Tuesday, 20 January 2009

What's on in Languedoc-Rousillon 2009

There is always something happening in the Languedoc-Rousillon region of France, but in true traditional French style it's not always easy to find out what it is, where it is or when.

I have listed below some local events to our gite which is situated between Castelnaudary and Revel plus some more significant events for the region which may or may not be a little farther afield.

I hope you find this information useful and are able to use it to make a decision on whether to visit this beautiful region in the South of France.

Listed by date

18th January - 29th March, the longest festival in France is the winter festival in Limoux. Saturdays and Sundays are when local folk adorn different masks and costumes then parade through the streets playing music, singing songs (in the ancient Occitan language) and playing pranks while they make fun of society and the rules that abound. See Carnaval de Limoux for more details.

28th March, Peking Opera - the Tianjin national Academy presents a spectacular show of theatre, music, mime, acrobatics and martial arts at the Theatre Jean-Alary starting 8.30p.m.. Tickets from €10-€36. Tel 04 68 11 59 15.

3rd April, Cristina Branco, a Portugese singer in concert at the Theatre Jean Alary starting at 8.30p.m. Tickets from €10-€25. Tel 04 68 25 33 13

April, Jazz week, 5 evenings in the Chapelle des Jesuites in Carcassonne at a cost of €40 for all 5 performances, the Chapelle was chosen for its acoustic characteristics which are said to be perfect for listening to the music.

8th May - 10th May, three days of feasts and music in the streets of Gruissan. All ages mix in this festive environment known as 'Les Festejades Gruissan'. These dates are approximate and you should call 04 68 49 09 00 to confirm if you would like to attend.

May, Soreze near to Revel and about 25 minutes from Le Moulin plays host to an art metalwork, knives and woodworking exhibition. Soreze is a lovely place to visit anyway with its l' Abbaye-Ecole and impressive bell tower.

24th May, Vide grenier in Auriac/Vendinelle and Fendeille

30th May, Issel - Fete Locale de Pentecote. Spend Saturday afternoon watching the 'Animations de rue' (street entertainment) and if you have children there will be a bouncy castle for thier entertainment and your relief plus horse riding. Starting at 5.00p.m. there will be music in the form of 'Bandas Los Maquitos'. After a Paella has been consumed from around 8.00p.m (which is on offer at a price from Mme Guirand, details can be supplied) there is a disco starting around 10.00p.m to see the evening out.

31st May, Issel - Fete Locale de Pentecote, from 3.00p.m. to 8.00p.m you can enjoy a number of musical interludes with the 'Sympa Musette'.

31st May, Vide grenier at St Pierre de Lages and Beauteville.

1st June, Issel holds its Petanque tournament.

1st June, Festival des Vins in La Cite, speaks for itself really. So if you are a wine buff and you fancy getting in amongst some local wines of the region then what better time to visit.

7th June, Vide grenier and Foire a Tout at Saussens on the route to Castre and a Vide grenier in Le Faget, Saussens, St Papoul and Durfort.

Soreze is having a Fete des Arts and a Marche aux Livres (book sale).

9th June, Revel is having a musical production.

Printemps des Comediens, Theatre festival in Montpellier. This festival presents a series of outstanding theatre events, circus entertainment, and world culture. Thousands of people attend to see the extraordinary performances.

14th June, Vide grenier in Cessales and Mas Stes Puelles.

19th June - 21st June, stage de cuisine (cooking lessons) in Castelnaudary(19th), Fete de la musique.

14th June, Vide grenier in C

28th June, Vide grenier, brocante, artisanant and products of the region in Gardouch (turn left at Villefranche de Lauragais going towards Toulouse). Also a vide grenier in La Pomarede.

July, Soirees Pyrotechniques at Cap d'Agde, It's a little bit of a trek being around 2 hours away but this is 5 evenings of some of the best firework displays in France so might just tempt you to make the trip. If you prefer a little closer then the next but one event may satisfy your need for a really spectacular firework display.

5th July to 30th, Festival of the Bastide in Carcassonne, this takes place around Bastille day the 14th July and includes up to 70+ free entry theatre, jazz, pop and world music gigs. A fabulous experience for anyone interested in French culture.

5th July, Vide grenier in Castelnaudary.

14th July, La Cite Ablaze in Carcassonne where you can see one of the best firework displays France has to offer and it commemorates the original burning of La Cite back in 1898. You can expect the banks of the river Aude to be awash with spectators and every viewpoint available will be taken by the time the display starts at 10.30p.m. It's best to park on the outskirts of the town and walk in to facilitate a reasonable exit time when the show is over.

July, Abbaye Ecole music festival, concert by l'Orchestre National du Capitole of Toulouse in Soreze.

14th July, Discover the history of the Canal du Midi and the Port of Castelnaudary on an evening tour by torchlight. €4.50 per person children up to 12 years are free. To go on the tour you need to register at the tourist office in Castelnaudary.

The tour is repeated each Tuesday on the 21st, 28th July and the 11th and 18th of August meeting at 9.45p.m. and departing at 10.00p.m. You can call +33 (0)4 68 23 05 73 for further details.

15th August, Village Fete with fireworks in the Abbaye Ecole, Soreze.

3rd week in August, book fair, bric-a-brac,antique fair, art in the streets, craft work, local produce, horse fair in Soreze.

August, the 10th fete du Cassoulet will take place around the last week of August with 7 days of celebration and eating of cassoulet a haricot bean based casserole with toulouse sausage, duck and pork as the usual ingredients. The fete was made famous when Rick Steine visited Castelnaudary on his trip along the Canal du Midi tasting local dishes and wines from the area as he went. The Marie of Issel was featured in his BBC series of the trip dressed in the traditional blue and white strip adorned for the festival. Lots of music, dancing and fun for the whole week.

September, 15 days for the Autumn art exhibition of paintings and sculptures in Soreze.

November, Bavarian evening with music and beer in Soreze. I know !!!! wierd or what.

Tourist Offices

Carcassonne: 04 68 10 24 30 email:accueil@carcassonne-tourisme.com web:www.carcassonne-tourisme.com

Soreze St Ferreol: 05 63 74 16 28 email: tourisme@ville-soreze.fr web:www.ville-soreze.fr

Revel St Ferreol: 05 34 66 67 68 email: contact@tourisme-revel.com web:www.tourisme-revel.com

Castlenaudary: 04 68 23 05 73 email: ot@ville-castelnaudary.fr web:www.ville-castelnaudary.fr

Boat Trips

For a nice easy boat trip down the Canal du Midi you can hop on a 'bateau' down at the quay in Castelnaudary, the boat leaves daily at 2.30p.m. for a quiet chug along the canal and back that takes about 2 hours, but there are a number of other options available which you can find out about at Bateau Promenade "Le Saint-Roch" or by phoning +33 (0)4 68 23 49 40.

If you prefer to hire your own boat for a short trip then boats can be hired from Castel Nautique for 2 to 8 people on an hourly basis or for 1/2 days. Visit the website for more details or call on +33 (0)4 68 76 73 34. they are located near to Bram which is about 30 minutes drive from Le Moulin.


  1. Great shots here especially the sunflowers. I love your house and am slightly jealous of your lifestyle. It just sounds so much more romantic and fun even if you do encounter strife from time to time.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

  2. I enjoy posts about Europe (France is no exception). Now that I found your blog I'll be back more often to stay "up to date" at all times! :)

  3. Can I come visit? All this sounds really fun to do!

  4. I don't need much convincing to visit the South of France. One day I hope to and will take your advice on these sites and events.


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