The quiet town of Chalabre is located about an hour south-west of Carcassonne, in a part of the Aude locally known as the Quercorb which is roughly defined as lying between the upper valley of the River Aude, the Pyrenees, and the Ariege department.
In the middle ages, Chalabre housed a thriving community and was the capital of the Quercorb, dominated by the Chateau de Mauleon. Today many vestiges of its medieval roots remain intact, including its delightful market square surrounded by half-timbered buildings. The chateau also plays its part, with regular jousting events and medieval music festivals staged there during the summer season. Although its population numbers just 1200, the town is now the communal centre for several nearby villages and is very well served with two pharmacies, several doctor’s offices, a bank, a post office, two bars, bakeries, grocers, butchers, a florist, a fashion boutique, a hotel, a few restaurants, municipal tennis courts, a creche, primary and secondary schools; there is also a small local market on Saturday mornings.
The highlight of Chalabre, however, has to be the spectacular scenery and points of interest all around it. The town is just a few kilometres from Montbel Lake – an enormous expanse of water where you can go sailing, fishing or swimming; there is also a swimming lake at the popular village of Puivert nearby, as well as the dramatic Chateau de Puivert.
From the surrounding hilltops there are superb views of the Pyrenees and the area is a haven for keen walkers, equestrians or cyclists. Chalabre is also within 20 minutes of the increasingly popular town of Mirepoix in the Ariege, making this area a very good bet for property investment.
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