Gorges de l'Aude, Aude visitors guide
Visit Gorges de l'Aude, France
The Gorges de l'Aude are to the south of Quillan, itself south of Carcassonne. To the south-west of Quillan the River Aude and its tributaries have carved magnificent ravines and gorges in the landscape, and over the course of thousands of years have created the impressive limestone cliff scenery that we enjoy today.
Exploring the Gorges de l'Aude
All three of the main Gorges de l'Aude offer a very good opportunity to enjoy the landscape, either from the comfort of your car or as a starting point for walking and cycling in the region - walking and cycling are recommended because the narrow roads will require much of your attention, and you will see less of the scenery from the car window.
- The road heading south from Quillan to Axat (the D117) passes through the deep Gorges de Pierre-Lys, with cliffs either side of the road stretching to 700 metres in height.
- Beyond Axat the road (now route D118) passes through the equally dramatic Gorges de Saint-Georges.
- The Gorges de Galamus, further east within the Aude department are another very impressive system of deep gorges. also well known for the Saint-Antoine hermitage, deep within the canyon.
Various smaller gorges are also to be found in the department and also offer lovely scenic opportinities - these include the Gorges de la Frau, the Gorges du Verdouble and the the Gorges of Rébenty (the D107 near Pont d'Aliès).
France This Way comment: these roads through the Gorges de l'Aude are very lovely but can also be very challenging if you are driving, with many sections too narrow for cars to pass and a strong chance you will need to reverse around a blind corner on a narrow road!
Between Axat and Quillan, the cave at Aguzou is very extensive and a different experience to other caves you might have visited - there are no special effect, sounds or lighting, instead you will be given protective clothing and a light, and embark an an extensive underground hike!
Visits are for individuals or small groups only, accompanied by a guide, and need to be booked in advance...see Aguzou Grotte for information about booking, prices, physical condition required...
Other Attractions nearby
Quillan itself is a pleasant town, but with little in the way of important monuments: it is however well placed as starting point for your explorations of both the Cathars castles to the east and the dramatic gorges to the south.
Map of Gorges de l'Aude and places nearby
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Gorges de la Pierre-Lys: site of natural beauty (5 km)
- Fontaine Intermittente de Fontestorbes: site of natural beauty (20 km)
- Limoux: recommended detour (20 km)
- Camon: most beautiful village (24 km)
- Gorges de Galamus: site of natural beauty (25 km)
- Gorges de l'Orbieu: site of natural beauty (26 km)
- Mosset: most beautiful village (27 km)
- Eus: most beautiful village (34 km)
- Prades: recommended detour (35 km)
- Eglise de Sainte Marie de Marcevol (Arboussols): religious monument (35 km)
- Villefranche-de-Conflent enceinte / fort (Vauban fortifications): heritage site (35 km)
- Villefranche-de-Conflent: most beautiful village (35 km)
The French version of this page is at Gorges de l'Aude (Francais)