La Petite Maison
Gite | 2 bedrooms | sleeps 4
La Petite Maison is a charming stone property. Constructed some 400 + years ago, it once served as a winery and later as the presbytery - as it sits in close proximity to the Church of St Jean. Today its been lovingly restored to form a beautiful and simply decorated holiday cottage with a shabby chic French farmhouse feel. Many original features have been retained but it now has all the necessary comforts and conveniences of home and more besides. It is in the heart of the pretty French village of Rivel, a peaceful, traditional village in the Quercorb, with quaint and crumbling stone properties, peeling painted shutters, a babbling brook, 2 bell-towered chapels, embraced by rolling hills and surrounded by golden fields of sunflowers. The village nestles in a lush green valley in the foothills of the Pyrenees. It has that away from it all feel but yet is close enough to amenities not to be isolated. Its in the heart of the spectacular Cathar region of France where magnificent castles create the atmospheric landscape; perched high up on the rocky mountain tops amid breathtaking scenery, these fantastic ruins offer some of the most popular attractions of the region. Steeped in the wonderful rich history of the Albigensian Crusade myths and legends of this area abound. The village is only a 35 minute drive from the snow capped Pyrenees, very close to two glorious swimming lakes (Lac Montbel and Lac Puivert); a leisurely 20 minute drive to kilometers of whitewater rapids; and within easy reach of several unforgettable gorges following some hair-raising drives and white-knuckle routes through really stunning scenery.
It sleeps 4 + in 1 double & 1 twin and is ideal for couples, small families or small to large groups being one of four available properties which can be completely independent or linked.
Bedroom 1: cast-iron double bed, built-in cupboard, drawers, rocking chair.
Bedroom 2: twin beds (together make superking), built-in cupboard, chair, valet, drawers. Cot available on request. Bathroom with bath/shower over, wc, sink, shelves, radiator. Gas cooker with oven and 3 ring burner, fridge, microwave, washing machine, toaster, sandwich maker, electric hand whisk, kettle and coffee machine, ample cutlery, pots, pans, crockery and glasses, iron ironing board, hoover. Matching sofas, sideboard, lamps, Sky TV (freeview English channels), DVD, CD player, various board/ball games, DVDs and internet access. Jotul woodburning stove. Cosy yet spacious. Quiet reading space with armchair, occasional table, table lamp, bookshelves with good stock of books; CDs available to borrow on request at no charge. Desk and chair with wireless internet access (bring your own pc). Outside, large sunny south-facing, private terrace with dining table, 4 chairs, bbq, loungers, cushions and huge brolly.
Ideally located in the heart of Cathar region, surrounded by imposing castles such as Montségur, Puivert, Queribus, Peyrepertuse, Puilaurens and Lastours - all spectacular, poignant - set in the most breathtakingly beautiful rolling countryside.
|Size||Sleeps up to 4, 2 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||man-made beaches at 5 and 15 minutes or the m|
|Will consider||Long term lets (over 1 month)|
|Nearest Amenities||4 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Salvaza Airport (CCF), Salvaza, Carcassonne 54.6 km, Nearest railway: Limoux 30 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||TV, CD player, Table tennis, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||2 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (2), Double beds (1), Cots (1), Dining seats for 4, Lounge seats for 4|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, BBQ, Bicycles available|
The Languedoc-Roussillon region
Situated in the Aude on the borders of the Ariege, Rivel is ideally located for exploring the wealth of different landscapes in the neighbouring departments, stretching as they do, from the Mediterranean coastline through the rolling hills of the Corbieres, across to the Pyrenees. The village is about 5 minutes drive south of the medieval town of Chalabre in a region known as the Quercorb: an area steeped in history and legend.
The Aude reaches inland from the Mediterranean Sea, along the beautiful Aude river which winds its way through some lovely medieval towns and villages - including perhaps the most famous: the walled city of Carcassonne (30-40 minutes by car from here) and the most mysterious: Rennes-le-Chateau, inspiration for Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code amongst other novels of that genre.
The river Aude also offers an opportunity for some thrilling water sports such as white water rafting and canoeing at Saint-Martin-Lys or Rocaqua at Axat (both within a half hour's drive) as well as the magical Labouiche, Europe's longest navigable underground river. Labouiche is close to the lovely town of Foix, which has a beautiful well conserved castle and excellent museum.
The rocky terrain which towers majestically above the river has created stunning natural gorges adding to the mystery of the area. Gorge de Galamus, the Galamus Hermitage, grotto and natural spring for example, said to be under the protection of Mary Magdelene, where miracles have been documented, are just some of the remarkable natural attractions of this magical region.
Some of the most spectacular sites of the Aude are its Cathar castles; perched high on stony ridges at the top of sweeping mountains amongst rolling green hills. Chateaux Puivert and Chalabre are nearest to Rivel, each about 5 minutes drive; Montsegur, the most famous, is only a half hour away. The effort of the climb to these majestic ruins is well worthwhile, not just for the breathtaking views but for the very moving atmosphere that prevails. Some of the castles aren't so difficult to access and offer lovely winding paths, easy under foot; some less strenuous walks and glorious views abound for example at Roquefixade (a half hour's breathtaking drive on the route to Foix from Rivel). A little further and you have Peyrepertuse (claimed to be the finest example of medieval architecture in the Languedoc) and Queribus. Both have the most incredible views in all directions - right across to the Mediterranean sea.
The Ariege has equally stunning terrain with an abundance of castles, caves, grottos and lakes. The huge cave at Mas-d'Azil for instance, is the only cave in Europe which can be crossed by car. The unique, intermittent fountain of Fontestorbes (10 minutes from here) is considered an 'exceptional phenomenon' and the source of local legend. Opposite is a hectare of ancient woodland home to a riverside tree adventure park - very popular with younger visitors. A leisurely hour and a half to 2 hour drive through stunning scenery takes you to the mini country of Andorra, wedged between France and Spain, which besides offering great winter skiing, has over 2000 shops allegedly 'duty free' with a huge choice of cafes and restaurants.
You'll find something for everyone here: its not necessary to be a mountaineer or in triathlon training to enjoy the beauty of this area. Its extremely accessible to people of all ages and all levels of fitness. And because of the varied terrain there's a wide choice of natural attractions that can be accessed by anyone.
Most of the local villages have regular market days where you can buy local produce, gifts, keepsakes and bric a brac. Throughout the summer months there are also Les marches gourmandes - night markets where home grown produce can be purchased and cooked in front of you, so that you can relax in the open, savour the ambiance, the local produce and a delicious bottle of regional wine whilst chatting to the locals in your best French. These colourful markets provide an opportunity for local artisans to display and sell, so you'll find an array of art and crafts from local ceramicists, potters, woodworkers, painters and more.
The climate here is Mediterranean, hot (but not too hot because of the proximity to the Pyrenees) mainly dry in summer, some light showers in spring, one or two rainy days and some snow in winter (for those wanting to ski, the main snow fall is on the pyrenees usually from November through to early spring. The area enjoys moderate temperatures in spring and autumn but above all, all year round you should see an abundance of glorious sunshine! None of those long, grey spells that are all too familiar in the UK. So unless you're coming in the low season or going white water rafting you can leave your waterproofs at home.
There are boundless wine tasting opportunities in this area - Languedoc is the world's largest wine-producing region, so you will find a huge number of domains where you can stop and taste. The area also has a Spanish influence in all aspects of architecture, traditions, food and wine. There are plenty of restaurants around offering daily menus which are great value for money, but for those who want something special, there are several gourmet restaurants to choose from. Most restaurants do their own version of the nearby Castelnaudary's famous dish 'Cassoulet' (quite a heavy bean stew) - definitely one to try but not for the faint hearted.
The area is particularly suited to those who enjoy the outdoors: walking and climbing (or skiing in the winter months), cycling, sailing, swimming, fishing, white water rafting or canoeing in the summertime. The nearby canal du midi offers a more leisurely way to enjoy the water. The Cathar castles are one of the main attractions of the region. There are a number of abbeys and museums in the area and most villages have lovely old churches. Rivel's own Chapel 'Saint Cecile' is a jewel of Romanesque art well worth a visit. There are two local lakes: Puivert is ideal for younger children and parents - it has a spectacular firework display around Bastille day and lovely summer lakeside night markets; whereas Montbel, the larger lake and wild bird sanctuary, is perfect if you want to find a cosy cove to hide away with a good book. Both have man-made beaches, lake-side snack bars, peddle boats and Montbel also has canoes and sailing club. There's also a fully registered Gliding Club and an international Karting track very close by.
Guest reviewsPowered by TripAdvisor
Guest reviews Powered by TripAdvisor
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13 Dec 2013
"Lovely House- quiet Village in Beautiful Countryside"
La Petite Maison is a superbly presented holiday let in a wonderful part of France. Cathy and Shaun, the owners, were helpful at all times without being intrusive and their cats and dogs were very fri… More
15 Oct 2013
"Pretty House in Beautiful Peaceful Village"
This is a very pretty old house, upgraded to a high standard while retaining the period charm. Spacious patio area with plenty of seats and sunbeds, a real suntrap. Spotlessly clean, and well equipp… More
9 Aug 2013
"Superb accommodation in outstanding location"
This location and accommodation met all of our expectations and more, so much so that we booked for one week of our 2 week holiday to France and by kind arrangement of Cathy and Shaun, ended up stayin… More
16 Jul 2013
"Excellent Accommodation in a Special part of France"
We (2 couples) stayed in the Apartments Luxe and Bijou for a week (8-15 July) in Rivel, a small village near Chalabre.Note: Rivel must not be confused with Revel, a much larger town in the general are… More
Thanks for your review, I see that you've now reviewed under the correct location 'Luxe apartment' and I've responded. Hope to see you again.
15 Jul 2013
"Lovely house in a fantastic location"
We had a wonderful stay at La Petite Maison, which is perfectly located for road cycling, hiking, mountain biking, lake swimming, market visiting etc, and a very comfortable place to relax at the end … More
Thanks for taking time to review us. We were so pleased that you were here for the Tour de France...we've now seen it pass the entrance to the village on 2 separate occasions and each time its been such good fun: parties and picnics in the street - an amazing atmosphere. We're delighted that you enjoyed it,, albeit that you had to travel a little further afield than the end of our road this year! Keep your eye on the route for next year - it may come our way again. Hope to see you then.
18 Feb 2013
La Petite Maison is everything you could wish for in a holiday home - it is superbly presented and very well equipped to make your stay as comfortable as possible. The surrounding countryside is beautiful with lots of lovely chateaus to visit, (make sure you take some comfortable walking shoes!) Several pretty towns nearby and a visit to the old city of Carcassonne is a must. Cathy and Shaun are wonderful hosts, I can`t wait to return there again soon!
Thanks for your review. We're so pleased that you return year after year and are very much looking forward to your next visit. I'm still discovering this magical area and its a delight to share its secrets with you.
6 Feb 2013
"this is a delightful house in a lovely village with welcoming hosts who could turn their hand to a delicious meal"
The Ancienne Boulangerie is a beautifully furnished house with a very relaxing atmosphere.
It has the benefit of modern fittings, including wi fi. and yet has not lost its traditional village feel. The area itself is a delight, tranquil and yet near some spectacular sights...great for walking or cycling. Cathy and her husband were excellent hosts and we definitely hope to return one day soon.
Thanks for taking the time to review us. We take our responsibility for your holiday accommodation seriously so your comments are much appreciated. We realise it can be more than a little daunting choosing the right accommodation and booking on line. Not least when you're bringing friends along and you've been entrusted to 'get it right'. What we aim for is that sigh of relief and expression of delight when you all walk in the door, weary from a journey and a little anxious about what you're going to find. It will be a pleasure to welcome you back to l'ancienne boulangerie this year. Thank you for your valued custom.
4 Feb 2013
"Hospitality and relaxation at its best"
A wonderfully equipped house that has everything you could wish for - excellent standards in a setting which is typically quaint and authentically French. The owners, Cathy and Shaun take hospitality to another level and could not do enough to make us feel welcome and relaxed. A car is highly recommended to travel about and see some of the stunning countryside and scenery. One to shout about and will definitely be back - thank you.
Thanks for your review. We're delighted that you enjoyed your stay enough to want to return and look forward to welcoming you back here in the future.
24 Jan 2013
"A wonderful place to relax"
Authentic, comfortable and so full of character. We have returned regularly to La Petite Maison whilst exploring the area. The house and furnishings are so pretty it oozes french living! The accommodation inside is very well presented and cared for, and really charming. The terrace outside is perfect for lazy evening meals and the village is such a gem - unspoilt and everything we imagined a french country village would be. Cathy is such a help advising us on places to visit and her local knowledge really helps us make the most of our holidays. A great little treasure and can't wait to get back!
Thank you for sharing this review. We really value your opinion. This house was the first of our 4 gites to be renovated and marketed, so I have an emotional attachment to it. Its good to hear that the care put into it is reflected in your experience of the house. And, we're always happy to share our local knowledge especially when we find someone as enthusiastic about the south of France as we are.
24 Jan 2013
"A wonderful place to stay"
Everything about our stay at La Petit Maison was wonderful from booking it to ,sadly, leaving. Cathy and Shaun were very helpful in arranging a cot and high chair for us and were there to welcome us with a smile. They were on hand should we need them and they had some great ideas for places to visit or for dinner. The accommodation was comfortable and we had everything we could need, including a few necessities left for us in the fridge, cheese, wine and milk! All of the rooms were decorated in such a pretty, rustic way we felt we staying somewhere very special. The area is stunning and the nearby lakes provided a family friendly, relaxing place to sunbathe and swim. There is a fantastic area at the Lake in Puivert that is just for small children. We enjoyed it so much we are going back this summer with friends and staying their larger property. We can't wait!
Thanks for taking the time to review us. Its important to have your feedback: we know that taking children on holiday poses its own particular challenges and realise the significance of having a suitable base. We really value that you felt at home and trust us sufficiently to return, this time with your friends and their children. I'm sure you'll find L'ancienne boulangerie just as special as La Petite Maison: the difference is that whilst you'll have the same intimacy and cosy atmosphere to enjoy the company of your friends, you'll have more space for some privacy when needed.
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