House | 3 bedrooms | sleeps 6
Most unusually for a village property, this lovely former vigneron's (wine-grower's) house has a long attractive, private, rear garden and a well-laid out paved terrace for relaxing and alfresco dining/barbecueing. Enjoy the warmth of the sun and relax with the latest novel and a cool drink - holiday bliss! The garden looks out towards some fields, so there is a real feel of being in the countryside.
From the road where the house is located, you enter Maison Avalon through wide double doors, very typical of village houses in this region, into an entrance lobby with a tiled floor. From the lobby you'll find a large storage space for bikes, or wine, and a laundry room with a washing machine. A staircase leads to the first floor living accommodation and to the garden level.
First floor and rear garden: Fully renovated and furnished and decorated with great charm and with some original features remaining, the first floor comprises a cosy sitting room, an office/library, a dining room with large glass doors opening out onto the terrace and garden and a kitchen.
On the second floor, you will find three double bedrooms, two of which face west and overlook the terrace and garden and the other faces east. There are two fully tiled, modern shower rooms.
The house is terraced (though with a private rear garden) and set in a village location giving easy access to the village restaurants (2), the canal-side shop which sells bread and croissants and groceries, Chateau Ventenac for tasting/buying wine, tea rooms, and of course the Canal du Midi. Markets and 'vide greniers' are regularly held in Ventenac at all times of the year.
Ventenac is on the border of both the Minervois and the Corbieres wine-producing areas and is within easy reach of the small towns of Lezignan Corbieres and Olonzac, Le Somail - one of the most visited villages on this part of the Canal du Midi, approximately 20 minutes from Narbonne, 30 minutes from the Mediterranean beaches and from Beziers, 45 minutes from Carcassonne, and just over 1 hour from the Spanish border. It's a great village from which to explore the sights of the Languedoc.
Facilities, detailed description, booking conditions:
Entrance/Ground floor: Entrance lobby accessing large storage area for bikes, or for storing wine. Laundry room with washing machine and an additional WC. Staircase to first floor.
First Floor/Garden level: Full renovated and comfortably furnished, this area is open plan allowing for a convivial atmosphere and comprises a sitting room with two comfortable sofas, a coffee table, various lamps, a fireplace with open fire for the cooler evenings, and a CD/ music centre (please feel free to bring your own selection of CDs). Please note there is no TV here.
Adjacent to the lounge is a library and office with a desk and easy chairs - here you will find the WiFi internet connection. In the dining area, next to the kitchen there's a lovely circular wooden dining table and six chairs. From here you can access the terrace and garden through wide glass doors. The kitchen is compact but well-equipped with modern units, a full cooker and oven, a sink, a dish-washer and a fridge/freezer. A staircase leads to the second floor.
Second floor/bedrooms and bathrooms: Three double bedrooms all equipped with hanging and storage facilities and bedside lamps. Two of the bedrooms are West-facing overlooking the garden, the other faces East. All of the bedrooms have twin beds which may be pushed together to form double beds if required.
Outside: At the rear of the property is a pleasant, private garden looking out onto fields. There is a large paved terrace both open to the sun and shades if you prefer. There's a dining table and 6 chairs, a gas barbecue, and two sun-loungers.
Parking: There are marked car parking spaces on the road to the front of the house - unallocated, but it is usually possible to park without any problem.
Suitability Note: This property has two staircases and may not be suitable for toddlers, or for those who have difficulty with stairs. The house is a village property and therefore you may hear the sounds normally associated with village life - however we do not feel they will be intrusive.
Internet: There is a WiFi internet connection for use with your own laptop.
Telephone: Sorry there is no telephone here.
Baby Facilities: Sorry, there are no facilities for babies here.
Winter Heating: Is included in the rental price. There are electric wall heaters and towel rails, further electric heaters and a log fire.
Gas, Electric and Water: Are all included in the rental price.
End of stay cleaning: Is not included in the rental price and guests must leave the property clean upon departure. Before the arrival of the next guests the cleanliness of the property will be checked by the property manager and re-cleaned where necessary.
Bed and Bathroom Linen: Are all provided for you, and a change of bed linen will be provided if your stay is for 2 weeks or more.
Taxe de Sejour: In France it is necessary to pay a Taxe de Sejour at the end of your stay - it has been included here in the rental price.
Damage Deposit: A damage deposit of £200 or 250 Euros is requested. This should be paid to Joie de Vivre Holidays at least 3 weeks prior to arrival. It will be refunded to you in full less the cost of any breakages, or further cleaning which may be required.
Change Over Day: Saturday in the main summer season. Other arrival days may be considered out of the main season - please enquire.
Long weekend stays/ mini breaks: May be considered out of the main summer season - please enquire for price and availability.
Pets: Sorry pets are not permitted here.
Smoking: Sorry smoking is not permitted here.
|Size||Sleeps up to 6, 3 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Narbonne Plage 25 km|
|Nearest Amenities||400 m|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Carcassonne 44 km, Nearest railway: Lezignan Corbieres 12 km|
|Family friendly||Suitable for children over 5|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access|
|General||Central heating, CD player, Wi-Fi available|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 2 Shower rooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (6), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 6|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ|
The Languedoc-Roussillon region
This part of the Languedoc has a sunny, Mediterranean climate. It can be hot in July and August, but the temperature is often tempered by a breeze. Now the 3rd most visited region in France by British people, the Languedoc offers something for everyone. Miles of long, sandy beaches, coastal lagoons, vibrant cities such as Narbonne and Montpellier, historical sites such as Carcassonne and the Cathar castles, fabulous scenery, great cuisine and vineyards, vineyards, vineyards.
Ventenac en Minervois
Ventenac has a canal-side shop for bread, croissants and day to day needs, two restaurants, a chateau where you can buy wine, a wine museum and tea rooms. The next village along the Canal, Paraza, also has a very good canalside restaurant, as does another local village Ginestas. For supermarkets, larger shops, further cafe-bars and restaurants, banks, pharmacies etc you would go to Canet D'Aude (3 kms), Saint Marcel sur Aude (6 kms), Lezignan Corbieres (12 kms), Olonzac (14 kms), or Narbonne (18 kms).
Activities: This a great area for walking and cycling and a great base from which to explore the Languedoc. In the next village, Paraza, there is an English-speaking compnay from which you can hire both road and mountain bikes. The Unesco World Heritage site, the Canal du Midi, is just a 5-minutes walk away - Ventenac has a lovely canal frontage and you can watch the passing boats in a lovely setting. The Lac du Jouarres, just 15 minutes away by car, is a great place for a stroll and a cool beer at the little cafe there open in the summer months. For those of you who like to play golf, there are courses in Beziers and in Carcassonne.
Swimming - We are often asked 'Where can we go for a swim?' from those of you renting a house without a pool. You are well-placed here! Just 15 minutes away by car, you can swim at Lac du Jouarres (pictured) a man-made lake with a number of beaches. Wind-surfing is also popular here. Also within 20 minutes drive, a natural pool in the River Cesse in Bize Minervois - a pretty spot with lawns and a pebble beach (water is tested for safety by the local authority). Also Lac de la Cavayere, near Carcassonne, a very attractive lake with 2 beaches and ample car parking (40 minutes drive). For a swimming pool try either the indoor or the outdoor pool at Espace Liberte, a leisure centre in Narbonne (20 minutes drive). And finally don't forget the Mediterranean beaches - fine sandy beaches between 25 minutes and 35 minutes drive away.
Sightseeing: There are lots of things to see and do whilst you are here e.g. visit the ancient Cathar stronghold of Minerve, the medieval city of Carcassonne with its 52 turrets, Narbonne with its cathedral, archbishop's palace and lovely main square, the Canal du Midi at Homps and the staircase of locks at Fontseranes, the beautiful abbeys of Fontfroide and Lagrasse, the Cathar castles and last but not least a day trip to Spain as the border is only just over 60 minutes drive away.
Wine: You are in the wine-producing area of the Minervois here, with the 'Corbieres' also on your doorstep. The Languedoc is now producing some fantastic wines - red, white and rose. Many of the local chateaux and domaines offer wine-tastings and direct sales of the wines they produce.
Markets: Olonzac has one of the best markets in the region on a Tuesday morning! Full of fresh local produce and quite a social occasion (as evidenced by the busy cafe-bars) it sells everything from food to wine, basketware to jewellery and quilted bedspreads to beds! There's another market in Lezignan Corbieres on a Wednesday morning, and in Narbonne on a Thursday and Sunday morning. Narbonne has a fantastic and renowned indoor food market in Les Halles which is open every morning of the week - it's well worth a visit.
Restaurants: The two in Ventenac are reasonably priced and near the Canal du Midi. Further restaurants can be found in Paraza, Roubia, Ginestas, St Marcel sur Aude, le Somail, Bize-Minervois, Homps etc - Joie de Vivre can supply a list once you make a booking.
Supermarket: For larger supermarkets we suggest going to St Marcel sur Aude, Lezignan Corbieres, Olonzac and Narbonne.
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Sue Caddick (Property Manager Joie de Vivre - le Midi)
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