|La Pepiniere||Self Catering||Saturday||4||8||2|
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Spacious villa with off road parking, a large garden, private 10x4 pool and air conditioning. Located in the small village of Homps (population 700) on the Canal du Midi which has 6 restaurants, a bar, supermarket and fuel station.
The villa is 30 minutes from the historic cities of Carcassonne, Beziers and Narbonne with lovely beaches nearby.
Comprehensive cooking facilities in the large kitchen. Large pool terrace with 4 loungers. Pergola with dining table provides shaded eating.
Sunniest region in France with mountains to the north (Montagne Noire) and south (Corbieres). Surrounded by excellent restaurants and vineyards with lots of activities nearby (walks, swimming, windsurfing, tennis, golf, rugby, kayaking etc).
Further details indoors
Leather settees and dining chairs in lounge where there is a beautiful stone fireplace and tv with dvd/BluRay. Sofabed and additional tv and dvd/BluRay player in upstairs sitting area off one of the bedrooms. Two armchairs in sun lounge. There are 2 bedrooms downstairs and 2 upstairs. Two of the bedrooms have king sized beds, one has a double bed and one has 2 single beds, with a sofabed in the adjoining sitting area. A travelcot and highchair are also provided, although you will need to bring your own bedding for the cot. All bedrooms and the kitchen and lounge have air conditioning. Essential for the summer months. A selection of tourist information is available and a guide to the area is provided.
Further details outdoors
Beautiful private 10x4 pool with steps and shallow end. The pool terrace is south facing and is a real suntrap. Four sunbeds are provided for you to relax on, and a pergola provides shaded dining area with large table and 8 chairs. There is a large parasol for further shade. There is a bbq for al fresco dining. There is also a 2 seater swing with awning.
Parking for 3 cars.
Fully equipped open plan kitchen, complete with dishwasher, oven, microwave and fridge-freezer.
Large dining room table to seat 8
Kitchen and dining area has air conditioning.
Leather settees and chair in lounge where there is a beautiful stone fireplace. Two additional chairs available in the sunroom.
There is French cable tv with some English channels available and Netflix. Dvd/BluRay player with a selection of dvds.
An IPod docking station is also available.
Living room has air conditioning
There are 2 bedrooms downstairs and 2 upstairs. Two of the bedrooms have king sized beds, one has a double bed and one has 2 single beds. This twin room has a sofabed in the adjoining sitting area complete with tv, dvd player and music system. A travelcot and highchair are also provided, although you will need to bring your own bedding for the cot. All 4 bedrooms have air conditioning.
Large downstairs bathroom, accessible from the hall and master bedroom. Has bath and large walk-in shower.
Upstairs shower room with large walk-in shower.
Villa is fully covered by reversible air conditioning, which supply heat in the cooler months.
Downstairs there is French cable tv with some English channels available and Netflix. Dvd/BluRay player with a selection of dvds.
An IPod docking station is also available.
Upstairs there is a tv, dvd player and music system.
Beautiful private 10x4 pool with steps and shallow end. The pool terrace is south facing and is a real sun trap. Four sun beds are provided for you to relax on, and a pergola provides shaded dining area with large table and 8 chairs. There is a bbq for al fresco dining.
There is a large parasol for further shade and a two seater swing with awning.
Secure parking in front of house for 3 cars
Not suitable for guests with reduced mobility due to stairs.
All linen, towels and bedding, except for cot, are provided.
En Bonne Companie
One of the many restaurants in the village by the canal. Run and owned by a British chef. Excellent food and a great location.
Le Baron d’Ar
Very French restaurant on the canal by the Locks east of Homps. Very reasonably priced menu de jour and friendly atmosphere. Worth the visit to sit outside and listen to the instructions coming from the locks from the first time boaters.
Cruises on the Canal du Midi can be boarded at Homps.
About 10 minutes from the house. Man-made lake with swimming, canoeing, wind surfing, fishing, etc. Great area for picnicking and relaxing by the lake. Has restaurant where you can have a drink or a meal.
There is also kayaking on the River Aude.
Bikes can be hired in Homps to explore the local area and to ride along the banks of the Canal du Midi. Bikes can also be delivered direct to the door.
There is an excellent market at Olonzac each Tuesday morning, about 10 minutes from the house. Probably the best market in the area, with food, artisan foods, fish, vegetables, clothes, kitchenware, etc.
There is an ever larger market at Lezignan on Wednesdays.
A trip to the region is not complete without a trip to Carcassonne. Restored 150 years ago this medieval fortress is well worth the visit. Very busy during the summer months but La Cite has many craft and gift shop, restaurants, etc. Also has a music festival where you can see artists such as Elton John to Johnny Hallyday. The walls are like something out of Disney.
Historic sites include Minerve, Beziers, Narbonne, Perpignan and many Cathar castles, including those at Lastours, Queribus and Peyrepertuse.
Lastours the closest, is four castles in the Black Mountains. Four Cathar castles built on a 300 meter high rocky ridge. If you like history, climbing and castles, this is for you.
For the not so energetic, they can be viewed from a local viewing point.
A bit further afield, this cave has paintings of bison, horse and ibex from around 13,000BC. One of the only caves where you can actually view the original paintings. Visits are restricted, one in English per day, needs booking in advance at www.grotte-de-niaux.fr
The ancient capital of the Minervois region. Up in the Black Mountains about 25 minutes from the house. Walk along the old streets, visit the gorge where the riverbed partially dries in the summer. Craft shops, nice restaurants and lovely views but can be hot.
Cabrespine one of the largest caves in the world, with sound and light show. Local wine stored inside the cavern and try the local truffles and olives.
Close by at Limousis, a much smaller cave but no less worth the visit, stalagmites and stalactites and crystal clear pools.
Drive up to and through the lovely villages in the Black Mountains. If you like mountain roads, hairpin bends, then this is for you.
Plenty of arts and crafts around. Close at hand with Minerve, Caune, Carcassonne. Further afield there is Pezenas about 85 km north east with plenty of streets full of craft shops and there is Collioure, about 122 km south east, on the road to Barcelona, with streets of craft shops and lovely restaurants on the front overlooking the Mediterranean.
The area has all of these in abundance. Drive somewhere and then walk around the towns, castles, churches, canal, rivers, vineyards, too many to mention. Checkout the wildlife on the canal, try and spot the coypu or the kingfishers. Visit the Med and checkout the birdlife. Or the wild birds and even the wild boar in the Black Mountains. Photography, take your pick (click), you are spoilt for choice.
After grapes, the next most popular item grown in the area. Visit the olive museum at Bieze and see how they are produced. Also has a shop where you can buy lots of local produce. Bieze the local town with the river Cesse running through, with picnic areas by the river.
Really, whichever direction you head there are vineyards. Many of the local vineyards you can just drive up to and taste their wines and buy if you want to. As well as the tasting some offer snacks and meals.