|Minimum Stay||3 - 7 nights|
The house was brought by the owners in 2009 as a complete wreck, unlived in for twenty years. Over the last two years it has been completely renovated to provide accommodation which is light, comfortable and airy, with large bedrooms, a fantastic kitchen/dinning room, three separate sitting rooms, plenty of room for two large families. The decor is simple and modern, retaining the feel of an old farmhouse with exposed stone walls in places, natural stone or painted wooden floors, and stylish traditional and comtemporary furniture. The house has woodburners downstairs and radiators upstairs, so can be rented during winter months. Outside the mediterranean garden with its olive trees, cypress trees, beds of lavender and other aromatic plants, perfectly compliments the stunning scenery around the house. The area around the house has plenty to offer with fine restaurants, walking, golf, riding, cycling, swimming in lakes & rivers or sightseeing and visiting the many Cathar castles.
We are a family of four who lived in this area for five years before returning to England last year. My husband David is a furniture designer and herocially project managed the renovation of the property. Many of the pieces of furniture and staircases were made by him. As a garden designer, I have very much enjoyed transforming an acre of mud, rubble and weeds into a mediterranean garden, which seems to be growing beautifully and which I hope everyone willl enjoy.
After living in near Carcassonne for five years we had to return to the UK. We loved the area so much we decided to buy a property we could rent out and use sometimes ourselves. We were very excited to find this property, which although derelict was in the most incredible situation. The views are quite outstanding and it is a totally tranquil spot, yet only 15 minutes from the medieval city of Carcasonne, so easy to pop in for dinner and also easy to get to & from the airport. Also, Saint-Hiliare is such a nice village with all the little shops you need. The Abbey is stunning and we liked the fact that it is where the monks invented Blanquette, the forerunner to Champagne! To leave Stansted airport & find yourself 2 hours later in this wild, beautful place is always a great pleasure
The real benefits of the property are firstly its surroundings with the gorgeous views over the vineyards to the edge of the Corbieres mountains and and the Pyenees. It is very spacious and can easily accommodate two or three families. As it is newly renovated, all the bathrooms and kitchen are new. It is tastfully decorated and furnished to a high standard and has the feeling of being someone's home and not just a holiday house. There is a caretaker on hand to provide pool cleaning and maid service and babysitting if required. The garden is beautifully planted and pool in wonderful postion with uninterrupted views of the countryside. The hammocks under the trees are the favourite place for a siesta. Children have lots of books, toys and games to keep them entertained.
Special interest holidays:
Walking - This region is truly fantastic walking country with walking trails in all directions for all levels, some gentle stolls through farmland with fields of vines and sunflowers, others more strenuous hilly/mountain trails. At the house are details of over 25 walks in the locality as well as more challenging walks, many of which take in the Cathar castles. We can offer guided walks and tailormade walking holidays to include a guide, transport and cook. Yoga and painting holidays to be offered from 2013.
Domaine de Rey is an 1 hour 20 minutes from the nice beaches at Leucate or La Franqui, both of which have excellent beach restaurants during the summer. This makes a good trip. A little further afield is the picturesque fishing port of Collioure which is 2 hours drive.
Carcassonne (Ryanair) 20 minutes
Beziers (Ryanair) 1 hour 20 minutes
Toulouse (esayjet) 1 hour
Train - Eurostar to Pair or Lille & TGV to Toulouse with connection to Carcassonne
Car - Calais to Saint-Hilaire 11 hours drive
Dieppe to Saint-Hilaire 9 1/2 hours drive
Car hire is essential
Saint-Hilaire - local village with all shops and historical abbey - 5 minutes drive
Carcassonne and its medieval city - 15 minutes drive
Limoux market town with shops and Friday market - 15 minutes drive
This area is famous for its Cathar castles, ancient abbeys and historical cities. The main tourist attraction is of course the famous citadel of Carcassonne, with its narrow cobbled streets, gothic towers and magnificent ramparts. During the summer there are music concerts, jousting tournaments and cafes & restaurants spill onto the streets. Limoux, situated on the banks of the river Aude is also local to Saint Hilaire, and has a fine central square with cafes and a Friday market.
You may wish to just completely relax in the lovely surroundings of Domaine de Rey. However, if you are feeling adventurous there are plenty of things to do in this area, such as visiting some of the magnificent ruined fortresses perched on sheer rocky outcrops, such as Montsegur , the final stronghold of the Cathars. Or, hire a boat and explore the historic 17th century Canal du Midi which runs through the vineyards of the Minevois to the Mediterranean. There is also canoeing and white water rafting at Quillon and Limoux, and an accropark, a great favourite of the children, at both Carcassonne & Alet les Bains. If you want a change from the pool there is beautiful river swimming in the rock pools in the local river, and also lakes at Carcassonne and Montbel, where you can also sail, windsurf, canoe and hire pedal boats. For riding here are a number of stables locally offering hourly to whole day treks. Keen golfers can play the 18 hole golf course at the nearby Domaine d’Auraic.
In just over an hour from Saint Hilaire, you can be on a wide sandy Mediterranean beach eating seafood in one of the many excellent beach restaurants near Leucate. An hour and a half in the opposite direction takes you up to the ski slopes of the Pyrenees in the winter months. The nearest Mont d'Olmes, has 23 km of piste in the mountains near Montsegur.
The house is surrounded by vines and there are many local vineyards where you can sample and buy wine or even book yourself on a wine course.
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
|Refundable damage deposit||$624|
On receipt of a request for booking, a booking form will be emailed or sent. This should be filled out, signed and returned with a deposit of one third of the total. The balance will be invoiced for 8 weeks before the start of the rental period. This will include a damage deposit of £500. All booking conditions detailed in booking form.
Changeover day - Saturday to Saturday during high season. Outside high season other days can be arranged.
Check out time 10am
Check in time 4pm
Times may be flexible outside high season
Weekend/shorter breaks also available - prices on enquiry
Notes on prices:
Prices are from Saturday to Saturday. Outside high season weekend and shorter breaks can be arranged and prices can be adjusted for lesser occupancy. Please enquire for details.