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Mas Darré la Foun

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Excellent 5/5 5 reviews

Welcome to Mas Darré la Foun, secluded but not isolated

House | 4 bedrooms | sleeps 8

Key Info
  • Swimming pool
  • Suitable for children over
  • Car essential
  • No pets allowed
  • Private garden

Beautiful views are a given as the village of Villelongue d'Aude sits in the Razes, in the toe-hills of the Pyrenees. To the North beyond the medieval city of Carcassonne rise the Black Mountains; to the East the Corbieres, wild land of vines and eagles; to the West the dairy-rich Ariège and to the South the gorges of the river Aude splashing down through picturesque market towns to the Spanish border. This is Cathar country where castles cling to rocks and ghosts of intellectual heretics take to arms. The warm Mediterranean is an hour away in one direction and the first ski stations of the Pyrenees an hour away in the other. Toulouse is a similar distance if you fancy some Big City culture.

Much closer beckon the lively town of Limoux with its Summer concerts and Winter carnivals; the lake of Montbel for paddling a kayak into the sunset, and endless pathways through vineyards, oak forests and fields of giant sunflowers. Villelongue boasts a bar two nights per week. If you miss the bread van the nearest boulangerie is an energetic bike ride up a hill with a view to reward, or a couple of miles in the car. Wednesdays is peripatetic pizza night and if you are on the ball you can catch the butcher's van or the village vegetable surplus share-out. There are two goat's cheese producers and two apiarists and naturally, more than a handful of vineyards including the excellent Cammas Nau.

Mas Darré la Foun (Occitan for 'Behind the Fountain') has four bedrooms: two upstairs (one double, one twin) each with ensuite shower room and dressing area, and two downstairs (one double, one king-size) secluded in their own wing and sharing a large bathroom, separate loo and petit salon for quiet reading. This arrangement makes it ideal for two parties or for parents to secure some romantic space away from their children. The spacious main salon and dining area sit under a lofty beamed ceiling with a semi-open-plan kitchen. This is hand built with granite work surfaces and is set up for serious cooking. An eight-seater oak dining table complements other oak furniture, and sofas and a reading chair are arranged around the log-burning stove. Books, DVDs and games are provided for fun holiday entertainment.

Four sets of French windows give out onto shady terraces offering rattan sofas, a barbeque and outdoor dining for eight. Down in the summer kitchen a sink and fridge allow for snacks and cold beers. There is a further dining set here and a shower-room and WC convenient to the 12m x 4m pool. Swim along gazing at patchwork vineyards whilst kites and buzzards circle in high skies.

Garage, garden, pump room and laundry complete the facilities.

Twelve reasons to stay at Mas Darré la Foun between October and April:

1. Parties of four or less attract special rates.

2. Walking and cycling are more comfortable out of the Summer heat.

3. Skiing in the nearby Pyrenees is easily accessible and a sunny joy.

4. Limoux welcomes its winter carnival between Christmas and Easter.

5. The Toques et Clochers, festival of wine, art, food and music takes place just before Easter.

6. The woodburner comes into its own and the underfloor heating adds luxury.

7. If it rains you can stay snuggled in bed with a book and without guilt.

8. The markets are more 'French' without the tourist hordes.

9. Much local produce is harvested in Autumn, which feels like another Spring.

10. You are never far away from a cold, crisp day and a good stomp.

11. You are never far away from a warm, sunny day and coffee in the fresh air.

12. You can see the mistletoe on the tall trees down the road.

Size Sleeps up to 8, 4 bedrooms
Will consider Short breaks (1-4 days)
Access Car essential
Family friendly Suitable for children over 5, Suitable for people with restricted mobility
Notes No pets allowed, No smoking at this property

Features and Facilities

Luxuries Log fire, Internet access, DVD player, Boat available
General Central heating, TV, CD player, Wi-Fi available
Standard Kettle, Iron, Hair dryer
Utilities Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine
Rooms 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms, 2 En suites and 1 Shower rooms
Furniture Single beds (2), Double beds (3), Dining seats for 8, Lounge seats for 7
Other Linen provided, Towels provided
Outdoors Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ, Bicycles available
Access Parking

The Languedoc-Roussillon region

There are so many pretty villages and impressive drives and perfect walks that your best bet is to get a map and set off with a picnic. These are just the nearest settlements which stand out:

Alaigne 6km Excellent tiny boulangerie and 'essentials' shop in this 'circulade' village. Cafe/bar with rousing events and a good mix of French and non-French. Invigorating views of the Pyrenees on your way back down to Villelongue.

Belveze du Razes 9km Butcher, baker and probably candlestick maker. Belveze is one of those places where apochryphal stories are told of the number of Brits living there – you hear all sorts of improbable percentages. Truth is I have only once bumped into another Brit and his French was impeccable so who cares! Very well-served decent sized village with fabulous views en route.

Limoux 11km Gutsy little market town (Fri and in the Summer, Tues eves too) on the river Aude with good restaurants, a big Leclerc and a proper amount of business and industry (mainly the incomparable Blanquette production) to make this a real place, not a tourist pastiche. Very heavy on music events all Summer and the curious ancient rites of the fécos in Winter. Etape set-off point for 2012 Tour de France - oh they were proud of that! The cutest bunting in the shape of 'tricots' were festooned around the town and even more outdoor music events were muscled in.

Alet-les-Bains 20km Lovely big village in a gorgeous setting further South on the Aude. Here's where to start kayaking back down to Limoux. Not for the faint-hearted and expect to get wet but be exhilarated by the end.

Mirepoix 24km Decent and very attractive town with a definitive market and loads of not-bad restaurants. More touristy but you can see why. The market is on a Monday but if you visit on other days you get to appreciate the architecture better.

Carcassonne 35km If La Cité is good enough for UNESCO ... The most hilarious criticism of La Cité is that it's a bit 'Disney' but of course this authentic and extensive fortified settlement has been around rather longer than its cinematic imitator. The 'new' city (dating only from the middle ages) is walled and splendid with a gracious main square and the best moules frites in the South of France up at the Bistro de la Gare, by the station and the locks on the Canal du Midi.

The ski stations of the Aude and Ariege: anyone snootlily Alps-centric will have their eyelids peeled back by unspoilt villages, 'community' ski areas perfectly groomed, the grandeur of Bonascre rising up from the Victorian spa of Ax-les-Thermes (Harrogate in the Pyrenees) and Andorra only a half-hour further on. Even if you don't ski, in Summer or Winter drive down the Aude to Quillan then immediately start winding up towards Ax. Stop at Chioula on top of the world and weep a little that there is still such space and such beauty and such peace to be had.

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Review 1-5 of 5

7 Aug 2014

5/5

"Perfect…loved it!"

A wonderful property in tranquil setting and amazing view. Incredibly well equipped, clean and works well with extended family, giving everyone space to enjoy . Great indoor to outdoor living layout a… More

9 Mar 2014

5/5

"Utterly amazing"

We booked this for a 5 person trip and the house was perfect. The kitchen was well stocked with everything we needed to cook up some great meals, and the fire was very welcoming.… More

17 Sep 2013

5/5

"Fantastique! Beautiful house and garden and great location."

A fantastic house, very well equipped and a lovely garden and pool with brilliant outdoor seating. The weather was superb and we made full use of the pool and bikes. Great area for exploring with lov… More

22 Aug 2013

5/5

"Beautiful House in great location"

We have stayed in the Languedoc many times and consider ourselves to be 'very' fussy when choosing somewhere to stay. None of the houses we have stayed in previously have been so lovely and … More

14 Aug 2013

5/5

"Fantastic, beautifully designed & furnished home which exceeded our expectations."

We loved staying here - the property was well furnished, modern & stylish and was very much home from home. The view to the village was beautiful and the location peaceful. There was plenty of space &… More

Review 1-5 of 5

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Clare G.

95% Response rate

Calendar last updated:05 Aug 2014

Based in United Kingdom

Languages spoken
  • English
  • French

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