Caunes-Minervois (as well as being home to L'Olivette) is a medieval village of steep, twisting, narrow streets and sand-colored stone buildings surrounding the great 8th Century Abbey that lies at its heart.
It nestles among the vineyards at the foot of the Montagne Noire, the southernmost area of the Massif Centrale.
The fabulous Abbey, started in the 8th centuary, towers over the village.
A walk through the village reveals many Renaissance facades. Vestiges of even older buildings can be seen, including parts of the medieval fortifications. Two ancient public laundries, fed by the local streams, are still in use.
Although the village is small, with no more than 1400 inhabitants, it boasts
Three restaurants, La Table d'Emilie, La Marbrerie and Restaurant d'Alibert
Two bistros La Mangeoire and the La Cantine du Cure.
A piza restaurant L'Argent Double
A traditional Bar Cafe, La Grande Fontaine
In addition thre are a pharmacy, two doctors' offices, and a lawyer. There are also two grocery stores, two bakeries, a butcher, a gas station, two hairdressers, a post office and a general store that sells everything from knick-knacks of the local marble to parts for TV sets.
Outside the village you can find evidence of the Red Marble Industry that provided the Marble for the Palace of Versaille and in the Notre Dame du Cros just outside of the viilage
And the odd vine or two
Spend a few minutes sampling the wonderful local wines... you know you want to!