Main towns in the Aude and Ariège
The neighbouring departments of the Aude and the Ariège provide a wealth of different landscapes: from the Mediterranean coastline through the beautiful hills of the Corbières to the ski resorts of the Pyrenees.
The main town of the Aude is the historic city of Carcassonne, its modern town, the Bastide de St Louis dominated by the fairy-tale turrets and ramparts of the medieval Cité, now designated as a World Heritage Site.
Twenty minutes to the south is the picturesque market town of Limoux. Still unspoilt by tourism, Limoux is famous for staging the world’s longest carnival, lasting from January to April of each year. The town is surrounded by vineyards whose grapes go to make the renowned sparkling white wine Blanquette de Limoux.
Forty minutes to the east of Carcassonne is the cathedral town and seaside resort of Narbonne. The town itself has many elegant shops and restaurants and is bisected by the tree-lined Canal de la Robine. It is a further 10 kilometres across the wine-growing hills of La Clape to the beaches of Narbonne Plage and Gruissan, with its beach houses on stilts amidst the salt marshes.
Thirty minutes west of Limoux, and just into the Ariège, lies the medieval town of Mirepoix, famous for its colonnades and half-timbered buildings. It attracts many artists and artisans and hosts a very popular Monday market.
To the south of this is the county town of Foix with its imposing medieval castle dominating the surrounding countryside. And from here it is just thirty minutes to the spa town and ski resort of Ax-les-Thermes and an hour to the principality of Andorra.
Links to sites with information about the Aude and Ariege
FrenchEntree Languedoc Roussillon - property, holidays & life in the Languedoc
Ode to Aude - devoted to the Aude in Languedoc-Roussillon