the perfect place to relax

enjoy the slower pace of life

enjoy the slower pace of life

La Cité at Carcassonne - fairytale castle

visit historical monuments

discover Blanquette, the first Champagne

have and adventure

or go with the flow

enjoy nature

or discover technology

Local Attractions

Domaine des Etoiles is the best place in the world for doing nothing like lounging on the sun deck, taking a dip in the pool, reading a book in the gardens, watching the gold fish in the garden pools and stream, playing table football or relaxing on the shaded terrace listening to music or watching TV. Evenings can be spent cooking a simple meal on the BBQ to be enjoyed with a bottle of local wine whilst gazing into the night sky. You may be lucky enough to see a shooting star!

If you are feeling slightly more energetic, there are plenty of things to do in and around the village of Routier.

There are walks and bike rides through the hills and vineyards. Some of the way marked trails are longer than others, but all have great views of the Pyrenees, vineyards and fields of sunflowers. If you like to explore you can visit the other small villages and hamlets in the area, and stop at the local café and bar. Bring your own bike or hire locally (booking essential). Horse riding is available at the local stables. Treks last from 1 hour to a full day, depending on experience.

A short drive away from domaine des Etoiles are beautiful lakeside walks, bird watching, sailing and white water sports opportunities and it is possible to buy a holiday fishing license for around 30 euros which entitles you to fish in any water in the Aude. There are some privately stocked fishing lakes in the area too. The city of Carcassonne, boasts the second most visited building in France, the medieval castle known as the Cité which last year greeted more than three million visitors. Carcassonne is also the location for the highly acclaimed novel 'Labyrinth' by Kate Mosse (her second book 'Sepulcher' is set in Rennes-les-Bains). Copies of Kate's books can be on your bedside table when you arrive at Domaine des Etoiles if you wish! You may find that the Cité looks strangely familiar, probably because it has been featured in films with Kevin Costner and more recently, Johnny Depp. <

There are Museums and tourist attractions to appeal to all. If you are planning a holiday for a young family there are plenty of tourist destinationsto keep all ages amused so that everyone can have fun together and keep stress to a minimum.

The Tour de France cycle race passes locally every year and the area around Routier is a very popular cycling region, the New Zealand National Team are stationed in Limoux so don't necessarily get upset if you are overtaken by 15 incredibly fit cyclists on a steep hill!

If you like walking and history, why not climb up to one of the many Cathar castles in the area. If exercise isn't your thing on holiday, it is possible to drive to see the castles and the notable Cathar land marks like Rennes-le-Chateau.

If you can't bare to be away from the golf course for too long, why not visit the course at Carcassonne? They welcome daily green fees, and there is usually no problem in choosing your tee-time and day. The 18 holes have challenging lakes and streams, each hole is unique, and there are lovely views of the Pyrenees to be enjoyed along the way. Clubs, trolleys and cars are available for hire. Your day's green fee includes the use of the practice area and restaurant, bar etc.

The medieval market town of Limoux boasts the longest Carnival in the world (January to Easter) and the town claims to be the earliest producer of 'methode champagnoise' wine known as Blanquette, a favourite tipple of Madonna we understand!Each year on Palm Sunday the wine producers of Limoux hold an event called the Toques et Clochers an internationaly recognised celebration of their products to which everyone is welcome. If you are feeling adventurous you can embark on an excursion on the river Aude, perfect for water sports at all levels, from spine-tingling white water experiences to peaceful canoe excursions or fun pedalo trips. Market day is Friday.

If you would like to pamper yourself, try a trip to the local spa town of Rennes les Bains, enjoyed by the Romans and later frequented by Queen Blanche of Castille, hence Bains de la Reine, the queen's bath. The thermal treatment Spa offers various treatments including a therapeutic mud bath, sauna and a naturally heated mineral water open air swimming pool. There are 2 outflows into the river where the temperature is between 36 and 45 degrees if you prefer the natural approach. The water is rich in calcium, magnesium and iron.

The Roman spa town of Alet-les-Bains is close to Rennes-les-Bains and if you take along some empty plastic bottles you will be able to collect the excellent mineral water for free, right next door to the bottling plant.

The Canal du Midi was constructed in the 17th century to connect the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. It recently hosted Rick Stein on his French Odyssey adventure exploring and cooking his way along this gargantuan water structure. Boats can be hired for the day or you can simply walk or cycle along the tow path and enjoy the unique atmosphere.

Sitting in a roadside cafe watching the world go by can pass many happy hours without a lot of effort or expense. A glass of the local wine is the usual accompniment. Eating out is a real pleasure in France where local ingrediants are prepared by local people for the locals and tourists to enjoy side by side.

Wine is a local passion as well as a major employer and it is possible to gowine tasting at countless local domains with more variety than most London restaurants' wine lists, previously considered inferior to the classic wine producing regions of France, the winemakers of the Languedoc are now producing some excellent award winning vintages. Convivial wine tasting evenings can be organised for small groups at Domaine des Etoiles. All levels of experience can be catered for so if you are a raw beginner or an expert, simply contact Steve for details.

There are many market towns locally; Limoux, Quillan, Revel, Mirepoix to name but a few. The very best place to buy fresh fruit and vegetables and see the locals out and about. During the warmer months, there are vide greniers (car boot sales). These are advertised locally from week to week. Beware of the Ryanair baggage restrictions, but if you are driving you can look out for a unique souvenir of your visit.

The Cosmopolitan University City of Toulouse is the home of the Airbus 380 and an excellent Space park, The Cite de l'Espace. If you would like to do some big city shopping, drive to the station at Castelnaudery and take the train, they run frequently and it is only a fifteen minute walk to the centre of Toulouse from the station.

Sandy and rocky Mediterranean Beaches and pretty seaside towns are an hour away for sight seeing, sailing, swimming, and that special Mediterranean sunshine.

If you are happy to set off early in the morning and make a day of it, the tax free shopping haven of Andorra is just a two hour drive away through the scenic Pyrenees Mountains. The cosmopolitan Spanish city of Barcelona is just three hours away.

© 2011 Domaine des Etoiles
Domaines des Etoiles - Cottages & Bed and Breakfast• 2 Chemin des Moulins • 11240 Routier • France 
Tel: +33 (0) 468 69 18 46 email:
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