Domaine La Castagne enjoys a beautiful setting in the heart of the Lauragais countryside, surrounded by history, culture and many great things to do. Lauragais is a region in the French department of Occitanie that sits between Toulouse and Carcassonne. Below are a few of our favourite places and things to do. For more information see the Lauragaise Tourisme website or watch this video
We are surrounded by lakes where you can swim, sail, paddle board canoe, walk, ride and play. Lac Saint Ferreol is part of the system that feeds the Canal du Midi. This is the perfect place for a day out whatever the season or weather; walk around the lake, have a picnic, swim, sail or pedalo all afternoon. There is also Lac de Ganguise which offers sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, tennis, horse riding, hiking, fishing and mountain biking. Lac de la Thesaque offers an inflatable water park in the hot summer months, pedalo and canoe hire, several cafes and restaurants and well maintained picnic areas.
Food, wine and beer
One of the best things about this region for us, is rich food and wine heritage. We have the history of Cassoulet with the opportunity to test it out at the home in Castelnaudary, or see what a local variation tastes like at Relais de Riquet, on the Canal de midi, with their wide ranging wine selection.
We also have the modern menu of Le Pas de Narouze. Located by more history of the Canal du Midi with the Bassin_de_Naurouze . Very reasonable priced set menus serving up high quality modern French food.
For the a special gourmand experience there is Le Auberge du Poids Public which in the historic village of Saint Felix de Lauragais. The dinning room boasts Fabulous views across the pleine de Lauragais and outstanding Michelin mentioned food.
We also have many wine regions nearby with interesting appellations that combine Mediterranean and Atlantic grapes such as Malpere, Minervois and Cabardes delivering complex reds and fabulous roses. We also have Gaillac to the North with brilliant whites as well as their bold reds. The area is also a centre for development of organic wine making, with many organic vineyards as well as our friends at Brequet, the organic brewery nearby.
We are located at the heart of the Lauragais agricultural landscape which gives us access to great local food and a fascinating range of local Markets. The most famous are Revel and Mirepoix which are both held in medieval market places with a large range local and organic producers. There is the market at Villefranche de Lauragais every Friday where you can buy anything you need, and many things you did not know you needed. We found the best strawberries we have ever tasted! Revel market is one of the best selections of local and organic produce in France. In all there are nearly 20 markets in and around the Lauragais.
We are in the heart of the ‘pays de cathar’, a fascinating but ultimately tragic period in French history which has left fortified chateaux dotted across the landscape and many fascinating sites to visit. From the spectacular Chateau Saissac and Les quatre chateaux de Lastours to the medieaval Abbey of Saint Papoul and the tragic stories of les Casses right on our door step. A visit to the restored mediaeval castle of Carcassonne is a must. The walls of the castle dominate the surrounding plain.
Walking and cycling
The surrounding countryside offers both gentle and more challenging cycling and walking for all levels with many routes with views across the plain, hills and mountains. We can arrange bike hire for you. Follow the Rigole across the Pleine and up to Lac Saint Ferreol.
Follow the Canal du Midi to Castelnaudary. Try many of the surrounding restaurants as part of a day out on the bike such as the restaurant at Lac du Lenclas, a nice cycle ride along the Rigole with a great menu.
There are many areas close by with walking trails such as Le Lac de La Ganguise and organised routes like Ile Seuil de Naurouze which takes in the history of the canal de midi on a fabulous 14.5 km ride or walk. If that does not sound like you, how about hiring a small electric boat to explore the Canal de Midi on the water.
Do you need a fix of sand and sea? The beaches of the Mediterranean near Narbonne at are hour and half away for a day out at the beach by car or train
As well as all of this we are a short train ride to Toulouse. A fascinating city with plenty to do for everyone. We lived in Toulouse before moving to Domaine La Castagne so can help shape your day from visiting the medieval sites to cafe culture and wine tasting. Toulouse also has several food markets of which the best know is the Marche Victor Hugo. This is well worth a visit for the smoked fish stall alone. We can help you put together the perfect visit.