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The Area

Azille is in the Aude Department of the Languedoc-Roussillon region, famous for its food, wine and architecture. It is an easy drive from Azille Maison to historic and famous walled town and castle of Carcassonne. The Cathar trail (Les Pays Cathare) runs through Aude and there are many historic remains and reminders of the Cathars and the Albigensian Crusade throughout, including the 4 spectacular ruined Chateaux at Lastours. There are also many regular produce markets, antiques and bric-a-brac markets within an easy drive of Azille. There are also golf courses in Narbonne and near Beziers and Carcassonne; or hiking opportunities in the Montagne Noir.

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Some things to see in the region

WhereDistance from AzilleSome information
Minerve Minerve 12km         

Minerve is a fortified medieval Cathar village that has many of its fortifications still in place. It is a striking town in a very picturesque location, and has some good shops and galleries including an interesting bookstore/café. There are a number of cafes and restaurants in Minerve, although many are closed on Wednesdays.  

The pretty village of La Caunette, a few kilometres from Minerve, is also worth a visit.

Caunes-Minervois

14km

Caunes is a very interesting, small well preserved medieval town with an 8th century abbey, about 15 minutes drive from Azille. The town is fascinating to walk around and the abbey is well worth a visit.

Lézignan Corbières

15km

Lézignan-Corbières is a regional centre at the top end of the Corbières wine region to the south of the Minervois. Lézignan has a pretty centre that is worth a look and a commercial zone on the edge of town with many large shops and supermarkets. Nearby there are quite a few winemaking towns and wineries across the Corbières area to the south of Lézignan.

Lastours Chateaux

Lastours

27km

Lastours is a picturesque town with 4 spectacular ruined Chateaux (castles) on the top of the mountain ridge above the town. There is a small museum about the Chateaux and the area near the edge of town, and you can walk from there up to the top of the hill and explore the Chateaux first-hand. Lastours and the Chateaux are set in the Montagne Noir and are a 30-35 min drive from Azille Maison.

Carcassonne Carcassonne 30km  

Carcassonne is a spectacular walled city, and is a must-see. It is divided into the fortified Cité de Carcassonne and the larger lower city. The fortified Cité is said to be the largest walled city in Europe. It can be quite touristy, but is well worth the visit. There are many shops and restaurants in the Cité, and you can pay to enter the old castle/keep within the Cité to see and find out more about the history of Carcassonne. The lower town is also well worth a visit if you have time, and if you cross the Pont Vieux bridge over the Aude river you will find the Bastide St Louis. The Canal du Midi runs through Carcassonne and has a port near the Bastide.

Montagne Noire / Park Naturel Regional du           Haute-Languedoc  20km plus

Explore the mountains and the national park area of the Black Mountains. Many walks/hikes and scenic views, and some lovely villages in the mountains. Good for a day-trip.

Narbonne market 1 Narbonne 32km

Narbonne is about 25 minute drive from Azille and has a picturesque old centre with a lovely cathedral and cloister open to visitors, and a terrific archeological museum. There are many shops and places to eat in and around the city centre and along the river where there is a lovely open pedestrian area. The old market building houses a colourful market that opens every day of the year, and there are several larger markets held during the week in the market building and surrounding area outside by the river. Have lunch at a tapas bar in the old Market building.

 

 

Lagrasse 32km

Set in a river valley, Lagrasse is a very pretty medieval village well worth visiting. Spend an hour or two at the historic Lagrasse Abbey and wander the narrow streets and market square in the walled town. You can also get a good selection of the Corbières appellation wines in Lagrasse.

Fontfroide abbey 1 Fontfroide Abbey 35km

The Fontfroide Abbey was founded in 1093 and later became a Cistercian monastry. It has a long and exciting history and is well worth a visit.  Wine (AOC Corbières) is produced there now, and it has a small farm, bookstore and restaurant. The Abbey is open virtually every day of the year, and you are able to pay to view the abbey and gardens.

Montolieu book village Montolieu 48km

Montolieu is known as the 'book village". It is a small town that has many secondhand book shops and a small but interesting print museum. It is just under an hour's drive from Azille.

Beziers Cathederal Béziers 48km

Béziers is an attractive city about 40-45 minutes from Azille. You can spend much time just walking around the old city, enjoying the sites, shops and cafes. A key site in Béziers is Cathédrale St-Nazaire, a large Romanesque cathedral dating from the thirteenth century. The cathedral sits high on the hill overlooking the surrounding area and you get great views. The Musée des Beaux Arts has paintings from local artists as well as better known artists such as Rubens and Delacroix.

Béziers has an annual four day Feria (festival) in mid-August. The Feria is said to attract many of the very best bullfighters and flamenco dancers. There is music and many street festivals during this time.

Beziers lock

Ecluses de Fonserannes (Fonserannes Locks)

Beziers

48km

The Fonserannes Locks are a series of locks, sometimes called a staircase lock, on the Canal du Midi very near Beziers. The are eight locks (one is no longer used) allow boats to be raised 21.5m over a distance of 300m.

Gruissan

 Gruissan

49km

Gruissan is a pretty town on the coast just south of the Narbonne beaches. The remains of the old castle are in the middle of the town and offer good views of the township. Gruissan is known for it's sea salt and you can enjoy delicious fresh seafood at a local restaurant.

The Mediterranean Coast

50km

The mediterranean coast is about 50 kms from Azille, and has many beaches and beachside areas of interest at Gruissan and Narbonne Plage for instance.

Languedoc beaches: reviews

Limoux 3 Limoux 58km

Limoux is just over an hour from Azille and is known for it's wine. A specialty of the area is the Blanquette sparkling wine. You could combine a trip to Limoux with a visit to Quillan and/or the lovely town of Mirepoix.

Other towns of interest Within 35km Some other interesting small towns within 35km of Azille, include  Quarante, Trebes, Cruzy, Ginestas and Sallèles-d'Aude.

 

Regular Markets in the region

The selection of markets below is only an indication of what's available, and there are many other markets to explore in towns nearby to Azille and further afield around the region.

WhereWhenHow Far
Olonzac Tuesday 7km
Lezignan-Corbieres Wednesday 15km
Villeneuve Minervois (truffle market) During December, January, February 18km
Carcassonne Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 30km
Narbonne (Les Halles, covered market) Daily (every day of the year) 32km
Narbonne (seasonal market)

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Monday   

32km
Narbonne general market Sunday 32km
Capestang Sunday 33km
Saint-Chinian

Thursday, Sunday

38km
Coursan

Monday

40km
Saint-Pons-de-Thomieres

Wednesday, Sunday

41km

 

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