Day trip around Carcassonne

There's so much to do around Carcassonne that the hardest part is choosing. Do you want to explore the surroundings in a short space of time? You've come to the right place! Here's our day trip so you can explore the Minervois vineyard landscapes, history and natural heritage in outstanding sites as well as the local food and drink scene!
Caunes-Minervois, fontaine

Let's go!

Caunes Minervois's village

22 km - 30 minutes

It’s time to start the day and hit the road to Caunes-Minervois (around 30 min drive – 22km).
There are lots of reasons why this medieval village among the vines is famous: its architecture, wine, abbey and marble!
Have a lovely stroll on the cobbled lanes and gaze at the Renaissance houses, doorways, windows and fountains.

Full itinerary

60km loop, start and end in Carcassonne
(Check the map)

Average length

1 day



Payable admissions


Caunes Minervois 2005 vue village

The red marble village

You’ll be amazed to see red marble sculptures and landmarks as you explore. The village is home to quarries that were excavated from Antiquity onwards and you can visit them today. The blood-red marble was used to build prestigious monuments including the Château de Versailles and Opéra Garnier in Paris!

Caunes minervois safari carriere marbre
Visite de l'Abbaye de Caunes-Minervois et son chevet ©Philippe Benoist-ADT de l'Aude

Crypts, cloisters and benedictines

The benedictine abbey is a must-visit in the village: the church and its opulent marble interior, cloister and crypt are open all year. The buildings also host permanent and temporary exhibitions. The often original exhibitions are popular with all ages as the abbey works with the Belgian Comic Strip Center (Spirou, The Smurfs etc.). Part of the tour includes a unique experience: a 360° film of the abbey with a virtual reality headset! The film lasts a dozen minutes and gives you a unique overview of the abbey’s history…

Our suggestions:

It’s time for lunch and you have two options to choose from:
An on-site tapas bar in the vicar’s garden (original!) or a more traditional restaurant under the plane trees. If you’d rather get back on the road then head to Villeneuve-Minervois (6km – 10 min drive)!


Find out more

Once you’ve recharged your batteries, have a post-lunch stroll around the village home to medieval ramparts then take a tour to learn everything there is to know about the Tuber Melanosporum, the black truffle! Unlock the secrets of the Black Diamond at La Maison de la Truffe.

The educational, interactive and fun-filled tour (children’s workshops) ends with a trip to the gift shop so you can take home local produce and unique recipes!

villeneuve-minervois, maison de la truffe

Did you know? 

Truffles have always been grown in Aude.

Cabrespine gouffre passerelle verre

Cabrespine's village and its big cave

7 km - 15 minutes

It’s time for a change of scene: explore the Montagne Noire on a road winding along the Gorges de la Clamoux. Make a beeline for one of the biggest cave attractions in the world and one of the most beautiful in Europe (7km – 15 minute drive).

As soon as you step into the Gouffre Géant de Cabrespine, you’ll be blown away by the sheer size of the 80m wide and 250m deep cave. You’ll feel so small! Experience the glass walkway over the abyss, “Belvédère des Disques” vista, underground river and thrills! Kids love it! Explore at your own pace and end with a mind-blowing sound and light show!

Back to Carcassonne: 25km – 45 minute drive.

Adventure-seekers :
don't miss out on the Accro Grotte de Cabrespine

Put on your wetsuit, helmet and headtorch and you're ready for an amazing 5 hour adventure in the river deep in the cave.

Need to recharge?

Electric charging stations are available in some towns in the Aude region.

Les points de recharge électrique dans l'Aude ©Pixabay - andreas160578