Christmas season in Carcassonne (Le Magie de Noël, The Magic of Christmas) is so festive and delightful, with a month of Christmas markets, music, events, lights, and vin chaud (mulled red wine.)

Here’s a little peek into a few of the simple pleasures that Jeff and I enjoyed during the Christmas season. Happy New Year (Bonne Année) everyone!

December 6

Christmas merriment starts Dec. 6 — it’s Feast Day of St. Nicholas and also the day that our Christmas Markets open!

Carcassonne's Christmas market and ice rink at twilight, Christmas season in Carcassonne

December 7

This was the first year Jeff and I walked in La Marche aux Flambeaux (The Torchlight March). Hundreds and hundreds of people marching with lighted torches from La Cité to La Bastide’s Place Carnot. It was absolutely amazing to see torch lights in front of us and behind us, as far as we could see.

Vibeke and the Torchlight March in Carcassonne, Christmas season in Carcassonne

I enjoyed another Christmas delight with my friend Carroll: Le Rooftop de Noël, Carcassonne’s Christmas Sky Bar with beautiful views of La Cité.

December 19

I was lucky enough to stop into Cathédrale Saint-Michel during the children’s mass. (The cathedral was first built in the 1200s as a parish church.)

Cathedral St. Michael during children's mass, Christmas season in Carcassonne

Christmas Eve

After going out to a movie, Jeff and I stopped by Le Marché de Noël et la Patinoire (The Christmas Market and the Ice Rink) for vin chaud, duck, escargot and cheese fondue. Love stopping here throughout December!

Here’s a beautiful view of the Christmas Market and Ice Rink on Place Carnot – my friend Joëlle took this from her apartment.

View of Carcassonne Christmas market and skating rink, Christmas season in Carcassonne

Christmas Day

What do you do if it’s a 60 degree Christmas day? Take a bike ride on the Canal du Midi, of course!

Canal du Midi on Christmas day, Christmas season in Carcassonne

After our bike ride, what fun! We rode Carcassonne’s Christmas ferris wheel (La Grand Roue) for absolutely amazing views of La Cité.

View of Carcassonne's La Cite from the Christmas ferris wheel, Christmas season in Carcassonne
Above: View of La Cite from Carcassonne’s Christmas ferris wheel

Le Parc du Père Noël (The Park of Father Christmas) – Loaded with rides for kids – what fun childhood memories! (The Park is across the Canal du Midi from the train station.) That’s where we rode the ferris wheel.

The Park of Father Christmas in Carcassonne, Christmas season in Carcassonne

Christmas Dinner

I made one of my favorite dishes — duck leg confit over roasted potatoes — for our Christmas dinner main course. I buy the duck and potatoes at our Saturday farmers’ market.

Duck confit and roasted potatoes for Christmas in Carcassonne, Christmas season in Carcasonne

December 26

Jeff and I went to our medieval walled city, La Cité, and took the audio-guide tour of Chateau Comtal, the “castle within the castle.” It was so fun to remind ourselves of La Cité’s amazing 2000+ year old history. While entrance is free for most of the medieval walled city, entrance into Chateau Comtal costs 9 euros (7 euros with a discount card) and the audio guide is and additional 3 euros.

Entrance into Chateau Comtal in Carcassonne's medieval walled city, Christmas season in Carcassonne

Below: View of one of the barbacanes from inside Chateau Comtal

View of the barbicane from inside Chateau Comtal, Christmas season in Carcassonne

New Year’s Eve

I went to La Bastide to buy escargots from Burgundy for our New Year’s Eve dinner. (We learned from a friend that this is the only time of year that Burgundian Escargot are available here, and they are fabulous!) It was so fun to feel the hustle and bustle of town, with everyone scrambling to gather their last minute ingredients for their réveillon du Nouvel an (New Year’s Eve) dinners. Below are two of the many lines at shops in La Bastide.

Our New Year’s Eve dinner starter — delicious Escargots de Bourgogne

Escargots de Bourgogne Christmas season in Carcassonne

La Cité at night, as seen from Pont Vieux (the Old Bridge.)

La Cite at Night, Christmas season in Carcassonne

What a merry Christmas season it was!