CITADELS & CASTLES
Carcassonne, our nearest local town only 15 mins away, is famous worldwide for its impressive medieval citadel, the largest in Europe. Founded during the Gallo-Roman period, the Cité is on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. A trip to the citadel for an afternoon is a must to walk along its 3 km of ramparts and to discover its buzzing centre, full of vibrant restaurants, cafés, and shops. Another fantastic way to spend a day is to rent a barge and slowly make your way down the sunny Canal du Midi, one of the oldest man-made waterways in Europe, dotted with beautiful bridges and an aqueduct.
The region is also famed for its rich Cathar heritage. The Cathars were part of a Christian dualist movement that was persecuted by the Catholic Church between the 12th and 14th centuries. Many of the ruins of the wars against the Cathars are still visible today, and include the magnificent castles of Quéribus and Montségur, which are both perched on the side of precipitous drops in the last folds of the Corbières mountains. There are also many beautiful abbeys within the area.
Although you may wish to simply relax by the pool at the Domaine, within 50 min you could be basking in the sunshine by the Mediterranean. The Languedoc coastline is rich and varied, and its lovely sandy beaches, marshlands, and rocky outcrops have long been favoured by painters and poets.
Our favourite spot is by Biquet Plage at Leucate, a restaurant with a laid-back ambiance that serves excellent fresh fish and tapas-style platters, only meters away from the shore. Narbonne Plage, Gruissan, and Port-la-Nouvelle beaches are also within very easy access for a day trip.
TOWNS & VILLAGES
There are an abundance of beautiful typical French southern villages and towns to explore in the Languedoc. For a lovely day out, take a scenic trip through the Minervoix, where you will cross deep gorges and flowery meadows until you reach the little village of Minerve perched up on the cliff. Also worthwhile is a day trip to Collioure, which boasts a beautiful beach as well as a medieval château with dramatic coastal views. If you are in search of local culture, the village of Limoux holds popular wine-tasting festivals during the summer months.
Sligthly further north within an hour’s drive is the wonderful city of Toulouse. Owing to the pink stone used in many of its buildings, the town is referred to as the 'Ville Rose', and is full of terrific restaurants, high-end shops, and site-seeing opportunities. We offer a full list of our recommended trips upon booking.
LAKES & RIVERS
For those of you who are wild swimming enthusiasts, there are many surrounding lakes and rivers that offer a wonderful setting for a natural swim. Lagrasse is a truly gorgeous little village that boasts a famous abbey, and the river Orbier that flows through the village is dammed each summer, creating a natural pool.
Just up from Lagrasse on the same river Orbier is Ribaute, a small village with a pretty stone bridge. Here the water is crystal clear and calm, and there is even a small waterfall that is perfect for the children to play in. The more intrepid can also jump into the deep-water pool from the alarmingly high arched bridge!
On hot summers days you can also walk to the nearby Lac de la Cavayère where you can take part in numerous water activities.
FESTIVALS & MUSEUMS
During the summer months, the region becomes alive with cultural events, ranging from local village festivals and fairs to music concerts.
The Festival de Carcassonne, which takes place in July, has established itself as one of the ten biggest festivals in France. The setting is unique and unrivalled—the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Medieval City. Around 100 performances are offered throughout the month, including theatre, opera, ballet, and music, attracting the likes of Elton John, Supertramp, and Sting. We also highly recommend that you do not miss out on the firework display on the 14th of July, which is arguably the best in France, and takes places every year to celebrate the storming of the Bastille in 1789 during the French Revolution.
There are also a large number of museums to choose from if you favour something more tranquil, including the fine art Musée des Beaux Arts in the centre of Carcassonne.