Camon, Midi-Pyrenees: tourism & sightseeing
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France This Way comment: although this area of France has some beautiful scenery and is packed with the incredible Cathar castles there are not a great number of beautiful towns and villages which makes Camon all the more welcome.
Camon is a fortified village which has grown up around a benedictine Abbey. The origins of the abbey date back to 923 and possibly earlier. However the abbey and the village were destroyed along with Mirepoix and many other villages in the area in 1289 when a natural dam gave way.
The village was rebuilt in the style of a royal fortress including a crenellated wall. By the 15th century though the abbey was derelict but the bishop of Mirepoix began its rebuilding and this work was continued.
The abbey has been a private building since the French revolution and nowadays the monks cells are bedrooms and the abbey is a chambre d’hote. It is possible to take a guided tour of parts of the abbey including the cloister and the bishop’s private study which contains 16th century frescoes. Tours are organised by Camon’s tourist office.
Apart from the abbey the pleasure of a visit to Camon comes from strolling around the village and soaking up the atmosphere of this peaceful and attractive village.
As you explore you will also notice numerous roses planted in the centre of Camon. Apparently there are one hundred rosebushes, given to the village by local vinegrowers who used to use roses as a kind of early warning system against potential diseases of the vines, since the roses would be attacked first giving the winegrowers a chance to take action to protect the vines. (The vines disappeared from this area in the early 20th century).
An interesting feature of the area around Camon is its 'cabanes' and there are more than 100 of these stone shelters scattered around the countryside around the village. These used to be used as shelter and storage by the winegrowers and before that they were used by the monks. There is a walk that you can do to see many of these which takes about 2.5 hous to finish and you can get a map from Camon tourist office.
There are various other small villages and towns in the region, and Mirepoix a short distance to the north-west of Camon is one of the most interesting, with an attractive historic centre.
Map of Camon and places to visit
Visit near Camon with France This Way reviews
... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Ariege
Camon is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)
Address: Camon, Mirepoix, Pamiers, Ariege, Midi-Pyrenees, 09500, France || GPS: latitude 43.0222, longitude 1.9675
Plan your visit to Camon, Midi-Pyrenees
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Fontaine Intermittente de Fontestorbes: site of natural beauty (13km)
- Limoux: recommended detour (21km)
- Parc aux Bambous: remarkable garden (22km)
- Gorges de la Pierre-Lys: site of natural beauty (28km)
The French version of this page is at Camon (Francais)