Wandering through narrow streets, a nice lazy lunch on a beautiful village square or strolling through "the big city" in search of fun holiday gadgets. You can go either way!
Two beautiful small villages nearby are Minerve and Lagrasse ("une des plus beaux villages de France"). Both villages are close to the Domaine and accessible via a beautiful route.
Nearby you can find the city of Narbonne, the first Roman settlement outside of Italy.
Narbonne is a beautiful Mediterranean city with nice shops, a lively market hall, a beautiful cathedral and many nice restaurants and terraces.
Other beautiful cities within (less than) an hour's drive are:
- Carcassonne; the best preserved fortified city from the Middle Ages (UNESCO World Heritage List)
- Perpignan; a French city where you can feel and taste the Spanish influence
- Beziers; with its high-altitude cathedral and the Nine Locks; worth a visit!
A fifteen minutes longer drive by car and you will end up in the trendy city of Montpellier (one of our favorite cities) or fashionable Toulouse, the fourth largest city in France.
Cycling, walking, swimming in the sea or in one of the many rivers, kite surfing, golf, canoeing, canyoning, skydiving in a skydive simulator, catamaran sailing ... it is all possible in the area.
Recreational cyclists can cycle through the vineyards and along the Canal du Midi. The Canal du Midi is a 250 kilometer long canal that runs from Toulouse to the Mediterranean Sea and has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List due to its history and beauty. You will find beautiful winding roads, plane trees along the waterfront, locks and romantic bridges. The canal was made by human hands for the transport of merchandise, but is now only used for pleasure boats.
It is also very nice to cycle along the seafront; the ride between St. Pierre de Mer and Gruissan is wonderful. You can stop for a cool dip in the water or for a cool glass of white wine with oysters!
It is certainly also possible to rent a bicycle, very close to our domaine.
Do you really want to get tired and do some mountain climbing? It is very well possible, the "Montagne Noir" is a real challenge.
The miles of sandy beaches are a major attraction for swimming or sunbathing. Thrill seekers can learn to surf at a surf school, rent a jet ski or sail on a boat at sea.
The struggle against the Cathars is a black chapter in the history of the Catholic Church. The Cathars opposed the moral decline and corruption of the Roman clergy. Catharism developed in the south of France in the course of the 12th century into a major threat to orthodox Christianity. Pope Innocent III saw no other option but to literally put an end to the rapid advance of this religion by fire and sword and called for a crusade. Led by the ruthless French knight Simon de Montfort, the crusader army spent many years tracing loots, ravages and burns in the Languedoc.
The remaining castles, the Cathar castles, the hiding places of the many Cathars, are often perched high on a rock. They have a mystical appeal and are inextricably linked to the history of the region.
In season there are various cultural activities that are worth visiting; a selection:
- "the Carcassonne festival": (pop) concerts in the old town of Carcassonne
- "le mondial du vent": the world championship kitesurfing in Leucate
- "Le Clap d’été": in Narbonne, cultural activities from June to September
In wintertime truffle markets take place. In the warmer months antique- and fleamarkets are part of the southern French atmosphere. These markets are often on Sundays. On weekdays you can visit the city of Pezenas, a wonderful town full of antiques shops.
And then back to some real culture. Of course the swimming pool beckons after a round of cultureal sightseeing but this is a cultural attraction that should not be missed: The beautiful Abbey de Fontfroide just outside Narbonne used to be the headquarters of the Catholic Crusades against the Cathars. When you walk through the old monastery you can almost see the monks walking. Fontfroide is located on a mountaintop, is surrounded by rugged nature and has a beautifully landscaped rose garden. Fontfroide is certainly fun for children too!
If you plan to make day trips: we are centrally located for nice outings with children. A selection of various activities:
- Swimming in Ribaute or in one of the many other rivers in the area. Jumping from the rocks into the water is an thrilling adventure!
- Visit ‘Reserve Africaine de Sigean’, an African themed safaripark in Sigean.
- Canoeing in Puicheric.
- Lac de Cavayere: a beautiful lake close to Carcassonne. A landscaped water park with inflatable large cushions, swinging from tree to tree, wonderful small beaches, water bicycles and a mini golf course.
- A visit to the beach is a must! Do not forget to bring your bucket and spade!
- For even more water fun, visit the water amusement park in Valras plage or the slightly smaller one:
Espace liberté in Narbonne.
LOFT –Powered by LIEU- is located on the border of Corbières and Minervois, two famous wine regions. The region, Occitanie, is one of the largest wine-growing regions in the world blessed with a lot of sunshine . The region is sometimes called the California of France.
We love the good life and therefore we love delicious food paired with good wine.
Two evenings a week we provide table d’hôte, a set dinner for which everyone can sit down at the long, cozy table. After serving dinner, at the end of dessert we take off our aprons and have a nightcap with our guests.
For the remaining dinners and lunches there are plenty of nice restaurants. Simple restaurants, in case you do not feel like cooking but also restaurants in special locations or with special features. For instance, restaurant Cambuse de Saunier is situated right next to the salt lakes of Gruissan and serves delicious seafood. Restaurant la Table Saint Crescent is a restaurant with a well-deserved second Michelin star in Narbonne.
We are spoiled with delicious wines at close range. There are countless possibilities to taste wine in the region. An insider tip is Chateau Luc, a family business with superb wines and a fun tour.
For the chefs and foodies among us, a visit to the olive oil factory L’Oulibo is a hit. To complete your shopping trip you should visit the market halls in Narbonne. Plenty of market activity can be found every morning with the best fresh fish, meat, cheese, vegetables and herbs.
Enjoy a walk on endless sandy beaches of Narbonne and Gruissan, sunbathe, swim, build sand castles or "lounge and lunch" at a beach club. Another good destination for trendy beach clubs is Leucate Plage.
En route to Peyrac, coming from Narbonne to Peyriac you will pass brackish sea lakes where you have a good chance of spotting flamingos or pelicans.
At Peyriac de Mer you can have a nice walk on well-laid out jetties crossing the salt lake "Etang du Doul".
A little further, at Leucate, next to the beautiful beaches and the small harbor of Leucate, you will find nature reserve Cap Leucate, a very beautiful walking area with cliffs and sea views. Leucate itself is well known for the freshest and tastiest fruits de mer, served directly from the sea.
If you drive from Narbonne to Narbonne Plage you will pass the beautiful nature and wine area La Clape. Each time we are overwhelmed by the winding drive along rugged rocks topped off with a fantastic view over the sea. Narbonne Plage is a contemporary seaside town but Gruissan, the neighboring coastal village, is a very nice and authentic fishing village with a small harbor full of restaurants and with plenty of beach activities in summer.