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One Night in Carcassonne or Albi France?

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Aug 23rd, 2014, 02:04 PM
  #1
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One Night in Carcassonne or Albi France?

We’re off to explore the Dordogne and Languedoc region in a couple of weeks. Thanks to many Fodorites our entire itinerary is planned except for one night towards the end of our stay.

For the life of me I can’t make up my mind on this one silly night. I’m a Libra, what can I say. We’ll be coming from Ste Eminie. I know this topic has been discussed before, but I would love your opinions.

Our options are drive to Carcassonne visit and spend the night. Then visit Albi as a day trip on our way to Toulouse for the end of our trip.

Or skip Carcassonne and drive from Ste Eminie via the Millau Viaduct (maybe visit Roquefort) to Albi and spend one night there. Then to Toulouse to end our trip.

Any advise and hotel suggestions would be appreciate. Thanks in advance.
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Aug 23rd, 2014, 02:15 PM
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kja
 
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I shouldn't comment because I haven't yet seen Carcassonne, but I can say that I loved Albi. If you do spend the night there, I can wholeheartedly recommend dinner at Le Clos Sainte Cecile. I stayed at L' Hostellerie Du Vigan -- nothing special, but I was satisfied with it.

Be sure to get the audio guide for your time in the cathedral.
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Aug 23rd, 2014, 02:34 PM
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I have been to both, Carcassone and Albi, and for me its no contest, Albi wins hands down! Far more interesting and much less touristy. Do not miss the Toulouse-Lautrec museum and cathédrale Sainte-Cécile. Cordes-sur-Ciel and Conques which may also be on your route are also worth a few hours.

A couple of hours in Carcassone and I was ready to leave/run away from the hordes (and this was in October!!!) with its tacky shops and tourist restaurants.

Just my own opinion.
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Aug 23rd, 2014, 02:43 PM
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Thanks kja. You are my favorite Toulouse fan. We'll be there for two nights before heading home. I was looking at L' Hostellerie Du Vigan in Albi. The location looks fabulous, but most say to stay in a renovated room.

kanadajin, love your honesty. We're spending 18 nights in the region and I guess I feel guilty not seeing Carcassonne. But as mentioned, it is at the end of our trip and I wouldn't want to have a bad experience. Leaning towards Albi.
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Aug 23rd, 2014, 02:48 PM
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This is just my opinion as I'm a tourist.

We have been to both places and have stayed in Carcassonne twice. Once inside the wall and once outside the walls.

While the walls have been rebuilt in the 1800's, if you research the history, you can just feel what happened over the last many, many centuries.

I will say Albi was only given a half day each visit and perhaps it wasn't enough time.

We look thru the hordes as was described and see the history.

But everyone is different and I respect all opinions.

Good luck on your decision.
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Aug 23rd, 2014, 03:00 PM
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Hi iris1745, we could possibly do both. Stay over in Albi then do Carcassonne as a day trip before dropping off our car in Toulouse by 6:00 PM. Might be a long day though. Or stay over in Carcassonne and do Albi as a day trip to Toulouse. Decisions, decisions.
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Aug 23rd, 2014, 03:10 PM
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Yes, you could do that, leaving early that day.

I think Carcassonne would be south and then west to Toulouse.

That would be an easy day trip to drop the car at 6pm.

http://wikipedia.org/wiki/carcassonne
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Aug 23rd, 2014, 03:17 PM
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kja
 
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If you can get to Albi early enough to see the cathedral and Toulouse-Lautrec Museum before they close (I'd plan on at least an hour for each, with a bit extra for the gardens of the palace in which the museum is housed -- but tinker with that to suit your interests), then you could see Albi's highlights before dinner and roam around a bit afterwards or the next morning, and still see Carcassonne on your way to Toulouse.

If you like Toulouse even 1/10th as much as I did, you will LOVE it!
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Aug 23rd, 2014, 03:26 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. Kja, good point about timing in Albi. We were planning to spend a little time at the Millau viaduct. So we probably would need the next day to enjoy Albi's sights. I mentioned a in a previous post that we may come back next year based around Montpellier so Carcassonne may have to wait. TY everyone.
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Aug 23rd, 2014, 04:10 PM
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I enjoyed staying in Carcassonne overnight much more than visiting it during the day as the town is beautifully lit at night. That being said, I found Albi much more interesting than Carcassonne and wish we had had more time to spend there.

If I had time to visit only one place, I would pick Albi. If you can visit both, I would see Carcassonne at night.
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Aug 23rd, 2014, 04:31 PM
  #11
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Hi KTtravel, night time in Carcassonne is what everyone seems to love. Like staying in Capri overnight once the tourists have gone. Can I ask where you stayed? Maybe this trip or next year we would want that experience.
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Aug 23rd, 2014, 05:20 PM
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This is where we stayed inside the city. Outside not so good. www.hoteldelacite.com
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Aug 23rd, 2014, 06:28 PM
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Oh iris1745, so sweet. La Cite is a dream. We've stayed at special places like that. Not sure it's in our budget this trip.
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Aug 23rd, 2014, 06:36 PM
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Hey easygoer; We do dollar cost averaging. Most very reasonable and then a spurge, lol
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Aug 23rd, 2014, 07:58 PM
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I have just been to Carcassonne for the first time since 1967. I have been to Albi several times, starting in 1967. I would take Albi over Carcassonne for its church and its Toulouse-Lautrec museum.
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Aug 23rd, 2014, 08:17 PM
  #16
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Thanks iris1745, I appreciate your averaging and understand as we have spent $$ and $$$$ on hotels depending on where we are.

Michael, Thanks for your Albi input. Thinking Albi is the way to go for the overnight and time to spend in the city and sight-seeing. Carcassonne will be saved for our next trip. Everyone thank you!
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Aug 23rd, 2014, 10:40 PM
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easygoer, we stayed inside the walls at the Best Western Hotel le Donjon. I thought it was overpriced for what it was but the location couldn't be beat.

I think you've made a good decision. Enjoy Albi!
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Feb 24th, 2015, 10:35 AM
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Easygoer,

I am planning a similar trip to the Dordogne and Languedoc and would love to get your feedback on how your itinerary worked out. Any do's or don'ts that you care to share? Did you do a trip report?
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