAQ

  • What type of vehicles are used during your shore excursions from Port-Vendres?

    Our company uses only premium cars & minivans that are recent, comfortable and fully equipped including individual A/C, shaded windows and large leg space.
  • Who conducts your private shore excursions from Port-Vendres?

    All our tours are conducted by English speaking drivers or driver / guides. For a more personalized experience, we can also organize any private tour with both a driver and a guide. On this particular tour, if the tour is conducted by a driver/guide, she/he will be an expert on medieval history & architecture.
  • How long is the drive from Port-Vendres to Carcassonne?

    From Port Vendres Cruise ship to reach Carcassonne, the driving time is approximately of just under 2 hours.
  • How strenuous is this shore excursion from Port-Vendres?

    This tour involves quite some walking in Carcassonne and in the small village of Minerve. Both locations have cobbled streets and uneven grounds which makes it sometimes difficult to walk. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you book this tour if you are in good physical condition and that you do not have any walking difficulties.

    Every participant should wear good walking shoes on this tour.
  • Will we have some free time for personal discovery in Carcassonne?

    Yes, after the morning guided visit of Carcassonne, the rest of your time in the Medieval Cité is for you to enjoy. It will be also here that you will have some time for lunch. Your driver or driver/guide will indicate a meeting point and time for your afternoon tour departure.
  • Is lunch included on this private shore excursion from Port-Vendres?

    No, we never include lunch on our private tours. However, if you would like to organize a lunch in a local restaurant then please let our team of travel experts know and they will do the rest. Indicate what type of restaurants you are looking for in terms of budget and meal or better let us know your choice and our team will make the corresponding arrangements.

    On this particular shore excursion, you will have a large choice of restaurants in Carcassonne. Why not try Cassoulet, one of the famous local delicacies? Be prepared for a hearty meal!
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