Barn | 3 bedrooms | sleeps 6
This recently renovated barn conversion is located on the edge of a small village at the foot of La Montagne Noire (the Black Mountain) and less than 25 minutes from Carcassonne and its airport. It has a terrace and an enclosed garden at the front of the property and a private pool at the back of the property with lovely views. The pool is not overlooked and gets the sun all day.
This is the ideal property for those who wish to have easy access to Carcassonne and the many tourist activities in the area but who also like to escape the crowds and relax in the peace and quiet of beautiful countryside at the end of the day.
The property caters for a wide range of guests with two double bedrooms (one with a king size bed), one twin bedroom and a shower room (with WC) upstairs and an open plan kitchen, dining area, living area downstairs with two sets of French doors leading out to the terrace area. There is also a second shower room (with WC) downstairs. The property is well equipped with everything you will need for your perfect holiday.
|Size||Sleeps up to 6, 3 bedrooms|
|Nearest Amenities||400 m|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Carcassonne Salvaza Aiport 22 km, Nearest railway: Gare de Carcassonne 19 km|
|Family friendly||Suitable for children over 5|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Pool||Private outdoor pool (unheated)|
|General||Central heating, Air conditioning, TV, CD player, Satellite TV|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 2 Shower rooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (2), Double beds (2), Dining seats for 8, Lounge seats for 6|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Private outdoor pool (unheated), Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ|
|Further details indoors||
The property is recently renovated and decorated to a high standard. It is well lit and airy throughout, with new furniture, fittings and equipment. We have tried to ensure that we have equipped the home with everything that you will require for your holiday but please let us know if we have overlooked anything so that we can make sure that any missing items are available for you on your next stay or for future guests.
The three bedrooms are all located upstairs. They all have extremely high ceilings and retain the original wooden beams. All the bedrooms have shutters and air conditioning (hot or cold depending on the season). The master bedroom (with king size bed) and twin bedroom both have velux skylights with optional solar shades and built in wardrobes. The middle bedroom with a double bed has a free standing wardrobe. The master bedroom has views of the Pyrénées on a clear day and by night you can see the lights of Carcassonne. The middle bedroom has a very large window with views of the front garden.
Downstairs is spacious and open planned with the kitchen and dining area on one side and the lounge area on the other side of the large room. There is a large American style double door fridge with ice maker, which is great for summer. The oak dining table seats a minimum of 8 people and extra leaves can be added and the oak bench (located under the large window in the kitchen) utilised to provide seating for up to 12 people. There is seating in the lounge area for up to 6 people.
There are double french doors on each side of the room, leading out to the terrace and garden. There are shutters downstairs, that can be used with the windows and doors open or closed, so that you can control heat and light according to your own preference. The thick stone walls mean that the downstairs is cool even in the height of summer but retains the heat in winter.
There are two shower rooms, one upstairs and the other downstairs. They both have large, modern, showers, a WC and a hand basin.
There is a spiral staircase with a feature stone wall and large chandelier.
There are wooden floor boards throughout the property so it is cool in summer but also not too cold on your feet in the cooler months.
A bonus for those who like to view television/DVDs whilst on holiday is the large 50 inch Pioneer TV and Pioneer DVD surround sound system. There is satellite television (Free Sat) with English channels. The DVD player can also be used to listen to music CDs. There is a selection of DVDs in the house but we recommend that you supplement these by bringing your own, particularly if you have children. For those with an IPOD there is a Bose sound dock located on the bookcase in the dining area. The bookcase contains a variety of books in English. There are also books on the local area in English, maps and a folder containing information about the house, property and the area located in the 2 door oak cupboard.
|Further details outdoors||
There is a French/Spanish style BBQ and an outdoor table and chairs on the terrace in front of the property. There is also a large parasol on the terrace to provide shade on sunny days but which can be taken down in the cooler months.
The front garden is grassed with mature trees. This garden is fully fenced with gates at each end.
The swimming pool is located in a separate garden at the back of La Grange des Hirondelles. There are no buildings near the pool so it receives the sun all day. There are lovely views from the pool of the surrounding countryside. When the cover is removed from the pool the swallows, for which the barn is named, will fly down over the pool.
There is a pagoda beside the pool to provide shade for those wanting to lie beside the pool but who wish to have protection from the sun. There are sunloungers with cushions for 6 people.
There is off street parking on the property for up to four vehicles.
The private swimming pool is unheated.
There are no additional facilities for babies and toddlers.
Rentals are from Saturday to Saturday. Check in is from 4.00pm on the day of arrival and check out is by 10.00am on the day of departure.
The price includes a set of bed linen and towels per person (including pool/beach towels) at the beginning of the stay.
The Languedoc-Roussillon region
The Languedoc-Roussillon in southern France is an increasingly popular region to visit. It has a huge amount to offer, with wonderful weather and plenty to do and enjoy, but without the crowds and commercialism of neighbouring Provence.
The area boasts about 300 days of sunshine. The summers are generally dry and hot, although often moderated by a cooling breeze, and the warm weather can last from May through to November. Even in winter when the weather is cold, there are still many bright and sunny days.
The landscape of the Languedoc Roussillon is varied with the Mediterranean Sea and its long sandy beaches, lakes, rivers, mountains, vineyards and fields full of sunflowers. You can visit castles, historic and archeological sights, cities and towns and delightful small villages. With a great variety of cultural and outdoor activities there is something in this area to suit all tastes. The various ski slopes of the Pyrénées cater for different levels of experience in the winter months.
FOOD AND WINE
Sampling the wines and the cuisine of Languedoc-Roussillon is a delight. Not only can you enjoy the traditional cuisine of the region such as cassoulet (a stew of white beans or meat), cheese (Roquefort cheese is from here), olives, mushrooms, duck, goose, beef, mutton and lamb and of course the fabulous sea food from the coast, but there are also Provençal and Spanish influences to the food from the Languedoc-Roussillon's nearest neighbours. This is also wine country as the Languedoc-Roussillon is France's largest wine producing region and you can visit many of the local "caves" and sample the local wines, including Cabardès, Minervois, Lauragais, Corbières, Razes, Malepère and Fitou and the Blanquette de Limoux, the first sparkling wine produced in France.
LA CITE AT CARCASSONNE
La Cité at Carcassonne, with the château that was used in the film of Robin Hood, is one of the most visited tourist attractions in France. It has its roots in Roman times but the spectacular walled town is now the largest medieval fortress in Europe and a UNESCO world heritage site. With its 14 towers and its narrow, winding streets full of shops, museums, restaurants and cafés, the Cité is an enchanting place.
The Languedoc-Roussillon is "Cathar" country and you can visit the impressive medieval castles, abbeys and towns that were formerly Cathar strongholds, which abound in the area. A Passeport des Sites du Pays Cathare will give you a reduction in price to 19 castles, châteaux, abbeys and museums in Cathar country.
You can visit Rennes-le-Château, the village featured in Dan Brown's book, Da Vinci Code, or the thermal spa town of Rennes-les-Bains and other places, including the city of Carcassonne, mentioned in the books featuring the area by Kate Mosse, such as Sepulchre and Labyrinth.
There are caves and caverns scattered throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon, and about 15 of them are open to the public with stalactites, stalagmites, and columns of crystal.
CANAL DU MIDI
The engineering miracle of the Canal du Midi, with its soft green waters and banks lined with plane trees, stretches from Toulouse to Sète and the Canal de la Robine runs from Salleles-d'Aude, though the town of Narbonne, and on to the sea.
The coastline of the Languedoc-Roussillon has over 70 kilometres (40 miles) of golden sandy beaches, with resorts to suit everyone, whether seeking a busy resort with many facilities, a resort that caters for windsurfing and other water sports or a quiet cove where you can avoid the crowds.
VIADUC DE MILLAU
Ranking amongst the tallest and longest road bridges in the world, the Viaduc de Millau is both a work of art and an amazing feat of engineering. Stretched across the wide Tarn Valley it looks incredibly elegant but yet is built to support the weight of a four lane motorway.
PLACES TO VISIT
There are many wonderful places to visit in the area. The dynamic city of Toulouse and the beautiful Mediterranean city of Montpellier are both buzzing university cities with great shops and restaurants. The remains of the strong Roman influence in the area can be found in places such as the Pont du Gard, Nimes and Narbonne. There are many beautiful towns such as the bastide town of Mirepoix with its medieval market place, Pézenas, with its grand mansions and charming Collioure with its beaches, château and artistic reputation. The vibrant city of Perpignan, with its proximity to Spain is as much Catalan as it is French. Spain, with the lovely cities of Girona and Barcelona, can be reached by train and is within driving distance, as is the small principality of Andorra where you can stock up on duty free and have a nice meal in one of the many restaurants.
Experience the amazing spectacle of nautical jousting in seaside towns such as Sète, Palavas-les-Flots, Agde and Aigues-Mortes in the summer months.
Watch the locals play petanque, or boules, or join in yourself.
With its proximity to Spain the tradition of bullfighting is strong in the Languedoc-Roussillon and there are bullfighting festivals, ferias, held in towns such as Nimes, Béziers and Céret. There is also a less blood thirsty form of bull art found here, the courses Carmarguaises, where rosettes or ribbons are removed from the bull's horns and the bull is not killed.
Whether you enjoy sightseeing, shopping, viewing English language cinema in Carcassonne, swimming, water sports, cycling, mountain biking, golf, running, hiking, rambling, bird watching, boules, horse riding, skiing, wine tasting or wine touring the local vineyards or travelling the Canal Du Midi, this is location for you.
In Villardonnel, at the foothills of La Montagne Noire (The Black Mountain), and surrounded by forest and vineyards, you are never far from a view. You may prefer to simply stay at home and laze around by the pool or relax on the shaded terrace with a glass of wine. There are a number of walks around the village and a mountain bike track if you wish to exercise without having to use your car.
Villardonnel is a small and attractive village with traditional houses. The village has a boucherie, which also sells wine produced from local vineyards. There are also bar/restaurants to be found in many of the surrounding villages and a supermarché, boulangerie and pharmacie can be found in the village of Villegailhenc (10km). The nearest petrol station is at the village of Villemoustaussou (12 km).
There are many supermarkets in Carcassonne, with a number of large supermarkets and large stores on the outskirts of Carcassonne, including large E. Leclerc, Intermarché and Géant Casino supermarkets.
Villardonnel is located 20 km north of Carcassonne, a pleasurable drive past sunflower fields and vineyards and through avenues of plane trees. You can visit the fortified Cité, explore its battlements, dine in one of the many restaurants or browse in one of its many shops. One of the joys of the Cité is that the museums, restaurants and shops are open even in the middle of winter. You can explore Carcassonne's Ville Basse, which also has a great selection of restaurants and shops. In addition, there are two markets, held three times a week on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays (Saturday is the best day to visit).
There are numerous festivals and events in the area throughout the year. Throughout July the Festival de la Cité and the Festival de la Bastide take place in Carcassonne with over 70 performances of Opera, Dance, Theatre, Classical, French Variety and International music. On the night of Bastille Day, the 14th of July, each year more than 700 000 spectators flock to Carcassonne and its surrounds to watch the amazing display of fireworks which culminates in the Cité de Carcassonne being set ablaze. In summer there is also a medieval festival with medieval displays and jousting in the Cité. Spain pays a visit to Carcassonne during the last week in August. Shows, events, concerts, dance performances, and gastronomic specialities will inspire all to live to the rhythm of Spanish culture. In Villardonnel there is a local fête or festival in early August and the major festival is the Fair of the Chestnut, which takes place at the beginning of November.
One of the Cathar sites, the Châteaux Lastours, is only 10 km from Villardonnel. It consists of 4 ruined castles perched on a rocky spur. You can either walk up the castles or enjoy a stunning view of the châteaux from the viewpoint across the valley.
The Canal du Midi is a drive of only 15 minutes from La Grange des HIrondelles and is great for walking or biking. You may also wish to take a boat trip or even hire your own boat so you that you can enjoy the adventure of passing through its many locks whilst enjoying the beauty of the tranquil water and the shade of the 34,000 plane trees that grace the banks of the canal.
If you wish to swim in the sea the Mediterranean coast is an hour away and swimming is also available in a number of mountain lakes. It is a 35 minute drive to the Lac de la Cavayère and the Lac de Pradelle and the closest lake is the Lac des Montagnes, 25 minutes away on the main road to Mazamet.