French Road Trip Destinations Across Southern France
Road Trip Destinations - Trebes
Motoring in France for Pleasure
Living in the South of France can certainly throw up a few surprises, even when you are just popping out to do a bit of business. We did exactly that the other day, we were heading for a little place called Ferrals Les Corbieres which sits between Carcassonne and Narbonne just off the main N113 route between the two.
Yes it was a business trip really but as we were heading into the gorgeous Corbieres region we thought it would be good to do a little bit of exploring.
Trebes looked promising so we decided we would head into the town and explore what it had to offer. It does after all sit on the Canal Du Midi, a world heritage site and always a bit of a treat. Plus having passed that way previously we knew that the River Aude also runs through the town.
Have to be honest, we found Trebes a tad on the noisy side, the road that goes through heads out to Bezieres and can be a bit busy. That said if you go into the town centre away from the road it is very quiet.
We noticed that all the life was really on the Canal Du Midi where there were lots of boats moored and many people making use of the restaurants and cafes sited alongside the canal. It did look really pleasant and if you don't mind some traffic passing by you could find a great place to have a bit of lunch on the Canal Du Midi.
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Road trip destinations don't come much better than Montlaur
Once we finished having a nosy around Trebes we thought it was about time to get off to our appointment and so we got back on the N113 and headed toward Narbonne. It was then we happened upon Capendu, which was the next town but one, and we spotted the turn for Montlaur. Having had a quick look at the map we could see that this was a cross country route towards Fabrezan close to where we were headed. So we decided to go take a look.
It wasn't very long before we realized that this was a very good move, because within minutes we were out in the true Corbieres countryside and coming across vineyard after vineyard via lovely winding roads and rolling hills . This was real Corbieres wine country and the scenery was fabulous, driving in Europe is pretty special for so many reasons.
Normally I am quite proud of my photographs but on this occasion I really don't think that the photos I have provided do the route the justice it deserves. OK the vines look a lot more attractive later in the season when they are covered with leaves and are a vibrant green colour. But what should have been nice about these shots, and what I was trying to capture, was the quaintness of the workers in the fields preparing the vines for the coming season. They clip off all the old shoots from the year before and they do it the old fashioned way with a pair of secateurs and a lot of wrist action. Must be really hard work given the sheer numbers of vines to be done, but it is a job that has to be done for the best results. Oh well, I guess you can't win them all, I'll make a mental note that I need better photographs on the next trip.
That said now that we know about this route, you can be sure the next time we are out motoring in France for pleasure it will probably be a little later in the spring and this route will definitely be on the agenda. I can't wait to get some updated photographs of the vines in their full splendour.
When we got to Montlaur there was the biggest wine 'cave' we have seen on our travels to date. Montlaur was down in the plains and had a huge expanse of vines growing all around it, so it shouldn't really have been that much of a surprise.
Heading out from Montlaur, if it was possible, the terrain became even more interesting as we entered the Gorge de Congoust. and felt like we were in the Wild West of America. We found out later that this region has actually been used to film one or two westerns, assuming the source is reliable of course, but when you look at the craggy landscape and rocky river bed, it is quite believable.
Have to say whether you are motoring in France or cycling in France, then I am pretty sure you would not be disappointed by this route or the scenery that comes with it.
Once we got through the gorge we had no choice we had to head off for our business appointment. But given the option I know where I would have been heading, and it is a place I have written about before, the Capital of Corbieres called Lagrasse. Basically when you hit the D212 instead of turning left for Fabrezan you turn right for Lagrasse. This would be perfect for a circular route because after Lagrasse, possibly stopping for a lazy lunch, you can meander back through Corbieres country all the way to Trebes and then Carcassonne beyond.
A perfect base for your road trips destinations in France is our Gite in France which is about 35 to 40 minutes from Carcassonne and very nicely placed for some lovely country routes through, not only Corbieres, but also Minervoise, the Montagne Noire, Haute Garonne and the Tarn regions. Some really fabulous routes with amazing scenery on quiet winding roads.
I have added a list of the routes we have taken during our time here in France which actually only represents the tip of the iceberg, there are plenty more for us to discover and we will of course share these routes as we explore them.
Corbieres Wine RoutesClick thumbnail to view full-size
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So do you think this was a great road trip destination? 15 comments
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