La Faloute, Southern Gascony
Cottage | 2 bedrooms | sleeps 5
This pretty, self-catering Gascon cottage dates from the early 1800s. It's attractively furnished and well equipped. It has many original (and modern) features, beamed ceilings, antique furniture and comfortable fireside seating. The attached latticed barn adds to the traditional feel. To the front there's a pretty, lawned garden bordered by mature trees and shrubs. The garden is south-facing, sunny and private. To the west is an open area of lawn with a terrace to enjoy the sunsets and long local views south-west over fields, small vineyards and lush forests to the snow-capped Pyrenean peaks. The property is detached and in a quiet end-of-lane setting on the edge of an extended hamlet. Its location is secluded but not isolated. It's convenient for several popular market towns and only 20 min. drive to the autoroute (Toulouse and Pau airports about 1 hr.).
The cottage is ideal for 2-5. There's plenty of holiday reading, local maps, guidebooks, games, town bikes, boules, BBQ, table-tennis and a good supply of garden furniture.
Opportunities abound for enjoying nature, birdwatching, stargazing, walking, riding, golf (Pau/ Bagnères/ Tarbes/ Tillac) and wine tasting - and you'll discover plenty more to do and see.
There's no exotic night life or street bustle - come to soak up the quiet, the clear air, mountain views and lush green landscapes. Sample southern Gascony's great food and wine. Sit on the terrace with a cool drink watching the birds and butterflies, or view the stars and planets through our telescope - there's very little light pollution and the night skies are amazingly dark.
This is a perfect base for relaxing, walking and exploring - or a quiet holiday for 2.
Please visit our website - click the link at the right of the page.
|Size||Sleeps up to 5, 2 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Biarritz 119 km|
|Will consider||Long term lets (over 1 month)|
|Nearest Amenities||7 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Tarbes-Lourdes 40 km, Nearest railway: Tarbes 17 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages, 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|
|General||Central heating, Air conditioning, TV, CD player, Telephone, Table tennis, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 2 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||1 Sofa beds, Single beds (3), Double beds (2), Cots (1), Dining seats for 5, Lounge seats for 5|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ, Bicycles available|
|Further details indoors|
The comfortable kitchen / living room has a large open fire, satellite and French digital terrestrial TV, DVD, sofa, armchair and big dining table (seats 6). The kitchen area is small but well-equipped (mixer, toaster, elec. kettle, French press coffee maker). It has a 4-burner hob, electric oven with grill and dishwasher. We try to keep a stock of teabags, coffee, sugar, herbs & spices.
In the separate downstairs sitting-room there's a sofa bed. The bathroom is modern and has a bath, shower area, washbasin, loo, wall radiator and underfloor heating. It adjoins the utility room, where we keep the iron + board, wellingtons for guests' use and a stock of detergents and household cleaning products.
On the first floor there are 2 double bedrooms (one has an additional single bed). Both have free-standing fans, bedside tables and lamps. There's a single bed on the mezzanine, another single bed in a small adjoining passage room; and an upstairs washroom with loo. We can provide linen and towels by arrangement.
All rooms have radiators. There are reversible air-conditioning units in the kitchen / living-room and sitting-room. Baby bath and changing mat are provided. A cot is available on request.
The property is safe for small children provided they're supervised (e.g. outdoors and on the polished wooden staircase leading to the first floor). The stairs aren't gated. The garden is enclosed and there's no traffic risk as only the neighbour farmer shares use of the lane. (We're a few hundred metres from a working farm). The property isn't suitable for pets.
Mobile phone reception is good. Local and incoming calls are free.
Broadband Wi-Fi Internet access by arrangement. Please enquire!
|Further details outdoors|
The terrace on the west side is a suntrap from midday to sunset. It looks out over meadows and forests of oak and chestnut with panoramic south-west views of the Pyrenean peaks. If you prefer shade, have your apéritif on the wisteria-covered terrace in the main garden or in the cool of the latticed open barn.
Garden furniture is in good supply and for hot summer days there's a garden shower (plus hose). Free use of town bikes (elderly!) but please be beware that the area is fairly hilly. Four new mountain bikes (3 sizes) are available by arrangement.
The carport opposite the front gates offers good protection (but isn't lockable!). It's enclosed on the west side. Our lane ends at the cottage and is only shared with the neighbour farmer so there's no through traffic.
How to book:
Please check for availability and ask for a Booking Form, Booking Conditions and details of any applicable charges. Let us know if you have a special request or would like more information.
Reservations are provisional and not confirmed until we've received a completed, signed copy of the Booking Form by post and a booking deposit.
Booking deposit (non-refundable): 40% of rental payable on booking to secure your dates (with signed copy of Booking Form by post). We'll send formal confirmation once your payment is cleared. It's important that, in your own interest, you confirm receipt of booking documents.
Balance (60%): due in full 6 weeks before your arrival date, with payment for refundable security deposit and extras.
Refundable security deposit: £300 (€400), non-UK £350, long lets £500
Non-UK guests: Please contact us to arrange easiest payment method. We can offer several options:
card, international bank draft, SEPA Credit Transfer marked 'OUR' using BIC & IBAN, or sterling cheque on a UK bank (for any other cheque, add £20 /€25 for bank charges).
For eurozone payments, (in euros) we can offer several options (card, cheque in euros on a French bank or SEPA Credit Transfer - see above).
Please let us know before your arrival if there's likely to be any change to the number of guests in your party.
Arrivals and departures: please plan your arrival for a time after 4.00 pm. We ask you to leave the house as tidy as possible and to set off by 10.30 am to give us time to prepare for the new guests.
The Midi-Pyrenees region
Southern Gascony is one of France's most tranquil and unspoilt regions. It offers a relaxed pace of life, a rich choice of scenery and breathtaking views. This is 'la France profonde': tourism in the area is still very low key and there's no traffic congestion or pollution from industry. The lush, rolling farmland to the west of Toulouse stretches from the Gers and Haute Garonne into the Hautes-Pyrenees and Bigorre. This is a beautiful region of varied landscapes extending down to the high peaks of the central Pyrenees bordering Spain where the rugged scenery is dotted with waterfalls and lakes, sheltering a unique flora and fauna.
Summer temperatures are not as excessively hot as in the south-east. Long Indian summers usually extend well into October and you'll see plenty of winter sun. The weather tends to be more changeable than in the Mediterranean area. Winters are generally mild. You'll usually only find snow closer to the mountains.
Food and Wine:
Gascony is famed for specialities like foie gras, goat's and sheep's cheese, fine regional wines (Jurancon, Buzet, Tursan, Cotes de St. Mont and Madiran, made famous by winegrower Alain Brumont's "Chateau Montus" and "Bouscassé") and Armagnac. Mixed with grape juice, it makes the local aperitif - Floc de Gascogne. There's a good choice of 'fermes auberges' - farm restaurants serving dishes made only from their own produce.
We regularly update our list of local places to eat out.
The south-west is famous for golf (Pau is home to the oldest course in continental Europe), coarse/fly fishing - on some of France's best salmon and trout rivers (buy summer holiday licences locally) - and downhill and cross-country skiing. Every July, the Tour de France visits the area - Bigorre hosts some of the most challenging ascents in the Tour circuit (www.letour.com). The south-west is also a rugby stronghold.
Towns and Cultural Sites:
Historical centres are Auch, Lourdes, Tarbes, and Pau in neighbouring Pyrenees-Atlantiques. Tarbes is the Hautes-Pyrenees administrative centre and capital. Lourdes is a major pilgrim destination.The region is also host to ancient castles and abbeys (e.g. Mauvezin, Escaladieu, St. Sever), the Cathedral of St. Bertrand de Comminges (on the pilgrims' route to Santiago de Compostela), bastide towns and historic villages (Bassoues, Marciac, Jegun, Lavardens, Castelnau-Barbarens, Trie-sur-Baise, Galan, Tillac etc.).
It's just a short drive to Marciac for "Jazz in Marciac" (www.jazzinmarciac.com), the International Jazz Festival in August.
Bigorre consists of two distinct areas: the plains to the north and high mountains to the south. Between are the foothills - lush forests and peaceful countryside dotted with farms, hamlets and villages. To the south and in the mountains are the Pyrenees National Park, the Neouvielle Nature Reserve and the lively towns of Bagneres-de-Bigorre and Argeles-Gazost. The region's highest peaks are L'Arbizon (2831 m), Pic du Midi (2877 m), Pic du Balaitous (3144 m), Pic Long (3192 m), Vignemale (3298 m) and Mont-Perdu (3355 m).
In the 6th century BC, the Bigerri occupied the region, hence its name "Bigorre". In Celtic times, Tarbes was known as Turba or Bigorra. In 56 BC, the Romans conquered the area and named it Novempopulanie. After the Vandal and Frank invasions, the Dukes of Gascony controlled Bigorre in the 9th century. In 1097, it became an independent county, remaining so under the English in the 14th century. Recaptured by Jean de Foix in 1407, it was reincorporated into Bearn in 1429. After the Revolution, the new Hautes-Pyrenees department followed the lines of ancient Bigorre.
The region is rich in historical and culinary attractions. There are daily farmers' markets selling fresh local produce and a quantity of supermarkets and hypermarkets.
Access to local amenities is quick and easy. The cottage lies about 15 min. north-west of Tournay and about 10 min. south of the popular market town of Trie-sur-Baise (supermarkets, patisseries, newsagent, bars and cheerful wine shop). Tournay is a little market town just off the A64 autoroute. Both towns have swimming pools, tennis courts, banks and medical services.
Places to see and things to do:
• Thermal springs at Capvern-les-Bains; springs, saunas, open-air solaria at Bagneres-de-Bigorre's 'Aquensis'.
• Gallo-Roman sites at St. Bertrand de Comminges and Montmaurin
• The historic town of Auch and beautiful city of Pau
• Skiing, hiking, walking, cycling, mountain-biking
• Wine-tasting, summer night markets, local Gascon and Spanish cuisine (Spain is just over the border)
• Pic du Midi de Bigorre (2877m), site of the famous observatory (cable car from La Mongie to the top)
• Prehistoric cave paintings at Gargas
• Bird sanctuary at Lac de Puydarrieux
• Wildlife in the Pyrenean National Park
• Tour de France in July
• Day trips to Biarritz or St. Jean de Luz on the Atlantic coast, tapas in San Sebastian.
Atlantic coast/ Pays Basque (Bayonne, Biarritz, St. Jean de Luz) 1¾ hrs; San Sebastian 2¼ hrs; Narbonne and Mediterranean coast c. 2½ - 3 hrs; Barcelona 3½ hrs. (approx. travelling times).
• Jazz in Marciac
• Country Music in Mirande
• 'Nuits Musicales' and July antiques fair in Trie•
• 'Piano aux Pyrenees' in Bagneres, Bareges, Cauterets, Escaladieu
• 'Festival du Comminges' (classical music) in St. Bertrand
Availability Your dates are available
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24 Oct 2013
"This is good holiday rent which matches its description"
A charming and comfortable cottage, well equipped and secluded. Plenty of outdoor space to enjoy the air, some of it under shelter.
It is a good place just to be but is also well placed for places of interest and the Pyrenees.
What is good is that it matches the owners description with no cunning camera shots concealing anf undesirable aspects.
13 Sep 2013
"Recipe for a perfect holiday"
La Faloute is a perfect place from which to explore southern Gascony from the Pyrenees to the Armagnac country. For us there was a tremendous variety of walking opportunities.
The cottage is full of character, comfortable, very well equipped, has a fascinating library of books, pleasant secluded gardens & views to the Pyrenees. Views of the night sky were spectacular. The owner was prompt and very helpful in dealing with our booking & subsequent questions. A relaxing place to stay.
27 Jul 2013
La Faloute is a gem; a charming old country house, but with every modern convenience (we especially appreciated the window screens!), meticulously maintained, and set in grounds full of mature plantings, with a choice of sun and shade throughout the day. Not to mention the views over pastures, wheat and cornfields, and on to the peaks of the Pyrenees – if they oblige by peeking out of the clouds. There is good local shopping in Tournay, and easy access to lots of interesting destinations, including the peaks and caverns of the Pyrenees.
Sue has done everything imaginable to make her visitors' stays run smoothly – there are clear instructions for every aspect of the house that might need explaining, and compilations of maps and brochures to assist their explorations. She was also very much in touch with us to offer any extra help we needed – and prompt to reply when we had a question.
In short, you could not do better than choose La Faloute for your holiday destination.
21 Sep 2012
"Excellent, the best yet!"
Without doubt the best provided for and supplied cottage we have ever had. You feel like a guest in the owner's home rather than a rented cottage! Beautiful settings, beautiful house with a wonderful, tranquil and private garden, not overlooked and just the odd farmer passing.
A wonderful place to stay and enjoy. The first cottage we would go back to for its total setup.
25 Jun 2012
"A secluded haven with options for activities/trips to suit most tastes."
The house is beautifully furnished to suit its age. It gives cool respite on hot days, with the option of a log fire (and other efficient heating) on cooler days. The garden is very private with plenty of places to enjoy outside eating. It was lovely to watch the sun set over the Pyrenees. Its location enables easy travel to a range of places. We would recommend going to Mongie and taking the cable car to the top of Pic du Midi - it was breathtaking! The owner provides maps, booklets and helpful info on what to see and do, also very clear instructions on how to get there. It is not a location for people wanting close access to shops - nearest large town (Tarbes) is 25 mins drive away.
15 Jun 2012
"France at it's best"
We had a marvelous time at La Faloute and the surroundings couldn't have been more spectacular. We enjoyed the farm, the farmers (we didn't talk much, but we did a lot of waving), the livestock, the chickens, the scruffy little dogs with so much character, the fields of wheat and hay, the lovely winding, uncluttered roads, and the ever so quiet villages and the towns. The views of the Pyrenees were breathtaking, and we had such a great time at the markets in Tarbes and Trie sur Baise. My wife and I got out and did a lot of exploring, while aunt and her friend sat out in the sun in the front yard and read. Being a big Tour de France fan, it was such a treat to be so close to the climbs of the Col d Tourmalet and Col d Aspin. The road to the top of the Tourmalet was closed to traffic while we were there. But after a great lunch in La Mongie, we hiked the last few kilometers to the top. Next time I'll bring my bike and take a shot at the climbs. We also, I might add, enjoyed the quiet, and being to ourselves. I'm a chef, and my wife and aunt are very good in the kitchen, so we did prepare many of our own meals. The house is supplied with lots of quality cooking gear which makes staying close to home base an easy ask. We did most of our shopping at the Intermarche in Capvern, and were so pleased with all they had on offer. The many, many choices of fromage and fresh fish were hard to resist, so why resist? We also managed to find wonderful wines for less than $5.00 a bottle. The prices throughout the store were comparable to those at home, and in may cases were better. The accommodations at La Faloute were perfect. The house is furnished in the manner of a country home. There are lots of comfortable chairs and sofa's that are great for lounging while using the internet. The wifi was spot on the entire time we were there. Sleeping was very easy. The bedrooms are spacious, the beds very comfy, and the quiet night air seemed to lead us all to a deep sleep that we hadn't experienced in some time. It was most relaxing and therapeutic. We will definitely return.
5 Oct 2011
Quiet seclusion is what this place is all about so other than the occasional passing cow or tractor don't expect anything else to happen. The cottage is comfortable, very well equipped and exactl… More
2 Sep 2011
"Probably the best holiday rental we have had for years"
Excellent property with everything you could possibly need, right down to the washing powder! Beautiful property, with tasteful but very comfortable period furnishings, both inside and out.
Excellent location with great views. Perfect for trvaelling around but also big enough to just relax in south facing garden when the mood takes you.
Great little tourist office in nearby Lannemezan with excellent English guidebook and map of the High Pyrennees.
28 May 2011
"Peace and quiet..."
We've stayed here several times now. The house and its beautiful gardens are perfect if you want a very quiet, get-away-from-it-all retreat in rural France. The noisiest it ever gets there is when the farmer next door brings his cows along the lane twice a day - apart from that, there's little but birdsong to disturb you.
The surrounding countryside is stunning, with ample opportunities for walks and bike rides, not to mention quite easy access to the mountains. Pau is worth a visit - some good regional restaurants there - and Lourdes is not too far if you're interested in a short pilgrimage. You can even get over into Basque Spain from here without too much trouble; we've incorporated overnight stays at San Sebastian and Zaragoza into our vacations here.
You should be aware that the nearest village is a good fifteen minutes' drive away from the house, so a little forward planning is always required for meals, if cooking at home. The market at Trie sur Baise (famed for its annual Pig Impersonating contest - seriously) is excellent, and there is a large supermarket at Tarbes, but no local baker or boulangerie on hand if you run out of bread. The house is well-equipped, with everything you are likely to need for your stay (there's a Digibox so you can pick up UK TV and radio) and the thoughtful owners have left a library of local information if you need it. We've always enjoyed dealing with them and our stays here have always been very relaxing. Not a place for families with young kids, perhaps, but if you want to really get away from it all, I can't think of a better place to be.
26 May 2011
"Lovely cottage in the French countryside, close to Pyrenees"
We rented this delightful cottage as a central location to watch 7 stages of the Tour de France. The owners were particularly helpful with suggestions of things to do, local services and specifics for the rental. It is located in a pastoral setting - very quiet and serene. The cottage is well-appointed with all you could need. I highly recommend this rental!
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