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Analysis Paralysis - Foix, Mirepoix, Albi, or ?

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DH, 17yoDD and I will be traveling from Barcelona to the Dordogne (4 nights in Sarlat), then on to Paris, in early summer. DH and I did did a very similar itinerary with DS some time ago. That time, we spent two nights in the Languedoc, one in a chambre d'hote south of Carcassonne, the next in a small inn near Castres. We loved Queribus, Peyrepertuse and Lastours, did not like Carcassonne itself so much. We only have two nights for the Languedoc.

This time I want to see some different (and some of the same) sights. DH and DD said whatever I decide is fine - I'm pretty much that means they trust my judgement. First night in France, the chateau in Couiza got a yes vote (we plan to visit Queribus and Peyrepertuse, and may Puilaurens if we have time), but where to spend the next night after, before we head up to Sarlat?

I really want to visit Monsegur even though I know the "Cathar" remains are no longer there. Albi appeals, and I would like to see the Toulouse Lautrec museum, but I'm thinking rural would be better, as a lot of the rest of the trip will be in bigger cities. We tend to prefer castles, mostly older; we live in the mountains in the US and are quite active, so we will enjoy hiking up to the castles. We plan to visit a cave or two, but I think Niaux and the other caves in that area are off our list.

So what to do? From Couiza, head west to Puivert, Montsegur, then spend the night in Foix with possibly a short visit to the castle? Or we could do the same, but end up in Mirepoix, which does seem to have more appealing hotels (though we usually don't spend much time in our hotel or hotel room). Or other options?

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