An ideal destination for visitors seeking authenticity, the region of Occitanie boasts a great diversity of landscapes and a remarkable architectural heritage. To discover this region is also to experience the atmosphere of the bastides and to go back in time by exploring the caves of Ariège or the arenas of Nîmes. Its colourful markets and gastronomic specialities such as cassoulet make it a high point of good living. Among its most important sites is the ancient town of Carcassonne with its 12th century castle and its 52 towers perched on the right bank of the river Aude. The Fortress of Salses is an exemplary example of Occitan military architecture. A veritable link between Catalonia and France, this fort built at the end of the 15th century guards the old border.