Apartment | 2 bedrooms | sleeps 8
A CHARACTER PROPERTY FURNISHED TO A HIGH STANDARD:
This recently renovated property is set between the mountains of the Haut Languedoc Natural Park and the Mediterranean beaches of the Languedoc, South West France. It is an ideal all-year round base for either a short-break, a self-catering activity or sightseeing holiday – or longer stay.
Situated in the heart of Saint-Chinian, this stylish, spacious and sunny (south facing) apartment newly converted in late 2007, provides free high-speed broadband WiFi internet access as well as English and French TV and radio, and yet retain some of the original features of one of the oldest buildings in this lively, historic wine village. Their sunny open aspect and large windows directly overlook the large village square with its thriving twice-weekly markets (Thursday and Sunday mornings).
ON YOUR DOORSTEP:
Immediately outside Maison de la Place is plenty of shaded seating to enjoy the relaxed French way of life. A peaceful garden, small childrens’ play area, boules, cafés for enjoying a coffee or glass of the local wine, as well as an oyster and shell-fish bar – are all literally on your doorstep.
Free parking is available right outside the property and the plentiful local restaurants means that there is no need to risk meeting a Gendarme when driving home from a ‘happy’ evening out!
Everything is within easy reach.
ALL WITHIN A FEW MINUTES:
The restaurants, boulangeries, boucheries, a bio food shop and supermarket, bicycle hire, banks, post office, pharmacy, newsagent, coiffeur, fishing tackle shop, dry-cleaners, outdoor swimming pool (open from June 1st), tennis and river fishing are all within a few minutes walk.
TO SEE AND DO:
There is always such a lot to see and do in and around Saint-Chinian, you will never be bored. Famous for its AOC wines, great location, 300 days of sunshine per year, historic Cathar castles, and the stunning natural beauty of the surrounding countryside, a week or two provides only enough time to make you want to come back, time and again. In most years, during July the world famous Tour de France passes close-by.
NEARBY CITIES TO VISIT:
The interesting cities of Narbonne and Beziers are within approximately a 30 minutes drive; Montpellier, Perpignan and Carcassonne about an hour. All are excellent for shopping as well as soaking up the culture and history of the region. The glorious beaches a pleasant 40 minutes drive away.
Saint-Chinian is also only 15 minutes from the Canal du Midi which links the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. A World Heritage Site, it is ‘a must’ to visit where pleasure boats and the seasons provide a constantly changing landscape. You can stroll under the shady plain trees, or rent a bike from the Capestang tourist office.
|Size||Sleeps up to 8, 2 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Narbonne Plage 40 km|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings, Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest Amenities||300 m|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Beziers 45 km, Nearest railway: Beziers 28 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, TV, Video player, CD player, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 1 En suites and 1 Shower rooms|
|Furniture||2 Sofa beds, Single beds (2), Double beds (1), Cots (1), Dining seats for 8, Lounge seats for 5|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Shared garden, Bicycles available|
|Further details indoors||
THE SITTING ROOM:
The main living area and separate bedroom has views over the large tree-lined square, and is very well furnished, including a double sofa bed, English and French TV, DVD, etc..
In Les Oliviers’ modern fully equipped kitchen there is in addition a dining table that extends to seat up to eight people should a group of friends wish to dine together.
THE MAIN BEDROOM
The separate en-suite bedroom has a double bed, bedside table with lamps, dressing table and chair, and fitted built-in wardrobe with mirrored doors.
THE MAIN BATHROOM
The fully tiled bathroom has a corner bath with shower, a separate shower cubicle, wash-hand basin and separate WC.
THE OPTIONAL SECOND BEDROOM SUITE (on the floor above):
The second bedroom, an independent loft suite taking the whole of the floor above, sleeps up to four. It has twin beds, a large double sofa bed, built-in wardrobe, small dining table and two dining chairs. It is also light and airy, but has no scenic views as the windows are above eye-level.
THE SECOND EN-SUITE BATHROOM:
The large fully tiled en-suite bathroom has a large shower cubicle, wash hand basin with mirror over, WC, hair dryer, etc..
|Further details outdoors||
A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY LOCATION:
The apartment overlooks the large tree-lined village square and the hills beyond. Here there is plenty of shaded seating where you can enjoy watching the French way of life or enjoy a game of boules (we provide a set of boules). Lovely walks can be be enjoyed from your doorstep.
What is probably the best market in the region takes place on Sunday and Thursday mornings.
The apartment is within a few minutes walk of a friendly bar and several restaurants (eliminating the risk of driving after a 'happy' night out, and meeting a Gendarme).
Saint-Chinian is a thriving village year round. High quality wines are made here and continue to be the main activity. Educational wine tours are available, and all the wine makers offer free tastings.
The village boasts a heated outdoor swimming pool (open from June 1st). The local rivers teem with trout; bicycles are available for hire in the village, and the Tourist Office provides a wealth of information in English - as do Christine and Richard, the apartment owners who do everything they can to ensure guests enjoy a memorable holiday and make the most of this special corner of France.
In order for you to gain the benefits of lower-cost mid-week travel, we try to be flexible over change-over days, but do require a minimum of three nights. We suggest three-night weekend breaks (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), four night weekday breaks (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday), or of course, by the week, or longer. Ask for pricing on the length of stay that you’d like.
The combination of three and four night lets makes Maison de la Place ideal for those touring the South of France, Andorra and northern Spain, or just wanting an enjoyable holiday – for the length of time that you desire.
Any multiple of nights make it flexible and inexpensive for a long weekend, mid-week break, a week, 10 days, a memorable two-week holiday, or longer stay.
While enjoying your stay free WiFi broadband internet access allows you to keep in touch.
If you’d like to make alternative date arrangements, please ask.
The Languedoc-Roussillon region
The region statistically has the best weather (most sunshine) in all of France, with an average of 300 days of sunshine. Unlike coastal villages, Saint-Chinian, although popular as a holiday destination, thrives all year round on its main industry of wine-making.
Maison de la Place is situated in a perfect location, both for the village, and for exploring this stunning corner of France. Whether you like the mountains and countryside, wide sandy beaches, historical sites, art, or shopping - there is something here for everyone. You are sure to enjoy a wonderful holiday.
Saint-Chinian was founded by monks who, in 825 AD built a monastery here. They then went on to create vineyards that saw the start of the prosperous local economy. It survived unscathed from the Albigensian Crusades and went on to become even wealthier during the industrial revolution. Today, wine continues to be the main industry, and with a population of approximately 2000, the village remains full of life all year-round.
THINGS TO DO LOCALLY:
The area surrounding Saint-Chinian, and the nearby Haute Languedoc Natural Park, is a great place for walking and bike rides. Walkers and hikers will find free English language guides in the Tourist Office.
If the heat gets the better of you and you need to cool down, there are a number of options. The town has its own heated open-air public swimming pool (open from June 1st) whilst the long, free, Mediterranean beaches are only 40 minutes away by car. Alternatively, join the locals and swim in the clear water of the River Orb at Roquenbrun or the river Cesse at Bize-Minervois (we prefer the Cesse). The area also offers the chance to try lots of wine tasting, rock-climbing, fishing, painting, golf, horse-riding and canoeing.
You could also rent a Day Boat and spend a leisurely day cruising on the Canal du Midi. This stretch of water provides 54 kms of beautiful cruising without having to deal with locks.
FOOD AND DRINK:
Within a few minutes walk are several restaurants, a pizzeria, and two café bars. The renowned red and rosé AOC Saint-Chinian wines are available from local, friendly producers offering free ‘degustation’ (tasting). White wines are made, although in lesser quantities.
There is a Spar supermarket within a two minutes walk, while a larger supermarket is only a very short car ride away.
PLACES TO VISIT:
The local scenery is stunning. Safe beaches, historic chateaux, abbeys, the mountains of the Haut Languedoc Natural Park with its picturesque gorges, natural rock pools, river swimming and canoeing, are all within 40 minutes, or much less, from your front door.
Golf is available in Saint Thomas (35 minutes), Lamalou les Bains (45 minutes) or Carcassonne (one hour).
The Spanish border is about a 90 minutes drive, while in winter inexpensive Pyrennées skiing is available in a little over 2 hours drive – making it possible for a day trip.
Roquebrun (20 minutes)
The tower of Roquebrun is the sole remaining trace of a Carolingian castle built to protect the inhabitants from barbarian invasions in the year 900. The picturesque village, with its local canoe centre, is perched over the banks of the river Orb and has a Mediterranean garden that is well worth a visit. In summer the river beach is used for picnics, swimming as well as trout fishing.
Minerve (20 minutes)
Minerve a miraculous village, almost an island, perched over the meeting of two rivers where they tunnel through deep gorges, and where in 1210 Simon de Montfort massacred the Cathars during the crusades.
Beziers (25 minutes)
Entering Beziers across the river Orb. The long “Allée Paul Riquet” esplanade, with the theatre at one end and the lovely Plateau des Poèts park at the other, is an attractive center to the town. In the middle of the esplanade is a statue of Paul Riquet, the founder of the famous Canal du Midi. Béziers is an excellent town for shopping. It has shops and stores of all sizes, from the Galeries Lafayette department store to small trendy boutiques.
Narbonne (25 minutes)
Narbonne is the oldest town in the south-west of France. Founded by the Romans in the second century BC, it was a major port, although it now lies some 20 km from the sea.
Today the centre of Narbonne, bisected by the flower-bordered Canal de la Robine, is an attractive place for shopping and sightseeing. Without a doubt the best place to head for is the 100-year old Halles (covered market) by the bank of the canal. This award-winning market is said to be one of the best in France and the crowds milling around the 80-plus stalls are testimony to this claim. It was featured on TV chef Rick Stein's "French Odyssey". Open from 6 am until 1.00 pm daily, the market is overflowing with local produce: glistening displays of fresh fish and seafood, piles of melons, peppers and tomatoes, and the many varieties of charcuterie (cooked meats). It is cosmopolitan as well though … it’s one of the few places in the area with a good selection of non-local (and even non-French) cheeses.
On Thursdays there is also an open air market stretching along the canal bank near the Halles, with flower and clothes stalls, among others. The canal itself is lined with waterside cafés where you can refresh yourself in the shade of the plane trees.
Carcassonne (60 minutes)
The old Cité. The mediaeval walled ‘Cité’ lies on the right bank of the River Aude and is featured on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. It is still home to a population of approximately 120, is now very touristic but well worth a visit to its shops and craftsmen. The ultimate stronghold, built in the 12th century, it was the home of the Trencavels, Vicomtes of Carcassonne. While there, if time, try to see Carcassonne town, a few minutes by car from the Cité. There is a large, pleasant, mostly pedestrian area with the main square lined by restaurants.
At a distance of 800 metres from the Cité, on the commune of Pech Mary, you can see the flight of the world’s largest birds of prey. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Montpellier (70 minutes)
A sophisticated city with lots of museums, great restaurants and shopping – and a great tram public transport system. The Fabre Museum is one of the biggest museums in France and holds Flemish, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and French collections. For more information visit the Tourist Office in the Place de la Comédie (http://www.ot-montpellier.fr/en/around-montpellier/).
Perpignan (60 minutes)
Half Catalan, half French, Perpignan is Languedoc at its most exotic. The last major town in Languedoc before the Spanish border there’s a real mix of cultures in this corner of the region: Catalan, Romany and North African all co-exist in this sunny city of palm-lined squares.
Note: Times stated are approximate and refer to driving times by car.