Day trip around Narbonne

There are so many things to see and do around Narbonne. It’s jam-packed with incredible hills, garrigues, lagoons, lakes, historical and natural heritage! Your day trip starts with a morning soaking up Fontfroide Abbey before you walk on water then go on a journey to the centre of the earth!!

Let's go!

Montredon-des-Corbières

12 km - 15 minutes

It’s time to start the day and hit the road to Montredon-des-Corbières (approx. 15min drive – 12km).
“Les Chocolatiers Cathares” a mouth-watering world of chocolate and confectionary.
Indulge your sweet tooth on the L’Epopée du Cacao guided tour and join a chocolatier on an adventure into their world. Learn everything there is to know about the history of cocoa, get to grips with a few professional techniques and keep a close eye on the products they use here: most of them are local.

Tour highlight
Class for sweet lovers of all ages! Take your creations home (book ahead).

Specifications

Full itinerary

75km loop from Narbonne
(Check the map)

Average length

1 day

Audience

Anyone

Payable admissions

3

Themes

Heritage – Culture – Local Area – Nature

Les Chocolatiers cathares, Montredon des Corbières

Fontfroide Abbey

10 km - 15 minutes

Let’s head back on our way (around 15 minutes – 10km) towards the Massif de Fontfroide and its Abbey. Fontfroide Abbey is an unspoilt sight for sore eyes nestled deep in the moutain range. 

Abbaye de Fontfroide, le massif, crédit Vincent Photographie
Narbonne, abbaye de fontfroide et massif ©Rogier Fackeldey-Abbaye de Fontfroide

It plays host to incredible art blending sharp and austere Cistercian architecture with majestic scenery. Explore the abbey church with its fabulous modern stained-glass windows, cloister, 12th century chapter room, buildings for monks and lay brothers that are all wonderfully preserved.

The abbey also has a fantastic rose garden and terraced grounds which set the scene for a whole host of events throughout the year: the International Orchid Festival, Fontfroide Plant and Mountain Festival. There’s also the Music and History Festival and Fontfroide Nights (an unmissable sound and light show in July and August).

Book your tour online.

Explore the must-see site at your own pace: Visit the abbey with a tablet and headset on a multimedia tour! Just ask at reception. Stroll around the cloister, soak up the sprawling rose garden and drink in the terraced grounds.

Abbaye de Fontfroide, vitraux, crédit Vincent Photographie

Fontfroide Abbey has been home to vineyards for over 900 years; Cistercian monks planted the first rootstocks on the foothills.

Visit the tasting cellar to sample their premium local wine and food and explore Fontfroide Abbey’s wine in the old wine cellar.

Dégustation de vin au caveau de Fontfroide ©Rogier Fackeldey-Abbaye de Fontfroide

Highlight

Sample their terroir’s signature “Fruit, Finesse and Fresh”

Abbaye de Fontfroide, Le Restaurant de Fontfroide ©Abbaye de Fontfroide

It’s time for lunch. We suggest a gourmet meal at the abbey.
Head to the old sheepfold where you’ll find La Table de Fontfroide. The interior is in keeping with the location. It radiates peace and calm with understated furnishings. It feels like a monastery. There are huge vaults in the dining room. Chef Yohan takes you back to medieval times with his dishes; the Mediterranean takes pride of place on the menu too. Medieval and modern come together in the most sophisticated style.

Have you sated your appetite for peace and vitality? It’s time to head to the village of Bages (approx. 20 minutes – 19km)

Among the lakes and lagoons

Bages village

19 km - 20 minutes

Prepare to be blown away by the views in Bages, a fishing village that clings to its rock overlooking the lake deep in Narbonnaise en Méditerranée Regional Nature Park. Wind through the steep lanes and explore the pretty little village. Gaze at the sundial gate which was once the only way into the old village.

Bages is home to contemporary studios and art galleries too so be sure to pay them a visit.

vue de Narbonne et Bages depuis l'étang de Sigean, crédit J. Belondrade
The fishermen reign over the lakeside. You may spot them untangling their nets in their huts. Carry on over the pontoon and stop after a few steps… Bask in the unobstructed views of the hilltop village with the Pyrenees in the background.

Peyriac de Mer village

6 km - 10 minutes

Hit the road and visit another lakeside village on Doul: Peyriac de Mer (approx. 10 minutes – 6km) which we may just as well call “The place to walk on water.”
Balade le long de l'étang de Bages à Peyriac de Mer ©Pierre Davy-ADT de l'Aude

Peyriac de Mer, take a break

Play Video
Balade sur l'étang du Doul ©Pixabay

Walk on water

Take the pontoon onto the secure path. You can do some or all of the 5km walk, it’s suitable for all ages.

A stroll amongst the garrigue and lake is pure joy. Cross the salt marsh and join the lake’s flamingos, wild ducks and birds. The perfect place to spot the local wildlife!

If you’re feeling brave, explore the lakeside paths and seek out Doul’s little beach. You can take a dip (the water is very salty!) and float like you’re in the Dead Sea…

In the footsteps of the Knights Templar

After your walk on water, wander the village lanes and squares to find doors and windows that bear the marks of the Templar Cross… Find the highest point and drink in views of the Golfe Antique, Ile de l’Aute and Ile de la Planasse.

Trade boats came in from the sea to Narbonne via Doul Lake in Roman times. Hence the name Golfe Antique (Ancient Gulf). It’s jam-packed with history.

Peyriac de Mer is home to unspoilt nature, endless views and incredible light that transform the landscapes throughout the day.

Let’s hit the road again to Portel des Corbières (around 10 minutes – 7 km) – Terra Vinéa.

Fontaine du village de Peyriac de mer ©Pixabay
Port Mahon sur l'étang de Sigean, crédit Nomah

Experience

All-Nature kayak trip on the lagoons

1 day

Find out more

Narbonne, abbaye de fontfroide, vue panoramique, massif

Experience

Heritage, nature and serenity at Fontfroide Abbey

1 day

Find out more

Terra Vinéa, Portel des Corbières, le petit train

A journey to the centre of the earth

Portel-des-Corbières village

7 km - 10 minutes

You’ve walked on water; now it’s time for “a journey to the centre of the earth”. Hop on the Terra Vinea Express and experience the Languedoc garrigue before you venture into the leafy corridor which leads to the biggest underground cellar in the South of France.

Feast your eyes on the sound and light show at the end of the corridor before you head to the underground cathedral and its network of arcades. The displays introduce you to winemaking and vine growing through the ages.

After your great escape in history, heritage, culture and nature, it’s time to head back to Narbonne: 20km – 25-30 minute drive

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