Out and About
 
The Beaches
Feeling the need for sand?
Then you’re really in luck because there are some superb beaches within twenty-five  minutes drive of the house.
Take a picnic.  Catch up on your reading.  Plug in to the most relaxing music La Maison d’Estang has to offer.  Sunset to Sunrise, it’s all golden here.
Whether you choose the lively sea-side town of Valras-Plage (click here)  - wide golden beaches, wider selection of restaurants (don’t miss the shell-fish kiosks at the end of the square), variety of bars with live music, nightly open-air pop concerts (with dancing) near the impressive yacht marina -  or the comparative solitude of the dune-backed beaches at Vendres Plage
 
 
Summer at the Beach - Vendres Plage
 
 
- the long curling breakwater (bring your rods, it’s a favourite spot for fishermen) and three diverse beach bar-restaurants on a wonderfully underpopulated beach - watching the brilliant blue Mediterranean Sea break over the warm golden beaches of this natural treasure is time well spent.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Carcassonne (above) is unique, and if you visit nothing else, visit this city.  
 
Restored in the Eighteenth Century by Violette-Le-Duc it is a living historical monument.  OK, it’s a tourist trap but sometimes tourist traps are full of tourists because there’s something special to see. This is one of those places...
                 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
and another is Minerve.  This ancient village (below) perches high on a cliff and is cut off by two rivers from the surrounding countryside.  This is real Cathar Country and, on so many levels, worth the thirty minute drive from La Maison d’Estang.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Outside World
Should the gentle charms of the village and the cool waters of the pool fail to tempt for a day or two, fear not there is life outside of La Maison d’Estang and plenty of it.
Stone Age settlements, Roman ruins, Templar Towns and Cathar Castles, a Medieval walled city and Churches too numerous to mention.
In this historic triangle from Avignon to Perpignon and north to Carcassonne, history is etched on every stone.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Awaiting the adventurous (or the just plain beached-out) are mountains, valleys and canyons with fresh water streams and lakes in which to swim.  Remote villages overlooked by ancient Chateaus can all be found with a little luck (and a decent map).
From the independent principality of Andorra (click here) to the ancient Cathar stronghold of Monsegur (click here), the unspoilt mountain village of Saint-Jean-De-Bueges (above) to the amazing medieval walled city of Carcassonne (click here) all are easily reachable and all are well worth a visit.
 
 
 
The Medieval town of Pezenas has some interesting medieval architecture and a thriving artists and artisan community.  Certainly a pleasant  town to visit for a day.
 
 
The ancient town of Collioure (above and right) is a mere one and a half hours drive from La Maison d’Estang.  A melange of Castles, restaurants and beaches make it a great trip and, although the parking can be awful the anchovies and the sunsets over a glass of local Rose wine are well worth the effort. (click here)
The Old Bridge at Beziers
 
The beach at Valras-Plage caught at a quiet moment - 20 minutes from La Maison d’Estang.  However for the more active there’s swimming, sailing, wind surfing, diving, cycling, walking, parasailing, zoos, museums, galleries...
and last but not least let’s not forget the fabulous local golf courses...
How could we?  Click here