Spend your holidays staying at a villa in Aude and enjoy the diverse opportunities this interesting region in southern France has to offer. It almost goes without saying that the food and wine here are excellent – markets and restaurants use fresh local produce, and specialities include Cassoulet (a slow cooked bean and pork dish), duck, cherries and delicious nougat. The vineyards in Aude produce red, white and sweet dessert wines with famous labels like Fitou and Minervois. Self-catering villas give keen cooks the chance to try out their skills with the local ingredients. Get out and about to explore the beaches, forests, mountains and historic sites. Cathar castles, the medieval walled city of Carcassonne and the 240km Canal du Midi that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site are all well worth a visit.