The walled medieval city of Carcassonne, La Cité, with its narrow cobbled streets, shops, bars, restaurants & museums lies approximately 30 minutes by car to the west of Hortensia Cottage. Carcassonne also has a modern city with excellent shopping & lively markets. It is also the the location of the Carcassone Salvaza airport which has regular direct flights from the UK.
Just outside the old city of Carcassonne is Carcassonne Plage, a freshwater lake with a man made beach which has supervised bathing, canoe & pedal boat hire, adventure play area, snack bar, woodland picnic areas & lakeside walks. Carcassonne Plage is an excellent location for a family day out.
The ancient medieval fortified village of Minerve is close to Hortensia Cottage. Minerve is one of the main attractions on the Cathar Trail, being one of the last Cathar strongholds to fall when the Cathars sought refuge in the village after the massacre of Béziers. Minerve is now home to a number of museums & has several excellent restaurants & bars.
The village of Roquebrun has a stunning location on a bend in the River Orb. It has a popular river beach with a shallow area suitable for children. During the summer it is a major base for canoeing on the river with opportunities to canoe down the rapids in the Orb valley from the Espinouse Mountains down to Roquebrun. The mild climate also sustains an attractive Mediterranean style garden in the hills above Roquebrun.
The excellent French Mediterranean beaches of Narbonne, Valras & Gruisan are just a 30 to 45 minute drive away from Hortensia Cottage, depending on which location you choose. Mediterranean weather, long golden sandy beaches & beach side bars & restaurants ensure these beaches a great day out for all.
Canal du Midi
The Canal du Midi runs close to Hortensia Cottage at nearby Homps where there are a number of canal side bars & restaurants. Take a leisurely cruise along the canal or hire bikes to cycle along the towpath.