Sunset from Rennes-le-Chateau just across the valley from Montazels. The Medieval city of Carcassonne - 40 kms from the cottages

Montazels is at the centre of the Cathar region, with hill top castles and the medieval city of Carcassonne to remind you of the fascinating and often tragic history for which this region is renowned. We are situated in the foothills of the Pyrenean Mountain range which form the natural border between France and Spain, and completely engulf the tiny nation of Andorra.

Just across the valley from the cottage is Rennes le Chateau, centre of a mystery still very much alive with many books written & films made on the subject. The mystery is one of sudden wealth, secret codes and a search for treasure in the latter part of the 19th C. The link with the village is very strong - in 1852 Bérenger Saunière, the priest at the centre of the mystery was born in Montazels. Just type Montazels into any search engine and take your pick of the many web sites if you wish to delve deeper. Here you will find the story that gave rise to the Dan Brown book 'The Da Vinci Code'.

The medieval city of Carcassonne is 40 minutes drive, or why not take the heavily subsidised train - a 10 minute walk to the stop from the cottage. Buy your 1 Euro ticket ( euro!) on the train & travel to the heart of the city without the bother of parking. The best selling novel ‘Labyrinth’, by Kate Mosse features the city of Carcassonne as its setting and in her follow up ‘Sepulchre’, the nearby Spa village Rennes-les-Bains.

The Mediterranean coast with long stretches of golden sand, and the Camargue National Park is just over an hours drive with lots of interesting villages en route.  The Camargue, a  delta region of pastures, dunes & marshes  great for viewing wildlife,  is the only place in France (and one of the few anywhere around the Mediterranean) where pink flamingos nest on inland salt water lakes, called étangs.  Also look out for the free running  bulls and the famous  Camargue white horses used to round them up.

There is  a  fresh water  lake for bathing at Arques just 15 minutes drive from Montazels.  Our local spa villages Rennes-les-Bains and Alet-les-Bains also offer bathing in hot spa waters containing natural minerals renowned for their curative properties.  The nearest skiing station in the Pyrennees is Camurac -  50 minutes drive. The Spanish border is just 90 minutes away with Barcelona another hour -just drive just across the border and take the train from Figares, (birthplace and home to a fascinating museum dedicated to Salvador Dali). You can  also drive across to Andorra for the day to enjoy the fantastic scenery, skiing & duty free shopping.

The Languedoc

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Pink Flamingos on the coastal étangs


A trip to Collioure is a great day out.

Coastal fishing Villages to explore. White horses of the Camargue Empty Roads!

Maison de Vigne & Maison Loli.

 Two beautifully restored holiday  gîtes in the Haute Vallée de  l’Aude region of the Languedoc.

Mnt. Bugerach from Rennes-le-Chateau. Carcassonne has many attractive squares for dining and relaxing.

Montazels is a villgage in the foothills of the Pyrenees. The nearby swimming lake at Arques.