Carcassonne Sports & Outdoors

  • Rue Porte.
    Rue Porte.
    by Jerelis
  • The castle and the blue sky.
    The castle and the blue sky.
    by Jerelis
  • Main entrance of Basilique Saint-Nazaire.
    Main entrance of Basilique...
    by Jerelis

Most Recent Sports & Outdoors in Carcassonne

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    Hiking - The streets wind and wander.

    by Jerelis Written Sep 6, 2011

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    Take time to meander - losing yourself in the maze of alleys, streets and lanes is one of Carcassonne's principal pleasures. Throughout the hike we saw the curious mixture of architectural styles left by the previous inhabitants of the citadel - Venetians, Roman and Spanish. The streets wind and wander with no discerrible order or object. Picturesque cobblestone alleyways are interspersed by statues, graceful basilica, fountains and a great selection of local cafés where we had our lunch and by the end of the day had a nice cold beer.

    The entire citidel of Carcassonne is about 2000 years old. Because of its dependence of its defences and the main city in the back, it was forced to develop within their narrow confines. The development in the area of this town, therefore, was very limited. So ... do meander, because the cluster of sights around the Theatre Jean Deschamps are hearthclutchingly beautiful, but the more secret pleasures of the hushed backstreets are just entrancing. All this may seem very though as finding your way in Carcassonne might be difficult, but in really distances are short and the signs will help you in getting around. Enjoy!

    Rue Saint Louis. Defensive structure at the east side. Porte Narbonnaise Entr�� Principale.
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Castles and Palaces

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    Hiking - The best way to explore Carcassonne.

    by Jerelis Written Sep 6, 2011

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    The compact town of Carcassonne is easy to get around, and the ideal place to explore on foot. Carcassonne is France, and yet it is a culture unto itself. Historical buildings to stroll around include the 6th century basilica, numerous squares, elegant houses and the charming cobbled streets reveal delights at every turn. Time to explore it!

    We can honestly state that the best way to explore Carcassonne is by foot and the second best way is also by foot! Besides giving you the opportunity to roam the narrow streets and the cosy squares, it is the quickest way too. If you really want to, you can cross the city in approximately 25 minutes. Remember that sometimes it might be quicker (and nicer!) to take a few short-cuts into picturesque alleys instead of following the masses of tourists. Maybe this is easy for us to say as we stayed for a longer period of time and not like most of the tourists only for one day. But even when your stay is rather short, do try to get away from the crowds and just have a 'look around'. Like we already said: Carcassonne is simply a perfect place to walk for a few hours and pretending to know where you are.

    Main entrance of Basilique Saint-Nazaire. Nice small streets towards Basilique Saint-Nazaire Do watch up!
    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Hiking - Our 'game plan' strategy.

    by Jerelis Updated Sep 6, 2011

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    Most people try to rush Carcassonne on a budget so they end up missing some of the highlights in a whirlwind. The key to seeing Carcassonne probably is a game plan, you must know what you want to see before setting out. For example: we wanted to see the Castle and Ramparts and planned our hike in eastern part of this citadel around it. Starting at the main gate, the Porte Narbonnaise Entrée Principale, hiking our way via the Rue Cros Mayrevieille and Place du Chateau towards it. Once we visited the beautiful Castle we wondered off via Rue Porte (where we had a refreshment), Rue du Four St. Nazaire and met the locals in front of the Basilique Saint-Nazaire.

    By this 'game plan' structure we walked through the citadel of Carcassonne where we saw the famous Theatre Deschamps and hiked all the way up to the small and colourful square of Place du Petit Puits. For every lane, alley or square we had our 'wanted to see' highlights and had lots of fun in planning the hikes in advance. Carcassonne is simply a perfect place to walk for a while and pretending to know where you are.

    Rue Porte. The castle and the blue sky. Remains of the wall at Place du Petit Puits.
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Historical Travel

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    Rafting in the Pyrenees - What an amazing ride!

    by Jerelis Written Sep 6, 2011

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    We were descending the powerful rapids of the Aude river in this rubber dinghy, using peddles to steer away from the rocks and move along other obstacles. We found out that boat used (zodiac type) was very safe and had a great resistance to the blows. We sat in the raft with eight people and the instructor at the back. We all sat on the edges of the boat and holded on for life, as we braved the rapids. The instructor at the back looked out for obstacles and guided us in the right direction. His job is to plot the course with the oar and to give the necessary instructions to the rest of the group to advance the boat down river down. So every now and then we had a rock splats, a nose dunk and did a pirouette to avoid some rocks.

    At first it might seem like a dangerous sport, but it’s not really. Falling into the water won’t do you much harm. We were well equipped with a helmet, life jacket, full wet suit and neoprone boots. We experienced this because at some point of the course the instructure cap sized the boat on purpose and we all fell into the cold river and had to swim our way to the side of the river to reorganise the team. But anyway, it was an amazing ride!

    Equipment: * An inflatable raft (with auto bailing device);
    * A single paddle;
    * A high performance life jacket;
    * A helmet;
    * A neoprene wet suite;
    * A rain jacket if necessary.

    Another small waterfall. Almost hitting the walls. Nose dunk! We made it ...
    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Rafting
    • Water Sports

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    Rafting in the Pyrenees - Own level of difficulty.

    by Jerelis Written Sep 6, 2011

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    The ROC Aqua Rafting Company has 3 trips to undertake.

    The beginners trip (2 trips available):
    The St George gorge: beautiful itinerary (level 3), of about 7 kilometres, that usually is practiced in the morning.
    The Pierre-Lyse gorge: aprogressive itinerary (level 4) of about 7 kilometres, that usually is practiced in the afternoon.

    The sportive trip (1 itinerary only):
    A wonderful trip (level 5) along the river Aude of about 14 kilometres. This is one we took.

    We took this thrilling ride down the river Aude right in the beautiful and fascinating mountain range of the Pyrenees. It is definately an heavily adrenalin fuelled sport. The river Aude in Spain is considered a mecca for European rafters and we learned why.

    Equipment: * An inflatable raft (with auto bailing device);
    * A single paddle;
    * A high performance life jacket;
    * A helmet;
    * A neoprene wet suite;
    * A rain jacket if necessary.

    Rock splats technique. We can do this! Here we come. Crossing the river the Aude.
    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Rafting
    • Water Sports

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    Rafting in the Pyrenees - No prior technical skill

    by Jerelis Updated Sep 6, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Reading the hand-out of the ROC Aqua rafting company learned that a raft is an inflatable boat and that you need to manoeuvre it down the river with paddles. It's the best way to get a touch of white water sports without any prior technical skills. Of course with the help and support of a river guide onboard. How hard can it be, so for us (I did it with two friends Sjoerd and Patrick) it was just time to get acquiped and enter the raft, which can accomodate a crew of 8 people maximum.

    For us rafting is a rather challenging recreational outdoor activity. In our case it was done on some different degrees of rough water, in order to thrill and excite us as much as possible! We knew that it is considered an extreme sport, as it can be dangerous. But of course we wanted to seek a thrill and entered the raft. Before we were getting started we learned some of the rules to secure each other safety. The guide told us for example that one of the most simple ways to avoid injury while out of a raft, was to swim to an Eddy (a calm spot behind a rock in the water which the current disperses around) to avoid being taken downstream.

    Equipment: * An inflatable raft (with auto bailing device);
    * A single paddle;
    * A high performance life jacket;
    * A helmet;
    * A neoprene wet suite;
    * A rain jacket if necessary.

    Getting instruction before getting started. At first the easy part of the river. Not too wild yet. Watch out for the rock!
    Related to:
    • Water Sports
    • Rafting
    • Adventure Travel

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