Le Petit Charme (LPC) is the perfect starting point for exploring the natural beauty, quaint villages, and culinary delights of the Languedoc-Roussillon region and the vineyards of the Minervois.
Within a 20-minute drive from Argens-Minervois is a number of larger villages. You’ll discover weekly outdoor markets (Lézignan-Corbičres, Olonzac), wineries with tasting rooms (Homps, Pouzols-Minervois, Ventenac), scenic overlooks with breathtaking views (the medieval village of Minerve), and much more.
The 17th-century Canal du Midi, which stretches from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and passes through Argens-Minervois, offers the chance to see the region via a relaxing pleasure-boat ride.
A 30-minute drive west from Argens-Minervois brings you to the ancient walled city of Carcassonne (above), replete with shops, souvenirs, and museums to delight the history buff. A half-hour drive beyond Carcassonne and you arrive at Castelnaudary—the birthplace of cassoulet, southern France’s famed stick-to-your-ribs pork-and-sausage casserole.
Driving a half-hour east from Argens-Minervois will take you to Narbonne, a city renowned for its medieval cathedral. It features a variety of shopping, restaurant, and nightlife options. Just beyond Narbonne are the Mediterranean beaches of Narbonne-Plage and Gruissan—both worth several visits, thanks to the region’s mild climate and 300 days of sunshine a year.
In all directions you’ll find villages (such as Minerve) studded with medieval churches and castle ruins, many of which are relics of the bloody wars between the crusading Christians and the local followers of the Cathar religion. One of the loveliest sites is the secluded Fontfroide Abbey, with guided tours, fragrant herbal gardens, a wine-tasting room, and a highly rated restaurant.
For longer day trips, LPC is a 20-minute drive from the major A9 and A61 autoroutes, which provide direct access to Toulouse and Montpellier (1.25 hrs.), Perpignan and Collioure (1.5 hours), the French and Spanish Pyrenees (1.5 hours), the Salvador Dalí Museum in Figueres, Spain (1.25 hours), and Barcelona (3 hours).
Minerve has been selected as one of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (“The Most Beautiful Villages of France”). It is well worth a visit when staying at LPC.
Touring the ruins of various Cathar castles is a great day-trip opportunity in the Minervois valley.
Enjoy the sun and sand of the beautiful Mediterranean, which is but a short drive away. Spend the day swimming, sunning, and surfing, then dine on the fish and shellfish caught that morning for the local restaurants.
The harbor in Collioure is a breathtaking sight, especially with its castle and the Church of Notre Dame des Anges.
These mountains, which divide France and Spain, can be seen in the distance from the Minervois. The Pyrenees boast some of the most magnificent peaks in Europe and are a popular destination for sports, such as alpine skiing and mountaineering.
Salvador Dalí Museum
Egg sculptures top the Dalí Theatre and Museum, located in the artist’s home town of Figueres, Catalonia, in Spain. Extensively renovated and reimagined by the surrealist artist himself; the museum features the largest and most diverse collection of Dalí’s works, many of which came from the artist’s personal collection.