Rooms in Village House to Let, South of France

La Maison des Acacias (Acacia House)

The Area

 

Local Facilities & Places of Interest

 

All around the area are castles, mountains, historic abbeys, churches, gorges, grottoes and spas. The village lies in the very heart of Cathar Country, the location of some of the most important and portentous events of medieval Europe, vestiges of which can be seen everywhere. Many of the most famous Cathar sites are only a short drive or cycle ride away. It is less than a two hour's walk away to the hilltop village of Rennes-le-Château, the mystery village of the the Languedoc, a site of continuing mysteries surrounding the discovery of vast treasures by the local priest over a century ago. (There are local bookshops in the area entirely dedicated the Cathars, local Templars and the Rennes-le-Chateau mystery.)

The area is a delight for those seeking active holidays. Cycling, the French national sport, is the most popular. You can hire mountain bikes ("VTTs") from Thomas Loisirs, 54 Avenue de Perpignan (three minutes' walk from the house, over the river). Tel: 04 68 74 10 97. Esperaza Church, a grade I listed building in the Town Square. They're open all year 9am to noon and 2pm to 7pm Monday to Saturday, and 10am to noon on Sundays.

There's also horse riding, hang-gliding, white-water rafting, kayaking and canoeing, mountain climbing, fishing and walking…even hot air ballooning. In the winter, there's skiing in the Pyrenees, less than an hour's drive away. Hot springs abound in this area and there are many naturally heated swimming pools and natural lakes.

Flying for qualified pilots and flight initiation for children is available within an hour's drive at the Flight Training Centre in Carcassonne.

The surrounding countryside is stunning and varied throughout the year. To the South are the foothills of the Pyrenees, then the real Pyrenees, and the Spanish border, about an hour's drive away. One of the old pilgrimage routes to Santiago (St-Jacques) de Compostella passes through Limoux, Espéraza, the Gorge de Pierre-Lys, through the mountains and on into Spain. To the East are the Corbières, one of the few remaining wildernesses in Europe, where boar still roam wild, and beyond it the Mediterranean coast, including Perpignan, Collioure and a number of holiday beaches In the winter there there are a number of Skiing and snow boarding resorts between one and two hours' drive away.

To the West lies the Plateau de Sault, a high plateau of forests and rolling countryside, and beyond it Andorra. To the north are vineyards and historic cities like Carcassonne. Local wines worth investigating include Blanquette de Limoux, a white sparkling wine; Fitou a rich red from the nearby Corbières; Muscat, a sweet white wine and Maury a port style of drink both served as aperitifs. To the north the famous red wines of the Minervois. A very good selection of wines of the Languedoc region is stocked by the local supermarkets and is also available directly from the producers. Click on the following link for Languedoc wines

Local wildlife is also an attraction for many visitors. Because of its varied terrain, the Aude possesses more than twice the number of plant species than the whole of the UK, including some 80 types of orchid. It is similarly rich in animal species, particularly birds.

 

 

Esperaza

 

Esperaza is typical of the region, with narrow lanes and architecture in local stone dating back to the Middle Ages. Many houses have decorative features peculiar to the town. Within two minutes walk you will find boulangeries, patisseries, tabacs, bars, restaurants, bank, a post office, and a grade I listed church. People come from miles around for the Sunday Market. There is also a smaller market on Thursdays.

Unusually for such a small town, Espéraza also boasts two museums.

Like many towns in area Esperaza is proud of its Occitan heritage: The description at the bottom of the sign is written in the Occitan language and translates into English as Occitan Village .Though now French, the area was independent for many centuries. Occitan is still spoken locally and the Catalan language is spoken just a few miles away. At the Sunday market, you can sample Catalonian delicacies as well as local ones, many of them organic, including bread, wine, dairy products, honey, vegetables and mushrooms.

Five minutes' walk away near the railway station is a museum dedicated to hat making, the traditional industry of the area. Another, next to it, is dedicated to dinosaurs. The area is rich in prehistoric fossils and important discoveries have been made near here. Some of the digs are open to visitors.

Cathar Castles

 
   
   

Skiing

 

Ski areas cover the Catalan Pyrenees . There are 12 resorts at an altitude of 1200-2600m offering more than 200 downhill runs and 150 ski lifts. The Pyrenees region offers the 'Neiges Catalanes' ski-pass: a single priced ticket which allows you to ski across 10 resorts.

The following are downhill ski resorts in or near the Languedoc: Les Angles, Porté-Puymorens, Puy Valador, Prat-Peyrot, Font Romeu, Odeillo, Bolqueres, Pyrenees 2000, Ax-Bonascre, Mijanès, Ascou-Pailhères, Les Monts-d'Olmes, Goulier Neige, Le Puigmal 2600,  and Camre d'aze.

  • Les Angles.   29 pistes, 19 ski lifts, (+114km cross-country tracks).   For the depth of snow and the number of pistes and ski lifts open.:
  • Porté-Puymorens.   17 pistes, 13 skilifts, (+25km cross-country tracks).   For the depth of snow and the number of pistes and ski lifts open.
  • Puyvalador.   For the depth of snow and the number of pistes and ski lifts open.
  • Prat-Peyrot.   For the depth of snow and the number of pistes and ski lifts open.
  • Font Romeu, Odeillo, Bolqueres, Pyrenees 2000.  40 pistes, 33 skilifts, (+80 Km cross-country tracks). For the depth of snow and the number of pistes and ski lifts open.
  • Ax-Bonascre.  Near Ax-les-Thermes.  el: 05 61 64 36 36.  www.vallees-ax.com, email: vallees.ax@wanadoo.fr,  Alt. 1400 m - 2400 m.  70 km of piste.  11 red, 2 black pistes.  One of the largest Pyrenean sites.  Three ski-stations.  shops, snowshoe hire, forest skiing.    Other activities such as hang-gliding on skis.
  • Mijanès.  Near Axat.  Tel:04 68 20 40 44.  Alt. 1530-2000 m.  9 km of piste, 9 pistes, including 2 red and 1 black.  A family friendly station with a creche.
  • Ascou-Pailhères.   Near Axat.  Tel 05 61 64 28 86, 05 61 64 21 23.  Alt. 1500-2000 m.  20 km of piste.  15 pistes including 6 red and 2 black.  Suitable for downhill lovers but also beginners.
  • Les Monts-d'Olmes.   Near Lavelanet.  Tel:05 61 01 10 41.  Alt. 1400-2000 m.  18.5 km of piste.  20 pistes including 9 red and 2 black.  Family friendly.
  • Goulier Neige.  Near Foix.  05 61 64 88 99.  Alt. 1500-2000 m.  6 km of piste.  Tiny ski station.  6 pistes.  Weekend skiing and horse riding.
  • Le Puigmal 2600,   Cerdagne, 19 pistes, 9 skilifts, (+30km cross-country tracks)
  • Camre d'Aze.   Eyne, 26 pistes, 17 skilifts (+nature reserve).
 
The Village of Saint-Ferriol
The Village of Saint-Ferriol
The Village of Saint-Ferriol

The Local Restaurant, Le Poulet-Bicyclette,

just outside Saint-Ferriol

The Local Restaurant, Le Poulet-Bicyclette,

just outside Saint-Ferriol

The Local Restaurant, Le Poulet-Bicyclette,

just outside Saint-Ferriol

The Local Restaurant, Le Poulet-Bicyclette,

just outside Saint-Ferriol

The Local Restaurant, Le Poulet-Bicyclette,

just outside Saint-Ferriol

The Local Restaurant, Le Poulet-Bicyclette,

just outside Saint-Ferriol

The Local Restaurant, Le Poulet-Bicyclette,

just outside Saint-Ferriol

The Local Restaurant, Le Poulet-Bicyclette,

just outside Saint-Ferriol

The Local Restaurant, Le Poulet-Bicyclette,

just outside Saint-Ferriol

   

 

 

 

 

     :::   contact@esperaza.info   :::