The best of Cathar Country

The Pays Cathare® label ( which means "Cathar Country" ) was created in 1992.
Owned by the Aude departmental council and registered with the INPI (National Institute for Industrial Property), it is used by some 900 organisations in a wide range of sectors in tourism, agriculture, wine-making and food processing, not forgetting local craftsmen and a significant number of organisations in the catering industry.
What brings these diverse entities together under a single label is their adherence to a set of requirements that guarantee their authentic origins and testify to their know-how and quality standards.
Today, the Pays Cathare® label groups professionals under four broad categories.

Art craftsmen and winegrowers

Craftsman

The art of good reception, is one of the things you will discover in these craftsmen and winegrowers, who will lead you warmly in their workshop or wine warehouse to tell you with passion about how they create, whether it's an art object or wine.

Art craftsmen

Art craftsmen of the Pays Cathare are talented professionals, holders of a unique know-how and passionate designers. Their enthusiasm along with their perfect command of their art, lead to truly authentic and original pieces of art.
Strongly attached to their territory and their trade, they are as ambassadors who will know how to welcome you and share with you a privileged time in their workshop.
Painter of popular pictures, jewellery designer, stylist, ceramicist, woodworkers, stone cutters, they all share common values, dear to the quality approach of Pays Cathare, the quality, the origin and the authenticity of know-how. 

Wine tasting cellars

Winegrowers share with you their culture, their art of living and secrets of their territories. Their wine tasting cellars are the expression of a diversity of lands, of the quality of a know-how. The ambiance that you will find there, is part of the history of these men and women, passionate about their trade, who elaborate season after season, wines of great quality. They welcome you in the heart of their lands.

Activities and Discovery

Castel

Whether you have a thirst for culture, a need for nature, a taste for thrill, the will to go back to earth, the Pays Cathare offers you a wide range of activities and visits to fullfil your expectations.
As a couple, among friends or family, in the company of a skilled guide, you can live a new life experience. The guides mission is to ensure that you understand this land, its history, its landscapes, its culture, its know-how, its traditions.

The « Sites Pôles » (outstanding sites) of the Pays Cathare

The Pays Cathare's heart is deep in the South : its identity is a patchwork, a contrasted land, shaped with History, which invites you to multiple journeys.
Medieval castles and Romanesque abbeys are the witnesses of the conflict which opposed, 800 years ago, hunted cathars with orthodox holders.
These exceptional monuments, as an ensemble or as unique pieces, embody the Pays Cathare and represent its past, its present, and of course, its future.

Natural and Cultural Tourist sites

Caves, windmills, museums, promenade boats, tourist trains, are as many activities and sites that invite you to discover an exceptional nature, and this land's history and culture. You will meet passionate professionals who will share with you the treasures and beauty of the sites. Playful and adapted services are offered to families with children.

Outdoor activities

The river Aude constitutes a natural space which offers to nature's lovers, a wide range of white water activities, in a preserved environment. On a path of 170 km, from the Pyrenees to the mouth of the Mediterranean, the integral descent is a paradise for white water activities, in the sites of the gorges of Saint Georges and of Pierre Lys. In its bustling waters torrents, many activities are proposed : canoe, kayak, rafting, white water swimming (hydrospeed). These varied landscapes also offer a great subterranean and aerial playground for activities such as via ferrate, climbing, adventure paths and cavities dedicated to speleology. Professionals are skilled and experienced, aim at a quality service, and they will share their know how and knowledge to make this discovery fabulous and full of surprises.

Guides and Lecturers of the Pays Cathare®

What about discovering Aude, Pays Cathare, with a guide ?
The Pays Cathare and its magnificient landscapes, between sea and moutains.The Pays Cathare with its castles and abbeys. The Pays Cathare with its gastronomy and its wines... It's even better with a lecturer guide of the Pays Cathare !
Guides and lecturers with the label Pays Cathare, are certified ambassadors to Aude's history secrets and heritage.

Gastronomy and flavours

Little girl with basket full of cherries

From the Mediterranean sea to the plains of Lauragais and from the Black Mountain to the Pyrenees, Aude's agriculture is shaped with the diversity of climates and lands.

Tasty and fresh products, goods elaborated from noble material with the local know how, guarantee the quality. Fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy products, honeys... a wide range which will ravish your taste buds. With production processes guaranteed, and a little blue lable identifying the quality products sold directly by the producers themselves to local shops.

To taste the products Pays Cathare, restaurant and inn owners from the Pays Cathare welcome you and make you discover, with passion, their specialities; craftsmen and producers, will be happy to share their know how with you.

The shops Pays Cathare offer a wide range of Pays Cathare products, to taste on the premises or take away as gifts. Consuming Pays Cathare products, is a pleasure to be shared; it is also an active support for the local development, as it enables the creation of added value reinvested on the land, to preserve landscapes, jobs and quality of life in our countryside.

To help you, the guide of the brand Pays Cathare

The Agence de Développement Touristique de l’Aude publishes a guide of the brand Pays Cathare, available in all the Tourist Offices and Information Points, as well as each labelled professional. This guide indexes all the professionals of Pays Cathare.