natural mineral water

sailing boats for hire

the beautiful village of Puivert

 get a birds eye view of the Pyrenees

reach out and touch the mountains

The dam at St Ferreol

exciting to watch

one hour away

Flamingos at Guissan

the tiny village of Bages

Collioure a photo oppertunity on a plate

Suggestions for a water based activity day out

Lac Montbel
Domaine des Etoiles is just 30 minutes from the largest inland lake in the South West of France - Lac de Montbel is a 1500 acre man-made reservoir created in the 1980's to hold water for refilling the Canal du Midi. The lake is large, and the area around is generally very quiet and relatively undeveloped. It is much used as a boating lake (no motor boats allowed). In the summer the water takes on a brilliant turquoise colour and is very photogenic so if you want stunning holiday photos this is the place to go. The lake sits on the ochre mineral rich clay of the Ariege so it is one big spa bath great for the skin! Take care by the waters edge it can be slippery. There are several beaches, one of which has a small lakeside brasserie and a lifeguard in attendance during the Summer, however, supervision is minimal.

Full range of Water Sports available from
Base Nautique La Régate
Tél : 05 61 01 93 13 et 06 07 38 47 50

Horseriding - guided trekking
Equitation Philippe Labéda
Tél : 05 61 02 69 38 et 06 08 60 20 05

Eating out
Brasserie La Régate
Tél : 05 61 01 92 55

The village is only a 40 minutes drive from Domaine des Etoiles. There is a water sports centre, with a small sandy beach in walking distance from the town. Le Lac has swimming, canoeing and fishing, the water is clean and grass banks are mown in summer for easy access. Snacks and drinks are available (May to the end of August) from the Buvette (snack bar). Just behind the beach is the tennis court, badminton court and the boule-o-drome. There is also a Gliding club on the Puivert plain and it is sometimes possible to take a sightseeing flight (pre booking is essential).
Puivert has an excellent Boulangerie / Patisserie. Just up from the village square there is an excellent mini-supermarket offering everything that you might require for a pick nick. There is also a cafe/bar/tabac, restaurant and a post office. There is a Wednesday evening market in the Summer.

Club Aéronautique Quillan Puivert
Hameau Campgast
11230 - Puivert
04 68 20 80 14

Buvette du Lac
Lac de Puivert 11230 Puivert
04 68 20 82 76

Bassin St. Ferréol
One hour from Domaine des Etoiles but well worth the drive! This lake is in fact an ancient reservoir. It was created to supply water to the Canal du Midi some 20 km away. Building started on the 780 meter long and 120 meter high dam in 1667 and it was completed in 1672. Today it is a popular location for swimming and sailing and walking. There is roadside parking with just a short walk to the lakeside beach. The scenery is breathtaking and if you want to get out on the lake but can't sail, there are pedaloes for hire. Below the dam there are wooded gardens with a man made geyser. There are several restaurants by the dam and if Carlsberg did ice cream shops it would be the one at St Ferréol!

The Aude River starts its journey at the Pyrenees mountain lake of Matemale and flows down the high valley and eventually to Carcassonne and across the lowlands to Narbonne into the Mediterranean. Domaine des Etoiles is just 45 minutes from the most popular section of the Aude river around the small town of Quillan. Here the river provides the excitement of white water, without the hair raising near vertical gorge sections further up stream. Quillan is built on both banks of the Aude and right in the centre of town there is the 600m national canoeing slalom course which is set up all year round. An easy introduction to the sport of Canyoning, (which appears to the uninitiated to be white water rafting without the raft!) is offered at about 30€ per person.

If you feel that you have enough adrenalin pumping round your body and don't need to engage in extreme sports for pleasure, it is still interesting to spend a few moments just watching the activity from the river bank.

The 'La forge' centre at Quillan offers guided white water rafting trips, canoeing and canyoning outings lasting from 75 minutes upwards. Booking is essential.

La Forge de Quillan
04 68 20 23 79

Mediterranean coastFor a great family day by the sea, Narbonne plage is just an hour and twenty minutes away from Domaine des Etoiles it is the typical seaside beach, wide, flat, clean, sandy shore, lots of shops selling postcards, inflatables and ice-cream, and monitored swimming areas. The south end of the resort is very busy but if you like to be a little quieter, just head north towards the sailing club. There is a wide promenade and it is possible to hire multi person bicycles which are great fun.

Heading south down the Mediterranean coast between Narbonne and Perpignan, the entire coast is bordered by a sandy flat coastal plane with sand dunes and mile after mile of sandy beach, but there are limited facilities, so it's a good idea to take drinks and a pick nick. The towns of Port-la-Nouvelle, Port-Leucate, Canet and Argeles have restaurants, beach shops and many entertainment facilities, but there is little by way of historic architecture or picturesque landscape until you get to Collioure.

Collioure is incredibly popular during high season, and finding a parking space in the centre of town can become impossible by late morning. It is a very attractive fishing village made famous by the painter Matisse. He wrote about the 'Brightly stuccoed houses sheltered by cypresses and gaily painted fishing boats' in his diary in 1905. There are sheltered sandy beaches inside the harbour, and there are plenty of restaurants and cafés to choose from around the harbour and in the narrow maze of backstreets there are lots of craft and souvenir shops. If you drive directly to Collioure from Domaine des Etoiles, it takes about 1 hour 20 minutes going direct but if you don't mind a long day out, spend the morning and have lunch at Collioure and then go north to Narbonne Plage for the afternoon and hit the beach when some of the heat has gone out of the sun.

© 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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