Getting Here and Lodging Information
Chalabre/Mirepoix/Camon/Carcassonne and surrounding area
Our town of Chalabre is in the Aude department in the “state” of the Languedoc. However, we are right on the border of another department called the Ariege, which is in the “state” of Midi-Pyrenees. These two "states"(called Regions) were officially joined in 2017 and will be called Occitania going forward... fascinating politics and history around the merger! This area is 1.5hrs. south-east of Toulouse, 45 min. south of Carcassonne, 1.5hrs. west of Perpignan (on the Mediterranean Sea), 1.5hrs. north of Andorra and the Pyrenees Mountains and 3 hours north-west of Barcelona in Spain. Here is a link to a map of our area of France: https://firstname.lastname@example.org,1.704934,8z?hl=en
There is so much to discover here! History buffs will love to explore and learn about this area during the height of the Roman Empire with its many thermal baths and architectural remains. The Cathars, a religious group, were headquartered in this region and built a number of stronghold castles high on the cliffs to defend themselves from the wrath of the Pope. Their tragic end is still the stuff of legend and a visit to Montségur or Puilaurens is rich with history and breathtaking views. Puilaurens is lit up at night and the drive between Chalabre and the Mediterranean down the D117 takes you right past the castle and down to the sea through one of the region’s best known valley of vineyards – Maury. The Languedoc is a rich wine making region. A little known fact is that sparkling wine was invented in this region as a specialty in and of itself… Dom Pérignon thought it was a mistake but in Occitania it was treasured!
The city of Mirepoix is on the list of Les Grands Sites des Midi-Pyrenees and dates back to Roman times. Boasting a beautiful cathedral and a unique covered central square design it is a hub for those of us who live in the area. MIrepoix is a 20 minute drive from our town. The Monday morning market is famous and should not be missed!
Carcassone – and its original ancient, walled city and castle - La Cité – has been designated a UNESCO world heritage site. The walled city was used as the set for the movie Robin Hood. Carcassonne is on the main rail line connecting Bordeaux/Toulouse/Narbonne/Montpellier which then leads to the TGV to Paris. Rail service is also available to Barcelona in Spain.
Toulouse is the 4th largest city in France. It is the headquarters for Airbus Industries and thus has excellent air service to and from the States and anywhere else in Europe. A bustling city atmosphere surrounds the old central plaza with its history of wine merchants plying their trade up and down the Canal du Midi which connects Toulouse to Carcassonne, Narbonne and the Mediterranean Sea.
The following information will include choices for lodging that range from top end hotels to comfortable B&B settings (called Gites here in France). This is the most time sensitive part of your planning… the festival is in the high tourist season and this area is where even the French go on holiday… which means that rooms are at a premium.
Chateau Terre Blanche:
This is a gorgeous, intimate, private chateau that is owned and managed by friends of ours here in Chalabre. The rooms are fabulous and there is a pool onsite set in glorious gardens.
HomeAway Link for Chalabre area:
TripAdvisor Link for Chalabre area:
Le Relais de Mirepoix:
This hotel is the most luxurious/modern of the hotels in Mirepoix. Recently reopened by friends of ours, we are so pleased to recommend it. The hotel has a pool, tapas bar and full restaurant. Here is a link to their website: http://www.relaisdemirepoix.com/
Maison des Consuls:
This hotel is wonderfully charming and romantic, with original antiques scattered throughout the decor yet luxurious modern conveniences in all rooms. Plus air conditioning in all rooms. No restaurant, but right on the square which is full of great choices!
Here is the link:
This hotel is on a lovely side street off the main square, but just around the corner from all the activity! Nice restaurant and all modern conveniences.
Here is the link:
Good, basic hotel with restaurant, in walking distance to town square.
Here is their link: http://www.hotelmirepoix.com/Minotiers/index.php?lang=en
CAMON – between Mirepoix and Chalabre - One of "Les Plus Belles Villes" Most Beautiful Villages in France
Chateau de Camon -
Owned and operated by our friends Katie and Peter Lawton, this gorgeous ancient abbey and chateau is now a hotel/restaurant that was recently voted one of the Top 5 Castle Hotels in France on the Huffington Post. One of our favorite restaurants is here and the rooms are to die for… but please note… Camon is a tiny village with no services. Check out all the details here:
Carcassonne Bed & Breakfast:
Sited just below the walls of UNESCO site La Cité and only a 15 minute walk across the pedestrian bridge into downtown Carcassonne, this luxury Bed & Breakfast - owned and operated by wonderful friends - is very special indeed! Rooms start at €95 per night including breakfast. Contact Peter or Mike here: http://www.carcassonnebandb.com/
Pont Levis Hotel:
Located right outside the gates of the famous UNESCO world heritage site – La Cité – this 4 star hotel has all the modern amenities you might need, but is within walking distance of one of the most fascinating historical sites in the region. Here’s the link to see for yourself: http://www.pontlevishotel.com/index.php/hotel-a
Hotel du Pont Vieux –
Fun and funky, in the artsy neighborhood of Trivalle at the base of La Cité – this hotel is within walking distance of La Cité and downtown modern Carcassonne
Here is the link: http://www.hotelpontvieux.com/accueileng
Domaine d’Auriac –
There are also two houses available on the grounds for rent at 450 euros per night per room – overlooking the golf course, great for families
This 5 star hotel/resort is located in Carcassonne. 2 restaurants, a pool, 18 hole golf course on the grounds of this gorgeous Chateau estate.
Hotel Best Western Le Donjon – La Cité –
This hotel is IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WALLED CITY! Stay right in the heart of La Cité at a full service 4 star hotel… visit the castle, the basilica and all the shops right out your front door! Access is by foot only, so the hotel provides luggage service from the parking area to the hotel and back again via golf cart for a small fee. Best Western hotels in Europe are a definite class above those you find in the US... they are full 4 stars and deserve it. Check it out: http://www.hotel-donjon.com/
Hotel de La Cité –
5 Star luxury in the heart of La Cité! This special hotel offers all the modern amenities in the very center of the medieval castle. See all the details here:
Side Trips and Additional Ideas for Things to Do If You Are Coming From Afar...
From our part of France, all of Europe is at your fingertips… Imagine a romantic stroll along the left bank in Paris or along the cliffs of the Amalfi Coast, or a visit to Barcelona for the food and the fantastical architecture of the Sagrada Familia and the Palau de Musica. A Mediterranean cruise is a great way to see a number of southern European cities!
Prague has been one of our favorite cities for a long time now because of its rich, artistic history and beautiful, Eastern European flavor. But how can we forget Rome with its legacy still resonating today and of course it's fabulous food! Or Venice – one of the most unique and culturally rich cities we have ever seen. If you want any suggestions for what to do before or after the festival, please don't hesitate to contact us!
A très bientôt nos amis! We will see you very soon friends!