Who dares to do it? Hiking from La Maison Chabbert via Narbonne to the Cathar Trail and via Carcassone back to Beaufort.
Fervent hikers Anja and Wim walked the 450 km in 18 days! On August 15 they returned to us and we enjoyed their enthusiastic and special stories about beautiful nature, heavy climbs, countless ‘ webs ‘ of caterpillars, the heat wave and surprising accomodations.
There was more than enough variety. The hike led them through the Minervois, through the Parc Naturel Régional de la Narbonnaise en Méditerranée, along more than 10 Cathar castles and along the Canal du Midi.
There were a few things that Anja and Wim could not have fully foreseen. First the exceptional ‘canicule’ of this year with persistent temperatures between 35 and 40 degrees.
Although many hiking challenges have been undertaken before, they were surprised by the difficulty of the Cathar trail, such as the climb from 250 to 850 meters altitude in 3 km, phew!
They had a new and strange experience in forests, due to swarms of caterpillars. By hitting a stick, they had to pave their way through the web wires of the caterpillars.
Despite the difficulties, they very much enjoyed every day from the trip and especially the rewards afterwards: pleasant and surprising hostings with refreshing showers, cold beers and tasty meals.
Conclusion of Anja and Wim: hiking tour for experienced walkers, very worthwhile, but the advice to undertake the tour in a cooler period.
If you want to know more, feel free to contact us.
Environmental zones in France: Air Quality Certificate Crit’Air
You might have to deal with environmental zones, when driving through France. With the new law Crit’Air French towns and departments can introduce these zones. Maybe useful to get an Air Quality Certificate! This anti-pollution sticker is valid for the entire life of your vehicle. The price is €3.11 plus postage!
The video below clearly explains all this. Or you can click here for ample information.
Saint Chinian and surroundings classified as the 5th best place in the world to retire
Many agree with us that we really live in a wonderful region. Last month the village of Saint Chinian, at about half an hour from La Maison Chabbert, has even been classified by the American television channel CNBC as the 5th best place in the world to retire (see the links underneath). Together with the charm of the village the region is among others praised for its more quiet rhythm of life, its cultural heritage, authenticity, nice climate, fresh and local products and a large number of recreation possibilities.
Before we came to live in Beaufort, we often spend our holidays in Saint Chinian and stayed with Pascal and Michel in their bed and breakfast Maison du Parc. We still like to go there and already the way from Beaufort to Saint Chinian is so worth the effort. On the Promenade, surrounded by majestic plane trees, there is a market every Thursday and Sunday. We often advice our guests to make a’ tour Hérault’. First to Saint Chinian and then to Roquebrun, Olargues, Saint-Pons, Minerve, Beaufort. Nice addresses for lunch are Le Petit Nice in Roquebrun and Le Lézard Bleu in Vieussan.
Recently we discovered the small unique museum The French Seduction. The founder Ger Verhoeve took us here into the history of travel and tourism in France. A nostalgic and captivating visit thanks to the big historical knowledge of Ger Verhoeve and his huge collection of historical documents, books, travel guides, pictures, maps and souvenirs!
The museum, housed in an old bakery, is situated on a small square in Fontcouverte. The museum, housed in an old bakery, is situated on a small square in Fontcouverte. Ger also told that the annals tell us that in the room of the museum they already baked bread in a big oven since at least 1597, so for more than four ages, until the spot was transformed into a small museum. We know that because in that year Saint-Régis was born in Fontcouverte, a catholic priest who was later canonized. On our way back we saw a statue on the top of stone stairs and we could then guess who that was. It appears, there is a pilgrimage and procession every year on the 16th June to celebrate the Fête de Saint Jean-François Régis.
La Séduction Française is about 20 minutes by car from La Maison Chabbert. A nice trip which is good to combine with a visit to the beautiful village of Lagrasse. Also nice to go there by bike!
On the 24th and 25th of March 2017 the interesting and informative biennial Congress of French Teachers will take place in the Netherlands. As the theme of this year le français ça marche shows, the congress is a good promotion of the French language. There will be a lot of workshops with leaders from a large number of francophone countries. A lot of ambassadors will be present as well as no one other than the author Philippe Claudel and l’incroyable talent Thomas Boisset.
Before we moved to France, we were closely involved in the organization of the congress. A modest contribution at a distance in 2015 gave La Maison Chabbert nice publicity this year:
Concert LES VIEILLES CANAILLES or Festival EN BLANC ET NOIR,
the choice is up to you : rock or piano.
To combine with our Festival Package Holiday.
Always been a fan of Jacques Dutronc, Johnny Hallyday and Eddy Mitchell? Take your chance in 2017 to watch these rockers, LES VIEILLES CANAILLES, perform together at the FESTIVAL OF CARCASSONNE on the 5th July. Nice occasion also to visit the impressive fortified City.
Together with the concert of Les Vieilles Canailles, there will be concerts of a completely different genre in Lagrasse: FESTIVAL EN BLANC ET NOIR. A unique festival of piano concerts from 6th – 11th July 2017. Lagrasse, classified as one of the most beautiful villages of France, is worth a visit anyway.
From Beaufort scenic roads will bring you to Carcassonne or Lagrasse within three-quarters of an hour. Inspired by the announcements of these concerts we would like to offer you a Festival Package Holiday of € 105,00 per person including:
1 three course dinner including aperitif
The price is based on a double room and valid for the period 1st – 14th July 2017.
Are you not much of a festival visitor, take advantage of the package holiday anyway to visit the number of nice places that the Minervois has to offer you.
In January a beautiful emission ‘Cap Sud Ouest’ about Minerve has been broadcasted on the French television. You can look back the emission on the website of France 3 Aquitaine, under the title Le Minervois, à la frontière du vertige:
The blog post about the Gorges d’Héric mentions that the weather is often very nice in December. We have lived now for four years in Beaufort and we experienced a lot of sun-filled days in winter. Hiking with temperatures around 15° or eating lunch outside on the quay of the Canal de la Robine in Narbonne, we have had the pleasure more than once. So why not travel to the south and take advantage of a favourable offer of € 105,00 per person including:
1 three course dinner including aperitif
Price based on a double room and valid until the 17th April 2017.
Things to do in the area?
hiking in the direct surroundings or a bit further into the hinterland or along the coast,
visit a city like Narbonne, Béziers or Carcassonne,