Summer holiday attractions, Winter holiday attractions, Town information, Castles, Rivers and Lakes, Walks, Markets, Museums, Caves, Restaurants, Miscellaneous, Cycling, Horse Riding, Water Sports in the Aude

Restaurant le Carnotzet, Couiza (V)

High quality, traditional cuisine at a reasonable price in a restaurant in Couiza, a short walk from Gite des Cathares. This restaraunt and bar comes highly recommended from many different guests and has both indoor and outdoor seating. Sting visited the restaurant recently and described it as 'Incroyable'. We quite agree!

Tel 0468 74 13 13
63 Route des Pyrenees

Duc de Joyeuse Chateau, Couiza (V)

A 16th Century chateau in Couiza which is both a hotel and restaurant. The meals are quite pricey but of excellent quality. There is a separate vegetarian menu, which you need to ask to see. Advise booking ahead in peak season and on weekends.

There is also a very pretty candlelit bar in the courtyard, which can be used by non diners if they are not too busy.

Tel 0468 74 23 50


The Cathar castle of Peyrepertuse dates from the 11th Century. It stands at 800m high and offers spectacular views of the surrounding area.

There is an excellent swimming spot nearby in Duilhac, and you can also visit Gorges De Galamus on the way to the Castle. 

La Fontaine des Amours

La Fontaine des Amours is a stunning heart shaped pool with a cascade. The literal translation is Fountain of love or the Lovers Fountain.

It is very close to Rennes Les Bains. To get there, head out of Rennes Les Bains away from Couiza and towards Bugarach. After a few hundred yards, take the left turn on the D74, signposted Sougraigne. The road goes over a small stream while veering sharply to the right after a couple of hundred yards. Look out for parking places on the right hand side, and there is a short path down to the river.


Dhuilac's lake is in an out of the way spot close to the Cathar castle of Peyrepertuse. It is breath-takingly beautiful with natural cascades and water falls creating natural swimming pools tiered up the mountainside.

Castle at Carcassonne Old City

The largest castle in Languedoc is in Carcassonne, which you can walk through and around, really getting a feel for what it must have been like in ancient times. Please see the Carcassonne page for more photos of that castle. In the summer they also have jousting tournaments at the castle with knights and their horses authentically decked out. Below are photos of other castles in the Languedoc, many of which you are welcome to visit to walk around the ancient ramparts.

Le Musée des Dinosaures d’Espéraza

Dinosauria, as it is known, is open all year round in the afternoons and all day from February to October. In July and August it opens from 10 am to 7 pm. It is located at 11260 Esperaza, Haute-Vallee de l'Aude, tel 0468 74 26 88 or 0468 74 02 08.

Rennes le Chateau - the mystery of the Cathars

The Cathars were a medieval sect which sought to achieve great spiritual purity and which believed in 'dualism', that God and the Devil reside within each one of us.

Their belief offended the Catholic Church who in 1209 sent Christian Crusaders led by Simon de Montfort to crush the Cathare strongholds and slaughter the Cathare people without mercy.


Collioure is a stunningly picturesque Catalan town on the coast to the south of Perpignan. It features as a star attraction in both the Lonely Planet and Rough Guide, for good reason. It really is the jewel of the South France coastline.

The town is surrounded by steep hills and vineyards and has been host to many famous artists, including Matisse and Derain who were part of the Fauvists group of painters. There are dozens of small vineyards within close proximity and

Puivert Musee du Quercorb

Musee du Quercorb in Puivert is a well renowned museum that illustrates traditional life through a series of faithfully reconstructed settings.

It's 4 Euro's for adults and 1 Euro 60 for children. It's open April-October.

April to mid July & Sept: 10AM to 12.30PM, and 2PM to 6PM.  July & August: 10AM to 7PM.  October: 2PM to 5PM.

While in Puivert you can also visit the castle and swim in the lake.


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