Clos des Aspres

Ortaffa, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Book from Book from £78 per night

A charming B&B guesthouse, plus a self-catering gite (for 8-10), with Mediterranean gardens, heated pools and heart-skipping views

“The setting is exceptional," say owners Pierre and Emmanual, "it's good to live here.” While we're yet to visit ourselves, it's easy to see what they mean. Hidden in the heart of the sunny Languedoc-Roussillon, this traditional Catalan wine-house is surrounded by lush rolling vineyards and framed by the craggy Albères Massif. There are endless views in all directions, yet pretty villages and excellent French restaurants await just a short drive away. A little further, the sunkissed beaches of Côte Vermeille and the epic hiking trails of the Pyrenees beckon. Truly, this region of southwest France has it all — beauty, serenity, heavenly food & wine — everything except the tourist crowds, who keep away for 10 months of the year.

But equally special is this small, charming 5 bedroom guesthouse, with its easy home-from-home ambience. Listen to singing cicadas as you laze by the pool, or help yourself to a glass or two of chilled rosé — Pierre and Emmanual produce their own. Inside the Mas, a clever renovation has married old and new styles, with contemporary designs blending with 19th-century shutters and stonework. There's a lovely lounge where you can kick off your flip-flops and flick through old magazines, plus a kitchen where you can make a coffee. Best of all there's a glorious sense of peacefulness: something we all crave.

Highs

  • The warm welcome from Pierre and Emmanual, a prelude to their thoughtful hosting
  • A perfect place to unwind and rejuve; just relax by the heated pool and soak up the quiet and those incredible views
  • Just 5 spacious and beautiful rooms, plus a self-catering gite with its own pool
  • Excellent prices and rates include a yummy alfresco breakfast
  • Suits couples and families alike: there's plenty of space for all

Lows

  • No restaurant, though table d'hôte meals are sometimes on offer. You're 2km from Ortaffa
  • A late check in - 5pm - and a minimum 3-night stay during school holidays and over bank holiday weekends
  • Note, stays in the gite (Cottage) require a security deposit and the rates don't include a compulsory end-of-stay cleaning fee
  • Not for those who prefer to be anonymous on holiday: meals in the colder months are served communally

Best time to go

The Languedoc-Roussillon climate is Mediteranean, with hot dry summers, rainy winters, and moderate springs and autumns. It's estimated there are 300 days of sunshine a year, so your odds of perfect weather are high! The guesthouse is open all year and the region hosts some fun music festivals during the summer.

Our top tips

After visiting the Abbeye de St Martin de Canigou, take a detour to the incredible Priory of Serrabone. The steep drive up is slightly scary, but you're rewarded with spectacular scenery. This tiny priory is a masterpiece of Romanesque art, its cloister carved from pink marble, with intricate floral engravings.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Family
Great Outdoors
Romantic
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 5 rooms + cottage for 8-10
  • Breakfast + dinners on request; restaurants nearby
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
  • Honesty bar
Room: Les Alberes Family Room

Rooms

The 5 spacious bedrooms are peaceful and private; all lead out to the garden or have mountain views. Décor is a classy blend of authenticity and modern comfort, with antique desks and feature walls in azure, mustard and carnelian. There are pops of colour in floor tiles, too, and in old-fashioned travel posters, sepia photos and thick curtains, but it's all very considered. Bathrooms are similarly restrained - we like the twin sinks and bamboo ladders for hanging up your towels.

Of the Double Rooms, L'Olivière has a private patio; Côté Cour has a sofabed for a child and Petit Verdot is on the first floor, filled with light. Spacious Les Albères, the Family Room, has views of the Albères mountains and an additional single bed, while Les Camamilles is the Family Suite: 2 bedrooms and a private entrance. Whichever room you choose, comfort is key: there are thick bathrobes and the kingsize beds are wrapped in pure linens.

For groups, there's a 4-bedroom gite (Cottage) for private self-catering rental. We especially like the open-plan living area, that flows into the private garden, which has a summer kitchen and terrace for alfresco dining. The heated pool is gated (wonderful with small children).

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Hairdryer
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

A superb breakfast is served on the terrace by the pool in fine weather. Freshly squeezed juice, pastries from the local patisserie, creamy yoghurt, plus fresh fruit and local organic jams.

Throughout the day, you can help yourself to teas and coffees and there's an honesty bar with wine, beer and juices. For lunch, we'd be tempted to borrow bikes and cycle to Ortaffa's shops to assemble a picnic: regional specialities include the Pélardon goat's cheese and olive tapenade.

In the summer months, they host table d'hôte meals twice weekly by the pool, jolly communal affairs showcasing their own wines alongside grilled meats, fresh seasonal vegetables, fruits and local specialities.

Pierre and Emmanual will also recommend wonderful restaurants for dinner, whether you're after something simple and traditional, or a more gastronomic affair. Nearby favourites include La Salamandre à Sorède, Le Jardin des simples à Sorède and L'ancienne école à Palau del Vidre. For gastronomy lovers, La Trincadis in nearby Argelès village is a must.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Relax in the Mediterranean gardens, swim in the heated pool and enjoy the Languedoc's 300 days of sunshine
  • Taste Clos des Aspres' wines (the rosé and the Sauvignon Blanc are popular) and visit nearby vineyards
  • There's picturesque walking and cycling from the front door: ask Pierre to recommend a route
  • Nearby Ortaffa is pretty for a wander, while Perpignan, the proud centre of French Catalonia, has a beautiful old town and traditional Catalan restaurants
  • The Côte Vermeille is 30 mins away; a string of sandy Med beaches, plus the so-called Rocky Shore
  • Explore the authentic seaside village of Collioure, dubbed 'St Tropez without the excesses'. Its Museum of Modern Art has works by Matisse, Picasso, Derain and Dufy
  • Sporty types can windsurf, horse ride and kayak; adrenaline junkies can go canyoning, white-water rafting and paragliding; ask Pierre to help arrange activities
  • The foothills of the Pyrenees are home to breathtaking ancient sites, including the walled village of Villefranche le Conflent, The Abbeye de St Martin de Canigou, and Castelnou's castle
  • Day trip to Spain for historic Girona and the Dali Triangle

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling

Kids

Families are welcome. There's not a lot for them here, but kids will love the heated pool and exploring the garden, and parents will appreciate the easy ambience and being able to use the kitchen to whip up snacks. Just be aware that most day trips/restaurant visits will involve driving.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

There are 2 family rooms in the guesthouse. Les Albères has a kingsize bed and single bed; Les Camamilles has a kingsize bedroom, a twin bedroom and space for a baby cot or extra bed. The Double Rooms can fit a baby cot and Côté Cour has a sofabed. The private self-catering gite sleeps up to 10 in 4 bedrooms and a sofabed in the lounge, and has a heated fenced pool.

Families Should Know:

The guesthouse pool is not fenced and only heated May-October

Distances:

  • Airport 25km (Perpignan)
  • Hospital: 15km
  • Shop: 2km
Kid Friendly:

Location

Clos des Aspres is located in Occitanie, which encompasses the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France, in the heart of the Eastern Pyrenees.

By Air:
Fly into Perpignan (25km) or Girona (97km, in Spain).

You'll want a car to get here and explore the region (see our car rental recommendations).

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.com.

Airports:

  • Perpignan 25.0 km PGF
  • Girona (Spain) 97.0 km GIR

Other:

  • Beach 12.0 km
  • Shops 2.0 km
  • Restaurant 2.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 5 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

We loved everything about our stay and wished that we could have stayed for longer. The hosts were lovely, super-kind and chatted to us (in English) about all sorts of things, which made us feel at home and very welcome. The building in which we stayed has a few bedrooms, plus a dining area and a lounge area in which to sit - which was lovely, particularly as we could make tea (what else do the English do?). The hosts have designed a beautiful place to live and our room was fantastic. We had breakfast at the side of the pool for two mornings - the view is tremendous. It's possible to sit around the pool or in the gardens outside, so we had a very relaxing time and it facilitated us chatting to other guests from France and Germany. Ice creams and cold drinks are available to buy, as well as home-made wine and olive oil. The hosts gave us information about things to see and where to eat in the evening; we had some lovely meals in local towns. Le Clos is situated in the hills, 5 minutes by car to the nearest village. This meant that it was very quiet and very peaceful. We would recommend Le Clos to anyone, couples, families or people travelling on their own. Thank you

10/10,

This is a really special i-escape. The hosts are wonderful, the atmosphere is perfect and everything is just gorgeous. We had a really chilled week there, lots to see and do nearby and the best breakfasts to start our days. Would love to return!
Oh! The corgis were the icing on the cake!

10/10,

Emmanuel was a great host and we had a lovely stay here for a week as a family of four in the family suite.

10/10,

We loved our stay at Clos des Aspres. Emmanuel and Pierre have created a peaceful haven in a beautiful location. The rooms and amenities on site are perfect and we particularly enjoyed breakfast by the pool each morning. Emmanuel gave us many wonderful recommendations for restaurants and places to visit. There is so much to explore in this region and further afield - we took an easy trip across the border into Spain to visit Girona. Our 3 year old daughter loved the 3 dogs and the pool!

10/10,

Pierre and Emmanual made us feel very welcome. The were accommodating with my son and the house dogs were a perfect distraction. Odette was a firm favourite! It was a relaxing break - just what we needed, and the environment was perfect to unwind. Secluded, you do need a car and the surrounding area is lovely - beaches, vineyards and lovely towns to explore.
We can't recommend enough - the home grown rose is a lovely touch.
Thank you.

9/10,

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