The house is three kilometres from Mirepoix. The ancient market town is a miniature version of Carcassonne, with two vibrant markets per week (Mondays and Thursdays) and many large and small restaurants. You can sit in the numerous pavement cafes watching the world go by, or investigate the small shops under the jettied arcade. The old market along one side of the square hosts regular festivals throughout the year, including a jazz festival, a puppet festival, vintage cars and an apple festival. Next to the square sits the peaceful old cathedral.

Local towns and villages
There are many other picturesque towns within a short drive of Besset, which itself is surrounded by fields of cheery sunflowers. Carcassonne is a world heritage centre with a completely restored old town, walls and battlements and is great fun for families and couples alike to explore. The new town is a major shopping centre.

We have listed local shops here – including supermarkets.

Foix, the principle town of Ariege, is the home of Princes, with a large Friday market and some select shopping. Pamiers is a commercial centre with many supermarkets and shops. However it is also an ancient academic centre and has a picturesque centre. There are many pretty little villages and hamlets in the immediate area, perhaps the prettiest is Camon which has guided tours throughout the summer. There are folders of brochures in the house to help you choose what to do.

Castles and museums
We are in the centre of the Carthar country, with many mountain-top castles and ruins. The closest is Montsegur, which is a challenging walk to the top of a steep hill. The Chateau of Chalabre is an old Pope’s palace now open through the summer with demonstrations of archery, horse tilting, writing with quill pens, and for the younger visitors, demonstrations in sword fighting and knight’s etiquette. Renne le Chateau is a mountain-top village and a history of a priest who made the village rich, some say by discovering the Holy Grail. Most of these places provide a glorious view out over the Pyrennees which is ideal for your holiday snaps.

For children
There is a Dinosaur Forest attraction within driving distance, which is a big hit with young and old alike. For more ideas check out the Things to do with children in Ariege website.

There are lots of vineyards just a short drive away. Popular places include Chateau de Pennautier and our family favourite, Denois whose wines are available in nearby Limoux.

For the more active
There are many beautiful walks around the area and in the mountains of the Pyrenees. Active pursuits such as canoing, go-karting and horse riding are also close to hand. Information about these can also be found in the folders in the house and online at Ariege Tourism Information.