The medieval city of Carcassonne, the only fortified town in
Europe still inhabited, is just a 40 minute drive away from
With some 45,000 inhabitants, ‘Carca’ as the locals call it, is
actually a city within a city. There is of course ‘Le Cité’ (the
ancient fortress), and then there’s The Lower Town, or rather,
Bastide Saint Louis. Both offer a host of things to see and do,
fabulous shops to browse around, and a vast array of bars and
restaurants to refresh.
The impressive Canal du Midi, classified as World Patrimony by the
UNESCO, runs through the centre of The Lower Town.
Join the other 3million plus visitors per year and enjoy all that
Carcassonne has to offer – fountains, secret gardens, courtyards,
churches, ancient buildings, and delightful narrow streets – each
corner a new discovery.
To find out more about Carcassonne,
Carcassonne is 45 km
Nestled between mountains and the river Tarn, you
will find the delightful cathedral city of Albi.
Home to the exquisite gothic architecture of
Cathedrale Ste. Cécile,
Albi is a city of art and culture. Enjoy magnificent views from the
banks of the Tarn or from the 11th Century bridge – the
Pont-Vieux. Partake in a stroll through the infamous
located within the
Palais de la Berbie,
or wander through the cobbled streets of the old city to discover
cloisters, renaissance courtyards and unspoiled architecture.
its warm climate and some 50,000 inhabitants, Albi is also a great
place to enjoy an evening of theatre, dance or opera.
visit to the Gaillac Vineyards is also well worthwhile and easy to do
from the city of Albi.
Albi is 60 km from
first settled by the Phoenicians, and later an important military post
during Roman times, is now populated by some 71,000 inhabitants.
The town was almost
completely destroyed back in 1209 during the Albigensian Crusade but
has been rebuilt into a truly beautiful place to visit.
Explore the many medieval streets and take time to
visit the fortified Cathedral St-Nazaire sitting atop a hill
overlooking the town with it’s imposing façade and massive 14th
Century rose window.
Béziers is probably best known as the capital of
Languedoc wine country. So if you are interested in wines, enjoy the
many and varied vineyards which surround the town. Or, if you simply
wish to enjoy some wine over a leisurely meal, take a wander down the
allées Paul-Riquet – a broad, tree-lined esplanade lined with
restaurants and cafes.
Béziers is 85 km from
135 sporting clubs and 27 rugby & football pitches in Castres, it’s no
wonder it was named “the most sporting town in France” in 1997. It is
also home to Castres Olympic – one of the top 10 teams in France.
from this, Castres is a very pretty city built around a river on which
you can take boat trips in the Summer. It is also the local
administrative centre for Mazamet & Castres with an impressive Mairie
and other official buildings throughout the centre. It is also home to
the wonderful Spanish Art museum, Musee Goya (well worth a visit if
you love art).
you like water and/or if you have children, you can’t miss out on the
opportunity to visit Archipel – a truly unique swimming pool complex
with both indoor and outdoor areas, combined with slides and
activities for all to enjoy. It also features a full size skating
The L’Archipel website:
Castres is 11km from
Located at the junction of the rivers Arget and Ariège, Foix is known
for it’s battlements and towers – features of the keep of the 15th
century Chateau de Foix.
owes much of its history to one Gaston Phoebus – a famous Occitan
warrior, politician and poet from the 14th century who was
also a governor of Languedoc, and the main liaison between the
ambassadors of Spain and England.
lots of regional specialities, Foix market is well worth a visit. So
too is the underground river near the Plantaurel Massif, which is just
a few kilometres away and visitable by barge – take in the
stalactities, underground waterfalls and many different levels of
Foix is 110 km from
Although it is the commercial centre for North West Tarn, Gaillac is best
known for it’s wine production. Wines have been produced in Gaillac
since Roman times (around 125BC) and have turned a small market town into
a world-renowned area for wine production.
has three weekly produce markets and has remained unspoilt and slightly
unsophisticated, which makes it all the more charming and unique. With
vineyards situated on the rolling hillsides either side of the River Tarn,
the scenery around Gaillac is really spectacular.
Gaillac is 70 km from
Recently made famous with the opening of the longest cable-stayed bridge
in the world, Millau has a population of around 22,000 people.
in collaboration with French bridge engineer
Viaduc de Millau as the tallest viaduct in the world -
with one pier's summit rising to an
Opened in December 2004, it bridges the valley of the River Tarn,
replacing the bridge that crossed the River Tarn in the actual centre of
the town of Millau.
Millau has provided a clear and more cost-effective solution for the A75
motorway from Clermont-Ferraud South to Beziers and, has shortened the
journey by up to 4 hours (in Summer peak traffic), or some 100km. It is a
truly remarkable feat and features and impressive steel deck as opposed to
the more conventional concrete roadbed.
N.B. The Eiffage Group
operates the viaduct as a
with the toll currently set at
for light automobiles (€6.50 during the peak months of July and August).
is in the heart of the Natural Regional Park of the Grands Causses, it’s a
wonderful place for sports-enthusiasts to visit – paragliding, canoeing,
rock climbing, mountain-biking and horse-riding are just some of the
exciting things to do.
things to see and do in Millau include visiting the cheese caves of
Roquefort, taking in the sites of the Larzac plateau and the Tarn Gorges.
Don’t forget about shopping too – previously a centre of leather
manufacture in France, there are numerous leather good stores selling
anything from jackets to gloves in a wonderful array of colours and
styles. Well worth a visit is the Millau Museum with its history, geology
and leather-making sections.
find out more about Millau, visit:
Millau is 120 km from
at the crossroads of the Mediterranian, Montpellier is wonderfully placed
geographically. It’s town centre has lived through medieval times and
successfully combines both modern architecture and a vast array of 17th
and 18th century private mansions.
Faculty of Medicine – the oldest in the Western world, is in Montpellier,
together with a wealth of other educational facilities with enviable
reputations, including The Universities of Law and The Arts.
interesting place to visit with wonderful weather throughout most of the
year, Montpellier is well worth the two hour drive from Mazamet, although
we do suggest that you consider staying overnight to allow maximum time to
enjoy this history and culture-rich part of France.
out more about Montpellier, visit:
Montpellier is 150 km from
Founded as a Roman port in 118 BC, Narbonne is now located about 15km from
the Mediterranean Sea.
has a population of around 40,000 people and is, as with many French
towns, built around a river - the Canal de Robine, which joins the Canal
du Midi, runs through the centre of the city. A daily covered market is
held at les Halles, next to the canal and there are also open air markets
held on a Tuesday and Thursday.
Saint-Just cathedral, dating from 1272, is worth a visit, as is the
‘Palais des Archeveques’ (or Archbishop’s Palace).
Narbonne Plage is a short
drive away and well worth the effort – enjoy the beautifully kept large
beaches at the foot of the limestone massif, Montagne de la Clape.
Narbonne is 75 km from
it’s geographical positioning and the fact that a large percentage of its
population is of Spanish origin, it’s not surprising that Perpignan is as
much Catalan as it is French. Perpignan also benefits from other
southern influences from North Africa.
Perpignan enjoyed its heyday in the 13th and 14th
centuries when the kings of Majorca held their court there – their kingdom
spread north as far as Montpellier and included the Balearic islands.
Today, Perpignan is still a major commercial centre and the third largest
Catalan city in existence.
The 13th century castle of the
kings of Majorca
sits on the high citadel, surrounded by ramparts making for a wonderful
photo opportunity – it’s also visitable daily between 10am and 6pm June to
September and between 9am and 5pm October to May.
the foothills of the Pyrenees, this is a wonderful place from which to
travel into the mountains.
Perpignan is 160 km from
provincial town of Revel is renowned for it’s market, held on a Saturday.
itself is a bastide dating from 1342. It has an attractive arcaded central
square with a superb wooden-pillared halle in the centre.
Revel is 35 km from Mazamet
between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, Toulouse is home to some
740,000 inhabitants and with it’s growing greater urban district, Toulouse
is among the biggest cities in southern Europe. It is also the 4th
largest French city and the capital of the great Midi-Pyrenees region.
24 centuries of history, Toulouse is full of fascinating sights,
buildings, monuments, museums and galleries. It is host to a wealth of art
and culture made easily accessible for all to enjoy.
the European leader and world’s number one in aeronautical activities, and
Europe’s leader for space activities, it’s no surprise that Toulouse is
also home to both the Académie de l'Air et de l'Espace
and the Cité de l'Espace Space Museum.
Toulouse has no less than 160 parks and gardens and 800 hectares of
leisure and sports areas – making this the ideal place to visit if you
love outdoor pursuits.
This is also a fabulous area for shopping with lots of individual
boutiques, set alongside all the designer shops!
Toulouse is 80 km from