Discovering the Region…

The Haut Minervois is an unspoiled landscape of vineyards and authentic villages that belong to the touristic region of ‘Pays cathare’.

Less than half an hour away is the medieval citadel Cité de Carcassonne and the Canal du Midi, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

In the immediate vicinity there are wineries, restaurants, rock climbing, canoe rides, riding stables, a swimming pool with a spa, abbeys, and chateaus and castles to visit. And around an hour away are the salt works and lagoons of Gruissan Village or the incomparable Plage des Chalets (made popular in Jean-Jacques Beineix’s feature film Betty Blue, 37.2°C in the Morning).

It’s amazing that this region, so rich with culture, history and landscapes, still remains a little known destination for travellers outside of France. In July and August the residents here celebrate summer and life with concerts, music and theatre festivals, colourful markets and fairs in the open air.

The region’s characteristic winds—the Cers from the Atlantic and the Marin from the Mediterranean—tend to lessen the heat. But the best thing to do is to follow the daily rhythm of the locals and have a good siesta back inside the manor or in the shade of the mulberry tree.

In spring and autumn the milder temperatures of the Pays cathare are perfect for cycling tours and hikes. And regardless of what you find there, be it almond blossoms, streets lined with plane trees, carpets of fragrant herbs or wine leaves coloured by the touch of autumn, the countryside here will appeal to all your senses.