What to do near Carcassonne

This is an index of an ongoing series of posts about what people can do in and around Carcassonne.  Millions of people visit the medieval citadel (the Cité de Carcassonne) each year, but what should they do after  walking those gorgeous castle ramparts?

I obviously recommend visiting my winery at O’Vineyards.  We offer a full tour of the winery, and our unique history (we’re first generation winemakers) means that we can talk to you like normal human beings about the sometimes scary or pretentious subjects of winemaking and wine tasting.

But I also want to offer a full list of possible activities because there’s a lot to do in and around Carcassonne other than visiting me!

Things to do around Carcassonne

  • Walking distance from Cité de Carcassonne
  • Drink good wine
  • Eat good food
  • Visit castle ruins and historic sites
  • Cave spelunking
  • Walk, Hike, or Cycle
  • Ville-Basse

Walking Distance from Cité

This is a list of activities I’ve written about that are walking distance from the medieval castle of Carcassonne.  This may overlap significantly with the other categories on this page, but it was a very popular question so I have to talk about it separately.

  • Vineyards right outside the castle
  • Restaurants in the castle
  • Eating around the castle
  • Perfect picnic spots near Carcassonne
  • River Aude walk
  • Canal walk
  • Religious sites
  • Antique furniture restoration workshop
  • Art galleries

Wine & Vineyards near Carcassonne

Carcassonne is beautiful wine country and you don’t have to know a lot about wine to appreciate the rich flavors of the local producers.  The greater Carcassonne area touches five major wine classifications:

If you don’t want to do a whole tour, many wineries offer simple tastings of their wines.  Some wineries near Carcassonne are set up to receive people year-round.  For smaller wineries, it’s often a good idea to call ahead of time and book your visit to assure the winemaker will be available.  If you just want to walk through some vines, there are vineyards directly outside Carcassonne castle.

The rest of this is a work in progress.  If you find this article unfinished and you’d like more information, feel free to email me at ryan@ovineyards.com

Eating around Carcassonne

I plan on writing a bit about different dishes and meals that are typical to the south and southwest of France.  I’ll also include some addresses of favorite restaurants.

resting in the castle ruins above lastours before sunsetCastle Ruins & Historic Sites

I plan on writing a bit about all the castles and ruins other than Carcassonne like the Chateaux de Lastours.

I had a great picnic watching the sunset at the Chateaux de Lastours.

There are many other ruins scattered around Carcassonne.

And some places aren’t even ruined yet:

  • Quéribus
  • Peyrepertuse
  • Puilaurens
  • Castelnou
  • Oppidum


Cave spelunking

I’ll write about the various cave visits like the Gouffre Geant de Cabrespine and the Grotte de Limousis.

Carcassonne for walkers, hikers, & cyclists

I’ll start listing ideas for walkers, hikers & cyclists.

Ville Basse

Things to do in the downtown area of Carcassonne known as the Ville Basse.  Things like local markets, the Place Carnot, the Canal, and the river.


This is part of an ongoing series about places to visit near Carcassonne.

Small wineries and vineyards around Carcassonne, often lack the infrastructure to receive tourists year round.  This post will attempt to list some of the wineries that are well-known in the area for receiving visitors regularly.

If you’d like to visit a particular estate (eg your favorite producer), it’s often a good idea to call ahead of time to make sure the winemaker is available to receive you and taste through some wines.  But if you’re fine visiting a winery you’re unfamiliar with, here is a list of folks open to last minute visitors.

Wineries really near to Carcassonne:

O’VineyardsDirections from the castle – This is my family vineyard and we’re generally happy to receive people year round.  It’s always best to call before hand because we are a working vineyard and could be busy. It’s convenient to book one of our wine & food experience on our detailed website . We receive dozens of last minute visitors each year. Visiting us is fun because you’ll actually hang out with the winemakers.  We’re also native English speakers and we enjoy sharing with people who know very little about wine.  So don’t be intimidated!

885 Avenue de la Montagne Noire
11620 Villemoustaussou
33 (0)6 30 18 99 10

Chateau PennautierDirections from the castle – A prestigious estate north of Carcassonne that has a tour of the chateau as well as wine tastings.  They have staff dedicated to these tour groups so you can show up without any reservations.

2 boulevard Pasteur
11610 Pennautier
33 (0)4 68 72 65 29 ?

Wineries closer to Narbonne:

L’Hospitalet – This is a bit farther away in La Clape (by Narbonne), and it’s a bit more of a gift shop tour.  But what’s cool is that it unites wines from all of Gerard Bertrand’s properties in the Languedoc Roussillon.  So in one place, you’ll get to taste wines from lots of different parts of the region.  And Narbonne might be worth a day trip anyway.

Route de Narbonne plage
20409 11104 NARBONNE
33 (0) 4 68 45 28 50

Le Bouis – This one is near Narbonne too and has a cool restaurant.  It’s technically in the Corbieres but it’s not lost in the mountains to the south.  It’s in Gruissan, really close to the coast and makes an easy addition to a Narbonne day trip.  You might also consider seeing the salt flats in Gruissan after visiting the winery.

Route Bleue
11430 Gruissan
33 (0)4 68 75 25 25

Wineries in the mountains of the Corbieres

Driving to these wineries will take some time as they are in the mountains (see map of corbieres wineries).  But this can be a gorgeous road trip.  Avoid the motorway and take the small mountain roads.  But don’t drink too much or you won’t be able to drive back! 😀

Embres & Castelmaure – This cooperative winery has some great wines and display them at the gift shop.  You can do the tasting for free but they only do winery tours if you make a reservation.

4, route des canelles
11360 Embres & Castelmaure
33 (0)4 68 45 91 83

Mont Tauch – Same deal.  A great cooperative winery where you can taste the wines for free, but winery tours must be booked ahead of time and are generally reserved for larger groups.

Les Vignerons Du Mont Tauch
11350 Tuchan
33 (0)4 68 45 41 08

I’ve written about a few other cool wineries in the Corbieres, but you might have to call ahead for some of them.

How to find us

Domaine O’Vineyards, located in the North Arrondissement of Carcassonne, is just minutes from the Carcassonne train station, the Medieval City, and the Carcassonne Airport.
GPS coordinates: 43.259622, 2.340387

Wine, Dine, Relax at our Boutique Vineyard
Unique thing to do in Carcassonne
Wine Cellar. Winery Visits. Wine Tasting.
Wine & Food Pairing

North Arrondissement of Carcassonne
885 Avenue de la Montagne Noire
11620 Villemoustaussou, France
Tel: +33(0) 630 189 910

  1. Best by GPS.
    Follow the signs to Mazamet/ Villemoustaussou using the D118. At the end of the last straight part of D118, you will come to a roundabout with the Dyneff gas station.
  2. Take the exit towards Pennautier. Continue 500m to a small roundabout and go straight over.
  3. Look out for the second road on your right, Avenue des Cévennes which curves up hill (about 1km) to Avenue de la Montagne Noire on the left.
  4. At the last juction, bear left. the road sign “Ave de la Montagne Noire” (confusing as it seems to show a right turn)
  5. After another 500m you will see our red brick color building in the middle of the vines.