Margaret and Dick   

     

    
To do in and around Limoux
So much to do!

To help you plan your vacation, we've collected our favorites here.  Enjoy!

By the way, when I mention the "Cathar" castles, it's just the terminology used by the marketing wizards in these parts.  The Cathars didn't build anything, but there are lots of photogenic places where they were massacred. 

In Limoux 
Seasonal events 
Restaurants in and around Limoux 
A perfect day in the Razès
A perfect day in the Cabardès (Montagne Noire, north of Carcassonne)  
A perfect day in the Corbières (between Limoux and the coast) 
Another perfect day in the Corbières 
Special mention


 


In Limoux


The weekly market is Friday morning.  The food market is in the area in front of the post office and in the covered market behind the post office.  Clothing and household items are on Place de la République, the town center.  There is also a cheaper market on Allée des Marronniers.  Don't miss the little goat cheese cart of Bourdichou near the corner of Marronniers and rue Jean Jaurès.  You met Xavier and Magali in our story Artisan cheese.

In July and August, the Tuesday evening market (marché nocturne) is where you can find souvenirs and gifts.

Our fine cheese shop is La Ferme on rue des Augustins.  Fine cheese is not cheap, so dig deep and prepare to be delighted.

Our butcher is Boucherie Garcia on the rond point de la Route de Chalabre.  You met Jean-Louis in our story Artisan butcher.

The Atelier des Vins on Place de la Republique is a good place to buy local wines.

 


Seasonal events

July:  Feria de Limoux is our annual festival of the art of bullfighting on the first weekend of July...except in recent years there haven't been any bulls.  See the Limoux stories Running of the bulls and Feria!  Mostly, these days, it's an excuse to eat and drink.  Welcome to Limoux.  

July:  The Tour de France, of course -- all month long, with the nearby Pyrenees always among its highlights.

September:  Visa Pour l'Image in Perpignan (1.5-hr drive from Limoux) is the international festival of photojournalism.  This annual event occurs in the first two weeks of September, with the first week for pros and the second week for the general public.  Stunning. 

October:  If you're around for the first weekend in October, neighboring village Magrie transforms itself into a giant art exhibition for L'art s'invite a Magrie

 

Restaurants in and around Limoux
In approximate order of preference, last updated July 2016

You should probably begin by reading the intro to our first story about Place des Marchés.  We are, in short, generally disappointed by the restaurants in Limoux, and we usually find it worthwhile to drive to several great restaurants in the surrounding area.  Notable exceptions in Limoux are a fine-dining newcomer (L'Odalisque) and two modest places that serve great crêpes/galettes (Ty Genn Breiz) and great pizza (Jean Mi).  For the other Limoux restaurants that we've listed, we trust you can read between the lines.  The Place de la République in Limoux is a great place to sit for a coffee or aperitif, to see and be seen, and the restaurants on the
Place don't need to provide good food or service to fill the seats.  So they don't.
  • Le Parc Franck Putelat (80 chemin des Anglais, Carcassonne).  Our go-to restaurant for culinary wonders, a Michelin two-star marvel.  See our story Tasting menu.  Dig deep and enjoy.  Last visited:  within the last week or two whenever we're in Limoux.
  • Place des Marchés (Villesèque-des-Corbières).  Great new bistro, worth driving an hour and a half to get there.  Build a day around it.  See our stories Middle of nowhere and Into the Corbières.  Last visited:  every month or so while we're in Limoux.
  • Brasserie A Quatre Temps (2 Bd Barbes, Carcassonne).  Franck Putelat has expanded into casual cuisine with this stupendous brasserie.  Last visited:  every month or so while we're in Limoux. 
  • Les Saveurs du Terroir (formerly l'Oustal dal Pech, in the tiny, funky village of Bugarach).  Our go-to crowd-pleaser, 45 minutes from Limoux.  Chef Renaud and wife/hostess Cathy will make you very happy.  Bring a good appetite.  Last visited:  September 2015.  (Another Bugarach restaurant, La Ferme de Janou, has a much bigger internet presence.  We have never been there.) 
  • L'Odalisque (rue des Cordeliers, easiest to find by walking down the alley that is across from Ty Guenn Breizh).  Finally a fine-dining place in Limoux!  It deserves the great reviews it's been getting.  Choose a menu that suits your budget, and consider the wine pairings.  Excellent value.  Last visited:  October 2015.
  • Pizza Jean-Mi (23 rue Jean Jaurès).  Great pizza from a great guy who is a local institution and trained by .  Take-out or hang out and enjoy the on-street ambiance.  Last visited:  September 2015. 
  • Ty Guenn Breizh (56 rue de la Mairie).  Wonderful little crêperie that serves Brittany-style savory and sweet crêpes.  Get a savory crêpe (galette) for lunch, but save room for the dessert crêpes.  Of particular interest is their crêpe caramel au beurre salé, yumm.  Last visited:  July 2016.
  • Restaurant Gil (32 route Minervoise, Carcassonne).  Fish and seafood.  Best mussels anywhere.  Great shellfish platter.  Use GPS to get here.  Last visited:  July 2016.
  • Restaurant L'Auberge de Vignevieille was the subject of Limoux story Vignevieille and became a favorite of many visitors. Unfortunately it now appears to have closed. Chef Alain, we miss you. If anybody has any updates, please pass them on. 


A perfect day in the Razès
The rolling hills of the Razès, west of Limoux, are where you go in July to photograph sunflowers.  The Monday market in Mirepoix, some 45 km west of Limoux, is considered the best in the area. Go there in the morning, hang out in a café and visit the little shops around the exquisite central place of Mirepoix.  Make an excursion to the église rupestre (church carved into the rock) in the nearby town of Vals, a very special place.  If you're lucky, you may be the only visitors. 

 


A perfect day in the Cabardès
Canal du Midi, dramatic scenery, ruins of "Cathar" castles, and a huge cave.  Acrophobes, klutzes, and the faint of heart should avoid the climb to the Lastours chateaux, and claustrophobes should avoid the Cabrespine cave.  You've been warned.

  • Get on the road about 10am.  Leave Carcassonne by driving north on D118.  Admire the Canal du Midi on your right.  Soon you will turn toward direction Conques-sur-Orbiel (D201), then direction Lastours (D101).  In Lastours you will visit the chateaux and have lunch. 
  • Park in the well-marked lot in Lastours.  Visiting the chateaux will take about two hours.  If it's almost lunchtime, buy a sandwich at Le Moulin de Lastours and plan to eat it on the top of the mountain.  Otherwise plan on a restaurant meal after visiting the chateaux.
  • Visit the chateaux (6€).
  • If you haven't eaten lunch yet, enjoy regional cuisine at the family restaurant l'Auberge de l'Orbiel in the center of town.  (There is also a gastronomic restaurant that has some good reviews, but they were unwelcoming on the one occasion we tried to dine there.) 
  • Drive up to the belvedère (viewpoint) by taking the steep road that leads up the hill on the opposite side of the road from the chateaux.  Your ticket to the chateaux will also gain you admission to the belvedère, where you have a fantastic view of the chateaux.
  • Descend back down to Lastours, retrace your path toward Carcassonne, and watch for signs to Gouffre geant de Cabrespine, a gigantic cave.  Enjoy the cave.  I haven't been there recently, but I would allow an hour or two for the tour.
  • If you added something to this day that you'd like to share, please put a note on the Limoux stories Facebook page.
 


A perfect day in the Corbières
See our story Middle of nowhere to understand your objectives.  Take a map and choose someplace around Villesèque-des-Corbières or Embres-et-Castelmaure to go for a hike.  Eat lunch or dinner at Place des Marchés in Villesèque.  Taste wines at the cave coopérative in Embres-et-Castelmaure.  Drive home carefully.


 


Another perfect day in the Corbières  
You will be doing a lot of driving.  Take D118 to Quillan, D117 to St Paul de Fenouillet.  If time permits, take a side trip to visit one of the Cathar chateaux (Peyrepertuse or Quéribus).  Back in St Paul, turn north to the Gorges de Galamus.  Visit the Hermitage in Gorge de Galamus. Continue around the west side of the Pic de Bugarach to the village of Bugarach.  Enjoy lunch or dinner at Bugarach Les Saveurs du Terroir (but be sure to call to check if/when they're open). At Rennes les Bains, visit the Roman baths just north of town.  Possibly take a dip across the road where the hot springs flow into the river.

 


Special mention

Le Monastere Adventures cycling vacations -- the adventure that got us to Limoux in the first place.  Chris and Fabienne offer cycling vacations par excellence from their five-room hotel in a restored monastery.  You will need to reserve at least a year in advance. 

Rennes le Chateau is where Dan Brown did research for The Da Vinci Code.  See Limoux story Our own Da Vinci Code mystery
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Limoux stories index