Farmhouse | 3 bedrooms | sleeps 6
Period property within a five minute walk of the medieval centre of Ceret, a vibrant and colourful market town perched on a wooded hillside overlooking a verdant valley. Close to the Pyrenees, the Mediterranean and Spain, Ceret is ideally situated for exploring the diverse cultures, unspoilt countryside and chequered history of the region, whilst the town itself offers a picturesque and charismatic combination of rural charm and intellectual interests - museums, art galleries, folk festivals, excellent restaurants, open-air fiestas, leafy boulevards, pavement cafes.
Originally a farm, or Catalan « mas » the property is situated in some two and a half acres of informal lawned gardens and fruit orchard, on gently sloping hills to the South of the old walled city of Céret. Beautifully positioned, the back of the property opens onto unspoilt and uninhabited countryside, whilst to the front, the town is a mere stone's throw away.
Ground floor :-
Spacious and light living room with large windows facing East and West, comfortably furnished. Sky TV and a DVD player.
Off the living room, the dining room has a generously sized pine table and seating for six. It also houses a large collection of modern novels, classic literature and reference books, for your perusal.
The attractive newly fitted kitchen has painted wooden cupboards, stainless steel sink, dishwasher, washing machine, electric oven, halogen four-ring hob, kettle, toaster and microwave. Windows face South and West.
The kitchen opens through French windows onto a terrace with table and chairs for outdoor dining. The terrace offers pretty views across the garden to the wooded hillsides beyond.
Enclosed hallway with large curved staircase. Downstairs WC with wash basin.
Upstairs :-Three bedrooms, one with a king size bed (160cm wide), one with a double bed (140cm wide) and one with two single beds (90cm wide). Each bedroom has two large windows, all offering far reaching views across the hills and over the town. There is a shower room with a walk in shower and wash basin, and a separate WC.
The swimming pool is situated in it's own walled garden, again with a large lawned area, and flower borders. There is a covered Logia to provide shade with table and chairs, and also sun loungers and deck chairs. The pool measures 10m x 4.5m and is approximately 1.5m deep, with no shallow end. Broad steps lead down into the water for those who prefer to edge in slowly rather than to dive head first ! The pool is open from the beginning of June to the end of September.
Beyond the pool garden are approximately two acres of gently sloping terraced orchard, with cherry, plum, apricot, walnut, fig and apple trees – our guests are invited to pick and eat the fruit which is in season. This land is enclosed by high stone walls and hawthorne hedge.
This is a fantastic Summer destination for families with children of all ages. The gardens and pool are always a strong favourite and avoid the need for going to crowded beaches. The house is so close to Céret that our guests do not often need to drive - you can eat out and walk home from a large choice of restaurants, and in the warmer months lots of (often free) street entertainment is offered. The busy Saturday morning market, which is almost as busy in Winter as in Summer, starts literally at the end of the road and wends its way through the town's tree lined boulevards.
In low season, when the pool is not in use, we offer excellent rates making our property affordable for that out of season break that will give you the opportunity to enjoy the mild sunny weather and the spectacular snow-capped mountain views visible from the property. Ski resorts, at less than 2 hours drive, are easilly accessible for a day's excursion, and with online ski rental making life easier you can arrange equipment hire from home so you won't lose any time on the slopes!
Our home's thick stone walls mean that it stays cool in the summer, and central heating keeps it cosy throughout the winter, making it an ideal year round rental. We offer reduced prices between November and March for stays of 4 weeks or more. Dogs welcome in LOW season, from October to May, only. The gas for the central heating is charged as per the metered reading at the current GDF rate, if used.
Our concièrges live in a self contained and totally seperate lower ground floor apartment, so they are always available to give advice and help if needed.
|Size||Sleeps up to 6, 3 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||20 miles|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings, Long term lets (over 1 month)|
|Access||Car not necessary|
|Nearest Amenities||500 m|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Perpignan 35 km, Nearest railway: Perpignan 25 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||3 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms of which 1 Shower rooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (2), Double beds (2), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 6|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ|
The Languedoc-Roussillon region
CÃ©ret is situated in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France but its roots lie firmly embedded in the Catalan tradition. Catalonia spans the Spanish border reaching as far south as Barcelona, a distance of about 100 miles, and north to the French city of Perpignan, ancient seat of the Kings of Majorca. The Catalan language is still spoken, in this part of France, although it is only used by elderly people on a day to day basis, although across the border and into Spain, it is a first language for many. Catalan music, dancing, customs and cuisine, which tends to be rustic and filling 'peasanr' food have stamped their mark on both sides of the border.
There are many noteworthy daytrips in the region; Barcelona for its cathedrals, its architecture, shopping, Las Ramblas, the port, the zoo and its rich and varied history makes a fantastic excursion. There is so much to see and do, however, that you really need to plan your visit to make best use of the time. Closer to CÃ©ret, Girona is also a pretty Spanich city with a lovely atmosphere, with a cathedral, ancient fortifications and Roman ruins. Figueras, famous for the Dali Museum, is a short jaunt away by car, and ladies who love to lunch and to shop will find it cheaper to do so here than in France! Perpignan also has a sizeable shopping centre, but is perhaps best visited for the imposing Chateau of the Majorcan Kings. In the Summer numerous concerts take place in it's grounds and it provides a lovely backdrop to open air entertainment. There are many restaurants with Arabic influences strong on the menu; couscous and tajines should be sampled! Carcassonne, with its fabulous fortress, is about an hour and three quarters away, so is a good day out, as are Toulouse and Monpellier.
Away from the cities and towns, the coastline offers much at any time of the year. Choose from rugged rocky coves or miles of sandy beaches. Wild and undevelopped stretches are still dotted between the more populous tourist destinations. In Spain, Cadaques, birthplace of Dali, is still a quaint although popular destination, as is Callella de Pallafrugel. The beautiful excavated ancient Greek and Roman ruins at Empuries are well worth a visit, and the stunning tree fringed sandy cove on the sea front of the ancient town is a lovely spot to while away the hours. Sant Marti, which is a short walk along the coastal footpath, offers pretty places to eat with cliff top views. St Pere Pescador is a wonderful beach for families with small children as it has shallow water and the finest white sand I have ever seen! No shops or entertainment (a cheap day out!) but you will need to take a picnic as the palm roofed beach cafÃ© only offers very limited fayre, in season. In France, Le Racou offers low key and low tech beach facilities - much favoured by locals it is less touristy than Argeles sur Mer, its neon neighbour, but parking can be difficult in Summer. Argeles is great if you want the full beach shopping/ice cream/bouncy castle/pedalo experience, but if you have kids with pester power, it might be costly! Closer to CÃ©ret, the lake at St Jean Pla de Corts is pleasant. There is secure bathing with a lifeguard during the day, a lovely waterside restaurant and bar - open in warmer months only - and the grassy banks and shady trees make it a pleasant spot when it is very hot.
There are innumerable pretty villages to explore in the surrounding area, some up in the mountains, others on the plains or coast. Noteworthy amongst them are Castelnou, Prats de Mollo and Collioure; but the list goes on...
Day trips to the mountains for skiing are possible from December to March, with several resorts being less that 2 hours drive away; FourmiguÃ¨res, Pyrenees 2000, Mont Louis and
Les Angles are all easily accessible. Ski hire can be arranged and paid for on-line beforehand, so you will only need to pick up pre booked equipment when you arrive. For anyone used to paying for ski passes in the Alps, I am told that the Pyrenees are cheap!
This provides a brief overview of the sights of the region. If you have any particular queries please don't hesitate to get in touch; we lived in CÃ©ret for many years and hopefully are well placed to answer questions!
The countryside on your doorstep: The property is situated at the edge of the historic Medieval town of CÃ©ret, and backs on to open hillsides, scattered with old cherry and chestnut orchards, and dense woodland of native cork and evergreen oak. There are many marked footpaths which experienced ramblers, or indeed anyone just looking for a pleasant stroll, will enjoy. Rambling guides with routes explained (in French) with clear diagrams and schematic maps will help you find your way along the marked paths. If you are prepared to walk up hill a little on a clear day, the views are stunning; the panorama encompasses the high Pyrenees and the Mediterannean!
If you are interested in birdwatching, exotic species which you may not be used to seeing, such as golden oreoles, hoopoos, bee eaters, woodpeckers and many more can be heard, if not always seen! The area is also a botanists delight and in turn, this attracts many pretty insects - dragonflies, damseflies and butterflies amongst them.
The town on your doorstep: Ideally situated to take full advantage of all of CÃ©ret's amenities without the need to use your car, the house is a 5 minute walk from the centre of CÃ©ret. The bustling Saturday market begins literally at the end of the road and winds it way through the town's tree lined boulevards; there is a boulangerie at the end of the road - ideal for fresh bread and croissants in the morning; there are a large number of restaurants in the town - no need to deprive yourself of a glass or two of the local tipple with your meal as the walk home is an easy one! CÃ©ret also has a good selection of boutique shops, pavement cafÃ©s, galleries, a modern art museum, night clubs/bars and of course, banks, supermarkets, a post office, tourist office etc.
During the warmer months of the year, especially in Summer, there are various organised entertainments on the town's boulevards, often free of charge - if you want to sit down and soak up the atmosphere, just order a drink on the terrace of the nearest cafÃ©! Both music (from jazz through traditional to rock - something for everyone) and dance enliven many an evening.
It is possible to spend a holiday in CÃ©ret without a car - we have had many guests who have done this, and with a little planning excursions are possible using public transport - the local buses are very reasonably priced at â?¬1 the trip!