trausse-new.gif - 2108 Bytesemail Where it is now

Trausse pictured below, is a village, a "commune" in the Minervois, a vineyard area of the Languedoc Roussillon, at the base of the Montagne Noire well into the south-western part of France. The village itself was founded probably in the 8th or 9th century and has a population of about 400 people. It only received street name signs in the mid 1990s.

Trausse panorama

The nearest regional city of Carcassonne (which has the ancient Medieval walled "La Cite") is a half hours drive east of Trausse, while Toulouse is about 1 to 2 hours drive, as well as Montpellier about 2 - 2 hours & fifteen minutes drive.

Carcasonne

La Cite and again on Bastille Day.

Carcasonne

The airports to fly into would be Toulouse or Montpellier for usual type flights (e.g. Lufthansa, KLM, BA, Air France) or Barcelona with Singapore Airlines or Emirates. Easyjet fly from Orly in Paris to Toulouse, & Gatwick London to Toulouse. Or Carcassonne for Ryanair from Stansted in London & the Midlands & also from Dublin & other cities. Car rentals agencies are in the three of those airports - is usually easy to deal with any of the agencies direct on the web & sometimes cheaper to deal with ryan air or easyjet car rentals on the web. If you are going to be away for longer than 21 days you can lease either Peugeot, Citroen or Renault (see our Useful Links) which is a lot cheaper in both rental & insurance than normal rent, & take note that diesel (gazole) is the cheaper fuel to buy especially from supermarket fuel outlets.

avenue.jpg - 19996 Bytes Tournesols

Numerous Castles from the 12th & 13th centuries are all with 1-2 hours drive of Trausse, with the Canal du Midi about 15 minutes away - this is the area of the Cathars. You may want to read up on the Cathar History of the Languedoc - try Stephen O'Shea's book "The Perfect Heresy"- Profile Books 2000 or Zoe Oldenberg's "The Massacre of Montsegur".

Trausse is completely surrounded by vineyards & has in fact 4 vignerons in the village & is within 10-15 minutes of dozens of wineries where one can also have a "degustation" (tasting). I can book you on a variety of wine/history tours as well as cooking tours when you make a booking in one of the houses. Trausse is situated in a relatively flat valley and for those people who like biking the whole area is extremely suitable. Within 15 minutes by car or 60 minutes or so by bike are the foothills of the Montagnes Noires (Black Mountains), where the vineyards still grasp onto the rocky soil and yet the scenery as you ascend is magnificent. By car over the mountains for an 80 minute drive is Castres and a further 20 minutes on is the ancient city of Albi, with the unique Cathedral Ste-Cecile, the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum & the Laperouse Museum not to mention classic shopping. Spain is 110 minutes on the autoroute.

Trausse landscape

The town of Caunes Minervois with winding streets, ancient Abbey, restaurants and now a new wine bar is about 3 klms away while Peyriac & Rieux Minervois (both have restaurants & bars) are about 3 kms & 4 kms respectively & the church in Rieux is well worth a visit. The Mediterranean and the beaches of Narbonne (Narbonne Plage) & Gruissan (Gruissan Plage, Les Auygardes) are within 50 minutes drive while the beaches around Leucate & onto Collioure are about 60 + minutes - a far nicer alternative. Lac Jouarres with swimming & water sports is a 20 minute drive for those who want to cool off in summer & there is a public swimming pool in Peyriac Minervois. (Lac Jouarres pics)

The weather in Trausse can be quite warm late May, to hot in June through to August & again quite warm in September with cool to cold days/evenings in the April-May and September -October time period - it is always necessary to bring a waterproof/windproof type of jacket in case of changes in weather. The winter months of November to March are cold and a heavy coat/jacket/scarf and the use of the fire within the house would be required. It has been known to snow near here, but is not usual.

Excellent walking abounds in the mountains with valley and canyon walks or road walks to 10th century churches hidden in valleys deep in the mountains.(More about the walks) The mountains are much cooler in the summer. Likewise the area has several very good eating establishments with Lo Cagorol Restaurant 30 minutes away in the village of Aigne, with menus of 3 courses from approximately 20 Euro per person. Smaller establishments are in adjacent villages and some menus start at approximately 12 Euro per person and can include wine.

Walking/hiking enthusiasts may be interested in having a guided walk/hike – depending on weather & if Steve & Marilyn are in Trausse & available. The cost as follows: 10 Euros per person per walk, or 25 Euros per family (these walks would not be suitable for children under 12). There are 3 graded walks, (no hills – 3 hrs e.g Canal du Midi, walks in the hills – 2.5hrs and more strenuous hill walks of 3 hrs). For the latter 2 good support shoes/boots are recommended.

Wine tasting & local produce night (6.30pm to 8pm) – depending on Steve & Marilyn being in Trausse & available. Cost – Euros 20 per couple, expect to have local goats cheese from the mountains nearby, olives from the area, local smoked trout and Trausse wines (see Useful Links for a Trausse vigneron) and the famous anchovies from the med., and the various sausages from the area.

Trausse square

Trausse has a Bar a Vins - Restaurant, La Table des Vignerons "Domaine Tour Trencavel" in the renovated Bureau of the old Cave Co-operative building. They serve well constructed meals, menus with choices & a la carte served with very reasonably priced local wines. There is also a Post Office, an electrical store, a good epicerie (general store Vival) - sells excellent bread & croissants/pastries among the usual. A baker and other vendors selling various food visit the village daily (our own little market) in their vans and are announced by loud speaker or sounding of horn. Essentially Trausse is a typical French village with ancient streets, friendly locals, a 12th century Tour (tower) and a central place for parking which is near the houses (about 40 metres) - some of the streets are too narrow for cars to travel.

Throughout the year there are various fetes in Trausse or other villages and these fetes normally have a dinner at night followed by dancing with music provided by a local or nearby band e.g. Trausse cherry festival (usually mid May) where one can buy any cherry product from the delicious cherries grown around the village - boxes or bags of cherries, jams, vinegars etc.

Cafe by Tour Trencavel
Flowers on the wallMarket day

If you are looking for a Casino or trendy night spots then Trausse is NOT for you, but if you want to spend 2-3 days in the car exploring the area, then some time biking or hiking the myriad of back roads and vineyards, doing a tasting etc., attending a cooking class or trying local eating places, taking a ride on the Canal du Midi and meeting the people of this area, then Trausse is for you.

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