Search the best hotels in Aude
Aude is one of France's most underexplored departments, in spite of boasting two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a rich history and some of the most beautiful sunswept green landscapes that France has to offer. Known by many as "Cathar Country", the region was once the hotbed of a medieval spiritual revolution - a revolution that was radically egalitarian and liberal by medieval standards - and many of her greatest attractions stand as monuments to this troubled time; from the ruined mountaintop castles of the Pyrenees to the walled fairytale city of Carcassonne. An area rich in vineyards with great hiking spots and numerous cultural spots; our collection of the best places to stay in Aude are perfectly placed to access all this region has to offer.
The revolution of the Cathars might well be one of the most unsung moments of medieval history. From the 12th to the 14th centuries, radical preachers began denouncing the corruption and decadence of the Catholic Church. Jews and homosexuals were tolerated; women were given equal status to men; the material world of money and power were shunned in favour of simplicity; contraception and suicide were relieved of their sinful statuses and the eating of animals was considered morally wrong due to their belief in reincarnation. Naturally, they were mercilessly hounded by both the Church and the Kings of France, and in a series of genocidal wars known as the Albigensian Crusade, their movement was tragically drowned in the backwaters of history.
The castles, towns and cities in Aude stand as bleak and beautiful testaments to this violent past. Carcassonne, for example, the walled fairytale city, was besieged during these struggles and the population was utterly decimated. One of France's most visited castles, she is said to have inspired Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty. Visiting Carcassonne is a must: boasting gorgeous panoramic views of the New Town and the surrounding lands, the walled castle is as haunting as it is beautiful. As you walk beyond the walls you are buried in the sound of medieval plainsong. In the centre of the old walled part of town, you are surrounded by lovely restaurants serving the local delicacy Cassoulet, a beef or mutton-based bean stew.
Narbonne, the other major city in Aude, is more vibrant and less touristy than Carcassonne, though it does have some fantastic museums to feast your eyes on. Formerly a Roman town, it has some delightful street markets, chic boutique cafes and gelato shops. The sights-to-see are plentiful; the enormous cathedral is a marvellous example of early Gothic architecture and is as yet still unfinished, having been originally constructed in the 13th-century. The Archaeological Museum is a treasure trove of archaic artefacts, from Bronze Age swords and arrowheads to marble busts of Roman emperors.
The countryside of Aude is gorgeous. Sunswept and green, filled with vineyards sweeping off into the pale blue horizon of the Pyrenees, it boasts some brilliant hiking spots too. Get yourself to Duilhac, a tiny village in the bosom of the French Pyrenees, and walk the Cathar trail to the mountaintop castle of Peyrepertuse - 800m above the region's vineyards - and marvel at the stunning views. Inhabited since the days of Rome, it was used as a Cathar hideout during the Albigensian Crusade and makes for a tiring but extremely rewarding walk. For something more relaxing, hire a canal boat and gently float down the Canal du Midi. At different junctures, there are lovely little fish restaurants that are ideal for a spot of lunch after a day on the canal.
What not to miss
- Museums: Narbonne has some great museums. For a rich and varied experience, check out the Archaeological Museum for its treasure trove of findings from the Bronze Age to Late Antiquity.
- Churches: the Cathedral of Narbonne, a gigantic and haunting Gothic building originally built in the 13th-century, is a must-see.
- Historic sites: the medieval walled Old Town of Carcassonne seems to have been pulled out of the pages of a fairytale. Utterly spellbinding, it has an extremely well-preserved castle and some gorgeous views from the walls.
- Outdoors: if you like hiking, consider making the long, tiring but very rewarding journey up the Cathar Trail to the top of the mountaintop castle of Peyrepertuse. Or for something more relaxing, hire a canal boat and gently meander down the Canal du Midi.
To be sure you bag a spot at one of the best places to stay in Aude we recommend you plan your trip well in advance.
The best places to stay in Aude
- Hotel du Chateau: set within the ramparts of Carcassonne's castle, it has an old medieval exterior and delightfully contemporary interiors. Pamper yourself in the spoiling spa, unwind on the terraces or in the swimming pool. Pure indulgence.
- 42 Rue Victor Hugo: a beautiful boutique B&B offering 3 apartments with high ceilings and fireplaces, close to the major sights of Carcassonne.
- B&B Demeure Saint Louis: a charming 18th-century guesthouse on the outskirts of Carcassonne, offering 5 elegant rooms decorated in a traditional style. Ideal for local exploring.
- La Bastide Saint Martin: a picturesque sandstone country house with gorgeous sky-blue shutters, offering 15 traditional rooms, an outdoor pool and a sundeck. A great little country escape!
- La Fargo: set within a rural paradise of orchards and rivers, this delightful hotel offers 12 simply-decorated rooms. Ideal for large families.
- Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse: a gorgeous 16th-century turreted castle with 35 elegant rooms, a restaurant with vaulted ceilings and a swimming pool. Ideal for exploring the local Cathar castles.
Value for money
- Chateau de Gramazie: set within a gorgeous building that was once a 9th-century abbey, it offers 12 elegant rooms and a delicious gourmet restaurant. Amazing value for money!
- La Bastide Cabezac: standing between Narbonne and Minervois, offering 12 traditionally-furnished rooms. There is an outdoor pool, sun-terrace and a restaurant serving excellent regional fare.
- Hotel de la Cite: romantic and spellbindingly beautiful, this gorgeous hotel stands within the walls of Carcassonne. A fairytale-like building offering 61 elegant rooms, a swimming pool and a Michelin-star restaurant. Pure luxury.
- Le Domaine d'Auriac: a magnificent property set within a blooming garden, only 10 minutes from Carcassonne, offering 24 rooms decorated in a classical style. Boasting a Michelin-star restaurant and a golf course. A spoiling and regal stay.
For an apartment or villa
- For something self-catered we recommend you search through the options on our partner Booking.com's site which has a wide range of villas and apartments in the nearby area.
- The best time to go is during the summer months: between May and June, the climate is warm and full of sunshine, while July and August are hot and dry, with temperatures averaging at around 30 degrees.
- Fly to Carcassonne Airport and then take a taxi or a bus to your destination.
- If you want to rent a car, contact our partner Rentalcars.
Still not sure?
- Expand your search to include all our properties in neighbouring Pyrenees-Orientales.
- Alternatively, search through the best places to stay in France.
- Or contact one of our Gurus for advice.
Monthly Weather in Aude
Best Hotels in Aude
La Bastide Cabezac Aude 12 rooms from £55Foodies - Nearby is L'Oublio, selling all things made from olives. Visit the Minervois vineyardsSights nearby - Cathar Chateaux, Homps Cathedral and Les Gorges de la CesseGreat walks - Along the Canal du MidiLocal markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - Michelin Travel
Chateau de Gramazie Gramazie, Aude 12 rooms from £58Sights nearby - Carcassonne and much more. It's in the heart of Cathar countryBack to NatureLocal markets - Good for local colour.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoor
This tastefully converted chateau, once a 9th Century Abbey, has 12 elegant contemporary rooms, including 2 family suites. The restaurant serves good classic French cuisine made with quality local products and accompanied by the best wines of the region. A chic retreat after a day exploring. See More
Domaine de Capies Pomy, Aude 4 rooms from £52Great walks - Excellent walking routes in the surrounding wine country.Local markets - Explore the bustling local market of Pomy.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoor
Villa Ambrosia Narbonne 5 rooms from £61Total relaxation - Relax in the villa's gorgeous gardens or lounge by its two pools. Venture into the town by foot or drive to the beachGroups - With its pool-party vibe, groups of friends will love taking over the whole villa privatelySights nearby - A 15 minutes drive takes you to Fontfroide Abbey, over 1000 years old and one of the region's most popular sites to visitSailing - Nearby Bages-Sigean lagoon offers sailing and watersports
Colourful B&B located within tropical gardens just 5 minutes walk from the centre of Narbonne. Rooms are spacious and have been lovingly decorated with all the trimmings. Suited to groups of friends or couples, this is a great spot in the sun to either do very little or explore the surrounding area. See More
Ecuries de sainte Croix Carcassonne 3 rooms from £65Value chicFamiliesGroupsSights nearby - Just outside Carcassonne. Great base for discovering the region
Chateau de Cavanac Carcassonne (Languedoc Roussillon) 27 rooms from £66FamiliesFoodiesSights nearby - Ideal base for exploring CarcassonneSwimming Pool - Outdoor PoolRecommended by - Sawdays
Stunning ivy covered country house with an excellent restaurant. Bedrooms, suites and family rooms with four poster beds, fireplaces and tapestries. Beautiful grounds and terraces, swimming pool, billiards and a tennis court. Great for families, groups, and foodies. Excellent value. See More
Le Trésor Sonnac-sur-l'Hers, Aude 5 rooms from £74Value chicFamiliesSailing - Can be booked nearby.Local markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Sawdays
A hideaway in the hills of Languedoc. Striking sandstone French house with green shutters and understated modern interiors. Big bright rooms and one family cottage. Lots of outdoor activities in the surrounding hills, lakes, and beaches. Excellent value, perfect for groups or families. See More
La Souqueto 11120 Mirepeisset, Aude 4 rooms from £74Writing a novel - Each room comes with a writing desk, but the pull of the region lies in its dramatic, idiosyncratic and violent history.Sights nearby - Carcassonne, the picturesque fairy-tale fortified city, is only a 30 minute drive away and was the Cathars' stronghold.Sailing - The hotel organises cruises along the Canal du Midi.Designer - Uniquely designed interiors.
La Bastide Saint Martin Carcassonne (Avenue de Saint-Martin) 15 rooms from £74FamiliesSwimming Pool - 12x6 outdoor poolLocal markets - Good for local colour.Sights nearby - Well located for major sights.
La Fargo Saint-Pierre-des-Champs, Aude 12 rooms from £74Swimming Pool - Large Outdoor PoolBirdwatching - Good birding near the hotel.Full of characterLocal markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - Sawdays
Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse Couiza 35 rooms from £82FamiliesSights nearby - Plenty of Cathar castles and much more to choose from.Swimming Pool - Heated outdoor poolViews - Great views from hotelRecommended by - Sawdays
Chateau La Villatade Languedoc, Aude 2 rooms from £82Local exploring - A great base for exploring the best of Cathar country and the Minervois vineyardsSights nearby - The Medieval citadel of Carcasonne is just 20 mins by carGreat walks - Lovely countryside walksFull of characterRecommended by - Sawdays, Fodors
Hotel La Residence Narbonne 26 rooms from £85Local exploring - Tucked away just off the city's Robine Canal, this is a great base to explore the town and surrounding region by foot or by carLocal markets - Narbonne is well-known for its markets on Thursdays and Sundays. The traditional 'Les Halles' market is open year-roundSights nearby - Explore the town's Via Domitia, Archbisop's Palace, main square and Saint-Just-et-Saint-Pasteur cathedralGreat walks - Follow the length of the Canal de Robines to experience an authentic city tour
Family-owned three-star boutique hotel situated in the heart of Narbonne. 25 rooms are located within a historic 19th-century mansion. Each room is different and decor ranges from classic to contemporary, all with French shuttered windows. For lunch and dinner, venture out to many options nearby. See More
La Tourette Cucugnan 3 rooms from £87Local exploring - Abundance of fresh air activities nearby from hiking, riding, paragliding and cyclingSights nearby - Castle of PeyrepertuseQuirky - An experience!Great walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - Michelin Travel
A colourful B&B hotel. Unique rooms are decorated in contemporary style with dashes of colour and modern bathrooms. Charming terrace with hot tub. Library area to relax in. Plethora of sights and trips in the nearby region. Quickly find yourself at home in this great value hotel. See More
Les Chambres d'Aime Carcassonne 5 rooms from £88Local exploring - The house is located in the heart of downtown Carcassonne, ideal for exploring its cultural sights, bars and restaurantsSights nearby - Visit the nearby Saint Michel Cathedral and Place Carnot, and opposite the house is the Maison du SénéchalSwimming Pool - Seasonal outdoor poolRestrictions on children - Adults onlyRecommended by - Sawdays
A large 19th century stone house in the historic centre of Carcassonne. The charming hosts provide a generous breakfast and there is a relaxing terrace and pool area for lounging about in the sun. Tasteful rooms have whitewashed walls, antiques and large sash windows. A stylish base. See More
Demeure de Roquelongue Narbonne (Saint André de Roquelongue) from £101Total relaxation - Situated in a sleepy village. The perfect spot to soak up some sun and feast on produce of the region.Sights nearby - Visit the historic Cathar Castles and the Abbey Of Fontfroide.Sailing - Take a relaxing cruise along the Canal du Midi.Local markets - Explore the antique markets in Pezenas.
A charming bed and breakfast in a pretty french village. Traditionally dressed rooms feature fireplaces, sash windows, free standing baths and antique furniture. A verdant garden holds a well proportioned pool and there's plenty of quiet corners to unwind with a good book. A chic rural hideaway. See More
Domaine LaCoste Narbonne 3 rooms from £95Families - As well as babysitting, there are fantastic child facilities: safety gates, games and books provided and lots of green spaceActive Holiday - This is great base for an active holiday exploring the region: sail, hike, bike, ride, kayak, windsurf, fish and golf nearbyExclusive use - With only 3 rooms, housing a total of 12 people, the property can easily be used exclusively for families or groupsSights nearby - The Narbonne area has 5km of white sand beaches, all just 20 minutes drive away
Owner-run B&B located on the edge of Narbonne. Just 3 quaint and homely rooms make this ideal for those who appreciate peace and quiet. There is a large garden and outdoor pool; swim and sunbathe or head out to explore the region. Breakfast is included but a car will help for meals taken out. See More
Chateau de Palaja Carcassonne (Palaja) 12 rooms from £104FamiliesSights nearby - Just five minutes from the centre of CarcassonneSwimming Pool - Outdoor PoolSpa
Hotel Le C Narbonne 10 rooms from £108Local exploring - A good option for those who like to explore all day and return to a small and cosy property for a sundowner on the terraceSights nearby - Visit Narbonne's stunning Saint-Just and Saint-Pasteur cathedral and Robine Canal or Fontfroide Abbey, a little further afieldLocal markets - The city is famous for markets and 'Les Halles.' On Sundays and Thursdays don't miss Promenade des Barques and Cours MirabeauBirdwatching - The Clape Massif has a range of protected bird and plant species
Owner-run boutique hotel located in central Narbonne, walking distance from the sites and a short drive from beaches and national parks. The 10 rooms are contemporary fresh and well-designed. There is a bar, small garden and sea-facing roof terrace which serves sharing platters. See More
Domaine Michaud Carcassonne (Roullens) 6 rooms from £113Total relaxation - With a tranquil rural location offering a pool and hot tub all nestled in beautiful rugged landscapes perfect for relaxationGroups - The hotel owners offer exclusive use of their property for corporate events, private parties and weddingsLocal exploring - Languedoc-Roussillon possesses a wealth of historical and cultural gemsSights nearby - Visit the famed medieval city of Carcassonne, a UNESCO-listed heritage site of stunning beautyRecommended by - Sawdays
This pleasant B&B is nestled in beautiful French countryside offering views of Carcassonne and the Pyrenees. The charming rooms feature antique wood furnishings, exposed beams and old-stone walls. Offering a continental breakfast and a pool and hot tub set in the quaint garden. A beautiful location. See More
B&B Demeure Saint Louis Carcassonne 5 rooms from £113Local exploring - Only a ten minute walk from the ancient walls of Carcassonne's medieval centre.Total relaxation - Enjoy the stunning garden or take a long walk around the ancient citadel.Full of characterTraditional
A stunning 18th century guesthouse, just outside the medieval city of Carcassonne. The spacious and comfortable rooms are traditionally decorated and boast en suite bathrooms. Enjoy breakfast in the elegant dining room, or in the leafy garden- perfect for sitting out and enjoying the weather. See More
Camellas-Lloret Languedoc, Aude 5 rooms from £121Sights nearby - Historic centre of Montreal, fortified city of CarcassonneLocal markets - In medieval towns of Limoux and Mirepoix 20 minutes awayGreat walks - Canal Du Midi 10 minute drive awayFull of characterRecommended by - Sawdays
Charming and stylish boutique B&B in picturesque Montreal, 20 minutes from Carcassonne. Five unique rooms exude rustic French charm and feature quirky art and marble fireplaces. Delicious homemade breakfast in the morning. Tranquil courtyard with swinging basket chairs and mint bushes. See More
42 Rue Victor Hugo Carcassonne 3 rooms from £126Cooking classes - Explore the markets and then cook your goodiesSights nearby - Located in the centre of the old townLocal markets - Good for local colour.Designer - Uniquely designed interiors.Recommended by - I Escape
Metairie Montplaisir Conques sur Orbiel, Aude 4 rooms from £144Total relaxation - A small property with a wonderfully friendly owner where days can be lost in good food, wine and total rural tranquility.Sights nearby - Visit the striking medieval citadel of Carcassonne only 8km from the property.Swimming Pool - Outdoor pool.Full of characterRecommended by - I Escape
A charming small property comprising of just five brightly decorated rooms. Dine on indulgent home cooked dishes served on the sun-drenched terrace. Spend time with the ever friendly owner or simply unwind by the pool. A small spa is the icing on the cake. Rural france at its best. See More
Hotel du Chateau Carcassonne 16 rooms from £165Sights nearby - Located next to the chateau in central Carcassonne. Walking distance to all the major attractions in the city.Swimming Pool - Lovely Outdoor PoolLocal markets - Good for local colour.SpaRecommended by - Michelin Travel
Hotel de la Cite Carcassonne 61 rooms from £179Outstanding location - Atop the medieval walls of Carcassonne.Foodies - Michelin star.LuxuryRomantic BreakRecommended by - Tablet
Utterly romantic, utterly unique. A hotel nestled in the ramparts of Carcassonne's citadel and surrounded by beautiful gardens. A fairytale building with turrets, exquisite bedrooms, a Michelin star restaurant, and a swimming pool. A special spot for anyone who can afford it. See More
Le Parc Hotel Carcassonne 7 rooms from £208Foodies - Housing a two star Michelin restaurant which offers innovative modern French cuisine.Sights nearby - Visit the Chateau Comtal, an expansive castle dating back to the 12th century.Romantic - Good for couples.
A contemporary hotel located just outside the medieval city of Carcassonne. Chic accommodation offers expansive glass sliding doors leading onto a private terrace and garden along with every modern luxury. The restaurant is the real star of the show however, boasting two Michelin stars. See More
Pont Levis Hotel Carcassonne 12 rooms from £191Active Holiday - Carcassonne lies on the Cathar Castle trail which afford plenty of hiking possibilities around the surrounding countrysideCity Style - Carcassonne is a vibrant cultural hub and the hotel is placed at the center of this ancient city's contemporary lifestyleLocal exploring - Within 50m's of La Porte Narbonnaise and commanding views of Carcassone's historic old town, a UNESCO siteGreat walks - Carcassonne lies on the Cathar Castle Trail that affords great hiking trails and spectacular medieval castles
Previously an inn and museum, this slick hotel overlooks the fortified walls of Carcassonne and fits into the city's ancient heritage. The rooms have an edgy modern decor and come with en suite bathrooms. There is an outdoor pool and buffet breakfast served daily. Perfect for visiting Carcassonne. See More
Le Domaine d'Auriac Carcassonne 24 rooms from £238Foodies - Housing the Bernard Rigaudis Restaurant which holds a Michelin star and serves undeniably fantastic regional cuisine.Golf - Play a round on the hotel's own 18 hole course.Great walks - Explore the surrounding vineyards on long walks starting straight from the property.Sights nearby - Visit the Chateau Comtral dating back to the 12th century.
A luxury hotel set in a tranquil spot just minutes from the medieval city of Carcassonne. Elegant rooms are classical in style with floor to ceiling windows, floral motifs, high ceilings and antiques. Boasting both a golf course and a Michelin starred restaurant, this is an indulgent break. See More