Camon is a fortified village, much of which dates back to the 16th century, lying on the border between the Ariege and the Aude departements in the valley of the river Hers. Much remains of the medieaval ramparts, and parts of the Benedictine abbey church date back to the 10th century. The area is rural and agricultural, with rare species of orchids to be found growing wild in the surrounding hillsides, where there is ample opportunity for hiking. Fine views of the village and surrounding countryside are within easy walking distance of the house, and the foothills of the Pyrenees can be seen from the bedroom windows. Mountain-biking, horseriding and canoeing are also widely available in the locality. Camon is officially classified as one of the prettiest villages in France, and is well-known for its abundance of climbing roses which are planted throughout the village and celebrated in the annual Fete des Roses in May. The historic abbey-chateau in the village now operates as an upmarket boutique hotel with a fine-dining restaurant open to non-residents. The pretty medieaval castle town of Mirepoix, with its half-timbered pastel-coloured houses arranged round the town square is 10 minutes drive away with a full range of local shops and a bustling market every Monday. Montbel lake, 15 minutes away, offers a range of watersports, and the Cathar castles of the Languedoc are within an hour's drive.