Maison Oranger was formerly a farmhouse. It is located on a cul-de-sac in the medieval village of Estoher and enjoys the sun from early morning until late afternoon. With one double bedroom and a sofabed in the living room, the house is ideal for a couple, but up to four guests can stay here in comfort. The house is decorated in bright colours, with a combination of modern art and antique furniture. With electrical heaters throughout, it is comfortable at all times of year.
Entering the house, the living room has a comfortable sofa which converts to a double bed, as well as a pair of armchairs. For relaxation, there is a television, a DVD player with a selection of DVDs, a stereo and some books, including tourist guides to the region, and a good collection of maps.
The kitchen is well equipped with an electric stovetop and a mini oven, a refrigerator, a dish washer and a range of appliances including a toaster and coffee machine. The kitchen table has four chairs. Down in the cellar is a washing machine. Upstairs, the bedroom has a double bed with a split mattress. The head section of each side of the bed can be independently tilted upwards, to let one guest sit up and read while the other sleeps. There is plenty of storage space for clothes, and the bathroom has a shower, washbasin and toilet. A hair dryer and ironing equipment are also available.
It is always pleasant to dine out on the terrace, where there is a table and chairs with a sun umbrella. There is a second table with chairs next to the house with views over the walled street. There’s also the equipment for playing jeu de boules. Car parking is available about 30 metres from the house, although one can load or unload the car close to the house. Maison Oranger is a strictly non-smoking house.
Maison Oranger offers free WIFI.
Estoher is a peaceful village in the Pyrénées mountains, at an altitude of 260 metres. The village has its own source of drinking water direct from the mountains, and most villagers go daily to the fountain to get their water supplies. Close to the house is a boules court where villagers like to play on warm summer evenings. Tennis courts are just a kilometre away. The river Llech goes by the village, and one can take a dip from the stony beaches alongside it. The village offers many good walking paths, some of which offer views as far as the Mediterranean.
There is a good range of shops and restaurants in Vinça, just a five minute drive from the house. Within 15 minutes, there is a number of medieval villages, castles, and abbeys, a lake which is great for swimming, and a choice of weekly markets selling fresh local produce. The lively city of Prades is only 15 minutes' drive, and has one of the oldest churches in France and a great range of restaurants and shops. Equally close are the train jaune, a spectacular mountain train, the caves of Villefranche, the thermal bath of Vernet-les-Bains, and facilities to enjoy canoeing, rafting, horse riding, and hiking. Estoher enjoys a Mediterranean microclimate, thanks to its southern aspect and the shelter of the mountains, so guests can enjoy the terrace all year round.
Estoher is situated in the French Pyrénées Orientales, which was once part of the Spanish region of Catalonia, and shares the same history and language as the Barcelona region. According to the Lonely Planet guide, this region is one of the last great undiscovered treasures, and can rank with Tuscany. Among the regional features to enjoy are the beaches of the Mediterranean, the medieval Cathar castles and fortresses which are dotted around this part of France, ski resorts in the mountains, museums such as the Salvador Dalí museum in Figueras, and a great range of summer festivals.
“Maison Oranger was the perfect site to explore this wonderful part of France. We loved the peace, the spectacular landscape, and the many places to visit - our favourite was the medieval abbey of St. Martin du Canigou, which was well worth the hike up the mountain. Starting from our beautiful little village of Estoher, we found great hiking and walking paths in the surrounding hills. We’ve never had such a relaxing holiday.”
Luke M. and Isabella C. - Toronto, Canada