WALKING & HIKING
Nestled in the heart of the Corbières, the Domaine de la Vène is renowned for its spectacular unspoilt landscape and natural beauty, and there are no shortages of walks across its 630 acres of hills and forest. We highly recommend taking a walk up the Montahut Est hill on the domaine to watch the sunset, perhaps with a picnic hamper and some wine.
Should you wish to go further afield, the surrounding area offers a vast array of exceptional hikes. Follow the footsteps of the ancient Cathars with the Languedoc’s unique Sentier Cathare. The trail links nine of the Cathars’ famous fortresses through countryside and high mountain ridges of breath-taking beauty. We can arrange tailor-made itineraries for all levels.
CYCLING & TOUR DE FRANCE
Tucked away between the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees, the Aude is a dream department for cyclists, providing a wonderful mix of hilly inland rides and more gentle paths alongside its rivers and wine routes.
Such is the quality of the cycling paths and roads here that the Tour de France race passes very close to the house every year. For race enthusiasts who are staying with us during the cycling season in July, you can choose a spot next to the Tour de France route and cheer on the riders! In fact, stage 15 of the 2019 Tour will begin in Limoux, only a 30 min drive (or 90 min cycle!) away. Should you wish to explore the area by bike yourself, we can arrange road, mountain, and even electric bike hire.
The history of the Domaine de la Vène is closely tied to its horses, and several of the surrounding meadows have been converted into pasture. The stables are still today home to two retired horses named Llamp and Ming, who were rescued and provided a safe haven here at the Domaine.
Horseback riding is one of best ways to explore the region, and many surrounding riding schools offer fantastic treks tailored to both beginners and experienced riders. We have partnered with Valerie Paulo from our local village, only a 7 min drive away, who specialises in horse whispering with her 18 horses, and who will create unique riding treks for our guests, even those who are novice riders.
During the winter months, the Pyrenees offer some fantastic skiing, which you’ll find is totally unspoilt, more intimate, family-friendly, and affordable than the Alps.
The ski resort at the Mont d’Olmes is within 1h40 drive from the house, making a wonderful day trip. The Ax 3 Domaines and Camurac ski resorts are also within easy access, and have great pistes for all levels. Day passes and all ski equipment can be rented on site.
GOLF & TENNIS
Located only 15 min from the house on ancient vineyards, the Domaine d’Auriac has an 18-hole golf course that is open all year round. The course’s perfectly manicured lawns and exceptional panorama on the local landscape deservedly earn it a high reputation. Clubs and buggies can be hired on site.
Tennis enthusiasts can rent rackets and use the tennis courts at several of Carcassonne’s tennis clubs for a small hourly fee.
SPORTS & ADVENTURE
For the more adventurous among you and for those of you with children, there are also plenty of fun activities to do in the area. Open all year round is the go-karting centre of Carcassonne. The town also has an acrobatic forest centre, with eight courses for the whole family. The Cavayère lake itself is within walking distance of the estate, and young children will be delighted to use the aquapark that has recently opened there.
On nearby rivers you can also enjoy kayaking, canoeing, rafting, rock climbing, and canyoning, and if you spend a day by the beach, sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, water-skiing, and wakeboarding can be arranged. You can even hire a jetski at Leucate beach.
For more extreme adrenaline hunters, tandem skydives can be booked near Lezignan, and you can also book an afternoon of ballooning and paragliding.