Léran and Places to Visit
Léran is steeped in history - a charming bastide village dating back to the 13th century. Its skyline is dominated by the massive Château de Léran, until recently the family seat of the Dukes de Lévis-Mirepoix. There is a restaurant and a thriving bar-bistro, and the village lies in a valley surrounded by beautiful countryside that rises to the Pyrenees.
In fact, the Lévis-Mirepoix family are connected to much of the history of the area. The massive ruins of a second Lévis chateau are nearby at Lagarde. And a third Lévis chateau is at the top of Montségur. This mountain is 15 km to the south of Léran and never ceases to impress with its majestic setting. The peak was one of the last refuges of the Cathars before they were wiped out in 1243 during the Catholic Inquisition. Together with Roquefixade, the Cathar mountains offer the most easily accessible peaks in the area.
Also nearby is Camon, voted one of the prettiest villages in France with its colourful roses and Benedictine Abbey. Twelve kilometers to the north is the attractive medieval town of Mirepoix featuring ancient covered walkways, a cathedral and a lively market.
The nearest wine production is at Limoux (30 mins) and a little further on is Carcassonne with its world famous castle. There is a beautiful drive west to Foix which has a museum and a castle that stands out dramatically above the town.