Montjoie-en-Couserans travel guide

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Visit Montjoie-en-Couserans (Occitanie, France)

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The small village of Montjoie-en-Couserans is just a few kilometres to the north-east of Saint-Lizier, in a picturesque region of the Ariege department.

True or not I don't know, but it is said the village takes it name from the joy experienced by pilgrims when they first came in sight of Saint-Lizier!

Exploring Montjoie-en-Couserans

Montjoie was originally founded as a bastide town in the 13th century on the site of an ancient monastery, surrounded by fortifications which are still partly standing. Although very small the village is worth a visit when you are nearby.

Old stone house in centre of Montjoie-de-Couserans

In the centre of the village you can see an imposing fortified church, dating from the 14th century and with a decorative facade and belltower, a gateway through the towns original defensive walls, and a few picturesque houses.

Montjoie-le-Couserans is a good base for exploring the highlights in the surrounding countryside and discovering a region of the Ariege largely overlooked by visitors: most visitors will discover Montjoie as part of this tour rather than because they have travelled a long way to see the village - like I say it is very small and we are not suggesting you travel a great distance just to get here!


The Tour de l'Avantes

Montjoie-en-Couserans is the starting point for a route called the Tour de L'Avantes, a route that explores several of the surrounding villages and historical highlights that can be followed by car or on bike (the complete tour is almost 40 kilometres).

Among the principal points of interest as you follow the tour are: the lavoir and other buildings at Breuch; the hamlet of artists at Peyruc; the views from the ruins of the Chateau de Clermont; the church belltower at Naguès; the church at Rimont; and the abbey at Combelongue.

Apart from these points of interest the tour is a very pleasant way to explore the hamlets and countryside around Montjoie-en-Couserans.

Entrance to Montjoie through ancient fortified walls

Attractions nearby

Other towns and village you will want to visit near Montjoie-de-Couserans include the town of Saint-Girons for a walk through the town centre along the river and the pretty village of Saint-Lizier.

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

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A small village in the Natural Regional Park of the Ariege Pyrenees, Saint-Lizier is very picturesque and also has a cathedral and other notable monuments

Saint-Lizier guide


Saint-Girons is a quiet town, a perfect chance to see an unspoiled local town typical of this region

Saint-Girons guide


Although tiny, the castle (and picnic area) in the centre of Tourtouse make a detour recommended

Tourtouse guide


Audressein is a very small village in a picturesque river valley, visited for the ancient frescoes in the porch of the church

Audressein guide


Cazeres is not a tourist town, but you might like to visit the Church of Notre Dame of the Assumption when in the region

Cazeres guide


The small village of Martres-Tolosane is known for its faiencerie workshops

Martres-Tolosane guide

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

Address: Montjoie-en-Couserans, Saint-Lizier, Saint-Girons, Midi-Pyrenees, 9200, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 43.0025, longitude 1.16

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The French version of this page is at Montjoie-en-Couserans (Francais)