Plan your holiday

Guests to Domain Jean Coste can choose from a wide variety of attractions within easy drive or motorcycle ride — or simply enjoy the property itself, lazing beside our swimming pool and enjoying the beautiful views of picturesque rural France.

Top 10 attractions around Domain Jean Coste

1. La Cité, Carcassonne

La Cite de Carcassonne in the south of France

The Cité de Carcassonne is a medieval fortified town, preserved as a World Heritage Site beside the modern city of Carcassonne, 45 minutes drive from Domain Jean Coste. The double surrounding walls, 3km long with 52 towers, protected the town from invaders. Roman in origin the medieval city controlled the frontier with Aragon. (Photo: Fran West)


2. Canal du Midi

The Canal du Midi, near Domaine Jean Coste B&B guesthouse

Built to connect the Atlantic and Mediterranean, the Canal du Midi  opened for navigation in 1681 as an important transportation and trade route… but now serves mostly as a beautiful spot for a picnic, boat ride, a walk along the shaded towpaths, or to hire a bicycle and go exploring. It is 25 minutes drive from Domain Jean Coste and is also a World Heritage Site. (Photo: Fran West)


3. Cathar Castles Montsegur, a Cathar castle in the south of France

During the 12th and 13th centuries the local people practiced their own branch of Christianity called Catharism. The Catholic Church considered this to be a heresy and set out to destroy it and all who practiced it. In the Aude the Cathars were given the use of many castles, or chateaux, as headquarters by local sympathisers.  There are several Cathar castles near Domain Jean Coste; the spectacular Chateau Montségur is especially worth a visit. (Photo: Roel Schroeven)


4. Traditional French country markets

French country market in Mirepoix, near Domaine Jean Coste

The people of the region  buy fresh produce, cheese, meats and other household needs at traditional open-air markets. Two of the nicest near Domain Jean Coste are in Mirepoix (15 minutes drive away, open Mondays, shown above) and the exquisite thousand-year-old market at Revel (40 minutes drive away, open Saturday) -- as seen on Rick Stein's TV show.

5. Taste cassoullet in Castelnaudary

Cassoulet, a traditional Occitan dish served around Castelnaudury

The region is famous for the traditional Languedoc dish, cassoulet — with Castelnaudary, the cassoulet capital, only 30 minutes drive from Domain Jean Coste. A casserole of haricot beans, duck, goose or pork with Toulouse sausage, it is best enjoyed with a glass of local Malepère wine,  (recently awarded its own AOC designation). (Photo: Phillip Capper)

6. The spectacular Pyrénées

A peaceful spot in the Pyrenees, near Domaine Jean Coste B&B guesthouse

If the views of the Pyrénées from your guest room and our outdoor terrace pique your interest, an easy hour's drive will take you high into the Pyrenées, where you can enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding countryside from Chioula. While there, we recommend a visit to the thermal baths at Ax-les-thermes. (Photo: Elsa Barthes)

7. A circulade, or circular village

La circulade de Bram, a circular village in the south of France

The Languedoc-Roussillon is famous for its circulade medieval villages, constructed in a unique arrangement of concentric circles on a hilltop, to make it difficult for invaders to get into the village. There are many within easy driving distance of Domaine Jean Coste, including Bram (20 minutes drive away), Laserre (25 minutes drive away) and many others. (Photo: Conseil Général de l'Aude)

8. Mediterranean

The charming seaside village of Gruissan, on the Meditteranean in France

A picturesque hour's drive will take you to the sparkling Mediterranean Sea, where you can take a dip or simply stroll around the charming seaside villages. Gruissan (above) is especially pretty, and offers many local festivals over the summer months. (Photo: Vicki Burton)

9. Local festivals

There are interesting small local festivals on every month — indeed, almost every week — of the year. You may like to come for the Apple Festival in Mirepoix in October; Carnevale in Limoux from January until Easter; the Easter jazz weekend in Mirepoix… or one of the many others on offer.

10. The original French sparkling wine, Blanquette

Blanquette, the original French sparkling wine, from Limoux in the south of France

In 1531 the monks of the Monastry of St Hilaire near Limoux discovered the process to make sparkling wine, which they named blanquette. A century later DomPerignon visited the monastery and was introduced to the process which he took back north to the Champagne region.  At Domaine Jean Cost, we serve blanquette produced by the Guinot family, of Limoux  who once supplied the court of the Tsars of Russia, the Romanoff family. (Photo: Stephanie Watson)

BONUS: Fields of sunflowers (in July) Field of sunflowers near Domaine Jean Coste B&B guesthouse in the south of France

Visitors who come to Domaine Jean Coste in July will also get to see the famous fields of sunflowers, grown by farmers to produce sunflower oil. There are, however, picturesque rural sights to enjoy year-round, including fields of wild poppies in June and snow in winter. (Photo: Fran West)

"Easy access to amazing historic towns and cities like Mirepoix and Carcassonne. It's also close to the magnificent Pyrennees."

Tourist18022011; Falkirk, UK. review

"A great place to stay & experience the hospitality of southern France. Thank you, a memorable experience."

Peter; Perthshire, UK.

"Jean Coste was a good centre for touring and Alan our host was superb in guiding us and giving us the local history."

Sheila083; Cork, Ireland. review

"A perfect base to explore Fontfroide, Carcassonne, Mirepoix, Montsegur, Lac Montbel and Camon, and a lot of other fascinating places which we didn't have time to see. Catriona and Alan are a mine of information on the history and customs of a wide neighbourhood."

Bill & Patricia; Surrey, UK.