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Cathar Country – In the footsteps of the Da Vinci Code – from Narbonne

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Key Highlights

  • A ′must&prime for ′Da Vinci Code′ enthusiasts
  • Mystery and mayhem in the heart of the Languedoc
  • Magnificent Cathar fortress of Château de Termes
  • Delicious lunch
  • Activity Schedule
    When does it run?

    Tuesdays and Thursdays

    Duration

    8 hours (approx)

    Start time

    Start time: 0930h (09:30am)
    Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

    Meeting Point

    Please make your way to the Narbonne Tourist Office for the start of your tour.
    Please report at the meeting point 15 minutes before the start time. This is mandatory to allow time for pre-departure briefing.

    Ending Point

    You will be dropped off at the pick up point

  • Overview & Itinerary

    Overview

    Explore the enchanting landscape of the Languedoc and encounter ancient mysteries on this fascinating tour.

    Learn the history of the Cathars, a religious sect possibly descended directly from the earliest Christians. Hear about their persecution by the Catholic Church and visit a spectacular stronghold of Cathar resistance.

    Enjoy a mouth-watering lunch before touring Rennes le Château – an enchanting medieval village – internationally known for the religious conspiracy theories surrounding it.

    Hear tales of a controversial village priest with a mysterious source of wealth and see the building work he used it for.

    Find out how both the story of the Cathars and the strange goings-on in Rennes le Château have inspired controversial books like 'The Da Vinci Code'.

    Itinerary

    Prepare to enjoy an enthralling day on your Cathar Country – In the footsteps of the Da Vinci Code tour. You should make your way to the Narbonne Tourist Office where you will be picked up in an air-conditioned mini-bus by your bilingual (English and French) driver cum guide.

    Your excursion takes you to the heart of Cathar Country in the Languedoc. The Cathars were a religious group, possibly directly descended from the earliest Christians, considered to be heretics by the Catholic Church, which later unleashed the Inquisition against them. Catharism was particularly popular in the Languedoc in the 12th century.

    Your guide will explain the Cathars and their beliefs. This is crucial to an understanding of the lore and legends on which books like 'The Da Vinci Code' are based.

    After 40 minutes drive from Narbonne you will reach Château de Termes, a magnificent ruined Cathar Castle. There is a 15-minute walk to the chateau, most of which is uphill but not too strenuous.

    You will spend about 1 hour and 45 minutes visiting the castle and village and will then have a delicious three-course lunch in a local restaurant.

    The menu will include:

    Starter: Mixed salad and local charcuterie (cold cuts)

    Main Course: Duck Breast served with mixed, fresh vegetables

    Dessert of the Day

    Wine will be included and a vegetarian option is available on prior request.

    Your lunch stop will take around 1 hour 30 minutes and you will then drive on to the village of Rennes le Château, a journey of around 20 minutes.

    Rennes-le-Château is a small medieval castle village, considered by many to be packed with clues to an alternate view of religious history. Although Dan Brown's bestselling novel 'The Da Vinci Code', does not mention Rennes-le-Château by name, you will soon see that it provided him plenty of inspiration.

    See the church renovated in the late 19th century by a controversial local priest, Bérenger Saunière. Hear how a local restaurant owner, anxious to boost business, spread the story that Saunière had discovered a hidden treasure that was the source of his mysterious wealth.

    See the curious hilltop tower, dedicated to Mary Magdalene, also constructed by the strangely well-off Father Saunière. Also note that 'Saunière' is the surname of one of the key characters in 'The Da Vinci Code'!

    You will spend 2 hours at Rennes-le-Château and then have a 30 minute stop at a local cafe (payable direct) before driving back to Narbonne. The drive to Narbonne takes about 1 hour. You will be dropped off at the tourist office in Narbonne.

  • Inclusions & Exclusions

    Inclusions

    • Transportation in an air-conditioned minibus
    • Bilingual driver / guide (English and French)
    • 3- course lunch with wine (vegetarian option available on prior request)
    • Entrance fee to Château de Termes, and Church and Domain in Rennes le Château

    Exclusions

    • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
    • Afternoon refreshments
  • Please note & Additional info

    Please note

    Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to start of the tour for reconfirming departure details
    If you require a vegetarian lunch please note this in the Special Request section of the booking form

    Additional info

    The confirmation voucher includes the local activity operator’s contact details and local telephone numbers at the destination. They will happily answer any logistical questions you may have.This trip includes a 15-minute walk up to and down from the castle. While the walk is not difficult, the outward section is mainly uphill, and is perhaps not suitable for those who tire easily