Wild Swimming

This information was from one of my guests who visited my home in July 2013.
We really enjoyed wild swimming in the lakes and rivers when we stayed at Labastide-en-val.  We went to:
In the lovely village of Lagrasse, below the Abbey.  Easy access for families.
The Swimming
The water is clear.  It’s popular with the locals and there is a little hut there.  People like jumping off the bridge.  There is some shade.

Just up from Lagrasse on the river Orbier, Ribaute is a tiny village with a pretty stone bridge that crosses the river.  There’s a car park.
The Swimming
The water is clear, cool and clean, and there are plenty of rocks either side of the river to spread out your towel and catch those rays. There is also a small waterfall nearby - perfect for kids to play in.  Also there are some shady trees slightly further up(stream) the river - perfect for picnicking 

Click to view this location on Google MapsYou reach this small lake by driving south from the small village of Taurize.  It’s quite a bumpy ride and further than you think but well signed.
The Swimming
The water here is not particularly clear, but it is clean and can get very warm in summer.
La Fontaine des Amours is a stunning heart shaped pool with a cascade. The literal translation is Fountain of love or the Lovers Fountain.

It is very close to Rennes Les Bains. To get there, head out of Rennes Les Bains away from Couiza and towards Bugarach. After a few hundred yards, take the left turn on the D74, signposted Sougraigne. The road goes over a small stream while veering sharply to the right after a couple of hundred yards. Look out for parking places on the right hand side, and there is a short path down to the river.  There is a little handmade sign pointing down to the pool.
The Swimming:
Great fun for plunging into the crisp waters as well as splashing about in.  The water was very clear and beautiful.
Also at Rennes Les Bains there is a Free Hot Thermal Shower
Location - if you are coming on the D14 (from the D613) just as you enter the village on the left by the gardens and swimming pool.  Take the path past the swimming pool and walk 500m down the path going back towards the D613.  It’s a long drive from Labastide as the roads are very windy.  On the way back we went through Limoux and Carcassone which was under an hour travel time.
There is a lovely warm shower and some make shift bath pools.  There are also some pretty grassy banks to picnic on - with a few picnic tables.

It’s about 1km out of the village, through the ‘square’ with the church, past the allotments, further than you think, not the path crossing the river just after that there is a path/track diagonally downwards past a stable . . . . you will find a crystal clear swimming hole with a small waterfall
Swimming - this was our favourite spot.  I went swimming every morning.  Super fresh, and crystal clear waters.  And I loved having a shoulder message from the waterfall.
There are further details and some of the places we went to are listed here:  http://www.creme-de-languedoc.com/Languedoc/beaches/river-lake-swimming.php