Tag Archive for: camon

Cycling to Mirepoix

On a glorious April morning in southern France, we cycled to Mirepoix market through lush green landscapes unable to contain the Languedoc Springtime any longer. The cycling is easy for anyone of reasonable fitness, about an hour and a half along the mainly flat Voie Verte – greenway. Still plenty of snow on the higher Pyrenees, our guests took the cable car in Ax Les Thermes and had lunch on the mountain.

Snow topped French Pyrenees on a glorious April morning

Snow topped French Pyrenees on a glorious April morning

Beautiful, ancient towns & villages are on the doorstep of our bed and breakfast and holiday cottage in southern France, the Abbaye and ramparts of medieval Camon:

Medieval Camon hosts the Fete des Roses in May

Medieval Camon hosts the Fete des Roses in May

And broody Chateau de Lagarde looks down with disdain in its ruinous state, there are fireworks in summer and Repas Gourmands in the evenings celebrating local produce:

Broody Chateau de Lagarde

Broody Chateau de Lagarde

Then onto Mirepoix for the best farmer’s market in the region. Lunch in one of the many pavement cafes is a treat – and a must for sustaining the return journey.

Mirepoix market, a cycle ride on a glorious Spring morning

Mirepoix market, a cycle ride on a glorious Spring morning

 

Medieval Camon

Camon, a Plus Beaux Villages de France, 5km from our holiday home in southern France, hosts the Fête des Roses each May (18th 2014). A spectacular display of colour and scent, the result many years ago of a gift from the Municipality to each householder of a climbing rose. The Abbaye dominates; spend a delightful morning exploring its ramparts, the church, and the narrow streets of the ancient village.

Fete des Roses, Camon, a Plus Beaux Villages de France, 5km from our holiday home

Fete des Roses, Camon, a Plus Beaux Villages de France, 5km from our holiday home

Medieval Camon, 5km from our holiday home in southern France

Medieval Camon, 5km from our holiday home in southern France

Whether self catering in our holiday cottage or a guest at our bed and breakfast, the restaurant at the Abbaye, Camon is a holiday treat.

 

Cycling in the hills south of Carcassonne

A sixty km round trip from our holiday cottage in the south of France covered some beautiful terrain. It’s a marvellous time to be in the south of France, fields stuffed with sunflowers, grapes ripening on the vine, the sun mellowing the ancient stone of ruined chateaux that stand on rocky outcrops, testament to past conflicts of Languedoc.

We had an early start from Sonnac sur l’Hers following the old railway line through Camon, a plus beaux village de France, onto Mirepoix and Fanjeaux, all key strategic towns during medieval times and the crusade against the Cathars. Quiet roads, twisty cols (if you want them in this heat) and wide valley floors that sweep through vineyards and ancient towns and villages, make cycling Languedoc joyous. I was grateful for the old French law decreeing its people should always have free access to drinking water as I replenished my water bottle (and dunked my face and arms) in the centuries old lavage (communal washing facilities in a bygone age) in a tiny village by the roadside.

A walk from the house, November, 2011

Hot and sunny in the Languedoc just now, lunch on the square every day this week. Flowers wilting in their pots, parched. There are 250 km of paths in the Mirepoix area, today we covered about 20 of them. Camon is a “plus beaux village de France” around 3km. Particularly lovely in May, June when the roses draped round all the houses are in full bloom; a gift from the municipality years ago. The bar closed, which is not unusual, probably closed for lunch, so we continued.

Church, Camon

Lagarde a bit further, around 7km, where the ruined chateau on the hill still maintains a degree of dignity. We have paid 3 euros previously to look around the ruin, even though you couldn’t actually look around it, too dangerous,  just get fractionally closer than from the path. Never mind, good to support the restoration, there is a long way to go.

Lagarde

We often walk or cycle this path, the furthest we have gone is Mirepoix, another hour on the bike from Lagarde. There is good scrumping to be had from the hedgerows and we often see red squirrels scampering along ahead. They seem less timid than their English counterparts, maybe I have been sitting in the sun too long.

Bounty from the woods