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A quintessential Cathar wine town

For those who love the traditional Cathar towns of the Languedoc, there can be few places more appealing than Olonzac. The very name conjures up the delicious taste of wine, a feeling of hot strong summer sunshine and a hint of a dark history, evidenced by the ruins of Cathar castles on the hilltops in the distance. Situated in the very south-west of the Herault department, Olonzac itself is a pretty town, whose stone built houses are mellow in the glare of the summer sun, and whose narrow old streets are a pleasure to explore.

Tranquillity… with joie de vivre!

Olonzac somehow manages to be bustling and interesting as well as peaceful and rural, a combination which perhaps should be experienced rather than explained! The little market town has a rural and timeless appeal, and carries along with it a sense that life should be lived with the rhythms of the seasons rather than at the frantic pace of modern life. Go to the market on Tuesday mornings, or Fridays in summer, and watch as the locals demonstrate that they always have time to chat, even as they go about their business or do their shopping.

All the facilities you need

The town is well equipped with colourful and fascinating shops, and there are boulangeries, patisseries, cafés and restaurants to enjoy. Everything you require is here, so you only need to venture further afield when you wish to visit some of the other lovely towns in the region.

Places to visit

From a base in Olonzac you will find you are ideally placed to enjoy the whole of the western Mediterranean coast of France, and even to pop over the border into Spain if the fancy takes you! The beautiful walled city of Carcassonne is at hand, as are the Canal du Midi, the siege village of Minerve, the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenean Mountains. As you travel around the area you will notice that there are many signs advertising 'Directe Vente', and these are an open invitation to try and to buy the wines for which the region is justly famed. Do not miss the opportunity, for the wines of the Minervois are perhaps the finest in the region, and the quality is improving all the time as the Languedoc catches up with the requirements of the modern wine world.

Activities on offer around Olonzac

Those who like to precede their wine tasting with some physical activity will find no shortage of sporting opportunities at hand. The region has everything with lakes, mountains, seaside, quiet lanes and rivers. Hence the sports of cycling, horse-riding, walking, rock climbing, swimming , fishing and many others are easily accessed from Olonzac.

How to get there

Getting to Olonzac from the UK is simple. Ryanair, the low cost airline, flies into Carcassonne, Perpignan, Montpellier and Nîmes. It is also possible to travel by rail, as you can catch a TGV to nearby Narbonne or Béziers from Paris.

Property prices and availability in and around Olonzac

Property in the Languedoc has experienced considerable price increases in recent years, as the area becomes more and more popular particularly with foreign buyers. The Hérault especially has become quite an expensive place to purchase property, but remains a good deal cheaper than the Côte D'Azur and Provence, whilst offering many of the benefits of those places. As the region is a popular holiday spot rental values of property here are also high, offering a chance to offset this against a comparatively high purchase price.

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WHERE IS Olonzac?

Olonzac is located in the south of France, in the Hérault department, which lies on the western Mediterranean coast. Olonzac is found inland, to the south-west of the department.

Olonzac Property Map


Languedoc-Roussillon Guide

Languedoc-Roussillon Property Map


Hérault Guide

  Hérault Map

Population: 1,600

Access: By air: Fly to Carcassonne, Montpellier or Perpignan with Ryanair. By rail: Take the TGV to Narbonne or Béziers from Paris.

Economy: The economy of the town is based on viticulture.

Interesting fact: The town holds its weekly market every Tuesday, but it is one of the growing number of French towns who have recognised the value of French rural markets to tourism, so Olonzac hosts an additional market every Friday throughout July and August.


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