Rediscover the true beauty of southern France

Things to do and places to be

Fortified City of Carcassonne, most complete medieval defensive architectural ensemble, part of the Unesco World Heritage List. website. On Bastille Day (14 July), there is an  exceptional fireworks display.

Places to see

The distances to various nearby towns and places of interest

are relatively short and make for very pleasant outings, driving through the rolling French countryside of vineyards and forests.

-  Carcassonne (25 mins)

-  Fontfroide Abbey (35 min)

-  Narbonne (25 min)

-  Canal du Midi (15 min)

-  African Reserve Sigean (40 min)

-  Cabrespine Abyss (40 min)

  1. - Cathar Castles: Corbieres (60 min)
    Queribus (60 min), Lastours

  2. - Picturesque villages: Lagrasse (15 min)
    Limoux (45 minutes)

-  Ancient sites: Oppidum Enserune, Narbonne

-  Galamus Gorges, Gorges Orbieu

-  Tautavel and its European Prehistory (70 min)

-  Wine tasting, Cellar visits

-  Castelnaudary cassoulet and Day (45 min)

  1. - Black Mountain


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Narbonne: Roman capital then Christian metropolis.

The “Palais des Archevêques” (Palace of the Archbishops) forms with the Cathedral St-Just and St-Pasteur a unique architectural ensemble  website

The Wines Road: visits of the cellars of the Corbières and the Minervois areas and high quality original wine-tasting

Lagrasse, one of the most beautiful medieval French villages, with local crafts and restaurants. Its Abbey was founded in the Charlemagne reign. website

Canal du Midi, part of the Unesco World Heritage List.  Walk along the tow path where tri-centenarian trees provide shade, or sail, thanks to the organised cruises or boat rental (licence not needed).Cathar Castles: Puivert, Quéribus website, Termes, Puilaurens and Peyrepertuse, website the five “sons of Carcassonne” were forming the defensive line facing the Aragon area.  Historical and architectural important places, these mythical castles (“Vertigo Citadels”) overlooking the Corbières area offer unforgettable panoramas. Castelnaudary: its mill, its harbour, and of course its “Cassoulet”. website

Terra Vinea in  Portel-des-Corbières, former gypsum mine site transformed into wine cellar presenting monumental galleries 80 m under the ground website

Caves and Gigantic Caverns: amongst the most striking ones are the caves of Limousis with fantastic aragonite and limestone crystal formations and Cabrespine  website and its gigantic underground room: 80 m wide and 220 m deep!

Abbey of Fontfroide one of the finest Cistercian art masterpieces in France website

African Zoological Park of Sigean (“Réserve africaine de Sigean”) houses more than 3,800 animals sharing an area of 300 ha. website

Minerve, fortified village where the “Parfaits” (type of Cathar pastors) refused to abjure their faith and died singing at the stake.

Mailhac, excavations showed a site where a developed civilisation was present in the seventh century BC.

cliché P. Poupet, CNRS et R. Harfouche