Travel and Arrival Info France

Pre-Conference Attendees:
Anyone joining us for our Pre-Conference Tour of Montségur and Puivert will need to arrive in Carcassonne at any time of day on Tuesday, the 2nd of June.

Main Conference Attendees:
Most conference participants will be flying into Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (TLS), arriving in the morning of Thursday, the 4th of June. A convenient regional train makes the one-hour journey from Toulouse’s Matabiau railway station into Carcassonne.

We recommend booking your flight to arrive no later than 1:30pm. This will allow you to connect with an afternoon train that will get you into Carcassonne, and to our evening reception, in a timely manner.

One note: Participants wanting a more leisurely travel day, or an additional day to acclimate, can consider arriving in Toulouse on June 3 (we can provide accommodations for the night of the 3rd in the same hotels reserved for our main conference).

Travel Instructions between Toulouse and Carcassonne:
Taxis are available for the trip from Toulouse’s airport to its Matabiau railway station in the City Center (taxis are located on the ground level of the Arrivals Hall; click here for info). There also is a frequent airport shuttle that makes the 20 minute trip to Matabiau (click here).

At Matabiau, you will be able to connect with the regional SNCF train to Carcassonne (click here for schedules and ticket purchase; an even more user-friendly site can be accessed here).

At the Carcassonne Railway Station (Gare de Carcassonne):
There is a taxi stand just outside the Carcassonne railway station. You also can book a taxi by phoning 04-68-71-50-50, useful for any participants who also want taxi assistance during our conference (click here for the Carcassonne Taxis official website).

For participants staying at either the Hotel Bristol or the Hotel du Soleil le Terminus, please know that both of these hotels are a very short walk across the Canal from the railway station.

Other Travel Options:
Carcassonne’s Salvaza Airport (CCF) is serviced by Ryan Air, which runs a limited number of routes, mainly from the UK and Ireland (click here for a listing). A taxi from the airport to the town center costs approximately €15.

Your Arrival in Carcassonne:
In the afternoon of June 4, Open Center staff will be available at each hotel to meet and welcome you to Carcassonne.  You’ll also receive your conference packet, which will include maps, conference schedules, locations and directions.  We begin with our evening orientation at the Jesuit Chapel, a 17th century collegiate church, and the setting for our weeklong plenary sessions and workshops.

Returning Home or Continuing On:
Our main conference will conclude at lunch on Tuesday, the 9th of June.  Participants returning home at this point will make their way back to Toulouse in time for evening flights departing 5pm or later (when taking an early afternoon train; click here to research train schedules).

Coaches will meet those of us journeying on to either of our post-conference trips.
Our Post-Conference Provence trip ends in Aix en Provence after breakfast on the 15th of June. Participants will be able to take a taxi from their hotel to Aix’s bus station (Gare Routière). Shuttle buses make the 30 minute trip to the Marseille Provence Airport (MRS) twice an hour (click here for details), allowing participants to book returning flights for any time after 12:30pm.

Aix en Provence is also serviced by France’s high speed TGV trains (travel to Paris takes just over 3 hours; click here for schedules).

Our Post-Conference Catalonia trips both end in Barcelona after breakfast (the 5 night program concludes on the 14th of June; the 7 night on the 16th). A number of transportation options exist for getting to Barcelona’s El Prat Airport (BCN). A taxi from the city center to the airport takes approximately 30 minutes and should cost around €30. Participants can also take the RENFE train directly to the airport from several stops in the city center. The train makes the 25 minute trip twice an hour (click here for clear details on Barcelona transport).

Participants will be able to book return flights departing at noon or later.