Quillan is a commune in the Aude département in the Languedoc-Roussillon, in south-western France, located at the foothills of the Pyrenees ( Pirenèus, Pirineus, Pyrénées), on the departmental road (D117) between Carcassonne and Perpignan.
At the top of the Haute Valley of the River Aude, Quillan close to the mountains . It is a medium sized town 6 km from Espéraza and is popular for white water rafting, canoeing and kayaking on the River Aude (upstream from Alet-les-Bain another location for water sports on the River Aude).
There are several hotels in Quillan (3 and 4 star). There is also a tourist office and several restaurants and a municipal campsite, signposted from the town centre.
The town was particularly noted for hat making in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Quillan was a significant town on an ancient winding road linking Carcassonne with Perpignan. The River Aude traditionally carried timber and other local products to Carcassonne and the Canal du Midi.
New and easier routes joining Carcassonne to Perpignan via Narbonne and along the Mediterranean coast have contributed to the town's economic decline during more recent years. Quillan now looks to develop its tourism. The immediate area is rich in Geographical and Historical interest, being located in the heart of Cathar Country.
is a sort of Quillan
Carnival (more like the Limoux
Fecos) after Easter. 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.
The railway line from Carcassonne
runs here stopping in Limoux
on the way but the service is limited and many of the train
services are replaced by buses. Leaving Quillan the main
road (D117) leads to Perpignan.
Down to Barcelona or up to Narbonne
and the TGV lines across the South of France.