Local features and attractions

   

The area offers beautiful scenery, tranquillity and rich heritage. The old city of Carcassonne, ‘La Cité’, Europe’s largest medieval city still intact, is 50 mins driving away.  A ‘must see’ attraction for its ancient buildings, fortifications and cathedral, with many restaurants, shops and museums catering to your every need.

Other interesting attractions in Carcassonne are The Canal Du Midi, the oldest working canal in the world, and The Basilica of Saint-Nazaire and Saint-Celse.

Limoux

The attractive market town of Limoux is located 25 minutes drive away, straddling the Aude River.  Limoux has an impressive church and a beautiful town square with many restaurants, bar/cafes and a large Friday market. 

 
 

Limoux is famous for the annual Limoux Carnival, which runs from January to Easter and has done so since at least the Middle Ages, and also it's local sparkling white wine “Blanquette De Limoux“, which is much older than the more widely known Champagne.

Rennes les Bains

Sister Village of Rennes Le Chateau, the historic spa town of Rennes le Bain is situated in the valley of the River Sals, some 25 minutes drive away in the heart of Cathar Country.  Excellent for a swim in the hot spring fed swimming pool or the source at the ancient Roman spa.  The village also offers restaurants, cafes, some shops, information centres and an art gallery.

Rennes le Chateau 
The fascinating village of Rennes Le Chateau is situated some 20minutes drive away.  Rennes Le Chateau is the site of one of France’s great mysteries, namely how did the priest bbé Bérenger Saunière become so staggeringly wealthy in the 1880’s.

This mystery has spawned a vast array of books and documentaries, and is also vaguely connected with the movie “The Da Vinci Code”.  It is also a ‘must see’ attraction if not for the mystery of the priest Saunière, his church, tower and house, but for its long history, stunning views of the region and the mountains including Mount Bugarach. 

Although many of the theories surrounding Rennes Le Chateau may be spurious, there is no doubt the village is the site of many fascinating events in history, some of these at the heart the Cathar, Templar Knight, Jesus and Mary Magdalene stories.

Rennes Le Chateau was once the capital of a vast territory held by the Trencavel noble family, known as the Razès.  And further back in history it was the site of a Visigothic city, with an estimated population of 20,000 to 30,000.  To view a list of pertinent books on Rennes Le Chateau and its history and mysteries, please visit www.renneslechateaubooks.info/languedocrennes/.

Esperaza

The market town of Esperaza is a short 10minutes drive away and offers a range of shops, restaurants and cafes.  There are also two supermarkets and local produce merchants.  Esperaza is an excellent base for exploration of the Cathar region and is your gateway to all the area has to offer.  Esperaza is also well known for its large Sunday market, the smaller Thursday market and its Dinosaur and Hat museums.

Puivert
Puivert is a pretty village within a 10 minute drive and has a swimming lake with a sandy beach, which is lovely for children as there is also a play area and lunch facilities in the lakeside café.  For an afternoon stroll there is the Château de Puivert one of the so-called Cathar castle. 

Cathar Castles

Moulin Du Trou is within easy reach of the various Cathar castles in the region.  The Cathars were a breakaway religion of the 11th Century who grew in numbers and popularity into the 12th and 13th centuries.  The first ever Papal crusades were launched against the Cathars and concluded in the late 14th Century. 

The closest of these castles is the Chateau Puivert, some 11km away.  Other very interesting chateaux include Queribus, Peyrepertuse, Montsegur and Puilaurens.