Gorges de l'Aude visitor guide

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Visit Gorges de l'Aude, France

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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 review: 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!

Grotte Aguzou

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.

See more scenic highlights in France. You can find more travel ideas in the Aude guide and the Languedoc-Roussillon guide.

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Be sure to take a stroll through Quillan as part of your trip to explore the Aude countryside

Quillan guide


A small village with lovely views, it is also the legends associating Rennes-le-Chateau with the Holy Grail that attracts many visitors here

Rennes-le-Chateau guide


Rennes-les-Bains is a traditional spa town in the Aude countryside

Rennes-les-Bains guide
Chateau de Puilaurens

Chateau de Puilaurens

Castle Puilaurens is a Cathar castle of France in a beautiful mountain location

Chateau de Puilaurens guide


The abbey ruins are the most imposing monument in Alet-les-Bains but be sure to explore the town to discover the other highlights

Alet-les-Bains guide


The small town of Limoux is best visited in late spring to enjoy the Carnival of Limoux, one of the oldest and best known carnivals in France

Limoux guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Aude

The French version of this page is at Gorges de l'Aude (Francais)