Out and about & Links
The bigger picture.
We’re 20kms from Carcassonne for airport, rail and motorway links and its fairytale medieval Cité (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Toulouse (the 'Pink City'), also with an airport is about an hour's drive west, as is Narbonne and the beaches of the Med' to the east. South and north are to the mountains; the Pyrénées and Black Mountains respectively, again both reachable within about an hour's drive. And if you wish to spread your wings even further, you can drive to Andorra or Spain in about two hours.
Closer to home, there are many delightful towns to visit. Limoux sits astride the river Aude and is home to the sparkling Blanquette wine and winter Carnival (from January to April; the longest in the world!) Castelnaudary is proud of its Cassoulet dish and the picturesque Bassin which provides a popular mooring point on the Canal du Midi (another UNESCO World Heritage Site). And Mirepoix sports its grisly medieval gargoyles and excellent Monday market in the main square.
What is there to do?
This is Cathare Country and there are many castles, abbeys, museums and activities to help you discover this dynamic period of French history. Visit the fortress of Montségur to relive the Cathare horrors recently revived in “Labyrinth” by Kate Mosse or explore Rennes le Château; the setting for “Sepulchre”; another of Kate Mosse’s books with its mysterious links to the Da Vinci code. And rumour has it that Dom Perignon created the first “champagne” at the Abbey de St Hilaire, now known as Blanquette de Limoux. The scenery is breathtaking around here, with gorges, lakes and forests and there are numerous parks and wildlife centres to enjoy visiting.
For busy bees!
For those wanting an energetic holiday, as well as providing a wealth of sightseeing, the region offers walking, cycling, horse riding, canoeing, fishing, and many other activities and the nearest ski stations are about a 90 minute drive away. The area is also a corridor for migrating birds and is the perfect place for ornithologists.
For laid-back loungers.
For those seeking the quieter life, there’s plenty to see with little effort! Glide up and down the Canal du Midi or take a horse-drawn carriage around the famous medieval Cité de Carcassonne. There’s much to tempt the senses even from pavement café chair or a picnic rug!
And if you’re still in need of convincing, check out all our visitors’ reviews on Google Maps. Just type in ‘Chez Grady, Cailhavel, France’ or you can find us on Tripadvisor under Carcassonne rentals.
Have we tempted you yet?
Chateau Rives-Blanques www.rives-blanques.com
Atelier des Vignerons www.atelier-des-vignerons.com
Amelie Mégret, Guide Touristique www.amelie-guide.fr
English Church of the Midi Pyrénées and Aude www.escotc.com
Pays Cathare www.aude-pays-cathare.fr
Guillaume Malafosse, vigneron par passion www.chateaubelveze.blogspot.com
Courts Circuits, made to measure voyages www.courtcicuits-tourisme.com