Clos des Aspres

Ortaffa, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Book from Book from £113 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.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

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 + a 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:

  • Boat trips
  • Canyoning
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Festivals
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Kayaking
  • Kite surfing
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Rafting
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Windsurfing
  • Wine tasting

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.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots and high chairs

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities nearby:

Water parks, horse riding and an animal farm

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 2 independent reviews from i-escape guests

9/10
Room
9/10
Food
9/10
Service
9/10
Value
9/10
Overall

A perfect place to base ourselves FYI explore the local area and the south west coast. The owners were very helpful and welcoming in ensuring we had everything we needed - towels, restaurant recommends, beach suggestions etc all particularly helpful as we had a 10month old with us so working out where would have high chairs was so helpful. We could not have felt more at home and hope to return.

8/10,

We very much enjoyed our stay at Clos des Aspres. We use i escape for most trips and this place is right up there with the best places we’ve stayed. Hosts Emmanuel and Pierre were friendly, interesting company and helpful with suggestions about things to do and the best places to eat. There are several good restaurants all within 10 mins drive. You will need a car though. Breakfast fresh and tasty. Cheeses, fresh bread, orange juice, jams yogurt and fruits. We stayed in the Petit Verdot room which I think was the basic room but it didn’t feel basic. The room was massive, with lovely linen sheets, decorated with craft and taste and dotted with antique furniture. The big lounge area which doubles as breakfast area was great for relaxing after a days exploring or after a meal. Lots of different activities within 30mins drive including walking in the mountains, beaches and Catalan villages and loads of opportunity to taste good wine. Ceret is worth a visit on Saturday for the the market and the modern art museum.

10/10,

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