The tranquil town of Montréal is situated on a hill in Lauragais in the south of France. The surrounding region is called Pays de la Cocagne (eng. “Cockaigne”) by the locals and is characterized by a Mediterranean climate and a picturesque, slightly hilly landscape. This area offers many interesting excursion destinations for culture and history enthusiasts, but also for nature lovers and gourmets, who can look forward to fine wines and delicious specialties.
Probably the most beautiful attraction in Lauragais is the Canal du Midi, a UNESCO World Heritage site, which runs through the picturesque landscape. It can be reached by houseboat or hiking and cycling along the banks. If you want to take a boat trip along the famous waterway, there are plenty of berths in the area which offer boats for rent. By the way, a driving licence is not necessary for this great holiday pleasure; the boat owner gives some short instructions and off you go!
Just a few kilometers west of Montréal is the small town of Fanjeaux right in the center of the Malepère wine region. This town was important in the Middle Ages and gained wealth through the cultivation of glastum, which is still reflected in some splendid sacred buildings today, such as the Gothic church of Notre Dame and the Dominican monastery. In the cloister are ruins of a building believed to have been the site of the so-called Fanjeaux fire miracle. The viewpoint of Le Seignadou is worth a visit and offers a magnificent view of the surrounding idyllic countryside.
It is essential to visit the town of Carcassonne less than 20 kilometers away, which is one of the most famous sights in France. The Cité of Carcassonne is a medieval fortified town surrounded by mighty walls and in terms of size and state of preservation rather unique for Europe. It attracts nearly 4 million visitors every year and has often served as a backdrop for films. Montréal also has churches worth seeing such as the former cathedral and today's Basilica St. Nazaire-St. Celse and interesting museums. In the old town there are romantic cafés and recommendable restaurants that spoil their guests with delicacies of the excellent southern French cuisine.
A trip to Toulouse, about 80 kilometers away, is very worthwhile for all those who stay in Montréal. The fourth largest city of France, also known as “pink city” because of its many red brick buildings, is full of impressive buildings like the cathedral Saint Etienne, pretty patrician houses and varied museums. Toulouse, which is surrounded by a lot of water due to its location at the Garonne and the Canal du Midi, also offers a variety of shops. In the restaurants of the city, delicacies like cassoulet and magret de canard (duck breast with green beans) are served.
Montpellier, with its lively old town and beautiful gardens, is also worth a trip. A nice destination for nature lovers and families is the Lac de la Cavayere near Carcassonne. The turquoise blue lake is surrounded by a Mediterranean landscape with picnic areas, beach volleyball courts, bouncy castles and other attractions for all ages. A visit to one of the many wineries of the Malèpere region is also a must during a stay in southern France. Here you can taste some of the finest wines with full-bodied aroma.
You can start a trip on a bike through a unique and scenically very versatile landscape directly from your house. Whether along the Canal du Midi between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean or to the Montagne Noir, you will surely find a suitable route. We will be happy to provide you with a pick-up service for your bikes according to your individual plans in order to make your trip as pleasant as possible. You will receive detailed information on the individual routes from us personally on site.
In just one hour you can reach the Mediterranean Sea at Narbonne. Here, you can enjoy wonderful day trips to the famous beaches and hotspots of Leucat and Narbonne for bathing, surfing or beach hiking.