Let’s be honest, there are just so many wonderful things about the South of France that it’s no mean feat picking just 20, but since we enjoy a challenge, here’s our pick of the twenty best things about spending your precious summer holiday time in the Languedoc…
Things to do
Many of the villages surrounding Quarante and Cruzy offer a countless variety of experiences from the magnificant walled medieval fortress at Carcassonne and the rugged beauty of Minerve, the antique center of the region in Pezenas, or the 12thcentury Abbey of Fontfroide, to the Les Halles enclosed daily market in Beziers. All are short drives from Quarante.
- Quarante to Beziers
15 mins drive
- Quarante to Narbonne
25 mins drive
- Quarante to Montpellier
1 hours drive
- Quarante to Aix-en-Provence
2.15 hours drive
- Quarante to Valras beach
20 mins drive
The Spanish border is just over an hours drive to the south or continue on a short train ride to Barcelona for a complete change of pace.
Swimming is available at nearby lakes and rivers including the Cesse River near Bizes Minervois or the Lac de Cavayere near Carcassonne. Mediterranean beaches are also within a 30 minute drive.
World Heritage Sites
The World Heritage Site, the Canal du Midi offers a romantic and sensual view of the area from the tree-lined shores or from a boat or barge slowly traversing the countryside.
The fascinating Cathar castles and caves from Villerouge Termines to Peyrepertuse are all nearby drives. Taste the olives and muscat at the Thursday market in Lesignon Corbieres or regal yourselves at the Narbonne indoor marche. The exploration of local and regional wineries, restaurants, pizzerias and boulangerie-patisseries is something we never tire of.
Hiking, biking, climbing, caving and bird watching areas abound.
Twenty Things to Enjoy in the Languedoc
Here is a short list of things our family enjoyed during our year-long stay in the Minervois region:
- walking/hiking- marked trails exist in nearly every small village or town- easy to follow and a fun destination when tied in to a picnic or lunch in a café.
- beaches- don’t overlook Bages and Collioures
- markets– note the times and places
- Spain- the drive from Collioures south is a must
- Pyrenees- a one hour drive
- Albi and the Toulouse Lautrec museum
- Frontfroide- lovely abbey near Narbonne
- Minervois barge cruises
- Brocantes- French version of antiquing
- Chamber music series ( see Caunes Minervois)
- Vide Greniers- all summer long various towns close their streets for these day long garage sales
- Grape picking
- Café/croissant mornings
- Wine tastings in nearly every village
- Cathar castles/grottos