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Minerve - one of France's most beautiful villages

Whenever a village carries the distinction of an official listing as one of France's most beautiful, you know it is going to be something special. Minerve is indeed, something very special, and its charms are apparent even as you approach the village. Its picturesque setting, on a high rocky outcrop close to the river gorges of the Cesse, sets the scene. To enter Minerve it is necessary to drive across the bridge over the gorges. The village is walled and fortified, and boasts a castle among its many monuments and ancient buildings.

Atmosphere in spades

Minerve has everything you would hope to find in an old southern French village. Imposing walls, a (ruined) castle, a riverside setting and cobbled streets are all here, set under a blue sky and (usually!) blazing Languedoc sun. Minerve has atmosphere in spades, and is clearly the product of its rich history. Like many towns and villages of the region, Minerve was besieged by Simon de Montfort in the Albigensian crusades, and the image of the raging battle to survive is called to mind as soon as you see the fortifications.

Busy in summer, but tranquil in winter

The village has a few shops and cafés and a small museum too, but be aware it can get pretty touristy in high season as everybody wants to enjoy its unique beauty. In winter, the village regains its tranquillity. If you are considering full-time living in Minerve, the nearest supermarkets are only a very short drive away, as are all the necessary services.

A gastronomes delight, with glorious scenery to boot

The Languedoc region is popular for very good reasons. Vineyards, olive groves and the delicious wines and oils that they produce make this a gastronomes delight, and create some glorious scenery too. The Mediterranean coast, with its mix of lively resorts, sandy beaches, warm seas and picturesque fishing villages is just a hop and a skip away from Minerve, while the ancient and beautiful towns of Béziers, Montpellier and Carcassonne are on the doorstep and waiting for you to enjoy them.

Try your hand at adventure sports

History, mystery and heritage is everywhere in the Languedoc. Try a trip to Rennes le Château, to see if you can solve the age old Grail mysteries, trace the tragic steps of the persecuted Cathars or screw your courage to the sticking post and try your hand at white water rafting, rock climbing or canyoning in the dramatic gorges that characterise this tempestuous land.

How to get there

You can fly to any one of a number of airports to get to Minerve. Carcassonne, Béziers, Montpellier and even Toulouse are all within a reasonable drive of the village. Carcassonne is served by Ryanair; Béziers by Ryanair; and Montpellier by easyJet and Ryanair. Toulouse offers more of a choice with British Airways, Air France, easyJet, Flybe and Jet2 all flying into its airport. All of those towns have railway stations too, with TGV routes into Montpellier, Carcassonne and also to Narbonne which is just a short distance from Minerve. Drivers can find the village from the A61 or A9 motorways, close to the D907.

Property prices and availability in and around Minerve

As a "beautiful village of France", Minerve is a very sought after location. Property within the village itself rarely comes up for sale, but there are many nearby lesser known villages where property is more reasonable and easier to find.

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WHERE IS Minerve?

Minerve is located in the centre south of France. It lies in the south-west of the Hérault department.

Minerve Property Map


Languedoc-Roussillon Guide

Languedoc-Roussillon Property Map


Hérault Guide

  Hérault Map

Population: 122

Access: By air: Fly to Carcassonne, Béziers or Montpellier. By rail: Travel by rail to Carcassonne, Béziers or Montpellier. By road: Minerve is found from the D907. The nearest major roads are the A61 and A9.

Economy: The economy is based on wine and tourism.

Interesting fact: Minerve is classed as one of the most beautiful villages in France.


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