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Visit the villages of the Minervois au Caroux

Discover all the highlights of the area for a weekend or a week and maybe extend your stay.
Villages nestling in the heart of the mountains, vineyards and the Canal du Midi with a varied heritage, traditions, flavours and events all year round...

agelvignette    aignevignette    aiguesvivesvignette    azillanetvignette    beaufortvignette    berlou table panonamique2    boissetvignette    cassagnolesvignette    cesserasvignette    colombiresvignette    courniou fileuse de verre vignette    Felines Minervois Moulin vignette    Ferrals sourcedelacesse vignette    ferrieresvignette    lacaunettevignette    lalivinierevignette    verreriesvignette    minerve cite cathare xavier VIGNETTEweb    monsvignette    olarguesvignette    olonzacvignette    oupiavignette    pardailhanvignette    premianvignette    rieussecvignettes    riolsvignette    roquebrunvignette    stponsvignette    siranvignette    stetiennevignette    stjeanminervoisvignette    stjulien prieure vignette    stmartinvignette    stvincentvignette    velieuxvignette    vieussanvignette



A village that perpetuates the ancestral agricultural traditions

In the south of the Pays Saint Ponais, 18km from Saint-Pons, on the edge of the Minervois, this village nestling in its valley at an altitude of 450m perpetuates its agricultural vocation with a harvest festival where you can relive the ancestral work of the reapers, the assembly of the gerbiers, the threshing, and then, take part in the traditional country meal.
If you visit the small Romanesque church, don't be surprised by the African-made Christ who adorns it. A local boy, Jean-Rémi Bessieux, was the first bishop of Gabon. A fresco evokes his mission on African soil.
Not far from the wild "canyons" of Brian in the Haut Minervois, nestles this paradise for hikers and fishermen. The village perpetuates its agricultural traditions, under the protection of the Romanesque church of Saint Martin.

A little bit of history

The history of Vélieux once depended on the one of Minerve, because it belonged to the chatellany of Minerve until the end of the Ancien Régime.
After that, the Marquis de Thézan-Poujol, descendant of Monseigneur de Fleyres, was lord of Minerve, Vélieux, Rieussec and Boisset. But having no land, the inhabitants were represented by consuls.
In 1789, Vélieux had about 120 inhabitants.
Pierre Bessieux and Barthélémy Tresor were the last two consuls representing the village community. It was Bessieux who was appointed on 13th March 1789 at the "place intended to hold assemblies" to represent Vélieux in Carcassonne for the election of the deputies of the Tiers-Etat.


:: The Great Green Network Hike

City hall information

Wednesday: from 8.30am to 11.30am
04 67 97 22 76
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Take a walk in the city of marble !

From the museum to the cathedral, its streets lined with old shops and decorated lintels invite you to go back in time.

Marble extracted from local quarries can be found in all stages of the city's development.


saint pons vue cathedrale


The Cathedral of Saint-Pons-de-Cimiez

Classified as a Historic Monument, this former abbey church has been rebuilt several times over the centuries. It houses a baroque marble choir, carved walnut stalls and a listed organ. 
It is also the largest Romanesque cathedral in the Occitan region! 

Orgue Saint Pons XavierLigonnet 8f47b


The Source of the Jaur

The river Jaur takes its source in Saint-Pons-de-Thomières. Often explored at the end of the 19th century, and even arranged for visits at certain times, it has always been a sacred place.

source XavierLigonnet 24193

A legend even asserts that the source is a monster petrified by the gods.
"In very distant times, when the deities jealously courted the daughters of men, a monster, half dragon, half snake, caught the people in its path with its huge tongue. It was then, that a divine couple took the defence of humans. Divanona and Divanogétimar cast a spell on the horrible animal. It was thus petrified. Nowadays, the mouth of the animal and its tongue are still visible in St-Pons de Thomières, in the form of the rocky cavity and the water table".

Take a walk in the nearby park, whose lush vegetation keeps the temperature mild in summer.


The Prehistory Museum

Discover the prehistoric people behind the Menhir Statues : the Sainponians! 
Observe many Neolithic remains found the caves of the Minervois au Caroux area. 

musee prehistoire


A little bit of history

The history of Saint-Pons is known from the foundation of the Benedictine Abbey by Count Raymond Pons of Toulouse, in 936. The abbey was built on the left bank of the river Jaur and entrusted to Benedictine monks from Aurillac.

Numerous donations enriched the monastery throughout the Middle Ages, and enabled it to radiate spiritually and materially over a vast region. 
The town of Saint-Pons developed around the church and the vast abbey buildings, the magical, fortified town was built. On the right bank, was situated the lesser town of Thomières, with its own ramparts and streets lined with shops.

The small town is a place of passage and commercial exchange, on the communication route between Castres and Béziers, on the border of the territories of the count of Toulouse and the viscount of Trencavel. 
In 1170, the monastery, and probably part of the town, were plundered by the Protestants, and suffered serious destruction.
The abbey church, seriously damaged, had to be rebuilt and fortified.

In the 17th Century, the two towns united under the name of Saint Pons de Thomières.
Thanks to the cloth trade and the textile industry, the economy was flourishing.



:: Art Circuit.
:: City discovery tour. 
:: Randoland information sheets: visit St Pons with your family.
:: Orienteering race.
:: The Voie Verte.
:: The Market on Wednesday morning. 

City hall information

Rue Villeneuve
BP 1
34220 Saint-Pons-de-Thomières
From Monday to Friday : from 8.30am to 12pm and from 1.45pm to 5.30pm
04 67 97 39 39
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The chapel of Notre-Dame de Centeilles, surrounded by cypresses and holm oaks, offers beautiful frescoes.

At an altitude of 96m, 580 Siranais(es) live in this village including the hamlets of Borie, Crémade, Cantaussel, Centeilles, Combelizarne, Fontbertière, Fournes, La Rouviole, Lauriole, Laval, Le Théron, Les Combelles, Métairies Basse, Métairies Blanches, Mousse and Najac.
Isolated at the foot of the Pic Saint-Martin, the chapel of Notre-Dame de Centeilles, surrounded by cypress and holm oaks, offers beautiful frescoes. 

From April 1st to November 15th, the chapel is open on Sunday afternoons from 3pm to 6pm. And on appointment on Saturdays. 
For groups: make an appointment with the association of the Friends of Centeilles.
Mr or Mrs Mandeville on 04 68 91 62 25 / Mrs Lignières on 04 68 91 50 07.

The current Gothic style chapel dates from the 13th and 15th centuries, built on the site of a Romanesque church. 

This site, offering a vast panorama of the vineyard, marks the border between the Causse and the Minervois plain.

    chapelle centeilles fleurs d1fa4

A little further down, Siran has preserved the gates of its medieval enclosure, including the one of Baden, surmounted by a clock tower.


:: The chapel of Notre-Dame de Centeilles.

City hall information

1 place de la Mairie
34210 Siran
From Monday to Friday: from 10am to 12pm and from 6pm to 7pm 
04 68 91 42 08
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Land of the "Nectar of the gods".

Halfway between the Minervois plain and the foothills, the village is situated on the northeast side of the Minervois plateau, in the heart of the 180hectares of the Muscat de Saint-Jean-de-Minervois appellation.
On this white limestone land hangs a grafted vine, in the middle of plots of land, delimited by dry stone walls punctuated with capitelles.
Legend has it that in the past, following a terrible storm, only three vines survived: three strains of Muscat "petit grain". When the harvest came, the result was astonishing and those who tasted it called it "nectar of the Gods". Thus was born the famous Muscat de Saint Jean de Minervois, classified AOC since 1949 and renowned for its exceptional aromas of lemongrass, acacia and lime blossom.

The Muscat Petit Grain, one of the oldest known grape varieties, is the only one to adapt to the dry and sunny conditions of this area.
To the east of Saint-Jean, between the hamlets of Gimios and Barroubio, a deep gorge shelters the church of Saint-Jean-de-Dieuvaille, dating from the 11th century.

A little bit of history

According to a legend, the Saint-Jean vineyard dates back to Roman times.
What is historically true is that the lord of Pardailhan levied a seigneurial right on the wine of Saint-Jean and Saint-Martial as early as the Middle Ages.
The last lord-baron of Pardailhan, Thomas-François de Treil de Pardailhan, maître d'hôtel to King Louis XVI at the Court of Versailles, is said to have had the wine from his estate tasted at the royal table.
Beyond this possibly legendary anecdote, the commune produces a remarkable Muscat, which obtained the AOC in 1949 (decree of 10th of November 1949).


:: Bicycle Itinerancy.
:: Local products and growers : Muscat de Saint-Jean.

City hall information

Tuesdays and Thursdays : from 2pm to 5pm 

04 67 38 01 13
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Seuls les partenaires de l'office du tourisme figurent sur le site. Une liste exhaustive peut être fournie sur demande. Les prix et descriptifs sont donnés à titre indicatif sur la base des informations fournies par les prestataires.

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