|La Petite White House||Self Catering||Flexible||3||7||1||Travelcot for one baby/infant|
Our holiday home is a recently converted stone terraced village house. We live there for at least three months a year so it is comfortable and has been furnished to a good standard. It has heavy white wooden shutters on the front door, terrace double doors and first floor bedroom windows so it can be locked up safely while it is vacant.
We have appointed a British lady who lives in the village and speaks good French to look after the house and our guests, so the house will be clean on arrival and the beds made up. If you have any problems during your stay Glynis will help solve them.
There is a small well equipped galley kitchen with combi microwave/oven and induction hob on the ground floor, but most of the ground floor is taken up by the living room. The dining table is in the living room.
The living room has a quarry tiled floor with rugs. It has a 3 seater settee, 2 easy chairs and a dining table with 4 chairs. There are 7 camping/patio chairs that are intended for the terrace plus an additional 2 dining chairs in the bedrooms. The house is therefore comfortably equipped for 4 adults, but it can accommodate larger groups.
There are two bedrooms on the first floor with shuttered windows. One bedroom has a double bed and the other has twin beds.
The attic bedroom has a Velux window in the roof. It has a double bed, a single bed (intended as a child's bed).
All three bedrooms are carpeted and have wardrobes, bedside cabinets or tables, bedside lights and hair dryers.
The bathroom/shower room (wet room) is on the first floor.
The living room has a large woodburner and all rooms apart from the attic bedroom have electric wall heaters. There are 2 portable ceramic heaters, a portable electric radiator and 4 portable electric fans so guests should be comfortable whatever the weather.
There is a flat screen TV on the living room wall. Guests can watch French TV or over 100 UK freesat TV programmes. We have also provided a BluRay dvd player and a wi-fi livebox
We have provided a number of books (including tourist guides to the area), dvds, boardgames, beach towels, bucket, spade, beach games, a dartboard, a fishing rod and walking pole as well as spare light bulbs and batteries.
We have a fenced terrace with decking at the front of the house with a gate that can be secured with a bolt if guests have young children or pets.
There is a large gas BBQ, a white collapsible metal table and an assortment of patio and collapsible camping chairs for outside use.
The sun shines on the terrace in the morning once it has risen over the walls of the chateau. It is in shade in the evening which is ideal for hot sunny summer evenings when you can watch the swifts wheeling above you around the walls of the chateau while you sip a glass of something cold and refreshing.
The terrace has a power socket and we have provided a free standing electric insect zapper
There is on street parking for one car outside the house plus a large public car park 100 metres away outside the medieval chateau and the church.
There is a relatively narrow circular stone staircase to reach the first floor and attic bedroom so the house is unsuitable for elderly or disabled guests who have trouble with stairs and wheelchair users. We can provide a stairgate if you have a toddler.
Our holiday home has beds for 7 guests plus a travel cot in 3 bedrooms. While it can accommodate 7 guests plus a baby it only has one bathroom. We think it is suitable for a maximum of 2 couples, 3 children and a baby. While we can accommodate 7 adults it will be cosy and guests will need to organise bathroom visits in the morning, mix and match chairs and eating arrangements.
We can also provide a travelcot, highchair, pot and stairgate if you have a baby or toddler. Our grandson is happy for other children to play with his toys.
We like animals and can provide a dog bed and bowl, but please take extra care cleaning up after your pet to avoid inconveniencing future guests.
A vacuum cleaner, mop, broom, washing machine, tumble dryer and iron have been provided.
Our love affair with France started when we spent our honeymoon on a 2 week road trip through Brittany, the Loire chateaux and the Alps. We have returned many times on holiday and have seen most of France before buying a holiday home in Languedoc to enjoy in our retirement.
|Year property purchased||2015|
|Why this location?||The climate, history, varied scenery, wine. food and a multitude of things to do. If you have a holiday home it needs to be somewhere that you really want to revisit every year and for us it's this region of France.
Puicheric is known as "the Venice of the Minervoise" because it is located between the river Aude and the Canal du Midi (a UNESCO world heritage site). Carcassonne (another world heritage site) is to the west, the Black Mountains and High Languedoc national park is north, the Mediterranean, Beziers and Narbonne are east and the mountains of Alaric, Corbierre hills and Pyrenees are to the south. The mountains, lakes, rivers and the sea provide opportunities for walking, cycling, horse riding, sailing, swimming, fishing, wind surfing and golf in a wonderfully picturesque setting.
The fortress of Carcasonne is the largest medieval fortress in Europe but it is just one of many castles and abbeys because you are in "Cathar Country", so follow the Cathar tourist trail.
|Unique benefits of property||We live in our holiday home for 3 months a year so we have furnished it to a good standard. There is a flat screen wall mounted tv, French tv, UK Satellite tv, wi-fi and a BluRay dvd player.
If you are staying for at least 2 weeks we will normally give you a discount. There are no hidden extras, electricity, bedding, and towels are provided. We can also provide a travel cot, stair gate, high chair etc for a toddler and / or a dog bed.
There is no fixed change over day and you will normally find that air fares are much cheaper midweek in peak holiday periods.
It is conveniently located with easy access to the many local attractions, the mountains and the sea. It is a 30 minutes drive to Carcassonne airport and 15 minutes to the nearest motorway. It is also on a bus route, but you really need a car to take full advantage of the many things on offer in the region.
You will never forget your first sight of the old city of Carcassonne. Its everyone's idea of a fairy tale castle. There are guided tours in various languages or walk around the fortress and city walls yourself. It was our 6 year old grandsons favourite place until he visited Lastours.
If you visit over Bastille day, the fireworks are spectacular; but so is the traffic! Google for the many music and cultural festivals during the summer
The castles are perched on a mountain ridge overlooking the village of Lastours. Like Carcassonne they were a Cathar stronghold that was besieged 800 years ago in a bloody crusade against the Cathar heresy. Lastours is a very pretty village in the Black Mountains. You need to walk up stone steps and a mountain path to reach the castles. The path leads through a cave and when we walked up in May the path was surrounded by alpines and other wild flowers.
The castles, stairs and paths have all been renovated so the stairs are safe to climb and you can explore all four castles and the ruins of a medieval village.
Allow at least 2 hours to visit all 4 castles. We had lunch at the cafe next to the visitors centre. It shares a building with a Michelin starred restaurant and is run by the same chef. Some of the food we had was of Michelin star standard and we thought that the chef was probably trying out ideas before offering them in his main restaurant. Highly recommended; Michelin starred food at plat du jour prices!
You can get tourist boats with trips of 1 hour to half a day from Carcassonne (the station), Trebes, Homps, Capestang, Beziers and probably several other nearby towns. The most interesting section of the canal is at Beziers as it includes the staircase of 9 locks ("ecluses") at Fonceranes, which is a world heritage site in its own right. If you want the all day trip with lunch included you will probably need to book in advance.
It's at Homps and only a 10 minute drive if you want to swim, sunbathe, picnic, or have lunch in the cafe. They also have windsurfing and sailing on the lake and the sailing club offers tuition to beginners (you should probably check availability on line in advance). During the summer they had a floating bouncy castle, so this is another recommendation from our grandson.
There is another similar lake at Carcassonne about 30 minutes drive that has a sandy beach, zip wires, an adventure park and water slides into the lake.
You can hire canoes on the banks of the river Aude from Eaurizon in Puicheric and they can also arrange expeditions into the mountains for white water canoeing or rafting.
Narbonne has Roman and medieval ruins but don't miss Les Halles. It is probably best to visit on Sunday morning as Narbonne also has a street market. Les Halles is a Victorian iron and glass building full of stalls selling a huge variety of high quality fish, meat, cheese, pastries and wine. It's where chefs come to buy produce for their restaurants. Mixed in among the stalls are wine and tapas bars.
This restaurant is only 100 metres from our house and is well worth a visit if you do not want to drink and drive. It is owned by the village butcher who has a good reputation for his meat. We have eaten there regularly. The set meals have been well cooked and are inexpensive; not "gastronomique" but good value for money.
Gruissan, Narbonne Plage or Le Bacares for sand, swimming, boat hire and sunbathing.
Drive from Bages to Peyriac-de-Mar through the nature reserve for salt marshes and flamingos. Peyriac is an uncommercialised fishing village with 5km of boardwalk paths over the lagoon and through the nature reserve.
Our holiday home lies between the Black Mountains and the Mountains of Alaric. There are many fortified hilltop medieval villages ("bastides"), castles, rivers, caves and lakes to explore. We have left information about walks and scenic drives in our holiday home. Less well advertised than the Cathar sites and caves, but just as deserving of a visit, are the 90 metre high waterfall at Cubservies, and the Dolem des Fades ("Fairies") the largest long barrow in southern France.
Our grandson recommends the little Red Train that runs from Axat to Rivesales (near Perpignan); shorter trips are possible. You should book online in advance.
The Grotte de Niaux is reckoned to have the best prehistoric cave paintings (14,000 years old) in France that are still open to the public. You are issued with a flashlight and need to walk through 800 metres of caves to reach the paintings. You need to book online in advance as visitor numbers are restricted to preserve the cave paintings. They have guided tours in English as well as in French. We visited in May when the mountain peaks were still snow capped. It is possible to combine a visit to the cave with the mountaintop Cathar stronghold at Montseigur and return by a more direct but longer route through the high valleys of the Aude for a long day trip.