The country

The beautyful and unspoilt region offers various  possibilities for trips and excursions: The mountain scenery of the Pyrenees, rising up to about 3000 m, with plateaus and wild canyons, begins only an hour from here, to the Pyrenees mountain ridge and to Andorra and Spain it takes about 2 hours. Less spectacular, however, not less nice: Montagne Noire and Corbières.

In the underground, stalactite caverns can be visited (Lombrives, Limousis), subterranean rivers may be navigated by boat (Rivière souterraine de Labouiche) or accompanied by car (Mas d'Azil) and enormous abysses may be admired (Gouffre Géant de Cabrespine).

At many places the rivers have cut deep ravines into the rock (Gorges de Galamus, de l'Orbieu, du Rébenty, de St. Georges, Défilé de Pierre Lys).

Thousands of years of human settlement have left evidence of culture and civilisation: prehistoric sites and cave paintings, like Tautavel, Bédeilhac and Niaux, proof it as well as Celtic, Greek and Roman buildings.

A huge number of impressive buildings originate from the period of splendour in the Middle Ages: Roman and gothic monasteries, like Saint Hilaire and Saint Papoul, Fontfroide, Villelongue and Lagrasse, and well-fortified castles on lonesome crags, like Montségur and  Puivert, Puilaurens, Quéribus and Peyreperthuse – for a certain time strongholds, then the last retreats of the Cathars.

The historical centres of the region show the long history and cheerful life at the same time: Carcassonne and Foix, Narbonne, Perpignan and Toulouse.

A lot of picturesque villages are worth a visit.

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