A beautiful, charming 19th century stone house with traditional, original features renovated and equipped to a very high specification. La Maison Secrete (The Secret House) is situated in the historic and beautiful Ariege region of southern France on the edge of the charming village of Belesta, at the foothills of the spectacular Pyrenees and the beautiful Belesta Forest. This property offers outstanding views of the hills and mountains beyond and has a garden that backs onto the lush Belesta Forest. The house has its own website with additional photographs and further details- please email owner for website details.
Features: Fully furnished to a high specification, large, comfortable lounge, large fully equipped kitchen, spacious, separate dining room, utility room with washer/dryer, drying room for ski wear, traditional features: exposed beams, wooden shutters, wooden floors, large fireplace with log burner delightful, furnished south facing garden, furnished balcony with beautiful views of farming hillside, forest and mountains, small roof conversion, state of the art home cinema projector and music system, digital satellite with BBC TV and radio channels basement with large log storage, exterior luxury heated 6 seater jacuzzi.
Belesta is situated in Ariege (Languedoc-Roussillion/Midi Pyrenees region), South of France in the foothills of the Pyrennees. 1 ½ hrs from the Mediterranean coast and the beautiful sandy beach of Canet Plage; 30 miles from Andorra (fantastic skiing resorts) and the Spanish border.
Belesta is a traditional French village with traditional amenities: town square, mairie, market hall, church, excellent boulangerie, pattiserie, charcuterie, tabac, great local wine shop, two bars and two very good French restaurants, post office, cash machine. The village is set around the Sur L’Hers (river) where you can fish for trout. Nearby (5min walk) is the Fountain Fontestorbes- an intermittent fountain spring, one of only six in the world. The Fete de Citrouille (Pumpkin) in the Autumn is a rare event with colourful exhibitions and local gourmand and craft market.
The scenery around Belesta is spectacular: mountains, gorges, rivers, chateaus, ski resorts (Mont d’Olmes-9 miles away. 5 Euro bus journey from town square), prehistoric caves, fabulous vineyards, lakes, fantastic restaurants and markets. There is an abundance of activities. It is a walkers paradise with many trails straight out of the front door.
Ensure you hire a car to explore this facinating area of France.
The area is extremely quiet and beautiful with just enough in the way of amenities: for walking and cycling it is near perfect with something for all abilities. The House is comfortable and pleasant with friendly neighbours.
The Chateaux at Chalbre and Puivert are both worth visiting. Both have stunning locations - Chalabre is great for all ages with plenty to do: the jousting is worth seeing so check in advance what time it is on. Puivert is not for children and requires an interest in the history of the region to get the best from it. There are really no facilities beyond a small souvenir shop.
St Lizier is a longish trip but well worth it - go via the main road to St Girons but return via the Grotte de Mas D'Azil for a spectacular sight. Foix is pleasant and the castle is worth the climb
The list is endless! But key points to note: Mirepoix. Chateau Montsegur and other Cathar buildings. Carcassonne. Gorges, rafting, rambling, cycling (the Tour de France always passes through this mountainous area),prehistoric caves, fishing, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding.
An information pack is provided at the house to provide you with a comprehensive listing of activities and sightseeing opportunities. Walking maps can be purchased from the local village shops and supermarkets.
The Stunning Old City of Carcassonne: Located at the heart of the Toulouse-Montpellier-Barcelone triangle, at the crossroads of two major traffic roads dating back to the most ancient times, from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, from the Cévennes to the Pyrénées mountain range where the Aude has its source, Carcassonne blooms in the plains of the lower valley, inviting you to walk in and out of its streets. Discover its history, its local cuisine, its wines, or simply enjoy the scenery.