Itinerary around Caunes Minervois

Itinerary around Caunes Minervois
Itinerary around
Caunes Minervois
Number of kilometres: 87 km
Total visiting time: 5,5 hours
Suitable for: everyone

From the foothills to the Montagne Noire, the Clamoux Gorges offer an exceptional panorama. Entering the Minervois means also entering History. There are exceptional sites such a s the abbey at Caunes-Minervois, the giant chasm of Cabrespine and marble quarries. On the way to the mountains you will see dolmens, taste local produce, and even go for a walk with lamas!
"Minervois Montagne Noire:
Unusual encounters and picturesque scenery"

Map - Itinerary around Caunes Minervois
click to enlarge
  L'abbaye de Caunes-Minervois >> To go to the Minervois area, from Carcassonne, take the Mazamet road. Upon leaving Carcassonne, at the Bezons roundabout, turn right, towards Caunes Minervois (D620).
Caunes Minervois:
Caunes Minervois
  As soon as you enter the town, an 8-metre high marble sculpture reminds you that you are in the area of the famous red marble used in the construction of many monuments including the «Trianon» at Versailles, the Paris Opera House, the Great Mosque in Cordoba, and Saint Peter’s in Rome… Leave your car at the Europe car park and go towards the Abbey and its two-level cloister, located in the medieval village. The Tourism Office proposes a guided visit of the site. The Abbey was on a pilgrimage route. You can also visit the many artists’ studios in Caunes Minervois : Pottery studio, Imagination workshop, Painters’ dens, or other Artists’ houses and their fashion creations and artistic jewellery...
The marble quarries of Caunes Minervois
You mustn’t miss the Hôtel Restaurant d’Alibert and its magnificent surrounds. Before embarking on your tour of the Montagne Noire, make a halt on the Trausse Minervois road.
  Notre-Dame du Cros As you leave Caunes Minervois on the Trausse road, you will come across the remarkable site of Notre-Dame du Cros! Organised around a chapel dedicated to the Virgin, the exceptional grounds and facilities make it an excellent spot for relaxing in the shade of the plane trees: the Cros gorges, the spring, the marble quarries, and the steep cliffs are appreciated by climbers and walkers alike.
>> Go back to the Departmental road 115 and in the centre of the village of Caunes Minervois, take the Citou road. A small mountain road will take you through the valley of the Argent Double and will take you from the Minervois plain to the foothills of the Montagne Noire.
  Citou: Citou
Drive through orchards and market gardens where sweet onions grow, to the village of Citou. Depending on the seasons, local fruit and vegetables are for sale along the way. You can also observe a delightful Romanesque chapel!
  << Take the road back to Lespinassière: Lespinassière
  Lespinassière Lespinassière:
See the square tower of the medieval castle built in the 12th century, in the centre of the village. Walk around the outside of the castle at your leisure. Enjoy the view. On the horizon : the Pyrenees !

>> Chestnut trees line the way as far as Castans. This is a country of shale stone. At the crossroad of St Pons and the Col de Salette, turn left towards "Castans" (D9).
Castans stands out for its strong link with the number seven : 7 hamlets, 7 springs, 7 bells in the parish church. This part of the Montagne Noire is covered by more than 50 km of signposted walking trails.

>> Take the Pradelles road (D9) to go and meet the Lamas of the Montagne Noire.
  Castans - Visite de l’élevage, mini-Randonnée et randonnée en compagnie de lamas: “ Les Lamas de la Montagne Noire ” Jean Louis and Hélène invite you, year-round, to visit their lama farm or go for lama rides in the forest. Original rides for the young and the young at heart!
>> Continue this road, at the next crossroads take the Cabrespine road, which winds through the green valley of the Clamoux (D112).

Cabrespine, village where the physician Pierre Duhem decided to finish his days, is a pleasure to visit with its picturesque small streets, and, in particular, for it curious street with six bridges.

>> About 2 km after the village, take the road on the right via the Giant Chasm of Cabrespine.
  This cave which is remarkable for its size and the quality of its karstic elements is currently in the process of registration on the UNESCO world heritage list. This site is accessible for all publics and there are picnic tables at your disposal. Gouffre Géant de Cabrespine - Underground safari - Phone
>>To return, take the road to Villeneuve Minervois:
  Villeneuve-Minervois - Wrought iron 'La Marquise' - Phone This village is typical of the region with its shady boulevards and plane trees. In Villeneuve you and your family can explore the mill which is still active, paths will take you to dolmens and capitelles, and Mr Chaix’s Paleontology and History museum (Phone Art lovers, make a stop at the Wrought Iron workshop «La Marquise». And finally, if you are travelling between December and February you will be lucky enough to taste the great specialty of Villeneuve Minervois : Truffles! Colourful markets are organised around this production!
>> Take the D111departmental road to visit the windmill at Villeneuve Minervois which is still active.

>> Go back the way you came, take the D112 again to go back to Carcassonne.
Tasting Wines:
A.O.C. Minervois

Red Wine
= Red Wine

White Wine
= White Wine

= Rosé
Bagnoles - Château du Donjon (guided visit of the 13th century Keep) - Phone
Caunes-Minervois - Celliers du Palais Abbatial - Phone
Caunes-Minervois - Château Villerambert-Julien (Wine-tasting in the 16th century chapel) - Phone
Caunes-Minervois - Le Clos du Marbrier - Phone /
Caunes-Minervois - Domaine Benjamin Taillandier - Phone
Malves en Minervois - Château Malves Bousquet - Phone
Sallèles Cabardès - Château La Villatade - Phone
Villalier - Cellier des Capitelles - Phone
Villegly - Château Villerambert-Moureau - Phone
Villeneuve-Minervois - Domaine Bénazeth au Moulin - Phone
Villeneuve-Minervois - Château les Chanoines - Phone
Caunes-Minervois - Boulangerie GIRAUD, pain cathare, Garriguet - Tel. Local Produce: A.O.C. Minervois
• Caunes-Minervois - Spice bread PAINDOR - Phone
• Caunes-Minervois - Pork small - goods Icher Meat salting, foie gras, home-made conserves
- Phone
• Caunes-Minervois - Bakery GIRAUD - Cathar bread, Garriguet - Phone
• Caunes-Minervois - Wine cellars, regional produce at La Marbrerie
- Phone /
• Lespinassière - Regional produce on sale at Café Restaurant Les Ardeillès
- Phone /
• Villeneuve-Minervois - Tour of the Truffle plantations - Phone (town hall)
  Activities: Gouffre Géant de Cabrespine - Underground safari - Phone
• Gouffre Géant de Cabrespine - Underground safari - Phone

• Castans - Visit of the farm, miniwalk and lama riding: “ Les Lamas de la Montagne Noire ”
- Phone
• Caunes-Minervois - Rock-climbing at Notre Dame du Cros Accompaniment by Eaurizon - Phone

• Exploring the Saint Roch and Capitelles site Topoguide, circuit 11, available at the Office Intercommunal de Tourisme

• The Cactus Garden - Production and sale of cactus and other succulent plants. Visit the gardens: 1000 species! - Phone
  • Villeneuve-Minervois - Dolmens et Capitelles Villeneuve-Minervois - Dolmens et Capitelles
Arts and Crafts:

Caunes-Minervois - Atelier du Monestier Creation of Jewellery - Phone
Caunes-Minervois - Atelier de Poterie Pottery workshop - Phone
Villeneuve-Minervois - Wrought iron "La Marquise" - Phone
  Worth seeing nearby: Caunes-Minervois - Atelier du Monestier Creation of Jewellery - Phone
  • Lac de Pradelles (swimming) Lac de Pradelles (swimming)
  • Villarzel Cabardès Archeological Museum + Wisigothic Cemetery of Moural des Morts (5th to 7th centuries). Stone tombs + Pre-romanesque 9th/10th century Chapel: Louis Guiraud
- Phone
Villarzel Cabardès Archeological Museum + Wisigothic Cemetery of Moural des Morts (5th to 7th centuries). Stone tombs + Pre-romanesque 9th/10th century Chapel: Louis Guiraud - Phone
  • "The ice reserves of Pradelles Cabardès" Christine Truc animates commented visits of the Ice reserves, booking necessary - Phone 04 68 26 32 97 'The ice reserves of Pradelles Cabardès' Christine Truc animates commented visits of the Ice reserves, booking necessary. 04 68 26 32 97
  Calendar - Festivals:
Truffle markets at Villeneuve Minervois
« Truffle markets at Villeneuve Minervois »


« Contemporary Art exhibition » at the Centre Méditerranéen de l’Image Château de Malves
- Phone


« Spring in the vineyards» Events in the cellars
« Art market » at Malves (3rd weekend): 45 Artists (painting, sculpture, photos…)
« Nightshot » Night of video and multimedia creation (final Saturday in the month) Malves
« Contemporary art exhibition » At the Centre Méditerranéen de l’Image Château de Malves
« Marble and Sculpture Festival at Caunes Minervois »
« Wine tours in the Haut Minervois »
« Cherry Festival Trausse Minervois »
'Marble and Sculpture Festival at Caunes Minervois Wine tours in the Haut Minervois Cherry Festival Trausse Minervois
« Wine tours in the Haut Minervois « Fridays » and « Classic Fridays » At the Abbaye de Caunes
« Tuesdays » at Villeneuve Minervois (concerts, theatre…)
« Sweet onion festival at Citou »
« Wine tours in the Haut Minervois »
Sweet onion festival at Citou
Caunes-Minervois - Café - Restaurant “La grande Fontaine“ - Phone
Caunes-Minervois - Restaurant “d'Alibert“ - Phone
Caunes-Minervois - “La Cantine du Curé“ (juni to september) - Phone
Caunes-Minervois - Restaurant - Salon de thé “La Marbrerie“ - Phone
Citou - Restaurant L'Oustal à Citou - Phone
Conques-sur-Orbeil - Restaurant l'Épicurien ** - Phone
Lastours - Restaurant "Le Puits du Trésor" *** - Phone
Lastours - Bakery “ Le Moulin de Lastours” * - Phone

Lastours - Rural auberge "Le Diable aux Thyms" * - Phone
Lespinassiere - Café - Restaurant “Les Ardeillès“ (requires reservation) - Phone

Lespinassiere - La Pierre d'Oc - Phone
Roquefère - Auberge Sire de Cabaret ** - Phone
Salsigne - Ferme auberge de Combestremière * - Phone
Trausse-Minervois - Café - Restaurant “L’Amandier“ - Phone
Villeneuve-Minervois - L'Auberge de la Clamoux - Phone
Bon voyage!!
Hôtel d'Alibert

Hôtel d'Alibert - Caunes-Minervois

A vast residence Renaissance in the middle of the village of Caunes-Minervois. Eight rooms barely for nights of a peace which they had forgotten. For dinners under stars, courtyard in the sculpted galleries. Where, during winter, corner of a big chimney. An incomparable list of regional wines. The tracery of the alleyways which lead towards the very close garrigue, then of tracks of walkings in the Black Mountain. The sea that less than one hour; and Carcassonne, almost visible on the skyline. Everywhere around, the country Minervois. Will the hotel - restaurant of Alibert soon have the pleasure of receiving you?

La Grande Fontaine

La Grande Fontaine - Caunes-Minervois

Located just down the hill on the main street, inside this is the local bar, while outside is a gathering place for tourists. A morning coffee can be fun. Buy the pastries across the street at the boulangerie, then order coffee. There's no problem with eating breakfast that you've purchased elsewhere, because the Grande Fontaine doesn't sell pasteries. An omelet and salad at noon can be very enjoyable and inexpensive, and full meals are available both at noon and in the evening. Reservations not normally necessary...

Campsite Municipal des Courtals

Campsite Municipal des Courtals - Caunes-Minervois

This municipal campsite features 32 shaded pitches with electricity, WC, showers, washing up area, children's play area, camper-van waste disposal facilities and football and tennis facilities nearby. Daily bread delivery. Fridge and freezer available at reception during opening hours from 7am to 10am and 5pm to 7pm. The village features a Romanesque abbey...

L'Oustal à Citou

Restaurant L'Oustal à Citou - Citou

We aim to create a cosy, welcoming atmosphere to enable you to enjoy traditional cooking based on local quality products simply prepared, but not excluding a little sophistication and elegance. We welcome friends rather than customers ... enthusiasts of real cuisine, friends who enjoy generous dishes and who appreciate authentic flavours ... and who enjoy the atmosphere of our village in the mountains - our rural environment. See you soon ! ... in Citou....

Auberge La Table
des Vignerons

Auberge La Table des Vignerons - Trausse

Bar a Vins - Restaurant, La Table des Vignerons "Domaine Tour Trencavel" in the renovated Bureau of the old Cave Co-operative building. They serve well constructed meals, menus with choices & a la carte served with very reasonabley priced local wines. The warm welcome of the bosses, the decor classy and sober, daily menu renewed every day, garden products ... and the wine list at very reasonable rates. The gourmet menu (starter, main dish and dessert) is a feast! Opportunity to purchase wines from areas at the end of the meal. An address that we will refile word of mouth....

de la Clamoux

Auberge de la Clamoux - Villeneuve-Minervois

Auberge de Clamoux, a small inn that serves a fine three-course weekday menu at 13€. Go ahead and try the salad with gesiers (duck gizzards, a regional favorite) or sample the offering of charcouterie (hams, sausages, etc). The main course is generally meat, duck or salmon, and the desserts are impressive. One lunch time here, the main dining room had been converted to a huge table seating several dozen French men and women in their 70s and 80s, plowing through huge platters of food and liters and liters of wine. Every meal in France is a celebration. Count on at least an hour and a half....

La Marbrerie

La Marbrerie - Caunes-Minervois

Guest Rooms - Bed & Breakfast - Gîtes - Chambres d'hôtesGuest Rooms - Bed & Breakfast - Gîtes - Chambres d'hôtes

Set of cottages on the floor of a building with character. All rooms have bathroom and WC, a desk, armchairs, a TV and a computer connected to the internet. La Marbrerie offers labeled country plates as a friendly and gourmet break! You will experience great moments of trading. The Country Platter, is a brand of "de Pays" developed in the network of tourist country. These operations structure of the tourism offer based on a vision of cross-country tourism development local planning and development of animation streams. In tribute to the activity of this building we expound in selling anything or is the Marble. Sculptures, decorative objects or usual, furniture, paintings on marble, paintings....

La Cantine du Curé

La Cantine du Curé - Caunes-Minervois

One of my favourite places in Caunes Minervois is La Cantine du Cure in the shadow of the Abbey. There is always a friendly face to welcome you and a little music keeping you company in the background. The staff are friendly and helpful and attentive and will assist you with your choice of fare - there is normally a choice of 3 or 4 tapas for €5 and perhaps 4 plats du jour (plate of the day)for €10 and normally ice cream for dessert.....

Les Lamas de la Montagne Noire

Les Lamas de la Montagne Noire - Castans

Near Castans you find 'Les Lama's de la Montagne Noire', a lama farm where you can rent a lama to carry your luggage when you should decide to walk through the mountains on foot for a few days. The lama farm is usually open throughout the year. Discovering the lama, its gentle behaviour and adaptation to a medium altitude mountain habitat. Pre-booked guided visits available....

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