Languedoc - A terra dos cátaros
In a trip that includes Barcelone and Paris, you'll never imagine that the best part is none of those. I liked Languedoc-Roussillon more than Barcelone and Paris (well, I had gone to Paris before...), since I had much more "adventure" and "non-touristical" things to do and see there. The time I spent in Languedoc was like time in the Middle Ages, not only a travel "in the space", but also a travel in time.
Languedoc-Roussillon region includes Roussillon, an originally catalan part, which most important city is Perpignan, and Languedoc itself, the country of the cathars, "pure" ones, that tried to follow the example of the first christians and were eliminated by the Roman Church. Carcassonne and Toulouse (this one the capital of the Midi-Pirenees region) are the main cities of the southern Languedoc, while Montpellier (I shall visit this city another time!) is the main one in the northern part, closer to Provence.
"Carcassonne, could it be more beautiful and sad?"
Carcassonne is the main touristical destination in Languedoc (well, now they have also Rennes-le-Chateau, with all those ocultist books...). Coming from Barcelone by train, you can rent a car and sleep one night in Perpignan, and then pass by Rennes and reach Carcassonne. It's the ideal place for fly-and-drive, thus.
The medieval city of Carcassonne was practically rebuilt in the XIX Century. There's a nice hotel (Montmorency) just across the street, from the towers of the Narbonensis Gate. The medieval city is simply wonderful, and you find a lot of touristic help in the languedocian cities.
Why did I say it's sad? Because of the humanistic and peaceful civilization that could be risen and was aborted by the Cruzade.
The "Albigense Cruzade" was carried on by the Roman Church against the heretic cathars, who lived in Languedoc, by the XII Century. Many castles still remind us of those times; many of them were actually used by the cathars, including the medieval city of Carcassonne.
The Castel of Peyrepertuse is probably the best preserved one. It was partially rebuilt by Louis IX, that changed it into a strong fortress. However, this very castle wasn't a cathar site. But the climbing of the castle is something!
Other very very interesting cities: Perpignan and Narbonne. Lots of things to do in and around both. Very friendly people too!