La Maison du Soula - High spec house with amazing views and heated pool, Couiza
House in Couiza
We had lovely week in this house in Couiza. It really is in a beautiful location and the house is comfortable and finished to a very high standard. The outside terrace overlooks the town and is perfect to sit outside and enjoy the view. The pool is lovely and set above the house making the most of the lovely surroundings. We would definitely recommend. …
La Maison Blanche
Lovely, well equipped villa in beautiful, tranquil location
My husband and I stayed at Casablanca for a fortnight in August 2014. We found the booking very straightforward and the owner was extremely friendly and helpful. The villa is a lovely property, situated on the edge of Rouvenac, a sleepy rural village near Esperaza in Aude, Languedoc.
The villa was clean, bright and spacious, and extremely well equipped. We particularly liked the lovely bright large kitchen/dining room, and the games room at ground level under the living area of the villa was a fun addition (pool table, darts and table tennis). There is a lovely patio to the front of the property with sun loungers, table and chairs, and an awning to retreat under if the sun gets too hot. We spent a lot of time there just relaxing and reading in the sunshine (there is a good selection of books in the villa, which was another bonus). There is also parking space and a pretty garden to the rear of the property.
As the villa is situated right on the edge of the village it is in a very tranquil location, with lovely views over the fields to the hills. The only traffic that passed by the house was the post van and a couple of cyclists! The only downside to the location is that you really do need a car to get around, and there is only one restaurant in the village - however we did not find this to be a problem (and it is the case pretty much anywhere you stay in this area, unless you opt to stay in a larger town and then lose the tranquil countryside feel!).
If you are visiting the area we recommend the Châteaux at Montségur, Peyrepertuse, and Arques. A train trip on either the Petit Train Jaune or the Train Touristique du Pays Cathares is also highly recommended. We also enjoyed a boat trip on the Canal du Midi at Carcassonne (trains from nearby Esperaza are only one Euro!), and of course the Cité at Carcassonne is always worth a visit. The Grotte de Niaux is also well worth a visit for the awe inspiring cave paintings - there are English speaking tours so book one of those unless your French is very good. Nearby Mirepoix with its half-timbered arcades is a beautiful town, well worth a visit. There are also many amazing gorges in the area. The list is endless!
Food wise, we highly recommend the bakery 'Pain Chaud' in Couiza - many wonderful cakes were purchased and consumed from there and they were patient with my poor French. You can find it by the 8 a Huit supermarket, just after you turn from Couiza onto the D613 towards Arques. The Intermarché between Esperaza and Couiza has everything you need otherwise, including petrol. It's about a 15 minute drive from Casablanca in Rouvenac.
There are lots of great restaurants to choose from. Our favourite was Le Saint Gobain in Esperaza - wonderful food and very friendly staff. We also recommend the restaurant at Hotel Cartier in Quillan, and Tyrex in the square by the railway in Esperaza if you just fancy a pizza.
If you fancy giving this beautiful part of France a try it certainly comes very highly recommended, and Casablanca is a beautiful place to stay. When we were there the temperature varied between about 24 to 30 degrees, with a couple of cloudy days and one wet day, sometimes a bit of a breeze, which was not necessarily a bad thing. We had a wonderful relaxing break and were very sorry to leave! …
Cottage of Cathars
We'll be back!
My parents and I stayed for a week in the two bed apartment of Gite de Cathares. The flat itself was very spacious and well equipped with everything we needed – the computer available to use in the flat with free internet connection also came in handy.
The best thing about the flat for me was the wonderful river views – I loved getting up and making fresh coffee - then to the window to check on any river activity. At night too, the river flowed gently and glistened as the sun set….ahhh take me back!
We were not familiar with the area, but soon discovered that we were perfectly positioned to discover the amazing South West of France! Highlights for us include; wine tasting in Maury, a dip in the thermal spa of Rennes les bains, swimming in the lake at Arques a short drive or cycle from the flat, a day trip to the picturesque seaside town of Collioure, the Cahors castles and climbing the Bugerach mountain with the most impressive views – the list could go on!
There’s actually a wonderful guide to the area in the welcome pack; which lists all the recommended sites and things to do – we pretty much ticked off the list and would recommend each one!
Food – we ate so well! Again the flat is located within easy reach of wonderful fresh produce; from the small bakery around the corner to the impressive Sunday market at Esperaza. As a foodie it was great to be able to get the freshest ingredients and to be able to create some wonderful meals back at the flat. There are some great restaurants too, but for us it was great to be able to cook together and to sit around the big family sized table.
It’s definitely somewhere we’d go back to – there are still lots to discover, and lots that we’d go back and do all over again! …