|The Railway Cottage at Montazels||Self Catering||Saturday||2||4||1||Sofa bed for 2 people|
This charming, authentic cottage is nestled in the hillside between the medieval village of Montazels and the lively market town of Espéraza in the beautiful Aude Valley in the sought-after south-west of France.
Within easy walking distance of Espéraza's shops, restaurants, cafés, bars and famous markets, and enjoying a huge, sunny, un-overlooked garden with stunning views over the foothills of the Pyrenees and up towards the pretty hilltop village of Rennes-le-Château, it is perfectly situated for a relaxing holiday in the beautiful Aude Valley – a hidden gem in the South of France which enjoys an average of 300 days of sun per year!
The tiled front terrace opens into a fully equipped kitchen/diner, 1 double bedroom (with king-size bed), 1 twin room, a family bathroom with bath and shower, and a spacious, sunny lounge with a wood burner, sofa, tv/dvd player, wi-fi, bluetooth speaker and patio doors leading out to a large, secluded terrace, ideal for al fresco dining. A further shady terrace is equipped with a bbq. The large 1/2 acre garden, which contains beautiful fig, olive, almond and cherry trees and its own original well, enjoys the sun all day, and yet offers plenty of natural shade if desired, as well as a hammock to relax and read in! From the garden there are stunning views to Rennes-le-Château and over open countryside. It really is a perfect haven to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and climate that this area has to offer.
Our latest reviews:
We spent a sunny two weeks here at the end of August. It was fantastic! We arrived to pre-arranged welcome baskets with the most delicious food and wine and the cottage is gorgeous and very well- equipped. Most mornings started with a run around the hills and vineyards and a trip to the local Boulangerie and then pastries and coffee on the patio. We spent hours playing cards with the children in the evenings and generally enjoying the garden (with local wine and cheese, of course!!). This was a great base to explore the Cathar castles, and the new park and water park at St Betrands was amazing fun - we spent 3 or 4 afternoons there and the kids never got bored! The local market on Sunday is also great (with a great collection of musical instruments too!). We kept the driving to a minimum but visited lots of castles (Puilaurens is well worth the visit), Carcassone, Couliere, and great caves a bit further afield too. Fabien was so helpful before and during our trip and that also helped to make our stay really enjoyable. I cannot recommend The Railway Cottage highly enough - for perfect peace, beauty, relaxation and fun adventures!!
K.Burland Clark, Sheffield - Aug 2018
Fabien’s place is a lovely authentic old railway cottage, with trains going by only twice or three times a day, and very quietly! The amenities are good, and the fireplace works really well, especially if you can buy some bigger logs at the local wood seller. The cottage is well situated to explore the lovely Aude Valley, and it is less than an hour from Carcassonne, which is apparently one of the most visited places in France. Recommended.
V. Sutton, NSW, Australia - Dec 2017
Ideal place to relax and explore the beautiful surroundings. Beautiful comfortable cottage in beautiful surroundings. The cottage is right next to the railway, but this isn’t an issue as there are only 3 tiny trains a day! For a train ride (sometimes combined with a bus) from Espéraza or Couiza (both a 10-minute walk) to Limoux, Carcassonne, etc. you only pay 1€ pp. The Cottage is in the foothills of the Pyrenees. In the surrounding area, the peaks rise up to about 1000m. It’s an ideal area for cycling, walking, or discovering the various sights (Rennes-les-Bains, Rennes-le-Château, Gorges de Galamus, Carcassonne, etc.). Sport lovers will be in heaven, as there is great cycling, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, rafting, swimming, etc. In short, there’s loads to do! If you’d rather relax in the garden of the cottage and enjoy the sun, that’s no problem, as sun loungers are available and if it gets too hot, then you always cool down in the cottage itself.
The cottage has a well-equipped kitchen, two bedrooms, a large bathroom, lounge, terraces and enclosed garden with parking for your car. Bed and bath linen is provided and on request you can even have a welcome basket: the "panier maison" made by neighbour Josiane was definitely worth it! Delicious local dishes, ideal after a long drive as you don’t need to search for a restaurant etc. right away. A car is recommended if you want to explore the area. We really enjoyed it here. Highly recommended!
D.DePauw, East Flanders, Belgium - Sept 2017
Situated next to a railway line which in no way detracts, rather adds to its quirkiness and tranquility. an occasional passing of the single carriage train (1 euro fare to Carcassonne) at irregular times is a pleasant interval whilst sitting either in the secluded garden or at the al fresco dining with a chilled white and a bowl of local olives. The garden extends way back from the fig tree to the plum trees and the hammock and is entirely surrounded by a tall hedge for privacy. The cottage itself is spotlessly clean and maintained by a lovely local couple. Clean linen and towels are provided, all the white goods work well and a supply of comestibles is left and added to by the occupants (including ourselves, Pastis, breadflour, canned goods and wine we couldn't fit in the cars for our return trip). The cottage is a little out of town and you will need transport but it is a marvelous base for reaching out into the foothills of the Pyrenees. Rennes les Chateau is a few minutes drive away and can be seen from the garden, a fascinating place. Alet les Bains is about 6 k towards Limoux and is an unspoilt medieval village with half timbered homes and a pleasing lack of tourist tut. Limoux centre ville is a lovely square with a choice of eating or cafe seating/people watching. Carcassonne is a 25 minute drive and contains all the jousting tourist could want, busy and understandably famous. The service provided by Fabien and Ben is outstanding and a fine example for other owners to follow, thanks, thanks and thanks again for allowing us to use your home. A wonderful holiday and we would love to go again.
J.Brown, Lincolnshire - July 2017
Stayed at this cottage for 1 week. Before arriving the owners sent an information pack which was incredibly useful and meant when we arrived at the cottage we could settle in easily and comfortably. The cottage itself was spotlessly clean - each room felt warm and comforting. The location of the cottage was great as it was in a more secluded area (very peaceful) but within walking distance of bars, restaurants and shops. Within the cottage was an info pack which contained leaflets of things to do within the surrounding areas which meant that each day we were spoiled for choice with activities! One evening we were slightly cold so asked the owners about heating and the next day the property manager had put radiators within the bedrooms! Great location, lovely owners, warm and welcoming property- would definitely recommend any of my friends to stay here!
Elley S., Yorkshire - Oct 2016
Family kitchen which can seat up to six people.
Comfy living room with sofa bed and fireplace.
1 bedroom with king-size bed.
1 bedroom with 2 single beds.
Family bathroom with shower bath.
Tv, dvd player, hi-fi, internet.
1/2 acre vast garden with spectacular views.
Car park up to 2 cars.
French professional who has lived in the UK for 15 years. Fell in love with the region after a house exchange
|Year property purchased||2016|
|Why this location?||300 days of sun per year, close to Spain (2 hrs), close to the sea (1h), on the foothills of the Pyrenees with lakes and great hiking trails - what is more to say?|
|Unique benefits of property||Very practical, all on the same floor, beautiful large garden with great scenery and on the outskirts of the village to do your shopping on foot!|
If you're looking for a treat, maybe on your last night, then it has to be the famous La Cour des Ducs restaurant in the Château des Ducs de Joyeuse hotel in nearby Couiza, a short 5 minute drive/taxi or 30 minute walk away. For a slightly less exclusive experience, there are many good restaurants within walking distance in Espéraza, and other excellent options in nearby Quillan or Limoux. One of our personal favourites is Asily – a small and friendly Vietnamese restaurant in Quillan where you can watch your food being cooked as you enjoy a freshly made cocktail. Tripadvisor provide a useful guide to the best restaurants in both Quillan and Limoux.
Espéraza is famous within the region for its day and night-time markets. At its popular Sunday market, you will not only be able to buy fresh regional specialities such as blanquette, goats cheese and wild boar; you will also get caught up in the carnivalesque atmosphere provided by the buskers and dancers while enjoying a coffee or a beer on one of the local café terraces. In fact, Aude specialises in markets, and there are many markets in the region that offer a chance to sample the French way of life. Most markets offer fresh food, hand-made crafts and various other artefacts and treasures such as clothes, jewellery, etc. Markets normally start around 9am in the morning and finish shortly after midday. A useful list of local markets is provided here.
Aude is also famous for its beautiful lakes, and one of the most memorable is the Lac de la Vène at Bugarach, which is about a 30-minute drive from the Railway Cottage. In fact, it is often said that the best swimming in the South of France is actually to be found in the region's rivers and lakes, rather than in its famous beaches.
Lovely cottage, but let down by cleanliness (cobwebs everywhere & things broken, breaking - collapsed single guest bed, dirty appliances higher than cleaners).
Also right next to live railway - trains at unpredictable times, early morning.
Previous people's unused cereals, etc left in cupboards- no space to put our own food.
Wifi doesn't work.
Back gates are nightmare to open & closed due gates not hung properly & chain is to short if not exactly in line.
Cleaning bucket & clothes horse outside front door as greeting.
To top everything - there was no specific leaving time given, but we aimed for 11am, the Property Manager came and ranted that we should have been out!!!
Could be a lovely cottage - but so let down, we wouldn't suggest this property to a friend.
Activities in the area are great - lots to see.
I must say I'm very disappointed with your review as it's the first time we've ever received a negative review in 18 months. We try to accommodate our guests as well as possible and reply to their queries immediately. Here's some feedback:
- You asked me to book an appointment for a dog with a local vet, which I happily did at no extra charge
- You asked me to have access to water for your dog outside so I gave you access to the well. You then complained that there was a crack in the well bucket!
- On request, I provided you with extra tips about where to walk your dog
- The cottage is always spotlessly clean guests' on arrival - indeed this is mentioned in several reviews on our website. But after a week, due to the heat, you may well have spotted one or two cobwebs - you didn't mention this upon your arrival
- No breakages were mentioned either until the bed collapsed. I am not sure how this happened but we fixed it as soon as possible with an agreed time with you for your convenience and provided you with a free bottle of wine as a gesture of goodwill
- The wifi works perfectly. It sometimes it needs to be rebooted as it works by satellite. But again, you failed to inform me of this, so there was nothing I could do.
- The leaving time (10am) is clearly stated in the terms & conditions. You left the house over 1hr late.
Given our efforts to please you, your review seems very unfair. But you have ignored my email to you to try to resolve your issues...