Rennes-le-Château is just the other side of the hot springs of Rennes les Bains from Fourtou and La Mouline.
It is the home of the world famous enigma highlighted by Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code.
The mountain forests all around are teaming with interesting people escaped from the world's cities to live before open fires, work the land, bring up children in healthy, stimulating environments, dance and sing.
This area was once home to the last of the Cathars and their wandering troubadours. Some of the Cathars who were burned at the stake for refusing to renounce their beliefs reputedly sang out they would come back 700 years later.
It is just possible to view the new inhabitants of these mountains as 'les nouveaux Cathars'. The first wave came in the mid 70's when some 30,000 'jeunes marginales' from other parts of the world came to settle and reclaim the many old ruined farms. The latest wave is different, mostly English and retired, buying second homes as investments. At the same time however there is a notable influx of younger people, mostly women, seeking spiritual understanding.
The area around Rennes le Chateau nonetheless remains still one of the most sparsely populated areas of Europe.
To fly over Rennes le Chateau, virtually, visit the Hot Springs of Rennes les Bains and visit La Mouline in video: www.lamouline.fr
For those without a car getting to RLC is not easy. But Carcassonne makes a reasonable base to get there. Sept 2009 there were about three trains a day to nearby Couiza. I say trains but several involve a train to Limoux and then swapping onto a bus to Couiza. The 10.50 train from Carcassonne gets to Couiza at 11.20, and there is then a 10 minute delay before the bus leaves from just outside the station, dropping you at the Cafe de France in Couiza at 11.50. Telephone Taxis Hoste in advance (04 68 74 25 36)and they will meet you to take you up to RLC, for just over €9. The Berenger Sauniere museum is open from 10.00 - 1.00 and 2.00-5.00 year round, not closing for lunch in summer. So you need to go to the museum first before visiting the church. The Jardin De Marie next door serves reasonable food. The bus from Couiza back to Limoux leaves at 16.10 again connecting with the train for Carcassonne.
There are two bookshops in the centre of town where you can find tons of literature regarding Rennes-le-Château, its mysteries and secrets. A lot of books are available in English, German and Dutch.