from £100 / night help Price for guests, Nights

Le Pichet, Miramont, Oust. Perfect for THE TOUR DE FRANCE 2017 "100% Ariege!" – Home 210815 Cottage

  • 2 bedrooms
  • 7 sleeps
  •  min stay varies

Le Pichet, Miramont, Oust. Perfect for THE TOUR DE FRANCE 2017 "100% Ariege!" – Home 210815

Excellent Excellent – based on 17 reviews

  • Cottage
  • 2 bedrooms
  • sleeps 7
  •  min stay varies

Cottage / 2 bedrooms / 1 bathroom / sleeps 7

Key Info

  • Nearest beach 0 km
  • Child friendly
  • Car essential
  • Ask about pets
  • Private garden

Description from owner


This house is also described in advert no 4289166.

A winner of ITV's "May the Best House Win" , Le Pichet is a lovingly renovated, tastefully furnished home in a tranquil mountain hamlet at 800m above sea-level, nestling on the slopes of a wooded ridge beneath the Chateau de Mirabat, built by Charlemagne for its commanding views south towards the Spanish border. Le Pichet and its garden are west-facing, offering stunning mountain views and fabulous sunsets.

The house comfortably accommodates 7 people with reduced price options for 4 and 2 outside peak holiday periods (for these prices please see advert 4289166) The setting s superb for walking, cyclng ( we are n the middle of some of the Tour de France's most formidable cols, but there are plenty of gentler opportuntes!) ski-ing at Guzet (25k away), canoe/kayak and riding, and is ideally placed for exploring the cultural and historical wealth of the Ariege and Midi Pyrenees in general. We

This house is also described in advert no 4289166.

A winner of ITV's "May the Best House Win" , Le Pichet is a lovingly renovated, tastefully furnished home in a tranquil mountain hamlet at 800m above sea-level, nestling on the slopes of a wooded ridge beneath the Chateau de Mirabat, built by Charlemagne for its commanding views south towards the Spanish border. Le Pichet and its garden are west-facing, offering stunning mountain views and fabulous sunsets.

The house comfortably accommodates 7 people with reduced price options for 4 and 2 outside peak holiday periods (for these prices please see advert 4289166) The setting s superb for walking, cyclng ( we are n the middle of some of the Tour de France's most formidable cols, but there are plenty of gentler opportuntes!) ski-ing at Guzet (25k away), canoe/kayak and riding, and is ideally placed for exploring the cultural and historical wealth of the Ariege and Midi Pyrenees in general. We also offer painting/sculpture tuition and exclusive full board painting/sculpting holidays.

Leaving the Garbet (Valley of the Montreurs d'Ours) between Oust and Ercé, you follow a lane which twists and turns, always climbing, to its end – and there is Miramont, a little paradise on earth overlooking the Bassin d'Oust. Formerly devoted to agriculture, the hamlet consists today of eleven pretty, well-renovated barns and houses, where you will be sure of peace and quiet. As Miramont is situated at the end of the lane, there is no through traffic except for the occasional car going to a couple of houses further up the hamlet. Almost all of the houses are French-owned “maisons secondaires”; Miramont is an incredibly friendly little community but this in no way impinges on the privacy of individual properties.

It is impossible to do justice to this beautiful area, its changing seasons, and the wealth of activities and attractions it offers, within the photographs provided here; so please do contact us if you would like further ones relevent to any aspect of your stay.

Further details

Wood, electicity, taxe de sejour are included; sheets & towels, (£15 per person per week) and final cleaning (£50 for the 2 bedroom option, £40 for 1 bedroom ) are an extra.

Payment is made via the holiday-lettings booking system. A deposit of 25% will be charged on reservation, the balance to be paid 6 weeks before arrival. The damage deposit is requested by Holidaylettings at the same time as the balance and will be refunded after your stay.

During very high and high seasons, changeover day is Saturday, minimum stay 1 week . During mid and low seasons, weekend, short stays, and durations other than a week are very welcome and changeover day is flexible, so please let us know if you have special requirements. Please do contact us for further information and rates for shorter stays.

Arrival is 16.00h -19.00h; if later please contact us so that we can make arrangements to welcome you accordingly.

Departure time is 10.00h.

We try to ensure that we will be here to welcome you personally to"Le Pichet" and to be available to answer any questions you may have during your stay. However, due to commitments elsewhere there are inevitably times when we cannot do so, and in these instances we have an excellent couple who live in nearby Seix who will welcome you here on our behalf, and help and advise you if required, so you will be in very good hands.

Further details indoors

"Le Pichet" is built, as are many houses in the region, partly into the hillside. It adjoins "La Carrette", the former farmhouse which we now also own. Lovingly restored over the past 20 years it retains as many of the original features as possible - the "pas de oiseaux" originally built for thatching purposes, and the beams of the old roof structure. It is tastefully and comfortably furnished, largely in oak, and Rodney's sculptures and paintings, together with Eleri's embroideries provide a personal and homely touch.
The house benefits from superb light, particularly in the afternoons and evenings in the downstairs dining room and upstairs rooms. The ground floor consists of a spacious dining room, bathroom and well equipped kitchen; a lovely oak staircase leads to the first floor consisting of two charming bedrooms and a light, high-ceilinged and spacious living room which can also serve as a bedroom if you wish.

Downstairs, a sofa, dresser, and log burner combine with the dining furniture to give a homely ambience to the dining room; the kitchen, in addition to its oven, microwave and fridge-freezer, has a food-mixer, juicer, raclette and fondue ( the region boasts an incredible number of wonderful cheeses.) The bathroom is a pleasant room for a relaxing bath -its attractive blue tiling is light and clear in summer, warm in winter. Upstairs, the lounge/extra bedroom contains sofa, armchair, canapé gigogne (which converts to 2 comfortable single beds-please note this is not a clic-clac but a traditional piece of French furniture) and a well stocked bookcase, both English and French. A large number of maps, walking guides and local information is also at your disposal. To one side of this, a delightful chalet style bedroom contains one double bed, cupboards and shelving; to the other a larger, beamed bedroom contains one double and one single bed, wardrobe and shelving. Up to 4 people can be accommodated at a reduced rate (generally £150-£250 less than the prices published here)in the chalet bedroom and living/bedroom, so please do ask if ths option is of interest..The second bedroom is in fact part of our adjoining house nextdoor, which we can offer or not depending on your requirements and budget... These rooms all look beyond the garden to the valley between Miramont and the pretty hamlet of Arrous, the wooded ridge of the Mirabat and beyond to the Col de la Core and the slopes of Mt.Valier - at dawn bathed pink in the early light of sunrise, with the smoke curling up from the chimneys of Arrous, and only the sound of birdsong, the stream gurgling below and cowbells. On a clear night, the sky scattered with a million sparkling stars is pure enchantment.

(Whilst being on several levels adds to the inherent charm of "le Pichet", it does mean that the house is not suitable for wheelchairs- in addition to the main staircase, there are gentle steps leading from the dining room to the kitchen on the ground floor, and upstairs between the lounge and the chalet bedroom.)

For further information about the property, the area, our painting/ sculpting courses, walking possibilities, please do contact us- we will be delighted to help.

Further details outdoors

The lovely west-facing garden is an idyllic place to relax and enjoy the view, with stunning sunsets over the mountains. Planted with roses, honeysuckle and clematis, it is a magical spot in all seasons; you are most welcome to use its abundant herbs in your cooking, and help yourselves to raspberries, rhubarb and salad when available. There is a shaded paved area ideal for preparing and enjoying your barbecue. Miramont has communal parking.

Please note, if you are coming with children, that the garden is not enclosed, however the hamlet is remarkably untroubled by traffic and children can also play in security in the meadows, woods and lane nearby. Neither can we boast a manicured lawn- this is a mountain hamlet and the surface is, inevitably, a little uneven.

Location description from owner

The Occitanie region

The Haut Couserans is a geographically small area at the southern end of Ariege, bordering on Spain. Ariege itself is part of the huge administrative region of Midi Pyrenees which stretches far from here to the department of Lot in the North, and which is far too diverse to describe in its entirety here.

Miramont means “look up”, and from our garden you do, for your eye is irresistably drawn to the ridge on which stand the proud ruins of Charlemagne's Chateau de Mirabat. This itself means " look below",and again you do, from its heights to the valleys far below down which came the invading Moors…..............

With its majestic peaks soaring to the Spanish border (some of the wildest, most remote and unspoilt scenery of the Pyrenees) , and the gentler beauty of its lower wooded valleys and pastures, the Haut-Couserans of the Ariege- Pyrenees remains arguably one of France's best-kept secrets- a little-discovered, unspoilt gem tucked far away from the stresses of modern-day life. These 18 valleys converging on St Girons have a rich and varied heritage of which the locals are fiercely and justly proud. , and here you will find Miramont, a tiny hamlet nestling on the slopes overlooking the beautiful Garbet Valley.

Despite its unspoilt nature, the area is nevertheless very accessible, at 1h30 from Toulouse, and 2h from Lourdes and Carcassonne airports; and at 20k from St Girons it is within easy reach of the major road networks linking with the wealth of historic and cultural diversity of the department of Ariege and the wider Midi-Pyrenees in general.

Miramont is ideally placed for you to explore wherever your fancy takes you, whether this be in the form of the superb outdoor activities available, or a more leisurely excursions around sites of historical and cultural interest.

Walking is superb whatever your level, (we are close to the GR10, GR pays, Chemin de la Liberté and numerous walks to the Spanish border)and for those interested in the abundant and beautiful flowers and wildlife of the Ariege or its history, we can put you in touch with local specialists (we have several books on the subjects and there is a wonderful museum in St. Girons devoted to "Le Chemin de la Lberté)

Cycling?VTT - although this area provides some of the most challenging climbs of the Tour de France, it is also possible to find gentler routes along the valley bottoms- but you cannot get very far before encountering a hill! Mountain biking is becoming increasingly popular, with a number of new trails being opened up both in the Couserans and in the neighbouring area of Volvestre (about 30mins drive from St Girons)

Riding-there is an excellent Centre Equestre nearby, catering for beginners to dressage level, as well as wonderful hacking.

Watersports canoei/kayal/rafting in the Salat above Seix- the river sometimes hosts qualifiers for the French National Championships.

Lake and river angling in the Garbet, Ustou Arac and Salat valleys; and the Lacs de Bethmale and de L'Hers. Permits are very reasonable and can be bought online or at the local office de tourisme.

Skiing at the family-oriented resort of Guzet-Neige., the prettiest in the Pyrenees. Do not be taken in by it's relatively small size- its 40k of pistes contains a huge variety from the beginners secteur at Prat Mataou to the challenging blacks ( the most difficult in the Pyrenees) of the Freychet sector. There is a huge amount of off-piste, and a good snow park. Prices are reasonable compared to the Alps, we have an excellent ESF (with small class sizes) - and very few queues!

"Golf de l'Ariege" is about 1h's drive away.

Geology /culture/history and astronomy.
You can take a boat trip through some phenomenal underground caverns at the Riviere Souterraine de Labouiche near Foix. Beautiful Gallo-Roman St Lizier adjoining St Girons is a UNESCO site, while medieval Foix and its chateau is 1hr away. Numerous Cathar castles, the world-famous Grottes de Lombrives/Niaux and Tarascon's park of prehistoric art are all within a 2h radius, as are the Observatory of the Pic du Midi de Bigorre (now accessible by cable car), Lourdes, Carcassonne and of course Toulouse, "La ville rose"

It is impossible to do justice to this beautiful area, its changing seasons, and the wealth of activities and attractions it offers, within the photographs provided; so please do contact us if you would like further ones, whether of different activities, different seasons, or "Le Pichet" itself and its immediate surroundings.


Locally, the pretty villages of Oust and Seix supply all needs. Both have small but well-stocked supermarkets, and we can particularly recommend the butchers in Oust and the bakers in both places. For those wishing to eat out, there is an excellent selection of restaurants specialising in regional cuisine - among which the "Bar du Garbet" in Oust is outstanding. The town of St.Girons, with a large selection of shops, supermarkets and restaurants, not to mention a gloriously colourful Saturday market, is 20k away.
The region excels in local cheeses and meats- in summer you can visit cheese-making demonstrations in the beautiful Bethmale valley, and in the Salat Valley children can enjoy watching donkeys being milked to produce the soap "lait d'anesse". Donkey hire is also available above Seix, and several local centres offer days or longer periods on horseback in the mountains.

Most attractions for children open at Easter through until the Toussaint holidays in late October/early November; and summer is obviously the season for festivities.
The transhumance (movement of animals to the high pastures) takes place on 3 consecutive weekends during late May/early June in 3 separate valleys- Massat, Biros/Bethnmale and Salat.. You can follow on foot, by car, bike or on horseback, and will be warmly welcomed - but please note that this is part of the agricultural life of the area, not a spectacle put on specifically for tourists.

The Tour de France passes close by every year during early July and we are placed right in the middle of some of its most notable Cols. This year -2015- it will come from Castillon over the Col-de la Core and down into Seix on 16th July (last time they hurtled through its narrow streets all the church bells were ringing, and the atmosphere was fantastic), before heading over to Massat.
August is a wonderfully colourful month- "Autrefois le Couserans" - a display of traditional agricultural customs- is a particularly joyous weekend festival in St Girons; The town also hosts "Le Festival de la Musique et des Danses", and "St Girons en fete" , wihich ends with a truly remarkable display of fireworks; St Lizier is the setting for " Les Nuits Gallo-Romains" and Foix the week-long festival-cum-son-et lumiere "Il y etait une fois...."

Everywhere villages are "en fete" and "Marchés Nocturnes abound; even small communities such as Oust and Seix put on wonderful displays of fireworks. There is a superb series of concerts in the beautiful Cathedral of St Lizier; and for those willing to travel further, the Cathedral of St Bertrand de Comminges. More energetically,you can take part in the Punjada- an annual shared French/Spanish picnic at the Port de Salau on on the Spanish border - the views are worth the 4 hour walk!

In winter, sporting activities are dominated by ski-ing at Guzet Neige. This family-orientated resort, known as the prettiest in the Pyrenees, contains a huge variety within its 40k of pistes- from the beginners area at Prat Matou through to the blacks on the Freychet secteur- the most difficult blacks in the Pyrenees. The off- piste is also excellent, there is a very good snow park, and a first-class ESF.

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  • Great for children of all ages
  • Some pets are welcome - please contact the owner

Bed & bathroom

  • 2 Double Beds, 2 Sofa Beds, 1 Single Bed
  • 1 Family bathroom


  • Wi-Fi available
  • Private garden
  • BBQ
  • Internet access
  • Fireplace
  • Cooker
  • Fridge
  • Freezer
  • Microwave
  • Toaster
  • Kettle
  • Dishwasher
  • Washing machine
  • Iron
  • TV
  • Hair dryer

More Less


  • Parking
  • Not suitable for wheelchair users

Getting around

A car is essential not just for getting here but also for making the most of your stay. Public transport exists( a twice daily bus service along the valley floor to St Girons, and a 1€ bus service from St Girons to Foix) but both are confined to main roads and you will need your own steam to get to your chosen point of departure, whether it be a walk or any other activity, or siteseeing in general. However, once here, we have also had guests for whom part of the joy of being here is by using only their feet, or a bicycle, to go anywhere else. The beauty of Ariege lies in the fact that most of it is off the beaten track!


Check in time:16:00, Check out time:10:00
If you have any questions about check-in or check-out times, please contact the owner/manager.
This rental can only be paid for online through Holiday Lettings using your credit/debit card or PayPal (never by bank or wire transfer).
No smoking at this property
Cancellation policy
View Policy

About the owner

Eleri M
Response rate:
Calendar updated::
14 Mar 2017
Years listed:
Based in:
United Kingdom
Overall rating:

Languages spoken: English, French

This Cottage has 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and sleeps 7. It’s been listed on Holiday Lettings since 23 Mar 2012. Located in Ariege, it has 17 reviews with an overall rating of 5. The average weekly rate varies from £490 to £680.

The Owner has a response rate of 100% and the property’s calendar was last updated on 14 Mar 2017.


Map and how to get there


Guest reviews

Excellent – based on 17 reviews Excellent
17 reviews

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“Our time at Le Pichet was without doubt the highlight of our “grand tour””

Reviewed 11 Jun 2014

What an amazing week !! Not only did we improve our painting technique and develop our visual accuracy but also immersed ourselves in the beauty and variety of the countryside. We were completely spoiled by the generosity of our hosts and look forward to continuing our friendship and camaraderie. A truly memorable stay with you in this lovely area- and especially for me ... Angela We are so grateful for your inexhaustible hospitality and Rodney’s wonderful painting excursions and liberal lubrication with wine! Many thanks for your help introducing me to sculpture- “Babs” (“my pig”) will always remind me of our time with you all. .. Tony Thank you dear Rodney, Eleri, Will and Fern for a wonderful holiday ..... Pippa

Owner's reply: Thank you all for your lovely comments. Your time here was also an incredibly enjoyable and rewarding one for us, expanding as it did from painting into sculpture and poetry and with much laughter interspersed within the more serious painting moments. Your enthusiasm for "Le Pichet" and the surrounding Couserans (both mountains and architecture) which you portrayed so beautifully in your paintings, is something which will stay in our memory for a very long time, and we too look forward to continuing our friendship.


Reviewed 26 Sep 2012

Thank you for a fantastic week. From the moment we arrived it felt like home ( but with more hills though!) Le Pichet is a wonderful base from which to explore this fabulous part of France. Rodney and Eleri are great hosts and extremely knowledgeable about the area Thank you again for all the advice on where to walk - it was invaluable. All the best, Malcolm and Rachel.

Owner's reply: Thank you. It was such a pleasure to welcome you to this region and we are glad that you were able to make the most of your time here. We would also like to thank you for the wonderful meal you cooked for us!

“Very nice property in beautiful setting”

Reviewed 26 Jun 2012

Thank you very much for a lovely stay.We have really enjoyed being here, your help and valuable advice about walks, local points of interest, driving directions and so much more. We loved the place and the mountains, and our dog will probably miss Fern even more than the Pyrenees. The mountains, the views and the countryside is spectacular

Owner's reply: Many thanks. We are so glad that you liked “Le Pichet” and that any local information we were able to give was of help; it is always a real joy to share the place with people who like ourselves love mountains.

“Perfect location, fantastic views, lots to do.”

Reviewed 12 May 2012

We have stayed here several times over the last few years. There is plenty to do such as walking,riding,kayaking in the Spring, Summer and Autumn and skiing in the Winter. The owners of the property are really helpful with lots of local knowledge. For a family it suits over 8's my children now teenagers love it here. Guzet the local ski resort is ideal for families and is a short drive away. Last year my husband walked part of the freedom trail which was the mountain pass used during the war by the French resistance! We will definately stay here again provided there are vacancies as this place is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Owner's reply: We are delighted that you continue to enjoy coming here, and making the most of all the outdoor opportunities the area has to offer - the excellent riding in particular. Congratulations to your husband for his walk on the “Freedom Trail”; a very difficult and hazardous walk today, even with modern equipment, as it was during the war. We look forward to your next visit, and may perhaps suggest a visit to the Museum of “Le Chemin de la Liberté”- an excellent exhibition and fitting memorial to the courage of all “Passeurs”.

“Idyllic setting in lovely region”

Reviewed 3 May 2012

This fortnight has not been just about the charm and beauty of “le Pichet” and it’s surroundings- the marvellous views, walks and delightful evenings spent together-it’s also been about the hospitality, kindness and camaderie of two exceptional people, Eleri and Rodney. They have made our holiday memeorable. Geraldine Stirrat, Richmond. July 2010.

Owner's reply: Thank you very much for your kind comments. It was such a pleasure for me too to be able to show you around this beautiful region while the others were out painting – there are so many cultural and historical gems to visit as well as the beauty of the mountains, and I particularly enjoyed our visit to St Lizier and the concert we attended in the Cathedral.

“Just what I needed, peace, light, views and great hospitality.”

Reviewed 2 May 2012

The two weeks here seem like a chapter rather than the few hurried notes that many holidays seem like. Time spent drawing with Rodney in the mountains, ravines and by the water will be valued for a long time- not just for the encouragement and advice about the drawing and pastelwork we did but also for the companionship and generosity. Special. Many thanks to both. Terry Crimmings, Twickenham. July 2010.

Owner's reply: We are so pleased you enjoyed your painting holiday and found it so rewarding. It is one that we will also remember for a long time, and hope that we will be able to welcome you back here one day.

Review 1-10 of 17

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