This part of Aude consists of pretty villages, vineyards and wooded slopes.
Some of the villages are very quiet like Montouliers, on a hill a couple of miles north but is has a 12thC chateau and 13thC church.
However within a 10 minute drive there are a variety of restaurants catering for different tastes.
Mirepeisset and Bize Minervois both have bathing beaches on the River Cesse.
There are villages strung along the Canal du Midi some of which are attractively perched on hills overlooking it.
Nearby Le Somail is a major staging post on the canal featured in Prunella Scales & Timothy West’s Great Canal Journeys on Channel 4.
To west is Homps a major hire station for boats, lively in season. Just to the north is Olonzac which is the commercial hub of the area with an outstanding market on Tuesdays.
Between the two is Lac de Jouarres, a large leisure lake with swimming beach, water sports and its own café/bar.
To the east is the market town of Capestang set on a hillside with medieval chateau and La Collegiale St Etienne. The latter with its height dominates the town is a church combined with clerical college The Canal runs round the top of town.
The area is ideal for walking and cycling. Along the Canal towpath and through the vineyards of the Aude valley or towards the hills of Montagne Noir.
For history there is Minerve a small Cathar stronghold perched on a hillside above a deep valley, with the remaining tower of the castle leaning at a precarious angle as it has done for hundreds of years. Amphoralis is nearby museum of Gallo Roman crockery.
For more information on local activities visit www.lfn.org.uk