Aude in brief

Aude takes its name from the river running through this department in the region of Occitanie. Stretching between Toulouse and Montpellier, Aude is bordered by the Mediterranean on its eastern side, the Montagne Noire (Black Mountain) in the north, and the Pyrenees to the south. From the Mediterranean Sea to the mountains of the Pyrenees, an extraordinary patchwork of landscapes invites visitors to meet the local people, share their party spirit and admire the Cathar Country heritage.


Lapradelle-puilaurens, chateau

Upper Aude Valley

A region of dizzying gorges, hillside vineyards and Pyrenean peaks. Perfect for hikers and white water enthusiasts.

Mystery and legend surround the villages of Bugarach and Rennes-le-Château.

You’ll find a party atmosphere in Limoux, which bathes in the warmth of its carnival and the local Blanquette!

Upper Aude Valley

Leucate, vue sur la mer


The “Citadelles du Vertige” tower over the beautiful Corbières wilderness, a heavenly region for hikers, cyclists and mountain bikers.

The Canal du Midi winds its way between the vineyards of Minervois.

Narbonne, with its outstanding historical heritage, is right by the beaches, family resorts and watersport spots that attract kitesurfers and windsurfers from across the world. The lagoons and natural spaces are protected within the regional nature park.


Carcassonnais Lauragais

Whether you’re exploring the Canal du Midi by bike or canal boat, the UNESCO site of Carcassonne is an absolute must, just like the Canal itself.

The Montagne Noire towers over the region’s majestic forests and lakes.

Castelnaudary, the capital of Lauragais, the land of hills and windmills, is also famed for its cassoulet.



L'Aude, l'âme sud, what does it mean?

A wealth of climate, heritage and emblematic landscapes, a crossroads of historical influences, a land of cross-fertilisation, an awakening of the senses… The Aude is a promise of a warm and intimate encounter with its landscapes and its people.

A richness that creates pride and an emotional power that unites residents and visitors alike. An emotion that captures the heart and ties you to the land.

This land of rock and water, of nourishing plains and capricious garrigue, needed a name. This land, sculpted over geological time, needed a word, a human word. This area, carpeted with mossy forests and light-flooded vineyards, needed a pretty woman’s name like that of the beautiful Aude” Jean-Pierre Juge – L’Aude au cœur.


Aude is a heavenly place for nature lovers...

This rich countryside is brimming with a huge biodiversity of unique wildlife. Take the time to observe the flamingos, smell the scent of the olive trees, ando walk in the forests of the Montagne Noire or the Pyrenees…

When nature rhymes with exercise!

Aude is a perfect destination for every sports enthusiast. There’s something for everyone, mountain biking, gravel biking, cycle touring, horse riding, rafting, boardsports, kitesurfing, hiking, climbing and much more…

le Canal du Midi, bateaux et vélo ©C. Deschamps, ADT de l'Aude
Visite avec les enfants au Musée des dinosaures à Espéraza ©CCI de Carcassonne

… and heritage seekers!

Very few French departments offer such a wealth of vestiges of the great periods of history. When you’re in Aude, you’re in dinosaur country, you’re visiting the world of the Romans, reliving the saga of the Cathars and discovering the biggest construction of the entire 17th century: the Canal du Midi.
Aude is full of hidden sites and monuments beyond compare, including 2 UNESCO World Heritage features…


A land where life is good and the food is fabulous

Manger un bon Cassoulet au Comte Roger dans la Cité de Carcassonne ©Philippe Benoist-ADT de l'Aude

Besides its cultural heritage, Aude has also retained its culinary traditions throughout the generations. Just stroll through the numerous markets to understand just how much importance is attached to “eating well” in Aude. There’s the Castelnaudary cassoulet of course, oysters and mussels from Leucate or Gruissan, the Cathar Country black truffle, olives, honey, cheese, poultry from the farms of Lauragais, and charcuterie from the Montagne Noire or the Pyrenees…

Those who appreciate wine can follow the wine routes to taste the best wines of Aude’s eight AOC vineyards, direct from the wine estates where the producers extend a friendly welcome in their cellars!

There are many typical villages in Aude, where it’s wonderful to wander between unexpected discoveries, magical sights and secret places… Some villages have close links with literature while others are shrouded in legend and mystery, not forgetting the art and craft villages, the fishing villages, and even one of the most beautiful villages in France…

But Aude is also a great destination for party animals! Between traditional carnivals, classical and contemporary music festivals, theatre festivals and simple village fêtes where it’s all about togetherness, you’re sure to find somewhere to party at any time of year!
Living life Aude-style!

Join the celebrations!!!

Le Festival de la Cité à Carcassonne ©VIlle de Carcassonne