For those who love sightseeing and love to explore, the surrounding area abounds with Cathar Castles, Chateaux, abbeys, villages and wineries, including the Medeival city of Carcassonne, made famous in the Kevin Costner film 'Prince of Theives', the Roman town of Narbonne and the clifftop village of Minerve, 20 minutes away. The village of Lagrasse, in the Corbières,(dubbed one of the prettiest villages in France) with it's narrow cobbled streets, art and craft shops and original old market place, is a 20 minute drive away, and well worth a visit.
If water sports is your passion, there is windsurfing, water skiing and rafting ( just 10 minutes down the road ), Port Leucate (windsurfing, sailing) and canoeing and kayaking just 5 minutes away in Puicheric with organised activities in nearby villages. There are also pedalos and swimming in nearby Olonzac at Lake Jouarres. Narbonne boasts a wonderful sports complex ' Espace Liberté' with an outdoor Olympic pool, 2 indoor pools, an ice skating rink, bowling alley and wonderful buffet restaurant with childrens' play area.
If you just like sport and the outdoor life in general, there is hiking, fishing, cycling, boating, horseriding, golf, karting and just about anything else you can think of !! For the more adventurous there is also rock climbing and canyoning in the Corbières, Gorges de Congoust ( near Montlaur ) and horseriding in Lezignan ( 20 mins ), Carcassonne and several other village centres. There are outdoor go karting tracks at Carcassonne, Perpignan and Lavelanet and both indoor and outdoor tracks at Toulouse.
For sunlovers, there are some very good beaches within a 40 minute drive out toward Narbonnne and Gruissan plage with numerous beachside cafés and seafood restaurants. The Spanish border is only 1.5 hours away and the famous Canal du Midi, a world heritage site, is 2 minutes down the road. .If you prefer quiet swimming holes, there is a picturesque outdoor swilmming hole in the nearby village of Bize Minervois just a 15 minute drive away and further afield in the Corbières at Ribaute and Lagrasse, and the camping site/swimming pool in Lezignan. If you are looking for a spot to take young children, the artificial beach at Lac Jourres is ideal with grass, shallow water and a café.
For local craft markets, and a trip down the Canal du Midi, in a canal boat or 'peniche', the bustling Port of Homps is just a 5 minute drive away. It has an excellent variety of restaurants and some truly fine cuisine.There is nothing as relaxing as sitting back with a glass of wine or a cold beer for a well earned rest after an afternoon walk or cycle along the canal.
If you are visiting in July and Augustit is well worth looking at the programme for the 'Festival of Carassonne' which is known world wide for it's entertainment, music and theatre. On the 14th of July you might be lucky enough to be in town for the spectacular display of fireworks at La Cité - but make sure you book a restaurant in advance as it gets busy!
For those who like shopping for local crafts and fresh produce, their are an abundance of local markets in the area such as Olonzac ( Tuesdays ), Lezignan ( Wednesdays ) and Narbonne ( Thursdays ). The covered Food Hall in Narbonne is especially interesting and well worth seeing for it's typically French atmosphere. Narbonne also has a theatre, and numerous exhibitions plus a complex with 4 cinemas where you can really put your French language skills to the test; Narbonne is lively, with a typical Mediterranean feel and it is great just to walk around and relax at one of the typical French cafés.
If you are a lover of wine then you are in the right place as chateaux and wine domains abound and most have free wine tastings for visitors and will be more than pleased to give you a tour of the winery.
Whether you simply want to chill out and relax, or get about and see as much as you can, in La Redorte and the surrounding area there is so much to see and experience, that you will truly be spoilt for choice.....so come and visit, see for yourself !
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