The Lauragais is more than an area; it’s an experience
Come and visit this timeless, sun-soaked land with its rolling countryside, the rounded hills of La Piège, the steep slopes of the Montagne Noire and the source of the Canal du Midi.
The Canal du Midi and its source
The Canal du Midi, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Built in the 17th century by Pierre-Paul Riquet, the Canal du Midi cuts through the middle of the Lauragais. It is supplied by water from the Montagne Noire, stored in the reservoir at Saint-Ferréol and then brought to the canal’s highest point at Naurouze by a water channel called the Rigole de la Plaine. Naurouze is the watershed between the Atlantic and Mediterranean. It is in the Lauragais that you will discover the ingenious system that supplies water to the canal.
In and around Revel
The royal bastide of Revel holds its weekly market on Saturdays morning, and it is recognised as one of the hundred most beautiful markets in France. Revel is also a town devoted to the art and craft of wood, from furniture-making to marquetry.
Three kilometres away is the lake of Saint-Ferréol, the perfect spot to relax or swim, but also a place where you can practise sports on land and water. Below the wall of the dam, the Réservoir, Museum of the Canal du Midi, tells the amazing story of the canal and its designer, Pierre-Paul Riquet.
In and around Castelnaudary
The home of cassoulet
If you want to try local produce, don’t miss this centre of gastronomy! In and around Castelnaudary you will discover local producers and craftsmen who will gladly share their passion with you.
In nearby villages you will stumble across reminders of the past: the archaeological site of Montferrand, the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Papoul, the Canal du Midi, the route of Aeropostale.
A challenge for sports-lovers!
Fifty-seven teams take part in this relay race in the Lauragais.
A few minutes from Carcassonne and Castelnaudary, on the border with the Ariège, you will find an area which was once at the heart of Catharism and which offers countless walking opportunities. Explore the historic villages which occupy the high ground: Fanjeaux was deeply implicated in the religious conflict which shook medieval Languedoc; Montréal is proud of its majestic Collegiate church of Saint-Vincent; Bram will tempt you to wander through its circular streets…or you can stroll along the towpath of the Canal du Midi.
In and around Nailloux
Only twenty minutes to the south of Toulouse, the Nailloux area offers a range of activities including shopping in a designer outlet village, or visiting the bastide of Montgeard with its close links to the story of pastel.
From Port-Lauragais to the source of the Canal du Midi
In the morning, take a trip by foot or bicycle along the Canal du Midi, or in Port-Lauragais itself, why not choose a boat trip or learn about the canal by visiting the free exhibition?
At lunchtime, enjoy a picnic in the shade of the pines on the lakeshore at Saint-Ferréol.
Spend a relaxing afternoon at the lake and perhaps take a stroll, a swim, or try other water sports. Complete your day with a visit to the Museum and Gardens of the Canal du Midi.
The Great Site of Occitanie
In the morning, wander through the grid-pattern of streets in Revel and finish up in the central square with its 14th century market hall and 19th century bell tower. Afterwards, discover the art and craft of working with wood in the town’s museum of wood.
After lunch, head for the Abbey-School in Sorèze, a prestigious listed monument. Then continue your afternoon with a walk around the lake of Saint-Ferréol and a visit to the Réservoir Museum of the Canal du Midi and a romantic park with waterfalls and a fountain.
On the route of artists and craftsmen
In the morning, discover the secrets of working with wood in the Museum of Wood and Marquetry in Revel. Then visit Durfort, its craft boutiques and workshops, and its Museum of Copper.
After lunch, try your hand at pastel dyeing in Roumens and visit the Not Pottery at Mas-Saintes-Puelles where the Not family still fire pots in the traditional way on the banks of the Canal du Midi.
In and around Caraman
In summer, take a refreshing dip in the Orme Blanc lake – it’s an ideal place for all the family to relax – or take to the skies and soar high above the Lauragais in a glider.
In and around Villefranche-de-Lauragais
Let the Canal du Midi be your guide! Start at Port-Lauragais with its free exhibition about the canal. In summer, choose from a range of different boat trips. Journey along the canal or its banks and admire the pretty bastides and churches with their bell-gables in villages such as Montesquieu-Lauragais, Villenouvelle and Villefranche-de-Lauragais.