I just got back from a short but relaxing holiday in the Midi-Pyrenées region of the south of France. Last year we received an invitation to go to a wedding of French friends and we decided to make a short holiday out of it. So last week off we went!
Les Amandiers B&B and gîte
In our search for a stay in the surroundings of Sorèze (where the wedding was), we bumped into Les Amandiers in Fiac: a renovated 19th century farm with a bed & breakfast and a gîte on the domain. It took us some time to find this gem but it was the perfect option: my boyfriend’s parents preferred the gîte while we stayed in the B&B together with his sister and brother in law.
The rooms with ensuites were beautiful and comfortable, the pool was amazing and there were plenty of other activities to do on the domain: ping pong, petanque or volleyball. The last two terrains could use a little refurbishment tough, but apart from that, there were enough cozy corners for you to relax in. They also have a bunch of cute goats you can always say hello to.
Everything Martine and Philippe, the owners, served for breakfast was self- and homemade: the orange juice, the bread, the fruit jams and the yoghurt with fruit from the garden. On our last night we had a table d’hôte and everything was selfmade as well.
Roadtrip to Cordes-sur-Ciel
During our stay we made two day trips. One of them was a road trip from Lisle-sur-Tarne to Cordes-sur-Ciel via the circuit des Bastides, a scenic route taking you along the beautiful Midi-Pyrenées landscape.
We made a stop at Lisle-sur-Tarne, Bruniquel, Castelnau-de-Montmiral and Cordes-sur-Ciel. Especially the last two towns are definitely worth a visit. Along the way, around Puycelci, we bumped into a honey farm called Moulin d’Olivery that keeps about 1200 (!) hives in the neighbourhood. The daughter of the owner was so kind to show us their workplace where they extract honey from the frames. Worth a visit when you pass them by on the D14 road to Puycelsi.
Late afternoon in Carcassonne
The day after the wedding we decided to go to Carcassonne, apparently a must-visit when you’re around. On the recommendation of Philippe, we took the road along Saissac, with lovely views on the Pyrenees.
The most important reason to visit Carcassonne is for La Cité: a fully restored fortified old town in the center of the city, UNESCO registered. It’s a bit of a climb but worth the effort: this fort is one of the only preserved medieval towns in Europe, and one of the largest fortresses of Europe. No wonder it’s the most visited town of France, after Paris. Take your time to walk through La Cité and enjoy the views from the fortified walls. You can also visit the castle Château Comtal.
We didn’t stay for dinner because it was too crowded and touristic for us so we made our way back to Fiac via Mazamet. Right before Mazamet we found a restaurant at a lake called Lac des Montagnès. During our dinner we enjoyed a fantastic sunset. After the sun disappeared behind Les Montagnès it got quite cold though so we had to run inside to warm ourselves up, haha!
Either way, France and the Midi-Pyrenées warmed my heart once again. It was a perfect break from the everyday life and a good run up to our next big trip: New Zealand!