Costa del Sol
Legend has it that this awe-inspiring citadel inspired Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle and it’s easy to see why. As you drive up to Carcassonne, you’ll see the walled city perched proudly on a hilltop. Complete with drawbridges, turrets, and its very own castle, it’s a treat to wander around. There are countless restaurants, bars and shops for you to frequent in and around the city. In July, the Festival de Carcassonne showcases a month of musical events, while the Bastille Day fireworks are a true spectacle!
Within the city, you’ll find excellent markets where you can stock up on fresh, seasonal produce including fruit, vegetables, local meats and cheese. Supermarkets are also dotted around the city to make stocking up your villa a breeze. Outside of the city, you’ll find villages with boulangeries ideal for picking up artisan goods.
In Carcassonne, there’s a fantastic range of restaurants from Michelin starred options to bistros offering hearty French fare. Specialities of the region include cassoulet, goat’s cheese and delicious, sweet treats. Best accompanied by a glass of local wine, the cuisine is sure to delight.
The glorious coastline is approximately an hour’s drive away. Beaches such as Gruissan Plage, a golden sandy beach that stretches for miles, make a great afternoon outing. Nearby, you’ll also have a beautiful lake ‘Lac de Cavayere’ which is home to fine sandy beaches where you can swim and sunbathe.
Lac de Cavayere is a hive of activity come summer. There’s a tree-top activity centre, mini golf and an inflatable water park. You can also enjoy lunch in the picnic area. Then there’s the River Aude, a great setting for kayaking, canoeing or simply strolling along the riverside. Alternatively, cruise boats offer leisurely tours along the Canal du Midi, the 17th century masterpiece and iconic site of the region. They depart regularly from Trebes, just 10 minutes from Carcassonne.
Be sure to visit Carcassonne’s fairy tale citadel at least once. Head to the museums, join a guided tour along the city walls or get involved with the events that include treasure hunts and re-enactments.
The town of Limoux can be reached in around 30 minutes’ drive. It’s home to some excellent restaurants around the Place de la Republique and has a lovely weekday market on a Monday morning. Many more idyllic settings await you, from the picturesque abbey in Lagrasse to the pretty village of Le Somail on the Canal du Midi.
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