Place de la République
|Canton||La Haute-Vallée de l'Aude|
|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Maurice Aragou (PS)|
|34.63 km2 (13.37 sq mi)|
|• Density||98/km2 (250/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||261–1,122 m (856–3,681 ft) |
(avg. 291 m or 955 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
Quillan is located at the foothills of the Pyrenees, on the road between Carcassonne and Perpignan. The River Aude runs through the town. At the base of the mountains, fields of sunflowers and vineyards straddle the roads with snow-capped peaks in the distance. The location is thought of as one of the most spectacular in France, which is one of the reasons for the increase in tourism and migration to the area. Peyrepertuse, Montsegur, Puilauren, Queribus, Roquefixade and other spectacular ancient Cathar sites are within easy reach.
The beaches of the Mediterranean are little more than an hour away. In the other direction, the awe of Carcassonne is 45 minutes drive, while the majesty and sophistication of Toulouse is one and a half hours away. Quillan is a medium-sized town 6 km from Espéraza, neighbouring the commune of Ginoles, and is popular for whitewater rafting, canoeing, fishing and kayaking on the Aude River and other outdoor activities including cycling, hiking and running.
Historically, Quillan was a significant stopping point on the ancient and winding road between Carcassonne and Perpignan. The River Aude traditionally carried timber and other local products to Carcassonne and the Canal du Midi. The town was particularly noted for hat making, and then later, the production of formica. Times have changed however, and with the construction of the toll-road joining Carcassonne to Perpignan via Narbonne, the town has moved away from production towards eco-tourism, tourism and outdoor pursuits such as rambling, biking, kayaking, rafting and walking to name just a few. The surrounding area is rich in geographical and historical interest including many Cathar castles within striking distance. Quillan now is a centre of travel and tourism in this beautiful region of France.
The town and surrounding villages are largely agricultural, producing milk, grapes, wine (including the famous Blanquette de Limoux), wheat, sunflowers, eggs and meat from poultry and cows. In the last few years, tourism has increased and during the warmer months many tourists flock to Quillan and its surroundings for outdoor activities, cultural events and restaurants. There are many bed-and-breakfasts and rentals, some of which are of high quality.
During each August there is a week of the Folklore Festival where dancers, musicians and singers from 10 or 12 different countries perform during the day and evening on the town square of Quillan.
There is a 1 euro bus/train that goes from Quillan to Carcassonne and from Quillan to Perpignan, each day. The railway line from Carcassonne stops in Limoux and Espéraza but some train services have been replaced by buses. Using this service, it's about 50 minutes to Carcassonne and about 1.25 hours to Perpignan. From Perpignan it's an easy short train to Barcelona or up to Narbonne and the TGV lines that depart from the South of France. By car, Quillan is 45 minutes from Carcassonne and one and a half hours from Toulouse.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Quillan (commune déléguée).|
-  Quillan Town Home Page