Mirepoix travel guide

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Visit Mirepoix (Occitanie, France)

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Mirepoix is a town in the Ariege department of the Midi-Pyrenees between Carcassonne and Foix. It is a beautiful medieval bastide town and Mirepoix should not be missed if you are in this area.

Mirepoix started life on the other side of the River Hers but, following a terrible flood in 1209 which wiped out many of the villages in the area, the town was rebuilt on the opposite bank. Mirepoix suffered during the Hundred Years War but then became an important textile centre in the 15th century.

Explore Mirepoix

The highlight of a visit to the ancient bastide town of Mirepoix is the central square - the Place des Couverts - which is surrounded by medieval houses and arcades (the covered walkways in front of the shops).

arcaded medieval centre of Mirepoix

The square is absolutely beautiful and very colourful as the timber-framed houses are painted in a variety of pastel shades. Take some time to admire the woodwork involved in these houses - some of the carpentry and decorative features have fascinating details.

The 'Maison des Consuls' is one of the best of these buildings. Have a look at the carved figures on the ancient woodwork which include African heads, women’s heads and a tortoise: there are an incredible 103 carvings in total!

Over at the other end of the square, you can find Mirepoix tourist office in another one of the lovely buildings. Look outside the tourist office for the two grain measures dating from the 17th -18th century which hold 20 litres of grain each.

There is also a wrought iron market hall in the centre of the square, built in the 19th century.


The cathedral in Mirepoix, the cathedral of Saint Maurice, is a gothic style cathedral. It is the second largest single-naved church in Europe and is a classified Historic Monument.

Built on to the cathedral’s walls is the former bishop’s palace. The palace was built in the 16th century by the bishop of the time who wanted to live closer to the centre of town!

On the edge of Mirepoix you can see the Porte d’Aval which is a 14th century fortified gate and all that remains now of the towns fortified walls which once enclosed the town.

Market day in Mirepoix is a Monday.

wood carvings on Mirepoix houses

Mirepoix apple festival

We were lucky enough to arrive in Mirepoix as it was getting ready for its annual apple festival. Each year in October there is a different theme and this year it was music and so apples were used to create giant guitars and drums. Apples were also strung like streamers all around the square. It looked great.

We weren’t unfortunately there for the fair itself but on the Sunday - festival day - there are all manner of apple based things sold including freshly squeezed apple juice, tarte au pomme and toffee apples.

Note: the name Mirepoix is used for a crucial ingredient in French cookery including carrots, onion and celery and acting as the base for many recipes. The name derives from an 18th century Duke of Mirepoix who invented the recipe.

Places to visit near Mirepoix

Nearby to Mirepoix, don't miss a visit to the small but lovely little village of Camon a few kilometres to the south-east.

Also near to Mirepoix, but in the other direction, is an unusual little church at Vals. The Saint Mary’s church has been partly built into the rock and so is quite unusual. Inside there are some 11th century wall paintings.

Slightly further afield you will certainly want to visit the incredible historical fortified town of Carcassonne to the north-east of Camon, and you will also enjoy exploring Foix, overlooked by a castle and to the south-west of here.

You can find more travel ideas in the Ariege guide and the Midi-Pyrenees guide.

See also Find Mirepoix hotels

Photos of Mirepoix

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Visit near Mirepoix with France This Way reviews



The fortified village of Camon, listed as a 'most beautiful village of France' is one of our favourites in this region

Camon guide


The largest town in Ariege, Pamiers has several notable monuments including the cathedral and the church

Pamiers guide


In Montsegur be sure to visit the cathar castle with its lovely far-reaching views

Montsegur guide


The narrow medieval streets, the imposing castle above the town and the lovely setting make Foix an unmissable destination in Ariege

Foix guide
Chateau de Foix

Chateau de Foix

The chateau de Foix is an impressive medieval castle on a rocky spur in the Ariege valley

Chateau de Foix guide


Slightly away from tourist routes, Castelnaudary has a pleasant canal port and is the town where cassoulet was invented

Castelnaudary guide

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

Address: Mirepoix, Pamiers, Midi-Pyrenees, 9500, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 43.0897, longitude 1.87444

Plan your visit to Mirepoix, Ariege

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Camon: most beautiful village (11 km)
  • Parc aux Bambous: remarkable garden (12 km)
  • Fontaine Intermittente de Fontestorbes: site of natural beauty (21 km)
  • Limoux: recommended detour (28 km)
  • Pyrenees Ariegeoises: regional natural parc (37 km)
  • Gorges de la Pierre-Lys: site of natural beauty (39 km)
  • Carcassonne: heritage site (41 km)
  • Carcassonne City: grand site of france (42 km)
  • Cité de Carcassonne: site of natural beauty (42 km)
  • Revel: recommended detour (42 km)
  • Gorges de l'Orbieu: site of natural beauty (51 km)
  • Vallée de Vicdessos: site of natural beauty (54 km)

Market days in Mirepoix, France

Regular market(s) are held in Mirepoix each Thursday & Monday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Mirepoix (Francais)