The department of Aude is named after the coastal river that runs through it. With a surface area of 6,343 km², it is the 39th biggest department in France. The department is located between two mountain ranges (the Montagne Noire to the north and the Pyrenees to the south) and two basins (the Languedoc basin to the east and the Aquitaine basin to the west).

The department boasts 47 km of Mediterranean coastline. The neighbouring departments are Pyrenees Orientales, Haute-Garonne, Tarn, Herault and Ariege.

It measures 125 km from east to west and 90 km from north to south.


Most of the department enjoys the influence of the Mediterranean climate. Nevertheless, the region is characterised by great geographical diversity, from the Mediterranean to the Pyrenees.

You can wander in the shade of ancient trees beside the Canal du Midi, or choose from the selection of outdoor activities available in impressive natural settings, whether in the mountains or on the sea. Hiking, nautical sports, cycling, mountain biking, caving: the range of landscapes in Aude means anything is possible.

But whatever you decide, be sure to surrender to the culinary delights and fine wines of Aude gastronomy, right in the heart of the biggest and oldest winemaking region in France.


In Aude, seaside towns and wildlife reserves alternate along almost 50 km of sandy coastline. Each town has its own unique atmosphere and activities on offer. There is something for everyone: board sports, nautical and seaside activities, hiking, and more. Outdoor lovers will be thrilled by a visit to the Narbonne Natural Regional Park.


The Roman times and the Middle Ages are the two key periods to have left a strong historical mark on Aude Pays Cathare.

The landmarks of Pays Cathare, its chateaux and its abbeys, reveal one aspect of this rich history that offers visitors a unique experience.

So go and explore! And make sure you don’t forget Carcassonne, the Canal du Midi and the Canal de la Robine, all designated Unesco world heritage sites.


An exceptional, but fragile, wildlife heritage.
In the heart of the most biodiverse region in France, Aude Pays Cathare has an exceptional wildlife heritage.

This ecological diversity stems from the broad range of natural environments and an absence of significant damage caused by human activity.