Two charming self-catering apartments beautifully renovated in a fine historic building, pre-dating 13th C. This unique house, once the dwelling of an aristocratic family, and reputedly a residence of the King of Aragorn in the 13th century, elegantly overlooks the river whilst keeping a warm and welcoming feel to make your stay relaxing and comfortable for adults and children. The 2 spacious apartments are independent, have fully equipped kitchens/dining areas and large bathrooms with baths and showers. Guests often comment on the unique decorations, a real feature, and wonder at the historical traces of it's long history.
In the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains, Limoux is ideally placed for exploring the many medieval abbeys, Cathar castles and wineries that are found nearby. The town is renowned for its Blanquette, the 'original' champagne, for its Carnival which lasts for 3 months from mid-January, and the Tocques & Clocher wine festival. You can walk along the river to the restaurants of the town, and all services that you might need are close. We are quickly reached from Carcassonne airport at 22 kms.
Having lived in the area for nearly 25 years we specialize in being able to give full advice tailored to each guest's different needs. Be it in knowing where to go for sight-seeing, good restaurants, interesting wine caves, local arts and music festivals, walks of all levels, we are more than happy to pass an pleasant 30 minutes over a glass of wine planning your next day's trip. But only if you want to!
Winter breaks, ski and sight-seeing: Being in town and near Carcassonne airport, the Maison de Lali is very suitable for winter breaks. The sun shines here throughout much of the year - we have known it to be 24° centigrade in the January. There is a full sized golf course (with an excellent bistro and top-class restaurant) less than half an hours' drive away on the Limoux side of Carcassonne. The nearest ski slope is at Camurac about 1 hour away, with Les Angles, Pyrenees 2000 and Andorra easily accessible for a day's skiing. The Cathar castles are wonderful at any time of year, and a visit to the Mediterranean sea is always stimulating. There are good art galleries in Toulouse, Ceret and Sigean, and the famous carnival of Limoux lasts for 13 weeks staring in january. Of course, there is always the wine of the region to sample, and especially Blanquette of Limoux, the 'original' champagne. Recently our local mountain - the Pic de Bugarach - has been headlined worldwide. It is a wonderful place, and easily climbable.
Pets are welcome; visitors are allowed one dog (more only by prior arrangement) but it must not be left unattended in your accommodation. Visitors must make sure their pets do not cause damage to property or to get onto furniture.
Bird Watching in the Aude: Jonathan is a keen birder and a member of the steering committee of the League de Protection d'Oiseaux de L'Aude. He is happy to give advice as to local spotting, and will also accompany groups for a small fee. The Aude is very rich in habitats, from the coastal wetlands to the high mountains, with moorland, river valleys and forests in between. There are nearly 200 nesting species recorded in the Aude, with some very special rarities amongst them; Egyptian Vulture, Lammergeier, Eagle Owl, Golden Eagle, Blue-rock Thrush, Red-rumped Swallow, Alpine Swift, just to name a few that could be of interest to birders. The coastal wetland at Gruissan is a main migration corridor of France, with birds funnelled between the Mediterranean sea and the high mountains of the Pyrenees. There were over 35000 raptors recorded in 2011. It is also interesting for overwintering species, like Flamingos, Advocets, Wallcreepers, Accentors.
Guests comments.: 'your home is amazing and has everything we needed to make for an incredibly comfortable and relaxing vacation. We can't express enough how much your generosity meant to us. Indeed, you helped make our trip very memorable!!' B.&C.Love, Saratoga Springs N.Y.
'You have obviously worked hard to restore this lovely building, retaining its' character for future generations. The setting is stunning......' C.&P.Dickenson, Hereford, U.K.
'Staying here is like living in a painting. The building itself, so rich in history and strength of character, provides a feeliong of peace and tranqulility'. B.Jackson, Texas.
'Angèle and Jonathan - what an amazing experience we have had staying in your home by the river. Full of stories and so much history! Thank you for your warm welcome and interesting conversations'. Family Trussell, Sydney Australia.
Angèle is Dutch, born in Zeeland but moved to Amsterdam for her education and career as an artist. Jonathan is English, born in Bath, making his living as a cabinet maker and woodworker before moving to the area in 1989. We met shortly before buying the house together, in a remote hamlet where Jonathan was restoring an old building.
Having lived in Limoux for several years, we always said that we would buy a house on the river if one came up for sale. Walking the dog one Boxing day there was a for sale sign on one of the impressive but decrepit old buildings overlooking the water. Structurally it was sound, but everything needed doing, having been empty for at least 30 years. It has taken us 15 years to complete, having done virtually all the work ourselves, finding many wonderful and individual features as we went along. The local people described it as the 'King of Aragou's house', a trace memory when the Aragonese kingdom had a northerly border in Limoux in the 13th & 14th centuries. We live upstairs, in the 3rd floor apartment.
To overlook a major river is an unique advantage, and constantly there is life out there, ducks and birds, much increased since we have been here by the trees that have grown. It was hard work, but to inherit such a fine old building with so much history and individuallity is rare privilege. Revealing the old stones, hidden arches and niches as we went along was a voyage of discovery.