Located just 20 mins from Prades, near the medieval Catalan village of Evol (listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France) and backing onto the Jujols nature reserve with numerous mountain walks starting right outside the front door (including the renowned Cami Ramader), this house is ideal for walkers and nature lovers. Pick cherries, walnuts or apples in the orchard, relax or fish in the trout stream, and play boules or table tennis! Fully equipped and heated, with 3 shower/bathrooms (including 2 ensuite), this house can be rented at any time of the year. Enjoy the stunning views across the valley, sit on the terrace as you watch the evening sun sink over the mountains or curl up in front of the inglenook fireplace. Stretch out on the Mediterranean beaches, challenge yourself at the Pyrenean ski resorts both only 45 mins away, pamper yourself at the St Thomas spa (20 mins) or try adventure activities (high ropes, white water rafting etc) at Maquixanes (30 mins).
Places of Interest: Mont Canigou - this mountain peak, although not the highest of the eastern Pyrénées, is a mystical and mythical mountain for the Catalans. Can be climbed from mid-May by landrover / 4x4 or two hours on foot.
Villefranche-de-Conflent - an historic town surrounded by defensive walls is a fort built by Louis Vauban in the 17th century and is well worth a visit. Fort Liberia looks down on the fortified town and there is a connecting tunnel between the two.
Mont Louis - another fortified town, higher up into the mountains with superb views over the foothills as they descend to the Mediterranean. Near to Mont Louis is the 'Fort Solar' - one of the largest solar powered electricity stations in Europe, with its own visitor centre.
Not too far away is the Fort of Salses constructed in the 15th century, or take a visit to Carcassonne a fortified city in Cathar country.
Activities: Excellent walking and hiking country. There are two Randonnées (or signposted footpaths) that pass the front door. Ask at the local Syndicat d'Initiative or tourist office in Olette. Walking maps are available in bookshops, 'tabacs' and petrol stations.
Trout fishing in the stream in front of the house (permit available at the 'tabac' in Olette) or the fishing lake near Olette.
A full range of watersports (sailing, windsurfing and scuba diving) take place all along the Vermeille coast (Canet Plage etc) and there is also windsurfing on the mountain lakes at Les Angles.
All winter sports (skiiing, snowboarding, husky sled rides, ice skating etc) at the ski stations of the Pyrenees. Font Romeu and Les Angles are especially good for their range of activities and children's facilities, including ski schools with English-speaking instructors.
There is an adventure activity centre in Maquixanes (30 mins) with white water rafting, high-rope walks / climbs through the trees and canoeing.
Restaurents & Hotels: Casa del Sol - Evol
Café de l'Houstalet - Olette
La Fontaine Auberge - Olette
Visit the Templiers bar in Collioure where Picasso sat.
There are many excellent restaurants in Prades, Villefranche, Thuir, Vernet-les-Bains, Port Vendres, Céret etc as well as wonderful village bars serving simple 'family' meals.
Try the Auberge de Jujols for spectacular views over the valley - but make sure that you call to book a table first!
After skiiing or a visit to the mountains, try one of many excellent restaurants / hotels in Font Romeu - all types of cuisine and a full range of prices from the simple to the simply luxurious!
If you are desperate for fast food, there is even a McDonald's in Prades! But the pizza vans are much better quality and value!