The Minervois, Languedoc-Roussillon, South of France

canal du midiOlonzac and The Minervois

The sun baked Minervois region spans Herault and Aude and is a land filled with ancient Cathar villages, vineyards, wild garrigue, big open skys and is bursting with history.

The village of Olonzac is the capital of the Minervois and is alive all year round. With one of the best weekly markets in the area, Tuesday mornings attract visitors from all directions. The village has everything you need: cafés, bars, restaurants, grocery stores, bakers, wineries, butchers, doctors, pharmacy, hairdressers and more.

The Canal du Midi runs through the village of Homps, only two miles away, where you can stroll along the banks in the shade of the trees, or take a boat trip and relax on the water at a pace that lets the world go by!

Local Sites of Interest


20 mins

This village has been selected as one of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France and is situated at the confluence of the gorges created by the Rivers Cesse & Brian in a naturally strong defensive position.

Near the village the river disappears underground in a large, naturally-carved tunnel which can be explored. There are two other natural bridges and the river bed, when dry is filled with wildlife.

Within the village there is a large artists' community and many arteliers open to the public. There are also very good cafés and restaurants.

canal du midiCanal du Midi - UNESCO Heritage Site

2 mins

This 360-km network of navigable waterways linking the Mediterranean and the Atlantic through 328 structures (locks, aqueducts, bridges, tunnels) is one of the most remarkable feats of civil engineering in modern times.

Built between 1667 and 1694, it paved the way for the Industrial Revolution. The care that its creator, Pierre-Paul Riquet, took in the design and the way it blends with its surroundings turned a technical achievement into a work of art. A definite 'must' for anyone visiting the area!

Le Cité, CarcassonneLe Cité, Carcassonne -UNESCO Heritage Site

40 mins

Since the pre-Roman period, a fortified settlement has existed on the hill where Carcassonne now stands. In its present form it is an outstanding example of a medieval fortified town, with its massive defences encircling the castle and the surrounding buildings, its streets and its fine Gothic cathedral.

Carcassonne is also of exceptional importance because of the lengthy restoration campaign undertaken by Viollet-le-Duc, one of the founders of the modern science of conservation. If you're staying in the area then you have to see it!

Lac de JouarresThe Lac de Jouarres

2 mins

During the summer season, the lake has lifeguards and there is a restaurant/snack bar with sun-loungers for use in their garden. You can walk the perimeter of the lake in just over an hour.

The swimming area has been prepared using pebbles and geotextiles to prevent weed growth. The sailing/fishing areas are away from the bathing area. In the summer season, a range of surf board courses is on offer in the sailing area.

narbonne palaisNarbonne

35 mins

Narbonne sits 15km back from the Meditterannean on the Via Domitia the Roman road that linked Italy to Spain.

Along side the Canal du Robine the famous market at Les Halles is open every morning of the year for fresh fish and seafood in particular The building is gorgeous and worth a visit just for that alone, but the smells of fresh food, herbs, spices, fresh bread and coffee will make you want to stay.

Narbonne is a lovely place for a day out shopping or for rainy days there are plenty of places to visit, there is even an ice rink.

Above is the the Palais des Archevêques where a part of the Via Domitia is exposed in the square in front of it, here in the square, you can get coffee and consume the atmosphere.

Olonzac, Minervois