Who says Aude, necessarily says Carcassonne, the magnificent fortified city that has largely contributed to the region’s worldwide fame. But neither is that a reason to ignore all the wonders of this spectacular department. Especially when it comes to strolling through the pretty villages that abound everywhere between Carcassonne and Narbonne…
1. Alet les Bains
Not far from Limoux is the beautiful village of Alet-les-Bains. The ruins of the abbey, which is the main point of attraction, stand alongside the medieval town and the half-timbered houses. Visitors especially like to go in front of the house (with half-timbering) in which the famous Nostradamus would have lived when he was a child.
A stone’s throw from the beautiful Narbonne, Bages has its feet in the water of a pond and evolves under the supervision of Canigou, one of the most popular peaks in the Pyrenees. There are many craftsmen and fishermen here, who supply the small restaurants with eels and other delicacies.
Another abbey, but in much better condition than that of Alet-les-Bains. The monument serving as the nerve center for this village with its vestiges and ramparts. But it must be said that here, where you can admire the most complete ensemble of Renaissance architecture in the department, things are done on a grand scale. In Caunes-Minervois, where the marble found today in the Trianon at Versailles was extracted.
Offering an admirable view of the Lauragais, this perched village played a major role during the Middle Ages. It also offers a route during which you can admire different sculptures. A wonder of a medieval city.
Listed among the Most Beautiful Villages in France, Lagrasse is as beautiful as it is picturesque. Medieval houses, a Roman bridge, an abbey… A veritable open-air history book for a village that also knows how to give visibility to its many artisans.
Still near Carcassonne, Montolieu displays a rather impressive majesty. Above the Alzeau and Dure gorges, it also strives to highlight a centuries-old artistic and artisanal heritage, widely appreciated by locals and many tourists.
Welcome to the Haute Vallée de l’Aude, in Cathar Country, in Rennes-le-Château. A village shrouded in mystery where a priest once found a fabulous treasure capable of changing the face of the world. Something Indiana Jones for sure. To try to find out more, you can stroll through the gardens of the 10th century church and admire the Magdala Tower and the Villa Béthania.
The village with two gorges. What give it a character apart and certainly a spectacular patina. Terme which communicates permanently with an omnipresent nature, in the heart of a charming little valley dominated by the remains of a fortress. What more ? Nothing !
Well known to Toulouse residents, many of whom gather there to taste the waters of the Mediterranean, Gruissan has much more to offer than a few beaches and mussels with a view of the port. A village with an exceptional heritage, known for its Barbarossa Tower, which evokes a past as tumultuous as it is exciting.
We end with Cucugnan, or the village of the Sermon du Curé, made famous by Alphonse Daudet in Les Lettres de mon Moulin. A beautiful group of houses located on a rocky promontory, dominated by the castle of Quéribus.