The village of Alaigne (330 inhabitants) is an historic village with 1,000 years of history. It is in the department called Aude in the region of Languedoc-Roussillon in southwestern France and is located just half an hour from Carcassonne and Rennes-le-Chateau.
With its excellent B&B, Gites and Celtic owned Café-bar the village offers an excellent and convenient resting place for visitors to the Languedoc region for the exploration of Cathar history.
Alaigne's closest airport is Carcassonne Airport (CCF IATA). Ryanair serve the airport to/from Brussels (Charleroi) Cork, Dublin, Nottingham, Glasgow (Prestwick), Leeds/Bradford, Liverpool, London (Stansted), and Porto. A shuttle bus to the city centre via Chénier SNCF station (€5) meets every flight.
From Carcassonne city, it is possible to take a train to the town of Limoux.
Alaigne's nearest train station is in the town of Limoux, which is also on the line of the popular tourist city of Carcassonne. Further information available from SNCF's TER Languedoc-Roussillon [dead link].
Car is by far the best way to get around. There are many small and picturesque villages in the surrounding areas, so driving is no chore. Although public transport does exist, it is somewhat infrequent and can be difficult to rely on. Hitching can sometimes be successful in rural areas (times may vary!)
Avis rent a car have an office at Carcassonne airport.
- Carcassonne with its medieval fortress Cité de Carcassonne, a settlement with history that exceeds two and a half thousand years. It is listed on UNESCO World Heritage List.
- The upside-down Mountain of Bugarach
- Rennes-le-Chateau. And the Holy grail
- Cathar castles. And history
- The Tour De France route often passes very close by
- A travel article in the Sydney Morning Herald explored the spectacular landscape and legends of the Cathars.
The village itself can be walked around in about 10 minutes, but it is the surrounding countryside that entices many walkers to the area. There are many well defined local walking trails, as well as more serious routes including:
- The Cathar Trail: towering fortresses built on high peaks that have become part of the Cathar legend.
- The GR7: high summits and lakes, where the Cathar and Catalan countries meet and open the door to a gentle journey towards Andorra and Spain
- Wine. Aude is a spectacular wine producing area. Alaigne is in the wine producing area called Malepere, an appellation for red wines. The village is home to Domaine Girard, local producer of AOP and IGP wines. Nearby Limoux is famous as the home of Blanquette, white sparkling wine discovered by the monks of St. Hilaire 150 years before the Champagne region first produced champagne.
- Honey. There is lots of locally produced honey in the area, which is often on sale at the many local markets.
- Art and unique locally made gifts are for sale in the little art gallery 'La forgerie'
- There is a Celtic owned Café-bar the village offering fabulous home-cooked dishes.
- There are many pizza restaurants offering takeaway in the surrounding area.
- Limoux offers many more restaurants.
- Alaigne only has one bar: the Celtic owned Café-bar, which often shows regional and international sports on TV to a mixed crowd of locals and international visitors.
- Chez Dyna. offers elegant and comfortable B&B accommodation as well as two self-catering holiday rental cottages. Also features a relaxing garden in which table d'Hotes can be served under the stars. Very knowledgeable and friendly owners that can help with travel arrangements. French and English spoken.
For further information, the following may be useful:
See 'Get In' section, and do it in reverse;)