33ºC / 92ºF
The gigantic fortifications are the results of hundreds of years of strategic strengthening. The Romans were the first to wall the hilltop, and Carcassonne was since improved significantly by various rulers, including the Franks, Saracens and Medieval French. While one side of the city has spread and developed across the River Aude, the houses behind the walls of the old city still appear to have changed little over the last score of centuries. Among the narrow, winding streets, there are plenty of little gems that can be explored on your labyrinthine journey through the town that time forgot. See the bust of Lady Carcas – a Saracen princess, from whom the name of the castle is derived, marvel at the twin towers of Narbonne Gate and make sure you pay a visit to the Maison de la Chevalerie. Guided tours will grant you access to the Chateau Comtal, where secret passages, grand rooms and impressive towers will take you through the full history of Carcassonne.
The area around the fortress also holds numerous places that are worth visiting. Walk across the stunningly beautiful old bridge Pont Vieux that leads from the castle and to the city on the other side of the river. Here you can visit the Museum of Fine Arts immediately on the other side, before making your way to the Carcassonne Cathedral and then the Carnot Square for a light lunch. Along the western parts of the new town, the UNESCO Heritage Site-listed Midi Canal flows along meticulously engineered streams, lines and locks. This masterpiece of French tenacity was built to connect the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean, and boat tours will take you down a waterway full of history and beautiful scenery. Further outside of the city you can also visit the romantic Lac de la Cavayere, as well as Le Parc Australien, where you, for a day, can travel from the Middle Ages of Carcassonne to the Australian outback, full of kangaroos and other antipodean creatures.
Each region in Spain is fiercely proud of its local identity and culture and regardless of where you find yourself in this vast and fascinating country, you’ll quickly discover that one of the cornerstones in every regional self-image is the local food. We’ve collected (and sampled) the five following dishes, yet these are just a few examples of the great variety of dishes you’ll find in Spain.
Spending an extended weekend in Iceland means making sure you pack in all the things worth seeing and doing here. Don't fret, though, we've kindly compiled a useful list that you are free to follow to make sure you get the full experience of this wonderful Viking island.
Whether you are staying on the mainland, or even on one of the many islands themselves, you can easily travel to and between some of the more remote islands that will give you a glimpse of a more serene part of the Mediterranean, away from the tourists and the developed seafronts.