Mysteries of the esoteric triangle

Rennes le Chateau 1 day

Marie Magda ©OT du Limouxin

Expérience recommandée par Marie Magda
Office de Tourisme Limouxin

Take a deep dive into a mysterious land peppered with Catharism, unsolved riddles and exciting intrigues… Search for the hidden treasure in Rennes le Château, travel back in time in Rennes les Bains, feast your eyes on the legendary Bugarach peak and its magnetic appeal… Excitement awaits in the esoteric triangle!

01 Highlight

Enigmatic Rennes le Château

A land of legends

The spellbinding road slowly ascends. The road leads to a mystical land where history and legend come together. Rennes le Château may be mysterious, but it’s exciting too! Nine villages take pride of place, basking in the golden Southern French sunshine. The limestone peak of Pech de Bugarach is the cherry on the cake when it comes to breathtaking views.
There’s not a cloud in the sky… it’s going to be a good day! 

Vue sur le Pech de Bugarach depuis le point panoramique à Rennes le Château © Raphaël Kann
La Tour Magdalla domine Rennes le Château © Raphaël Kann

A village with a turbulent history

An odd tower overlooks the valley as you go into Rennes le Château… Venture deeper and you’ll find a villa, orange grove and lovingly restored church.
An intriguing 19th century country priest called Abbot Saunière has left pockets of his wealth in the village. Where did he get his money from?
Follow the clues… to find the hidden treasure.

02 Highlight

Mystic hallucinations

"Terribilis est locus iste"

Your spine tingles and your heart races as you decipher the inscription over the door: “this place is terrible“… Goodness! Be brave! Take a deep breath and step into Marie Madeleine Church. The scent of incense catches you by surprise as it seeps into the atmosphere and your lungs… then suddenly you can’t move… you’re hallucinating! Is your mind playing tricks on you? No! It’s real! 

Cimetière de Rennes le Château et tombe de l'Abbé Saunière © Raphaël Kann

The ghostly face with horrified blue eyes, the terrified open mouth… The devil watches you with a stoup in hand.

Delve deeper and strange colourful murals grab your attention… They’re bursting with clues… it’s up to you to solve them!

 Dan Brown, Da Vinci Code

“All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.”

le diable dans l'église de Rennes le Château ©Sandra Fastre, ADT de l'Aude
Tour Magdalla dans le domaine de l'abbé Saunière à Rennes le Château © Raphaël Kann

 

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Ecole de kitesurf Glisse et Kite

LA FABULEUSE CHASSE AU TRÉSOR DE RENNES-LE-CHATEAU

RENNES-LE-CHATEAU

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Stéphanie whisks you away on exciting adventures: the hunt for the mysterious treasure in Rennes le Château, escape rooms in Alet les Bains prison; the Nébias green labyrinth and its magical forest… you’re spoilt for choice. One thing’s for sure: you’re in for an epic day out!
Follow the guide!

03 Highlight

Following in the footsteps of Abbot Saunière

A sea of sights and scents

A sea of colour washes over you as you drink in abstract art: yellow, red and purple waves froth up and whisk you away as contorted foliage bring the marble altar to life… it’s the ultimate in opulence!
Abbot Saunière’s private chapel is a sight for sore eyes.

Chapelle privée de l'abbé Saunière à Rennes le Château © Raphaël Kann
Sur les traces de l'abbé Saunière à Rennes le Château © Raphaël Kann

On the hunt for clues

The villa, the museum…
Wander here and there. The orange grove’s heady aromas make you want to settle down and relax… The riddles make you want to mull things over…
How are you going to unlock this captivating mystery?

Head to the Musée Domaine de l’Abbé Saunière.

Like a figurehead

Now, Tour Magdala looms over you amongst an army of leafy shrubs and resinous trees.

The beautifully-sculpted tower is hiding some precious clues too…

Tour Magdalla, tête de proue du domaine de l'abbé Saunière à Rennes le Château © Raphaël Kann
Flânerie dans une librairie ésotérique à Rennes le Château © Raphaël Kann
Flânerie dans une librairie ésotérique à Rennes le Château © Raphaël Kann

A little help to solve the mystery

Are the clues coming together? Are things making sense now?
Shops selling esoteric items have all kinds of books about legends in this part of Aude and its turbulent past… just dig around and you’ll find a rare gem!

Smooth... fragrant... magical!

A stream of vanilla-scented freshness bursts on your palate… This artisan sheep milk ice cream and its explosion of flavours is your reward for a morning of hard work.
Once you’ve recharged your batteries with an indulgent break at Le Jardin de Marie under the magnificent chestnut tree, let’s dive back into the uncharted esoteric kingdoms… It’s time for a new chapter of your exciting day out to begin!

Terrasse ombragée du restaurant le Jardin de Marie à Rennes le Château ©OT du Limouxin

04 Highlight

Water spells

Travel back in time!

The perfectly sculpted geometric Roman baths in Rennes-les-Bains whisper the town’s imperial glory days.
The old stones ooze history and seep you in the mysteries of a healing freshwater valley… It’s like going back in time…

Alignement de façades le long de la Sals à Rennes les Bains © Raphaël Kann
Jardins publics à Rennes les Bains © CAUE Aude

“The hot springs in Rennes-les-Bains chant their water spells, strange stones stand deep in untamed nature and wonder, daylight pierces through the trees and illuminates the forest in a mystical glow. Go with the flow, soak up the atmosphere and experience adventure…”
Maria Magda, Limouxin Tourist Information, mystery lover

New!

For the first time in France, investigate at the crime scene of the unsolved Abbot Gélis mystery. Join Stéphanie and be part of the brand new adventure.

Cold case au presbytère de l'Abbé Gélis à Coustaussa © Stéphanie Buttegeg

Undines and love fountains

Between Rennes les Bains and Sougraigne, La Sals’ streams form huge natural terraced lakes linked together by waterfalls or “love fountains”.
Legend has it that undines visited the banks and lovers who bathed here together saw their love last a lifetime.

Moment de détente aux bains doux, à Rennes les Bains © JL Socquet Juglard

05 Highlight

Bugarach, Pech at the world's end

Supernatural beauty

The Pech is an impressive earthy portal that overlooks a dense and fertile forest.
Light… dark… light… a late afternoon procession of clouds casts its shadows on the village of Bugarach. It’s beautiful, peaceful and supernatural.
You won’t be able to resist the draw of the legendary peak. You may feel lost but you’ll find yourself once you’re at the top…

Randonnée à pied en direction du Pech de Bugarach © Raphaël Kann
Faune de l'Aude, le Gypaète barbu ©Gerhard Gellinger-Pixabay

“It’s common to see the griffon vulture flying over the Pech. There’s actually an observatory at the foot of the Falconnière cliff deep in this environmentally sensitive area.
In spring, wild orchids, Corbières gentians and Pyrenean lilies bloom on the paths and dazzle hikers… it’s a sight for sore eyes” 
Maria Magda, Limouxin Tourist Information, ever-drawn to Bugarach

Bugarach, a magnetic saga

Bugarach is an inverted plateau with powerful magnetism that seems to have been created by a giant. The mountain appears out of nowhere and is in countless legends.
Look out for UFOs! Bugarach is apparently an alien garage…
As the only spot on Earth expected to survive a Mayan prophecy for the end of the world, Bugarach is paradise regained…
Most importantly, climbing to the top of the legendary peak is an absolute must-do.

Randonnée à Bugarach sur le Sentier cathare © Raphaël Kann

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Aspheries

MUSÉE DOMAINE L'ABBÉ SAUNIÈRE

Museums RENNES-LE-CHATEAU

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LA FABULEUSE CHASSE AU TRÉSOR DE RENNES-LE-CHATEAU

Cultural activities RENNES-LE-CHATEAU

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SOULA DE LA HILLE

Furnished accommodation BUGARACH

From 46€ per night

Getting here

By car

You need to drive to get the best from the experience. To get to our start point in Rennes le Chateau, drive south for 1 hour on the D118 from Carcassonne. Limoux, the capital of Blanquette, is your halfway point.

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Something to take home

Blanquette de Limoux

Blanquette de Limoux is the world's first sparkling wine and has been made for generations in this land. Visit a winemaker, taste it and indulge your senses.

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