— Lagrasse, 10 km from Montlaur, one of the most beautiful villages in France. Visit of the medieval city and of
Sainte Marie Abbey with meditation in the abbey church and the monastic garden restored by the chamoines of Saint Augustine.
- the Abbey of Fontfroide and its gardens, At the bottom of a valley virgin of any dwelling, this Cistercian monastery, enclosed by mountains and walls, offers the extraordinary vision of a place of solitude turned towards the sky.
the ramparts, the Château Comtal, the sumptuous Saint Nazaire Basilica. A masterpiece of Gallo-Roman and medieval military architecture, this fantastic bastion, saved from ruin by the architect Viollet le Duc, was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997.
— The Canal du Midi,
the work of Pierre-Paul Riquet. One of the great building sites of the reign of Louis XIV coming to realize an old dream: the connection of the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. To be discovered by boat, by bike or on foot from Toulouse to Sète, with a stop in the amazing
former bookstore of the port of Somail .
on the heights of Caunes-Minervois where the famous pink marble was extracted from the columns of the Trianon at Versailles. Remains of incredible building sites coming to satisfy the royal desire, the place like the history is striking.
— The cathar castles,
Peyrepertuse, Quiribus, Lastours, Arques, Puylaurens, Termes, Puivert, AIguilar... so many citadels evoking the eventful history of the Languedoc.
Two websites to consult :
Numerous hiking tours are proposed. Walking the GR 36 (which passes one kilometer from Montlaur) through vineyards, garrigues, dry rivers and deep forests is a wonderful experience. To explore on the way, the Alaric mountain where legend has it that the famous treasure of Jerusalem brought back to Rome by Titus is hidden. At the death of Alaric II, it would have been buried with the elephants of the Visigothic king in the deep gorges of the Congoust. And on the heights of this desolate landscape, the ruins of the church of Saint Michael of Nahuze where some claim to hear, at dusk, the hooves of neighing horses, witnesses of a twilight battle. And finally, on the Coque mountain opposite, the ancient Roman road that links Montlaur to Lagrasse.
A mountain bike tour, a horseback ride, (
), a tasting of honey, ewe's cheese, olive oil, a trip to the Carcassonne market, a dive in the Orbieu - the river of gold -, a visit of the Corbières and Minervois cellars, an oyster lunch in
in front of a fabulous salt landscape, or dinner at the
de Fonjoncouse to savor the sweetness and exquisite complexity of Gilles Goujon's cuisine, three Michelin stars ... The soul of the Cathar country is within.
But it is also good to do nothing, look at the sky, listen to the trees sing, the bees murmur, dream simply in front of the wild beauty of the landscapes.
- Freeway exits Carcassonne Est, 25 km, Lézignan Corbières, 30 km