Lakes & Rivers

Lac Cavayère

Lac CavayèreLake Cavayère (also known as ‘Carcassonne Beach’) is fifteen minutes’ drive from Domaine les Hirondelles, close to the imposing walls of the medieval ‘Cité’ of Carcassonne.

Created in 1985 following devastating forest fires, an area of 40 hectares covering three small valleys was transformed into a gorgeous park with a manmade lake and leisure activities.

The park is perfect for walks, on which you will encounter a wealth of different landscapes including a duck-nesting island. You will also find picnic areas, pedalos, mini-golf, beach volleyball courts, horse riding and a treetop adventure climbing park. There are two beaches, one sandy, one with pebbles, which are suitable for swimming and have a lifeguard present during the summer. Sailing and boating on the lake is also available. During the summer there is a giant inflatable slide obstacle course in the centre of the lake which provides hours of fun for older children.

Lac de Jouarres

Lac JouarresA very round man-made lake that is popular with windsurfers, due to the often high winds. It is situated close to the town of Hompsand the Canal du Midi. There is a sailing club there. There is clean, clear water with plenty of beach all around the lake. The pebbles on the beach provide endless hours of fun for children and adults alike. How far can you skim stones across the lake’s calm surface?

Lac de l’Alaric

This is s small, hidden gem just outside Capendu, nestled in the valley amongst the trees, rather grandly termed a lake. It’s a lovely spot to aim for has picnic tables in an idyllic setting.

Do ask us for directions as it’s not sign-posted.

Bize Minervois – Cesse River

Bize MinervoisBize-Minervois is arguably the prettiest village in the renowned Minervois wine growing area. It is situated on the River Cesse where a natural swimming pool has been created within the bed of the river. The village has a few shops and restaurants and a famous olive mill nearby, where you can buy delicious olive oils and other olive-related products.

Beside the river-pool there is a grassed area and a pebbled ‘beach’ with a life guard on duty every day during the summer months. The water is tested by the local authorities and is constantly being refreshed as the river flows downstream. Over the summer there is a small crêperie, with seating, at the edge of the pool.

Lagrasse – Orbier River

LagrasseThe river Orbier flows through the centre of the village and is dammed each summer to create a wonderful swimming ‘pool’ over the summer months. There’s a lifeguard on duty too.

After a trip to the Abbey it’s a nice place to cool down before heading off for lunch in the village of Lagrasse.

Ribaute – Orbier River

La RibauteJust up from Lagrasse on the river Orbier, Ribaute is a tiny village with a pretty stone bridge that crosses the river.

The water is clear, cool and clean, and there are plenty of rocks either side of the river to spread out your towel and sunbathe. There is also a small waterfall nearby which is perfect for kids to play in.

Lac Puivert

Just south of the small village of Puivert, only an hour’s drive from Domaine les Hirondelles, sits this small lake where you can swim, canoe and fish. There’s a large sandy beach with a view of an old tower on the hill opposite and ‘La Buvette’ which serves great tasty outdoor meals. The village itself has a small cafe, should you want a meal, as well as a pretty little church.

You can guarantee cold water swimming, even on the hottest summer’s day.  As a result it’s very popular with locals when it’s hot.

Behind the beach is the tennis court, badminton court and the boule-o-drome. Gliding on the Puivert plain is possible, as is horse riding.  Puivert is a destination point for hikers drawn to the area by 190 kilometres of marked trails. Cycling, mountain-biking and walking is ideal for naturalists and photographers.

Roquebrun – River Orb

RoquebrunRoquebrun is one ofLanguedoc’s (andFrance’s) prettiest villages, sitting just above the river and a weir. It is just over an hour and a half drive from Capendu, but really worth the effort and a fabulous day out with all the family.

The Orb is a lovely river with a pebble floor so the water stays very clear. The weir at Roquebrun provides a lovely shallow space to swim in and there’s hardly any current at all.  Beyond the weir, older children can dive deeper and enjoy the current. There’s also a great canoe centre here.

Take a picnic or enjoy the food in one of the restaurants in the village overlooking the river (“Le Petit Nice” is particularly good). There is also an amazing Mediterranean garden to visit, although it’s quite a walk up hill and perhaps best attempted out of the heat of the day.

Lac Montbel

Lac MontbelLac Montbel is a huge, manmade lake which has everything for the water enthusiast – boating, kayaking and fishing as well as lovely walks and pony trekking. It is served by a restaurant overlooking the lake and a snack-bar/pizzeria where you can have a drink and watch the beautiful sunsets. It is just over an hour’s drive from Carcassonne.