La Cite in Carcassonne – the old walled city - it is wise to go earlier in the morning to avoid bigger crowds. Though “touristy”, it is still worth a visit & there is a mix of restaurants & shops. The main city of Carcassonne is also worth a visit especially if market day – have a drink or lunch in Place Carnot – the square (where the markets are held) & go shopping – quite a variety from lovely lingerie, shoes, baby clothes to a great delicatessen “La Ferme” (on a corner in Rue de Verdun). We know the guys who own a very nice kitchen/gift shop “Cuisine Dependance” in the walking street & they gift wrap if a present.
Minerve – well worth a visit, built on edge of a gorge & was the last “holdout” of the Cathars – has some cafes & restaurants - a pretty drive via Cesseras & come back via Aigne (the snail town due to the way the streets wind) – do try Lo Cagarol – best to get there no later than 12.30 without a booking to avoid disappointment – card in folder in the houses.
Caunes Minervois Abbey – parts dates back from 11th century - they sometimes hold concerts in the Abbey as well in summer.
Rieux church – very unusual as the altar is built in the round – only one of its type in France.
Do try some of the local wines – in Useful Links under Trausse &
nearby vignerons we have some websites listed. When you are booked in one of
our houses there are various leaflets in a folder about the many vignerons
in the area.
Mirepoix – a bastide town – an easy, pleasant drive out of Carcassonne – on the D119 via Montreal & Fanjeaux (both hilltop villages). You will leave the vineyards & come into rolling hills of crops & drive through avenues of trees. Mirepoix also has antique/brocante shops & art galleries to browse through as well as some good restaurants – Le Comptoir Gourmand to name one. Monday is market day with huge selection.
Lezignan Corbieres has a large market on a Wednesday morning – closes at 12. It has a mix of clothes/shoes etc (if you like that sort of thing), large choice of vegetables, fruit, spices, cheese, sausages, olives etc & a good fish section. You will also find a few stalls that sell the “Provence type” tablecloths/placemats as well as stalls selling materials of that type – if you like sewing. Olonzac market on Tuesday is also very good & has a mix of the above as well as Narbonne market on a Thursday.
The Oppidum dÉnserune (signposted off D11 towards Montady) is a pre-Roman site out of the village of Nissan-lez-Enserune & is worth a visit for those interested in history. There is a small museum displaying “finds” when excavating. Another museum not far from there is at the Amphoralis showing the old Roman pottery – out of Salleles dÁude on D1626.
Peyrepetuse – one of the Cathar castles – a long day well worth it - so start early. The most spectacular way to drive is via the Gorge de Galamus into Peyrepetuse. You drive out of Carcassonne on the D118 to Limoux & on to Quillan on the D117 to Axat still on the D117. Follow D117 till you come to St. Paul de Fenouillet & turn left in village follow road up into the Gorge de Galamus – the road winds & turns but you will see Peyrepetuse up above you. There is a car park area & you buy your ticket near there. Wear good walking shoes as in parts the walk is steep & the stones are smooth - spectacular views & you can see Queribus (another Cathar castle) from here, too. Return to Trausse via the Corbieres.
Collioure – a lovely little coastal/port town south of Perpignan – about an hour & a half from Trausse. Take either the autoroute (A9) or national road (N9) from Narbonne. Known for its fresh anchovies & also Matisse painted there.
Canal du Midi – take a canal cruise either from Homps, Trebes or Carcassonne – usually a choice of times – approximately 1 & a half hour cruise, 2 hour cruise with lunch & perhaps others. Should be info in folder in house re these.
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