Charming little village on the edge of the Black Mountain. Montolieu, the Village of books and arts, was revitalised in the early 1990s by a bookbinder from Carcassonne.
At the beginning, a book museum was set up there, and then, with the help of passion, many booksellers came to populate this village. Delineate by the « Dure », come and stroll through the two main streets of the village of Montolieu, stop at the various bookshops to meet old and new writers from around the world.
Alongside this bustle, you can visit the artists in the village. All along the streets you will find artists’ studios, sculptors, painters, draughtsmen, potters etc.
Don’t miss the Manufacture de Montolieu at the entrance to the village, a cultural centre taken over by a group of artists who will take you on a journey through their work. Montolieu also has two museums, the Musée des Métiers du Livre where you can learn bookbinding and illumination (for children and adults) and the Musée Cérès Franco, a former cooperative cellar, which will take you to the heart of « Féminin Plurielles » for the 2022 exhibition.
Around the village there are signposted walks which provide a magnificent view of the village and its church as well as the Pyrenees.
You are bound to find something you like in Montolieu.
The Medieval town of Carcassonne
The highlights of Carcassonne tourism, The medieval ‘Cité of Carcassonne’ stands out from the rest by its majesty. Come and see the city from its 3 km of ramparts.
Enter the city walls where you will be greeted by many colourful stalls and beautiful restaurants.
Stroll at your own pace along the cobbled lanes to the Chateau Comtal, from where you can be guided on an adventure within the walls of the city of Carcassonne.
During the high season, the city reveals its secrets with many workshops for children, take them to the Middle Ages for the holidays. For the more adventurous, don’t hesitate to visit the haunted house of the city, shivers guaranteed.
The city of Carcassonne is easy to get to, you can park in several paying car parks nearby, one car park can accommodate campervans.
If you want to take a tour of the city, the little train of Carcassonne takes you to the Porte Narbonnaise and around the Old and the new city.
On July 14, a fabulous fireworks display is fired over the city of Carcassonne, you will be amazed. Several sound and light shows are also organized.
Need some freshness?
Within a few minutes drive from the ‘Cité of Carcassonne’, you will find the Lake Cavayère. With a surface area of 40 hectares, this lake is the ideal place to get some fresh air in the middle of a beautiful nature. But don’t be afraid of getting bored, they think about everything and everyone in the Cavayère lake.
For nature lovers you can walk around the lake on a path, use the beach facilities to take a swim. And for the aventurous one, come and play at the tree climbing, water skiing or water jumping, … A lot of activities waiting for you at Cavayère lake
You want to relax and get tan? It’s also possible in Cavayère lake with its 3 supervised sandy beach.
Would you like to discover the lake by water?
Rent paddles, pedalos, canoes and paddle at your own pace. Food and drink outlets are available on site.
If you like water sports, come to the wakepark in Bram. Whether you are a novice or a professional, you can have fun on the Buzerens lake.
Accommodation + wake package are available on www.olliewake.com
With ‘O2 Adventure’, come and test Tree climbing and its 4 zip lines above the lake.
Have fun at the Aquaviva park (open jun to august) with the water jump, the climbing wall, the slide carpet but also 8 meter high jumps.
You will also find water skiing, water board, kneeboard,…
The 4 Lastours Castles
On the way to the Cathar castles, take a tour of the castles of Lastours, a magnificent historical site. A breathtaking landscape awaits you during the hike. Climb the steps to get a view of the four castles and visit every corner. You can enjoy a « Fauna and Flora » tour explaining the botanical richness of this place with 4,000 years of history. Walk in the footsteps of the Cathars with the Pays Cathares application, which will give you all the explanations you need to appreciate even more this place full of images of the past. If this has fascinated you, there are other fabulous sites to visit in the Aude and close to Montolieu such as the Abbey of Villelongue or that of Caunes Minervois or the castle of Saissac, one of the oldest in the Montagne Noire.
The Gouffre de Cabrespine is one of the 10 most beautiful caves in Europe
Near Lastours Castles, few kilometers, go underground to the ‘Gouffre de Cabrespine’ as one of the 10 most beautiful caves in Europe, you will discover prodigious formations.
The originality of this visit comes from its glass bridge which rises 200 m from the bottom. The tour is accessible to people with disabilities.
However, the Gouffre de Cabrespine is not just a visit, the site also offers rock climbing with an exceptional via ferrata that runs along the cliffs, monkey bridges and vertiginous zip line underground.
If this is a little bit to much for you, the ‘Gouffre de Cabrespine’ offers you an alternative with the underground canoe.
Why not stay underground for a few more minutes and then head back out to visit the Limousis Cave. This is one of the largest man-made caves in Europe. Marvel at the sight of its 7 extraordinary rooms and 2 emerald green lakes.
Saint Ferreol Lake
Take the direction of the Tarn, to reach the lake of St Ferréol.
Nestled in a green setting, you arrive on this magnificent stretch of water which promises you walks and moments of relaxation.
Listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, the lake is a reservoir for the Canal du Midi. It is now an aquatic leisure centre for locals and tourists. Numerous water and land-based activities are offered, such as catamaran sailing, windsurfing, climbing and orienteering. Swimming is supervised in the summer months.
Take a tour, get away from it all and find the geyser at Lake Saint-Ferréol.
On your way, you can also stop at the ‘Bassin du Lampy’. You are looking for a quiet place to swim, surrounded by forest, this lake is for you. You can go for a walk, see the developments made to feed the Canal du Midi, but also swim or go fishing alone or with friends.
Canal du Midi
Here we are along this canal, starting from Toulouse and going to ‘ L’étang de Thau’. You can walk, bike or take a boat ride. On the way you will certainly find serenity thanks to the calm of the water and the surrounding vegetation. Let yourself sail to the liking of your desires thanks to the boat rental and live moments of discovery during the opening and closing of the locks. Whether it's for a long or short section of the route, beautiful encounters await you. From the Camping de Montolieu, several options are available to you. Join the canal from St Eulalie, Carcassonne or Trèbes with a part of the canal next to the terraces of restaurants.
The Wine tour
Like every wine region, the Aude has its own wine route. With these 4 great domains; the Minervois, the Corbières, the Cabardès and the Malepère, you will have enough to taste and meet great wines and winemakers along this route. This will make you discover a heritage, a gastronomy but also men and women in love with their vines and their wine.
During the summer season, wine walks are organized. These are moments of sharing and conviviality in the vineyards and castles of the winemakers. On foot or by bike, travel through kilometers of vineyards and let yourself be intoxicated by the beauty of the landscapes and the Aude wine.
Gruissan / Narbonne
Do you feel like going to the seaside?
Only 1 hour from the Montolieu campsite, don’t miss a visit to Gruissan, especially the Salin of Gruissan.
Gruissan has many memories, first a cinematographic memory with « 37.2 degrees le matin» and its huts on the beach still present. It’s also watching kitesurfers on these large beaches playing with the wind, giving us moments of vertigo. If you come for one thing, go see the pink water that makes you want to dip your feet in for a beautiful photo.
Nearby, visit Narbonne, its cathedral and Roman vestiges. The cathedral of St Just and St Pasteur is majestic with its gothic style and its towers rising over 40m high.
Find a little piece of Rome in the Aude, a piece of the Via Domitia has been preserved in the city centre and a museum is dedicated to the origins of the city.
To go to Narbonne beach, go through the domain of La Clape, the view is dazzling when you go down to the sea. A walk on the beach, a seafood tasting, a salty swim, everything is gathered here for a good day on the Mediterranean Sea.
Take the day to visit the African Reserve of Sigean. A small piece of Africa in the heart of Aude. A walking tour will take you to discover the African plains, the chimpanzee island and the birds. a second trip by car this time will take you into the bush, the savannah, the bear and lion park. It is with big smiles and great memories that you will return to the campsite of Montolieu.
Animal lovers, in Carcassonne you can visit the Australian Park.
Discover the culture, fauna and flora of this rich country.
From cute koalas to adorable kangaroos and kookaburras, you’ll learn about animals and Aboriginal culture. A small piece of the Australian spirit has come to nestle in Carcassonne.
Mountain mood? Le Pic du Nord
From the Montolieu campsite, follow a mountain road to reach the Pic du Nore. The highest point of the Montagne Noire, the Pic du Nore rises to an altitude of 1211m.
An ideal destination for hiking and cycling, the Pic du Nore offers stunning scenery. Reach the summit for a 360 degree view of the Aude and Pyrenees. With a little luck you can see the Mediterranean Sea. The Montagne Noire has a lot to offer with its many walks, discover its diverse forests, its lakes and the smiles of its inhabitants. For a bit of a thrill take the suspension bridge at Mazamet from the medieval village of Hautpoul.