Aude - Your Perfect French Holiday Getaway

By: Richard Taylor

Aude is one of the undiscovered jewels of Southern France, with a population of just over three hundred thousand, it accounts for around fifteen percent of the population of Languedoc.

The Languedoc Roussillon region lies just south of Toulouse in Southern France. Its an area of truly outstanding beauty. Within the regions boundaries there are a wealth of activities to enjoy and places to visit, including Carcassonne, Perpignan and the capital Montpellier.

Aude is an idyllic place to spend a relaxed holiday in the South of France. Offering easy access to the Mediterranean coast and the Pyrenean mountains, you have the choice between peace and tranquillity, skiing or sun bathing by the Med. You really are spoilt for choice.

The Aude region is famous for "Les Chateaux Du Pays Cathare" with local castles, towns and villages dating back well over 800 years. Historic towns such as Revel, Mirepoix, Foix, Fanjeaux, Limoux and Castres are all well worth a visit, whilst a look round the noted wine regions of the area' Fitou, Corbieres, and Minervois are a must, along with a spot of wine tasting.

The market town of Castelnaudary is also worth putting on your list of places to visit. The town is famous for its traditional dish known as Cassoulet, which is served in almost every restaurant in town. English TV Chef Rick Stein, visited Castelnaudary when he travelled along the Canal du Midi exploring the local cuisine of the area, he fell in love with the simplicity of Cassoulet.

Two beautiful lakes of note, Lac de la Ganguise and the Lac de St Ferreol both have great beaches providing activities for all ages, including walking, sailing and mini-golf. 18 Hole courses can be found in Carcassonne, Mazamet and near Toulouse.

Mazamet is close to the Black Mountains (La Montagne Noire) to the north east, whilst the Pyrenees are about an hour to the south. Both regions provide the opportunity to take walks of varying degrees of difficulty and also offer great routes for the cycling enthusiast.

The Pyrenees boast a number of ski resorts which during the winter months offer great skiing for all levels, whilst Axe le Therme also caters for all levels of skiers and is a beautiful place to visit at any time of the year.

Aude really does have something for every one looking to enjoy a holiday in France, peaceful tranquility to skiing, horse riding to cycling, great dining to wine tasting, you'll never be short of things to do.

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