Our lovely 'Maison de village' is in the beautiful mountain village of Clara situated close to the thriving market town of Prades in the South-West of France. The village is nestled in the foothills of Mount Canigou, and benefits from incredible views across the lush Conflent valley and beyond. Ideally situated for walking and hiking, you will find a selection of maps and guide books showing many walks of varying difficulty. We also supply walking sticks, binoculars and a few of books on the local bird life.The village has facilities for Table tennis and Boules (2 sets of Boules and table tennis bats supplied in the house).If you want to try your hand at fishing we also have a fishing rod and lines (please bring your own hooks, floats etc).Recently renovated to a very high standard, our house is extremely well appointed and offers accommodation on three levels with a double bedroom and bathroom on the first level, spacious bright open plan living accommodation on the middle floor with balconies overlooking the river valley, and two further double bedrooms with access to a terrace on the third level. There is also a covered courtyard barbecue area, which offers a beautiful shady place to relax, chat, eat and listen to the river flowing by.Perfect for families, groups of friends or couples, our home would be a cosy retreat for a couple or a great place to get together as a group.For our Autumn and Winter guests, the house also offers heating in all rooms. This makes it ideal for those wishing to use the house to tour the ski areas. (major ski resorts are less that 1 hours drive away).Access to the area is simple and cheap, using the low-cost carriers such as Ryanair. There are daily flights into Perpignan airport which is a 40 minute drive from Clara. A close alternative airport is Girona (Ryanair) which offers access from many UK, Irish and German airports. Major car rental agencies have offices there in all airports.
|Size||Sleeps up to 6, 3 bedrooms|
|Rooms||3 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms of which 1 family bathroom, Solarium or roof terrace|
|Nearest beach||Canet en Roussillon 40 km|
|Nearest Amenities||4 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Perpignan 50 km, Nearest railway: Prades 5 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Fireplace, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||TV, CD player, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Furniture||Double Beds (2), Sofa Beds (1), Bunk Beds (1), Cots available (1), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 6|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair available|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, BBQ|
|Access||Not suitable for wheelchair users|
Languedoc-Roussillon is perfectly positioned between the Mediterranean to the east where the beautiful sandy beaches provide long days by the sea, and the Pyrenees to the west, which offer a wealth of walking and cycling opportunities, not to mention skiing in the winter!
This region is a delight; the Conflent valley provides lush green scenery, with Mount Canigou dominating the skyline and the Pyrenees visible in the distance. You can be swimming in the sea in the morning, and hiking in the mountains in the afternoon. There are even thermal hot springs, so if you would like to combine the two activities we can suggest a hike AND a swim in the mountains! It really does offer you everything!
There is a lake in the local town of Vinca, with beaches from which you can swim, sail or wind-surf, or you could just visit the popular open air swimming pools in Prades, Ille sur TÍt and Vernet les Bains.
Weather: We benefit from being in the sunniest region of France, and enjoy warm, sunny weather from March all the way through to October. November and December are cooler but still with sunshine. January, February and March are great skiing months (50 minute drive to the ski resorts).
Clara is a very peaceful, typical village of the region with the local church, boules court and tennis courts. It also benefits from having one of the best restaurants in the region, right in the heart of the village, which is definitely worth a visit. The river runs through the village and just down the valley at the rear of the villa. It provides a wonderful setting off point for a gentle walk, or a more strenuous hike.
The nearest main town, just a few kilometres away, is Prades. A thriving market town, Prades has many great shops and restaurants as well as a lively market on both Tuesday and Saturday mornings, where you can buy local produce such as the peaches and cherries that are grown in abundance here, fresh vegetables, wonderful cheeses‚Ä¶. and of course the excellent wine!
There are events and festivals throughout the year. Spanish cellist Pablo Casals fled to Prades during the Spanish civil war, stayed and established the festival that now bears his name. The Catalan summer school takes over the town for two weeks in August, and there is dancing in the square every night during this period.
Places of Interest: For touring the area, Clara offers an excellent base. Just a few of the sites of interest within easy driving distance are listed below:
* Villefranche de Conflent, a fine example of a medieval walled town
* Little Yellow Train, catch this train from Villefranche and enjoy the specatular mountain views right into the Pyrenees.
* Grottes de Canalettes, magnificent renowned caves with an incredible light and sound show
* St Martin du Canigou, 9th century abbey perched impressively high on the hillside with fantastic scenery and walks.
* St Michel de Cuxa, 6th century abbey that hosts concerts during the Pablo Casals festival but is also open for viewing most of the year.
* St Thomas les Bains, outstanding natural thermal hot springs in wonderful outdoor mountain setting.
* Wine tasting and wine tours to sample the wide variety of local wines.
* Animal parks in Casteil and Les Angles and a Safari Park in Sigean
* For the more adventurous, the area has an abundance of sporting activities available including; mountaineering, canyonning, walking, cycling, acrobranche, wind and kite surfing, sailing, diving, horse riding, karting and winter sports to mention but a few.
* There are many coastal resorts, too many to mention that are worth visiting.
* Visit Spain for an excellent day out on the Costa Brava or visit Girona, Barcelona or the amazing Dali Museum in Figueras.
* Travel north to the fairytale medieval walled town of Carcassonne.
* For art lovers due to the pure light of the Pyrenees Orientales the area has been the home of artists such as Picasso, Matisse and others.
The list is longer but I will leave you to discover the rest!!