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Montolieu travel guide

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Visit Montolieu (Occitanie, France)

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The small town of Montolieu, a few kilometres north-west of Carcassonne in the Languedoc region of southern France, is best know as for the number of booksellers in the town that attract enthusiasts of old books from far afield, but there is much to enjoy during a visit even if you are not interested in old books...

Exploring Montolieu

The best view across the village is from the bridge as you arrive from Revel direction, with a scenic view of the church and village above the valley below.

Bookshop in Montolieu

The village itself has lots of small features to discover, such as fountains and houses with interesting colombage woodwork while remaining mostly 'unrenovated', around a substantial church that dominates the centre of Montolieu.

For the last 20 years Montolieu has been officially recognised as a 'book town' and has about 15 shops dedicated to books. Perhaps less well known it is also a regional centre for other arts and crafts and various artists, designers, glass blowers and photographers have also established their studios here.

In the centre of old Montolieu there is also a museum dedicated to books and printing that contains a good number of ancient printing presses, old documents, and font types. You will find it interesting even if old books are not your thing!

There is a surprise down one of the side streets in the town - follow the signs to reach Place de l'Esperou and you discover that Montolieu is built on the edge of a deep ravine.

From this small square there are views into the gorge in both directions, and of the houses that follow the edge of the cliffs. Curious, because from elsewhere in the village you wouldn't guess the existence of this scenic highlight!

Traditional stone houses in Montolieu

Attractions nearby

To the west of the village in Saint-Martin-le-Vieil you can visit the Abbey de Villelongue, the ruins of a cistercian abbey and its gardens, or you can even stay at the abbey: see chambre d'hote at abbey de Villelongue. Also in Saint-Martin-le-Vieil you can visit an authentic recreation of a medieval garden.

In the Church of Sainte-Marie in the small village of Aragon there is a most remarkable sight: wood panels that were painted with patterns, flowers and religious symbols in the 14th century and were only rediscovered about 30 years ago after being covered for 200 years!

A few kilometres north-west of Montolieu you should visit Saissac, a small and pretty village, then if you continue further in the same direction the road passes through the Regional Natural Parc of Haut-Languedoc to reach Revel and Sorèze, both of which are very pleasant to explore.

Of course, no visit to this part of the Aude department would be complete without visiting the remarkable medieval town of Carcassonne, to the south-east of Montolieu.

You can find more travel ideas in the Aude guide and the Languedoc-Roussillon guide.

See also:

Photos of Montolieu

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  • bookshop-teashop
  • church-interior
  • church
  • colombage-wordwork
  • gorge-and-river
  • quiet-streets
  • town-fountain
  • traditional-houses
  • view-in-village

Map of Montolieu and places nearby

Visit near Montolieu with France This Way reviews

Saissac

Saissac

In Saissac the highlights include the views from the top of the village and the castle at the bottom of the village

Saissac guide
Chateaux de Lastours

Chateaux de Lastours

The four ruined castles in Lastours, in cathar country, were built in the 13th century

Chateaux de Lastours guide
Carcassonne

Carcassonne

The medieval fortress-town of Carcassonne is very extensive and very interesting. Highly recommended!

Carcassonne guide
Soreze

Soreze

The abbey-school and numerous ancient colombage houses are among the interesting finds in the village of Soreze

Soreze guide
Castelnaudary

Castelnaudary

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

Castelnaudary guide
Revel

Revel

The large arcaded square in the centre of Revel contains one of the biggest medieval market halls to be found in France

Revel guide

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

Address: Montolieu, Alzonne, Carcassonne, Languedoc-Roussillon, 11170, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 43.31, longitude 2.2158

Plan your visit to Montolieu, Aude

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Carcassonne: heritage site (16 km)
  • Carcassonne City: grand site of france (17 km)
  • Cité de Carcassonne: site of natural beauty (17 km)
  • Gouffre de Cabrespine: site of natural beauty (20 km)
  • Revel: recommended detour (24 km)
  • Limoux: recommended detour (28 km)
  • Jardin de l'Évêché: remarkable garden (33 km)
  • Camon: most beautiful village (38 km)
  • Lagrasse: most beautiful village (41 km)
  • Parc aux Bambous: remarkable garden (42 km)
  • Gorges de l'Orbieu: site of natural beauty (43 km)
  • Minerve: most beautiful village (43 km)

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

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