Driving approx. 105 miles (170 km) total throughout the day, about 3.5 hours: about 1 hour to Beziers, 1/2 hour to Minerve, and 1.5 hours to Couiza. Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day; cobblestones and uneven surfaces, some steep inclines; no elevators in the 2-story historic hotel in Couiza.
Once checked out of the hotel, we’ll transfer via motorcoach to Beziers, a city rich in Cathar and Romanesque history, for an expert-led field trip with commentary about the history of the Cathar and Beziers. The Cathar faith came to prominence in the twelfth century with a Cathar church being established as early as the beginning of the eleventh century in the Champagne region. Catharism spread all over France with many 'heretics' being burnt, but it was in the Languedoc that it had its widest appeal including noblemen, peasants and merchants alike. While here we will see the two main sites of the Massacre at Beziers when 20,000 people were killed during a crusade against the Cathars, the Church of Mary Magdalene, and, next, the city's grandiose Romanesque Cathedral. Afterwards, we will continue our transfer to Minerve.
At a local restaurant in Minerve, we’ll enjoy a 3-course plated meal with a glass of wine and water included; other beverages available for purchase.
Led by our Study Leader upon arrival, we’ll explore the charming vineyard village of Minerve, also rich in Cathar history and tradition, starting with visits to the Romanesque church and the archeological museum. We’ll then carry on to Couiza where we’ll check in to the hotel.
At the hotel, we’ll enjoy a plated 3-course meal, plus a glass of wine, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.