Carcassonne Quilting Retreat

Prices from £1,695


11 Oct 2019 - 18 Oct 2019
Duration: 7 nights
Ref: 19042
With: Karin Hellaby


Prices from £1,695
Single Supplement: £250
Deposit: £250

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A wonderfully relaxing trip to historic Carcassonne in France’s sunny south-west corner to savour the amazing architecture and atmosphere of this World Heritage Site, enjoy the luxury of a top-class hotel and indulge in four days of quilting.

Carcassonne really is a fantastic sight to behold and on this tour you’ll not only stay right in the historic heart of the medieval fortress town - you'll quilt there, too. Karin Hellaby will be on hand at all times to teach new techniques and lend her expertise, and there are Bernina machines to work on.

Also on the agenda are trips into the surrounding countryside to visit beautiful Mirepoix and Minervois. And with time to wander Carcassonne’s perfectly preserved cobbled streets as and when you please, you’ll have the ideal opportunity to unwind, make new friends and improve your quilting, too.


"Imagine you are in a 1000 year old French city with narrow cobbled streets and no traffic, a sewing room with six sets of patio doors overlooking an ancient walled garden where you can sit and stitch amongst the trees and flowers, and the use of a Bernina sewing machine when you want to hurry your project along. My first quilting retreat to Carcassonne was in 2006, and to hear quilters at the end of the first day saying ‘we have hit the jackpot of quilting holidays’, echoed how I felt. Next year, we will be retreating again to this atmospheric city with trips to Minerve, one of the most beautiful villages in France, Mirepoix for its market, an old textile factory, and of course a quilt shop. Back to Carcassonne, where we emerge in the evenings, from our sewing workshops to find quiet streets. The tourists have disappeared, and within the fortified city walls we can explore the shops, bars and local restaurants. Come and join me in October 2019 and make sure you have read Labyrinth by Kate Mosse!"

DAY 1:

Meet Karin and our Tour Manager at Heathrow airport for our flight to Toulouse. Our coach and driver will meet us at the airport and take us to our hotel. A 3-course evening meal is included this evening.

DAYS 2 & 3:

Full day workshops with Karin with shared use of Bernina machines.

DAY 4:

Today we’ll visit Mirepoix; a beautiful medieval bastide town and an important textile centre in the 15th century. The highlight of the ancient town is the central square which is surrounded by medieval timber-framed houses and covered walkways. We’ll take some time to admire the woodwork involved in these houses, much of the carpentry and decorative features have fascinating detail. The café terraces, shops and traditional market makes it a lovely spot to visit. We’ll round off our day out with a guided visit of the textile museum at Lavelanet, housed in the town’s first textile factory. The visit will take us from the Middles Ages to the 20th Century with demonstrations showing each stage of the fabric making process; from spinning through to dyeing and weaving.

DAYS 5 & 6:

Full day workshops with Karin with shared use of Bernina machines.

DAY 7:

Our excursion today takes us first to Minerve, one of the listed most beautiful villages in France. The fortified medieval village, with many of the fortifications still in place, is perched on a rocky peninsula high above a canyon. The most infamous event in the history of Minerve took place here in the early 13th century. In 1210 a group of Cathars, having escaped from Béziers that was under attack, found refuge in the heavily fortified village. It took the brutal Simon de Montfort six weeks of siege, but eventually the village gave in, after a catapult bombardment destroyed the only well in the village and following the surrender of the town 140 Cathars were burned at the stake. Things are more tranquil nowadays, and Minerve is an attractive town to visit and explore, with narrow streets winding between old stone houses. In the afternoon we’ll continue to the town of Pézenas. Pézenas also has a nice attractive old town, with narrow streets to explore as well as some grand 17th century houses. Its town centre was one of the first in France to be protected as an historic monument. We’ll look out for the magnificent stone detail to windows and doors as we amble through the lanes as well as interesting wrought iron balconies and stone staircases. The town is also reputed for its antiques and arts and crafts shops.

DAY 8:

With a late afternoon flight, today is yours to do as you wish until our transfer to the airport; relax in the hotel or do a last bit of holiday shopping in beautiful Carcassonne.


Twin/double share: £1695 per person
Single room supplement: £250
Deposit: £250

  • British Airways flights from Heathrow to Toulouse
  • 7 nights bed and breakfast accommodation at the 4* Best Western Hotel Le Donjon – located at the heart of the medieval city
  • Get hands on with 4 full day quilting workshops with use of Bernina machines
  • Visit the beautiful medieval bastide town of Mirepoix
  • Take a guided visit to Lavelanet textile factory
  • Visit to Minerve – one of the listed most beautiful villages in France
  • Explore the grand 17th century houses in the attractive old town of Pézenas
  • Enjoy a 3-course dinner on both the first and last nights of the trip
  • Porterage
  • City tax
  • Private coach transport as described in the itinerary
  • 4 full day workshops with Karin Hellaby, with shared use of Bernina machines
  • The services of our experienced Tour Manager throughout the tour


Why not bring a non-crafting partner with you?
If a non-crafting family member or friend wishes to accompany you on any of our holidays, and is sharing a room with you, then the following reductions will apply to the price the non-crafter pays:
Europe - £50


Stitchtopia Holidays are designed with all crafters in mind, wherever you live in the world! If you would like to make your own flight arrangements and meet us at our first hotel, please let us know - we would love to tell you more about our “meet us there” holiday discounts.


If you are interested in any of our Stitchtopia holidays but don’t have a friend to join you, why not join our ‘Stitch Together’ programme? Designed for those travelling alone, we will help you find someone like-minded to share with so you've no single supplement to pay and can enjoy the benefit of this saving.

Find out more about our "Stitch Together" programme >>


The 4 star Best Western Hotel Le Donjon is located at the heart of the medieval city and is surrounded by the city’s ancient ramparts. The bedrooms offer an ideal blend of comfort and style and are individually decorated. Flat screen TVs, mini bar, telephone and hairdryer are available in all rooms and free wifi is available throughout the hotel. A buffet breakfast is served at the hotel each morning and the nearby Brasserie Le Donjon serves traditional French cuisine using regional produce. The hotel’s bar and garden are ideal locations to relax after a busy day sewing or sightseeing.