Aude is named after the coastal river running through the department. Aude's area (6.343 sqkm) makes it the 39th biggest French department.

Aude is surrounded by two mountainous massifs (North, the Black Mountain (Montagne Noire) ; South, the Pyrenees) and two basins (East, the Languedoc basin; West, the Aquitaine basin).
Aude has 47km of Mediterranean coast. Its neighbouring departments are Pyrénées Orientales, Haute-Garonne, Tarn, Hérault and Ariège.

It covers 125 km East-West, and 90 km North-South.

A department of 5 lands

The most part of the department is under Mediterranean climate. Landscapes are nevertheless very diverse, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Pyrenees mountains.

Amongst a rich heritage, discover the medieval castles, the « Citadelles du vertige » (literally, head spin citadels), evidence of the Cathar epic ; romanesque abbeys and cloisters; the Medieval city of Carcassonne; the Roman city of Narbonne; prehistoric caves; and many other unique locations all around the department.

Aude offers a wide range of outdoor activities in spectacular landscapes : walks under the centenarian trees bordering the famous Canal du Midi, hiking, water sports, cycle touring, mountain bike tours, speleology, and many more.

Above all, Aude hosts the biggest and oldest vineyard of France : no need to say that gastronomy is an art in this region, where you'll be delighted by local recipes and grand wines.

Aude, the Cathar country : a rich history

Aude, the Cathar country : a rich history !

Roman and Medieval Ages, are both key periods in the History of Aude, the Cathar country.
Key sites of the Cathar Country, castles and abbeys bear witness to this rich history forming a unique heritage ensemble for visitors.
Go and discover it ! Do not forget the city of Carcassonne and the Canal du Midi et de la Robine, listed by the UNESCO as world heritage.

An exceptional natural heritage !

From the Mediterranean to the Pyrenees, from the Massif Central to the lagoon areas, the Pays Lauragais, the Corbières, Aude presents throughout its territory an outstanding range of landscapes and natural sites.
Beach sands, marine lakes, white water from the valley of Aude, forests, mountains and gorges are a natural scenery to practice outdoor activities throughout the year, and discover an authentic land, full of character.

Gastronomy, an art of living !

With Aude talented chefs, a tradition of seafood, meat or cured meat has grown. The homeland of Prosper Montagné is a stamping ground of the Languedoc cuisine.
The diversity and richness of Aude wines is based on the authenticity of the lands on which they are rooted; here, cuisine and wines carry the best of marriages.

Sea, beach, sport

A wonderful cord of 50 km of sandy beach, protected by the Conservatoire du Littoral, houses Aude's seaside resorts.

Each of them offers its special atmosphere and range of activities.

Lovers of surfing sports will be contented, as well as hikers and nature enthusiasts, who will discover a preserved nature in the Regional Natural Park of Narbonne.

Aude's Blog & Press Review

Discover all the articles, sounds, videos and infographics written throughout the world about the Aude.


More than a department, a brand

The Cathar Country Brand ® distinguishes a set of products and quality services offered by men and women passionate about Aude.

We invite you to discover and taste the Cathar Country ® through a full range of services, broken down into four product lines: accommodation, Food & Wine, Events and Discoveries, Know How and Encounters. Nearly 1,000 professionals, committed to written specifications of quality, welcome you in the department of Aude.

Accessibility Label

For many years, the Tourist Board of the Aude has developed, as a central issue of its politics,  the Tourism and handicap brand (Tourisme & Handicap) to make Aude, the Cathar Country, a welcoming land for all.

The possibility for persons with disabilities, to access to leisure and vacation, is, for the board, a fundamental right.

Today, Aude, the Cathar Country, offers quality services taking into account the specific needs of people with disabilities thanks to voluntary professionals of Aude and the activism of many associations, alongside the Tourist Board.

The "Tourisme & Handicap" label is a response to the request of persons with disabilities who want to choose their holidays and leisure freely. It provides the guarantee of adapted services for the specific needs of persons with disabilities.

The logo, affixed to the entrance of sites, facilities, tourist equipments or documents, inform in a reliable, consistent and objective way about their accessibility to different types of disabilities (mobility, visual, auditory and mental).

The "Tourisme & Handicap" label promotes the emergence of tourist products and services truly open to all and provides tourists with disabilities access to information allowing them maximum autonomy. A site is labelled for one, two, three or four types of disability.

Motor disabilityVisual disabilityHearing disabilityMental disability