The versatile Aude – the land of the Cathars – in the Languedoc-Roussillon possesses a wealth of historical, cultural and sports treasures, both hidden and known. In addition, the peace and quiet, and the vast nature areas will surprise you. You will find something for everyone here.
The medieval Cité of Carcassonne
This most famous medieval fortified town of the World, once one of the strongholds of the Cathars, is on the world heritage list of UNESCO and it is one of the most visited tourist places of France.
Canal du Midi
The 240 km long canal was constructed in the 17th century to allow for a trade link between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It is also part of the Unesco World Heritage. You could enjoy a beautiful bike ride on the towpaths along the canal or take a boat between the age-old plane trees, along many locks and guardhouses, to savor the atmosphere of yesteryear.
The area has everything your heart desires if you are a true wine lover. The wine areas of Corbière, Minervois, Cabardès and Malepère meet at the city of Carcassonne. A bit further south, you will find Limoux with its bubbly Blanquette de Limoux, the forerunner of the champagne developed by Benedictine monks in the abbey of St. Hilaire many centuries ago, located a stone’s throw away from Domaine Michaud. This area has many wine châteaux and multiple wine routes that regularly offer wine tastings for you to visit.
The Aude is known for its great variety of landscapes within a short distance: you will find rolling hills, magnificent views, rugged crevices and endless vineyards, all with the peaks of the Pyrenees in the background.
In the direct surroundings of our luxurious B&B, there are excellent possibilities for hiking and biking. You can also go by mountain bike, on horseback or on a motorcycle, or walk one or more legs of the nearby pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela.
The majestic 18-holes golf court of Carcassonne, at a 20-minutes driving distance, is a good spot for golf enthusiasts. Narbonne (45 minutes) and Toulouse (60 minutes) also have golf possibilities.
Situated nearby the Corbière and the Pyrenees, there are canoeing, climbing, caving and canyoning possibilities close by, just south of Limoux or in the Corbière. Carcassonne also has a kart track and a climbing adventure park.
Culture and history
The many Cathar castles, ruins and abbeys demonstrate the culture and mysteries of the Aude. This area was the source of inspiration for many writers: Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code and Kate Moss’ Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel come alive here. To this day, the secret of Rennes le Chateau still holds people from all over the world in its grip.
Carcassonne, Limoux, Toulouse and Narbonne (the oldest Roman settlement outside of Italy) offer a wide range of cinemas, theaters, museums, restaurants and ample shopping opportunities. Albi (2 hours) and Barcelona (3 hours) are both easily accessible for daytrips.
Festival de Carcassonne
Every year from June to August, the Festival of Carcassonne draws a huge crowd with a varied offer of blues, rock and pop concerts, theater, ballet and opera performances. On July 14, you can admire the spectacular fireworks above the Cité from Domaine Michaud.
Sting and Johnny Hallyday are the highlights of the festival in 2015!
Carnaval de Limoux
The Carnival of Limoux, which takes place from January to March, is the longest lasting Carnival of the world and it is often compared to the Carnival of Venice. This is a definite recommendation for outside the tourist season and a good opportunity to become acquainted with the Blanquette de Limoux.
Of course, there are plenty of French markets, and typical villages and towns. Examples are Lagrasse, which is often chosen as the stage setting for nostalgic movies, Minerve with its turbulent history, the picturesque Mirepoix and the book village of Montolieu in the Montagne Noire.
Sea and beach
The Mediterranean Sea at Narbonne or Gruissan (45 minutes) offers water fun. So does closer-by ‘Carca plage’ Lac de la Cavayère near Carcassonne, which has beaches and beach volleyball. Also close to the domaine are the idyllic rivers with water basins; these are lovely on hot summer days.