Limoux, just 25 km from Carcassonne stands astride the Aude – filled for at least part of the year by snow melt from the nearby mountains. Both the sea and the Pyrenees are only about an hour away so the choice is between skiing and sunbathing.
The river banks are lined with the grand houses of local worthies – perhaps you could be among them. For the 10,000 or so inhabitants ( though it describes itself as a city) the centre of life here is the picturesque market square. There are markets each Friday as well as monthly brocantes and occasional evening markets.
In the countryside around are several Romanesque abbeys and churches to visit, especially in the land to the east. the town , once known for its woollens and hides is perhaps best known today for Blanquette de Limoux, described by wine lovers as cheaper than champagne, but none the worse for that. The town web site claims that it is the world’s oldest dry wine, for this town is aware of its history, being part of the Pays Cathare.
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There are trains and buses from Carcassonne. There are several companies offering cheap flights in Carcassonne airport., or there are connections with Parisian trains.
There is a winter festival here, sometimes extending into April, called Fècos – conducted in the local language, but enjoyable all the same and a great time to visit the town as it is perhaps best not to judge a place only on a sunny day in summer. The festival has been going on for hundreds of years and claims that it is authentic with no mock folk lore additions. It is interactive in that audience participation is encouraged and enjoyed – think Edinburgh without the extremism.
Although the main activity here seems to be the enjoyment of food and drink the town is a great centre from which to explore the region whether by car, bike, on foot or on horseback. There are organised bike rides including cross country ones, a swimming pool, tennis courts and mini golf. The tourist office can suggest routes to explore. There is of course fishing and kayaks and canoes can be hired near the municipal camp site. There are winery tours and at ‘La Bouichère’ a great collection of rare plants. For the very sporting among you the Grizzles are the local rugby club. Night walks are organised as are gourmet ones, concerts theatricals and dances so plenty to join in with and lots of opportunities to practise your French and to get to know the locals. On Palm Sunday barrels of Chardonay are auctioned off. This is known as Chef’s Hats and Bell-Towers’ day – the proceeds going to the restoration of local historic monuments.
Food and Drink
The area was once under Moorish control and this still affects some of the spices used in local dishes such as Pebradous – biscuits to eat with your aperitif, or the local pork fricassee. One critic described food here as too good, he being worried about fainting from eating too much and too long.
Moderne et Pigeon, 1 Place Général Leclerc, Limoux, Tel no: 04 68 31 00 25, 29.50€
La Ciboulette, I Avenue Fabre d’Ėglantine, Limoux, Tel no: 04 68 31 73 00. 13€
There are plenty of other places to discover so find your own favourite in between your house hunting.
Do you want a holiday home, something to invest in and rent out? Is this to be a permanent move? Are you setting up a business? Do you need extra garage space, horse boxes, a barn, a swimming pool – or space to put one? A good bi-lingual local estate agent such as one linked to Sextant properties will be conversant with all the properties in the local area – in town and outside. We are used to dealing with the British so will know just the information you need and can provide a free translation service for any documents. Most importantly of all we can guide you towards your perfect property so that Limoux becomes not just a place you once enjoyed a visit, but the place where you enjoy your life in France.