Car Hire in Carcassonne
Carcassonne's UNESCO listed citadel, La Cité, is a must-do during any trip to France. Once you've explored the cobbled streets on foot, car hire in Carcassonne is essential for exploring the Languedoc region properly. Leafy mountain trails, quaint villages and vineyards, and placid beaches are all a short drive away – what more encouragement do you need to hire a car in Carcassonne?
Where to Hire a Car in Carcassonne
For the most part, car hire in Carcassonne can be found outside the city centre. For the biggest choice, it's best to look for car hire at Carcassonne airport. Avis, Alamo, Firefly and Europcar are among the agencies based on-site, and there are further car hire companies along the D33 and D119 roads. Car hire at Carcassonne train station is available from agencies including Avis and Ada, and is a good choice if you're based in town and don't want to travel too far to pick up your hire car.
Tips for Driving in Carcassonne
The medieval Cité is pedestrian-only, but there are three car parks available nearby. Parking P1 is 400m away from the city, while P0 is reserved for disabled badge holders. Guest of some hotels in Carcassonne can also use this car park – it's worth checking with your accommodation first. Parking P2 is near the Aude gate. There are three further underground car parks in Bastide St Louis, the modern part of Carcassonne. As in the rest of mainland Europe, traffic in France drives on the right-hand side of the road.
4 Easy Day Trips from Carcassonne
Best for beach lovers: Narbonne 60km (about 48 minutes) from Carcassonne you'll find the pretty town of Narbonne. Although the receding shoreline has left the ex-port town 15km inland, the 800 square kilometre parc naturel régional de la Narbonnaise to the southeast is a dream of lagoons, beaches and beautiful vineyards – all protected from over-development.
Best for families: Parc des Dinosaurs Jurassic World isn't real (thankfully) but you can visit the next best thing with car hire in Carcassonne. Parc des Dinosaurs, where Europe's biggest stash of dinosaur eggs was uncovered in 1996, is just 123km (an hour and 20 minutes) away. Real dinosaur skeletons and realistic models add to the atmosphere.
Best for nature lovers: Parc naturel régional du Haut Languedoc The Haut-Languedoc Regional Nature Park is 93.8km (one hour and 40 minutes) away from Carcasonne. Hiking, mountain biking and canoeing are just a few of the activities you can enjoy in this sprawing natural park. The views from the mountains out to the Mediterranean Sea are particularly worth the treks.
Best for wine lovers: the Corbieres wine route Languedoc-Roussillon is the world's largest wine region, and the Corbieres appellation sits just to the southeast of Carcassonne. You can easily spend a lazy afternoon driving around the cellar doors, tasting and picking up bottles of the easy-drinking regional wines made from syrah, grenache and carignan. Drink driving is very much against the law in France, so if you don't have a designated driver it's best to wait until you get back to your hotel to enjoy a tipple.