The communes of the Minervois share a rich history and offer diverse landscapes. There are 65 towns, villages and hamlets so there’s plenty to explore; many of these villages have intriguing historic or geological curiosities with a rich diversity of landscapes and activities.
At the heart of the Minervois is the Cathar stronghold of Minerve, officially classified as one of France’s most beautiful villages.
Parc de Lignieres lies in the middle of the small, and tranquil village of Trausse Minervois with its 10th century tower and 12th century church. The village itself is within walking distance of the Montaine Noir. It was from these mountains that the Maquis launched attacks on the Germans during WWII. Wild boar can be found in the mountains and a wide variety of bird life. The mountains are excellent for mountain biking and picnics amongst the vines or cycling through the local villages are always a family favourite.
Trausse village is not very big, it has only 450 inhabitants, but there are lots of interesting alleyways and paths to explore through the village. It is ideal for hide & seek! Outside the village there are vines everywhere, but depending on the season you will also come across fig trees, almonds, olives and cherries. This part of the Languedoc is famous for cherries and there are cherry orchards in the area.
The village has a post office, library, and a well equipped grocery shop where you can buy most things including bread, milk, cheese and wine. The local baker and butcher also visit the village frequently and you can buy directly from their vans in the square. The van drives past the front gate of the house and you simply flag it down and buy your bread. There is a Carrefour supermarket in nearby Peyriac-Minervois where you can get the bulk of your shopping done.
The restaurant La table des Vignerons is excellent, has a bar, and is within easy walking distance. There are tennis courts in the village, please bring your racquets.
Caunes Minervois is a pretty little town famous for its ancient 8th Century Abbey and annual sculpture competition using the famous red marble that is produced locally. There is a typical town centre bar to sit and watch the world go by, try finding the ‘original outside urinal’ and try spotting how much pink marble you can see around the town. The town centre bar ‘La Grande Fountaine’ has tables outside. There are several potteries, shops, restaurants and a bank. The Abbey is beautiful and worth a tour. It is often the venue for music festivals during the summer.
You can visit the very pretty Notre Dame church which is also positioned at the start of an exciting walk through a valley where you can rock climb. The walk itself begins with a traverse beside a stream on ropes fixed to the rock wall.
Peyriac Minervois is another town close by, only 2km away and with a good selection of shops, a great bakery and good pharmacist. There are two supermarkets, a baker, and a chemist and you can get petrol and diesel at the new service station. There is also a brand new indoor pool, Les Bains de Minerve which is excellent.