Black Mountain (Montagne Noire)
Black Mountain (Montagne Noire)

Black Mountain (Montagne Noire)


The basics

The Black Mountain is a mountain range that stretches 43 miles (70 kilometers) through the departments of Tarn, Aude, and Hérault. Reaching a high point at the 3,973-foot (1,211-meter) Pic de Nore, the mountains are an outdoor playground; below ground are important caves including Grotte de Limousis and Gouffre Géant de Cabrespine. Cathar history is on display in the town of Mazamet and the medieval village of Hautpoul, home to a ruined Cathar castle.

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Things to know before you go

  • Mazamet and Carcassonn are the main starting points for exploring the Black Mountain.

  • Pack extra layers if you’re visiting caves, as temperatures below ground are cool even in summer.

  • Bring a bathing suit, too: Some lakes and rivers have swimming access.

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How to get there

Running north-south from Carcassonne to Mazamet, the Black Mountain is easy to explore on day trips from either location. Small, winding roads loop through historic villages and forests. If you’re not joining a guided tour of the region, your own vehicle is essential for reaching far-flung trailheads, caves, and peaks.

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When to get there

High season in the south of France stretches from May through October, a period of warm days, ample sunshine, and busy tourist sites. For pleasant weather and fewer crowds, try for the beginning or end of that busy season: May, June, September, and October are excellent options. Winter weather is cool but often sunny, great conditions for hiking and exploring.

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Visiting caves in the Black Mountain

The Black Mountain region has many caves, but just a handful are open to the public. The most famous of these is Gouffre Géant de Cabrespine, which is located 30 minutes north of Carcassonne—visitors can explore it by underground river, fixed cables, or using a sturdy underground bridge. Also popular is Grotte de Limousis, featuring five cave chambers and two underground lakes accessible via a .6 mile (1 kilometer) walking path.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Black Mountain (Montagne Noire)?
Attractions near Black Mountain (Montagne Noire):