Holidays Languedoc

Carcassonne & Marseillette surroundings

Marseillette offers a Bar serving food and newspapers. A hotel / restaurant within 200 meters, a Post Office, great Boulangerie /Patisserie, hairdressers, childrens play area, Boules pitch, a Wine Co-Operative selling local wines and a Taxi. Trebes & Carcassonne are only 10/20 minutes away for shops

The gîtes are ideally situated to visit the many attractions. Whether you want to walk between the walls of the medieval city (La Cité) steeped in history or to dip your toes in the sea at the sun drenched beaches of the Mediterranean.

The region is surrounded by vineyards and stunning countryside. You would never be short of places to visit or walk.

Relax on a sunlounger by the pool or infront of your gite. BBQ and eating outdoors in the sunshine next to your gite. Wonderful street markets in most of the nearby towns. Visit the historic towns and villages.

Carcassonne. The medieval walled city dates back to the 6th Century. It has 52 towers and 2 miles of ramparts and is still inhabited to this day. Narrow streets offer a vast selection of shops and eateries. The city has been the setting for several films including Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.

The place comes alive in Summer especially in July when they have the Music Festival and you can find different types of music / acts dotted around the city and performing in the outdoor theatre. The Carcassonne Festival is one of the major cultural events in the South of France and is now one of France's largest festivals with nearly 100 shows on offer (Opera, Dance, Theatre, Classical Music, French and international popular music, Modern music), more than 70 of which are free!

From the end of June to August 2010, prestigious artists from various domains will be present on 10 stages, including the Roman Theatre of the Medieval City (a World Heritage site).


The Montagne Noire to the north is surrounded by stunningly beautiful scenery with lovely mountain villages, beautiful walking paths or leisurely drives.

Visit the local markets: Mirepoix on Mondays, Caunes Minervois on Tuesday, Wednesday in Lezignan, Thursday in Montpellier, Limoux on Fridays, Saturday mornings sat in the square (Place Carnot) having a coffee watching the local market in Carcassonne town or drive to Revel market and pick up your food for a picnic at the lake on the way back. On Sundays, there is always a large market in Narbonne. Each day there are many markets in small villages and large towns to be able to see the authentic French way of life and buy local produce.

Beautiful local architecture includes several Cathar Churches nearby dating back over 800 years.

Boat trips on the Canal du Midi from Trebes or Homps both less than 10 minutes away with plenty of walks along the towpath. This is ideal for cycling. Plenty of restaurants and cafes in both villages.

Sports
These include sailing, white water rafting, and Skiing (winter only). The Pyrenees and Andorra are only just over an hours drive away. Mountains, rolling hills, vineyards, cathedrals, churches, lakes, gorges, rivers, rafting, and sailing whatever your interests will all be catered for close by.
The river also flows through Marseillette so both fishing in the canal and river are available. (Local permit required). 
For those who enjoy running we can advise on safe and suitable running routes so don't forget to bring your running kit ! Great area for walking with a varied terrain aound us for all levels.

For the Golf enthusiasts, there is an 18 hole course which accepts visitors on the outskirts of Carcassonne. This is a beautiful and challenging Par 71 course. Half sets of clubs can be rented for as little as 8 euros. Electric Buggies are also available. For the less enthusiastic there is a great restaurant overlooking the 1st Tee !

African Animal Reserve within an hours drive at Sigean.
Inland salt water lakes with Flamingos at Peyriac de Mer & Bages again less than an hours drive away.

Spain
Don't forget that we are only just over an hours drive to Spain and less than 3 hours to Barcelona.

France is renowned for its food and drink. There are certainly no shortages of places to eat and drink to suit all tastes and pockets close by.

Each gite has packs showing the best beaches, restaurants and plenty more local information to help you get the most out of your holiday in the Languedoc region.


Beaches

A comprehensive guide to the best beaches and what's around can be found in each gite.  It explains what type of beach, ie. sand or shale and what facilities are there


Local Restaurants

There are plenty of good quality local restaurants in the region and a list of recommended ones can be found in each gite. This guide will give you the phone numbers and addresses along with what type of cuisine to expect and price guide.  These are restaurants we have eaten at and happy to recommend.


Canal du Midi

The Canal du Midi was the brainchild of Paul Riquet in the 17th century. It extends 150 miles (240 kms) with an impressive 350 locks and the towpath is lined with 300 year old trees. For 15 years from 1666, 12,000 men wielded shovels and woven reed baskets to remove the earth. Unfortunately, Paul Riquet died after being ill and exhausted without having seen his life's work completed.

You can take a boat ride along the Canal du Midi from nearby Homps, Trebes or in Carcassonne. Just sitting and watching the canal boats navigate their way along the canal is a delight. In Beziers only 30 minutes away there is a set of 9 locks (ecluses).


Marseillette & Carcassonne history

Marseillette is a grape growing village in the south Minervois region with an approximate population of 700. It has a Church dating back to the 12 century and of course the famous Canal du Midi flowing right through it. Marseillette has existed since the 10th Century and certain research has shown that it may have existed 2000 years AD in the Bronze Age under the name Villacano. The village was built on the highest piece of land and a fort was made with only 1 entrance which is still there today. There is now a clock tower on what was the first telecommunication structure in the world in the 14th Century.


Marseillette is also famous in the region for it's dried salt water lake (etang). In the 12th Century when it was still a lake, it carried a lot of disease. In the end it was an Irish lady, Madame de Lawless who in 1804 after agreement from Napoleon decided to drain the lake. In 1808 with 300 workmen, they dug 3 drainage ditches to remove the water. Because the ground was full of salt, they then had to build more channels and a tunnel to carry water from the River Aude. This is still used today to regulate the water and salt levels in the "etang" . Because of the salt in the ground it prevents any frosts in winter and therefore makes it an ideal place for growing vines, apples and rice.

Marseillette is only 20 minutes away from the Medieval City of Carcassonne where there is a double walled city with 52 turrets. Originally the base of the towers were Roman but after the advances of the invading Muslims in the middle ages and subsequent Crusade against the Albigensians and finally the Hundred Years War meant the fortress was extended and several others in the region erected. Nowadays, many impressive fortresses perched on high rocky cliffs and ancient villages still bear witness to a lost religion of the Cathars. Today, the city is a working city, full of houses, a school, shops, restaurants, hotels and historical sites.


Useful links

www.audetourisme.com   Local tourist information

www.cathares.org    Cathar history and information

www.cg11.fr/default-decouvrir.asp   Conseile General de L'Aude

www.canalmidi.com    Canl du Midi

www.vigneron-independant.com   Independant wine growers and ability to search award winning wines by date and region

www.mappy.com   Travel directions


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