Friendly Chambres d'Hotes/Bed & Breakfast
Stay at ‘Arques-en-Ciel’, nestling in the heart of the historic village of Arques, with its own Cathar Chateau! Spend time exploring and relaxing in this lovely, tranquil area of Languedoc Roussillon with its wealth of historic villages and heritage sites. Brimming with vineyards, mountains, lakes and rivers - set amidst forests and countryside of exceptional natural beauty. All here for you to discover and enjoy from the comfort of my friendly chambres d’hotes/bed and breakfast accommodation.
Arques is a small, idyllic and unique village, situated between Couiza and Narbonne on the D613 in the foothills of the Pyrenees.
The village has its own boulangerie/grocery, post office, Cathar museum, horse-riding facilities, tennis court (free for our visitors) and a bar/restaurant, ‘The Arques Roc Cafe’. There is also a lake on the outskirts of the village for a perfect picnic!
From the Mediterranean to the Pyrenees, the Aude Cathar Country possesses a large variety of landscapes and prestigious historical sites in an area of natural outstanding beauty.
In spectacular locations, innumerable hilltop Cathar Castles pepper the area, with a fascinating history dating back as far as the 11th century. They are a continuing reminder of the bitter feuding between the French nobility (representing the Catholic Church) and the Cathar religion. Although the castles are largely ruins today, they have fabulous settings and provide an ideal day out exploring and a bit of exercise - as many of the castles have very steep climbs to reach them! Visit the amazing Arques Chateau and Donjon at the entrance to the village.
Both road and rail follow the magnificent River Aude, skirting the miniscule thermal resort of Alet-les-Bains - a 12th century town with its half-timbered houses and the ruined cathedral. A lovely place to visit and especially for a cooling swim in the outdoor, natural spa-water pool! Nearby Rennes-les-Bains also has an outdoor swimming pool with naturally-heated spa-water!
The views alone are spectacular but one reason for the excursion is to visit the mysterious parish church run by Abbe Sauniere from 1885 until 1910. He was suspended because of his inability to explain how he financed his comfortable lifestyle and the lavish restoration work on the church. The church is full of veiled symbols and secret codes, which, some say, indicate that he had discovered the lost treasure of Solomon, brought here by the Visigoths in the fifth century. The inspiration for the ‘Da Vinci Code’ and treasure-seekers!
Medieval City of Carcassonne
A visit to this area would not be complete without a day-out to this fabulous UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This is truly the ideal location for the perfect holiday, whether you’re house-hunting, relaxing or enjoying the local activities! Hope to see you soon....
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This page was last updated: 29 May 2011