Townhouse | 2 bedrooms | sleeps 5
The house stands in the prettiest street in the old quarter of Colombiers, a rural village on the Canal du Midi, in the middle of France's largest wine growing area. With both a double and a twin bedded room, it is ideal for families or couples although their is an additional small single bedroom upstairs off of the twin bedded room which would allow it to sleep five.
It is a typical Maison de Ville in structure but retains many of the quirky character features such as the old staircase and the small, sunny balcony mixed with elements of tasteful modernisation, appropriate decor and comfortable seating. It was built in several parts, the oldest, we believe dating back to the late 18th Century, with additions in the late 19th Century and some modernisation in the late 80's.
Just 3 minutes stroll away from the Canal du Midi, the old town bridge and a couple of hundred metres further to the Newport where the majority of the boats moor up and where most of the shops and restaurants are based, the house is perfect as a base for visiting the Mediterranean, the mountains, wine tasting, walking, cycling, canoeing area but is also ideal for just chilling out, people watching and relaxing in a friendly environment as as only the French know how!
|Size||Sleeps up to 5, 2 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Valras Plage 20 km|
|Will consider||Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest Amenities||100 m|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Béziers-Vias Airport 26 km, Nearest railway: Beziers Station 7 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|General||TV, Satellite TV|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Washing machine|
|Rooms||2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms and 1 Shower rooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (3), Double beds (1), Cots (1), Dining seats for 5, Lounge seats for 4|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace|
|Further details indoors||
The main entrance leads into the old garage which is now a combined utility room and additional seating area. Turning left through a door leads you into a hallway taking you either to the upstairs living area, the main and single bedrooms or along to the vestibule, shower room, double bedroom and cave downstairs.
We also keep a range of beach equipment downstairs along with a chair and table set and two folding recliner chairs that we use to sit in the sun outside the main door to watch the world go by!
The cave holds a wardrobe for the use of those using the downstairs bedroom, the vacuum cleaner, ironing board, travel cot, stair gate (which fits in the doorway of the living room upstairs when needed) and miscellaneous spares; bulbs etc.
Making your way up stairs takes you to a landing with the fridge, the microwave and doors into the upstairs loo (with a toilet and washbasin) and the living/dining room which has a small balcony that will seat two for a spot of sunbathing through a large proportion of the day.
A door at the back takes you into the double bedroom which has a further door leading into a single bedroom with a simple wardrobe.
|Further details outdoors||
Grand Rue is so named because it is the old Main Street which runs from the old village square near the chateau, up to the square with the presbytery near the Church and around to the Mairie.
The old village is a maze of little streets, some with very attractive outlooks.
The South end of Grand Rue leads either left down to Place du Café, a pretty little square, down past the Chateau down to the bridge over the canal or right to the library and bakers then along to the Newport.
The North end of Grand Rue leads through past the church and down to the path along the canal. Following the path takes you to the Malpas Tunnel and the Oppidum.
The street is very narrow but you can park outside the house while offloading before moving to parking nearby. We provide a map showing various parking spaces a minute or two away.
We do not provide beach towels although all other towels and bed linen are provided with the beds made up for your arrival.
Welcome packs can be provided at additional cost if requested.
Part of our package is that we provide a variety of comprehensive booklets including detailed instructions for getting to (and from) the house from any airports and most other routes mentioned above along with details of the local restaurants/cafes, driving in France and things to do in Languedoc Roussillon. We also provide a detailed road and route map of Colombiers and a general map of the area.
The Languedoc-Roussillon region
Languedoc Roussillon is an area rich in variety and history and stretches from the hinterland of the Midi and the wild hills of the Corbieres down through the plains that house France's largest wine making area past the ruins of the craggy Cathar castles through some spectacular gorges of the Black Mountains and the Tarn to the grandeur of the Pyrenées.
Typically Southern with its russet coloured pantiled roofs and a disdain for excessive maintenance of it's everyday houses, Herault and it's close neighbour Aude are blessed by the weather and by a friendly populace. There is a wealth of history, religion and sightseeing in a plethora of towns and villages, all within easy reach; Cities like Montpellier, Perpigan and Carcassonne, Town like Béziers, Narbonne, Pezenas and Sete and countless little characterful villages spread across the region and along the Canal du Midi.
Colombiers, although more open and cosmopolitan than some French villages with three restaurants, two bars, takeaway facilities and a small supermarket to cater for the boat trade that travels along the Canal du Midi in summer, has managed to maintain it's character. The area around the old village and along the canal being areas of particular interest.
Colombiers also has the benefit of being a working village so many of the facilities remain open throughout the year,
Colombiers houses a 'Newport' with a large Maison du Tourisme set in a grand old Cave. Holidaymakers can hire little electric boats and larger group boats from the New port while Rive de France also hire their boats out to an international clientèle. Canal users stop here for their provisions, to use the showers and to top up their water and fuel.
The 'Port' contains an 'Amphitheatre' where shared musical/theatrical/shows etc regularly take place throughout the year although the bulk of the shows obviously take place in the busier times. The workload of shows is shared with Nissan.
Southern French villages enjoy their various fetes. The main 'bank holiday' is Bastille Day - the 14th July and it is on the evening of 13th July when Colombiers hosts a large, themed stage show followed by a grand fireworks display set in the Amphitheatre. The whole of the village turns out and it is essential to book a seat if you wish to eat at one of the restaurants that night! A really good night out. Bastille Day itself normally finds a canal side meal being organised - bookable through the Tourist Office.
There are regular fetes and events across the region and a visit to the Maison du Tourisme will give you plenty of ideas about what is on when you are there! Just make sure you allow some French Days when you just walk around and enjoy the village itself.
The stretch of the canal that goes through Colombiers continues to Béziers, a stretch of canal 33 miles long without a lock, but it makes up for that by having 8 locks in a row at Ecluse de Fonséranes immediately before the canal crosses the river Orb on a canal bridge on the outskirts of Beziers.
Beziers, the nearest large town, is only 5 miles away. The old town is set on an South facing escarpment with it's grand cathedral overlooking the river Orb and where a number of bridges - including a medieval pack horse bridge which gives the classic pictures of the cathedral that most people associate with the town cross the river. Each August Béziers hosts a 5 day Feria based around bullfighting which takes place in the Arenes but where celebrations overflows into concerts and entertainment spread across large parts of the old town.
A selection of restaurants are spread along the tree lined Allées Paul Ricquet in the old centre spreading out to the cathedral which has magnificent views to the South.
20-25 minutes' drive from the house takes you to Valras and the closest beach. A modern town which has grown up round the mouth of the Orb, it nevertheless has a lovely clean, flat golden beach and is a place to people watch par excellence. Many restaurants cater to the mostly French holidaymakers that flock there in midsummer.
Similar golden beaches spread along the coast, almost without interruption, from the Carmargue in the North down to the Spanish Border where the Pyrennées reach down to the Mediterranean Sea and interrupt their flow.
By contrast, driving 30 minutes inland from Colombiers takes you through increasingly hilly county and up into the High Languedoc National Park. Here you could decide to visit Roquebrun and hire a canoe for the trip of a lifetime, to lay your towel out on the riverside and use the safe swimming area set aside for locals or climb to the top of the picturesque village and visit the Mediterranean Garden perched vertiginously above the Orb with some grand views!
Driving South from Roquebrun would allow you visit St Chinian, a world renowned town famous for it wine co-operatives although, to be fair, in this part of France you are probably never more than a few miles away from a 'Domaine' that will be happy to allow you some wine tasting. Just be aware that the drink drive limits are lower in France than in the UK!
Driving South then East from Colombiers takes you to Carcassone, a city with a split personality with the newer town laid out in bastide fashion at the base of the hill and the old Cité, now a World Heritage site set up on the hillside, being well worth a day of anyone's time. Saved from gradual destruction by a major reconstruction in the mid 1800s by Violet de Duc it now gives you a believable glimpse into a long gone world. Accept the occasional overdoses of touristic excess and enjoy it!
This is the deep South of France with Roman remains, Pilgrim's roads and a long history intertwined with strife, invasions, fighting and religion.
This is Cathar Country where the language is rich with Spanish influences, where the pace of life is slower and the summers are hot.
If you want the beaches, the bars, the night life, they aren't far away.
If you want to sit in the shade of the plane trees that line the canal with a picnic, you can do that as well.
In half an hour you could be walking in the foothills of the Haut Languedoc National Park or trying wine in countless Domaines throughout the region.
If you want history there is more than you could possibly want within an hours drive while the number of churches to explore are legion.
If you want to try the real France - this is where you'll find it!