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Fanjeaux - a pretty village in a fabulous location

Fanjeaux is a very pretty village that's found in the Aude department. It lies amid typical landscapes of hills and sunflowers, and has views of stunning snow-tipped mountains in the distance. Fanjeaux is notable for its connections with Saint Dominic, founder of the Dominican order, and still boasts a stunningly beautiful monastery on its lower edge.

Best of two worlds

Fanjeaux really benefits from its location on the edge of two departments and two regions... the Aude in the Languedoc, and the Ariège, in the Midi-Pyrénées. It's just about 15 minutes from the gorgeous mediaeval city of Carcassonne, an hour from the beaches of the Med and just 45 minutes from the nearest ski resort in the Pyrénées.

Enjoy the historic charm and stunning views

You only have to spend a short time in Fanjeaux to appreciate that this is a deeply historic place. Approaching from the Carcassonne/Castelnaudary road, you pass the glorious Dominican monastery at the bottom of the hill on which Fanjeaux stands. As you take the road to the village (there's a rather hilly short cut if your vehicle's up to it!) you can see the stunning collegiate church standing proud of Fanjeaux's rooftops. Once in the village, the best way to enjoy Fanjeaux is to park your car outside the village pub (there's usually plenty of room) and walk. The old streets and buildings are utterly charming. See in particular the old market hall and the church, and take time, whatever you do, to stand and take in the views from this supreme vantage point. Gaze out over the fertile plains of the Lauragais, towards Castelnaudary and the Canal du Midi, or to Carcassonne with its fairytale cité. Finally, look south over the vineyards and sunflowers and to the snow-tipped mountains of the Ariège.

Markets, shops and places to eat in Fanjeaux

Fanjeaux doesn't have a lot of shops, but those it does have are useful and pleasant. There's an excellent artisanal bakery, a butcher's shop and a pharmacy. A small market selling locally produced eggs and dairy products arrives once a week, and around the village are several houses selling honey, asparagus and other seasonal produce. The village bar is friendly and serves coffee and snacks too, and there's a rather old style restaurant if you want more formal dining.

More amenities found nearby

For more serious shopping, there's plenty of choice, all within about a ten minute drive of Fanjeaux. Choose from Bram (with a massive new Carrefour supermarket), Castelnaudary (with a new shopping mall, several supermarkets and a lively town centre), or Mirepoix (whose bastide square hosts one of the most picturesque markets of the region each Monday morning). Both Mirepoix and Castelnaudary also offer a great selection of restaurants. Finally, these larger towns also have doctors, hospitals, dentists, vets, schools and everything else you might need between them.

From skiing to snorkelling - activities available around Fanjeaux

If you're looking for sporting or leisure activities from a base in Fanjeaux, you'll find yourself truly spoilt for choice. One glance across the landscape to the south shows you just how close the ski resorts are. It takes only 45 minutes to reach Mont d'Olmes. Mont d'Olmes is, admittedly, a small and friendly ski station, but it only takes a short while longer to get to many bigger ones such as Les Angles or Ax Trois Domaines once you've done all the runs at Mont d'Olmes. If you head for the sea, all the usual activities of the seaside are possible, with great swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving on offer along the coast. Then, in between the mountains and the Med are rushing rivers suitable for kayaking and rafting, dramatic gorges for canyoning and rock climbing and so much more.

Wining and dining are popular pursuits

Less energetic pursuits can be enjoyed too, in the form of walking and wine tasting. The region is one of the biggest wine producing areas in France and it will take you quite some time to work your way through all of the different wines and wine estates! If wine is your thing, aim for Limoux, where the "original champagne", Blanquette is made. And, to couple wine with fine food, book a table at Domaine Gayda, just outside Limoux, where you're guaranteed a delicious and elegant experience.

Explore the Med, the mountains and historic towns

With all the glories of the mountains and the Med on your doorstep, there's no shortage of wonderful places to visit. Down at the Med you can enjoy dining on freshly caught seafood while watching flamingos wading in the salt lagoons, or enjoy a lively seaside resort with all entertainment on tap in Narbonne. Spend a day in the gorgeous fishing village of Collioure, or follow the Canal du Midi to Sète, the "jewel of the Mediterranean". You can even quite feasibly take a day trip to Barcelona. The little tax haven of Andorra is also accessible, and great for shopping trips. The journey there is spectacular, with stunning mountain scenery all along the way.

Visit the mediaeval city of Carcassonne and the pretty bastide town of Mirepoix

Closer to home are towns mentioned previously. Visit Carcassonne, a "must visit" city, and Castelnaudary, home of the cassoulet. Mirepoix, just minutes from Fanjeaux, is one of the prettiest bastide towns in France.

How to get to Fanjeaux

The airport of Carcassonne is just a fifteen minute drive away and has flights from budget airline Ryanair. Toulouse is a little further, at about an hour, but offers more airlines and flight times. Both cities have TGV stations for rail travel. If travelling by rail, you can then take a local train to nearby Castelnaudary. Drivers can find Fanjeaux between the exits on the A61 for Castelnaudary and Bram, on the D119.

Property prices and availability in and around Fanjeaux

Fanjeaux is a desirable village, but at the time of writing (early 2013), offers remarkable value for money when it comes to property. Just outside the village itself are several small hamlets where village or country properties can be found.

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Fanjeaux AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Fanjeaux?

Fanjeaux is situated in the central south of France, in the west of the Aude department.

Fanjeaux Property Map

IN THE REGION OF LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON

Languedoc-Roussillon Guide

Languedoc-Roussillon Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF AUDE

Aude Guide

  Aude Map


Population: 776


Access: By air: Fly to Carcassonne or Toulouse direct from the UK. By rail: The TGV runs to both these cities. There is a local connection to nearby Castelnaudary railway station. By road: The village is found on the D119.


Economy: The economy is mainly agricultural.


Interesting fact: Fanjeaux has strong connections to Saint Dominic, who lived there from 1206 to 1215. There's still a beautiful Dominican monastery on the edge of the village.

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