“A clutch of rustic chic cottages with 20m lap pool and sunny gardens, 30 minutes from Carcassonne (each sleeps 2-7, or 13 in total)”
Interiors bear Tilly's trademark flair and simplicity: whitewashed walls, splashes of colour, roll-top baths, flowers, exposed beams and the odd print. Will is a dab hand at creating and reclaiming useful bits of wooden furniture. Each cottage has private space to the rear and wonderful views; the smallest is separate from the other dwellings, perfect for couples, while the largest can sleep up to 7, ideal for families. There's a kitchen garden, hammocks strung between trees, communal weekly pizza nights, and a couple of sociable Barns complete with ping pong and pool table, comfy sofas and log burner. And you're in the heart of dramatic Cathar country: ruined castles, rushing rivers, authentic market towns for delicious local provisions and brocante shopping, and a wealth of wineries.
- Lovely relaxed style and set up, you'll feel instantly at home here
- Friendly helpful owners who live on site
- Easy to find, just half-an-hour from Carcassonne
- Delightful part of the world, with heaps to do in the region, and fascinating Cathar history
- Great value
- The cottages have a wonderful rustic style but don't expect immaculate interiors
- Steep stairs in the larger houses
- Expect to be sociable; no hardship for most
- Summers get booked up fast
- Just set in from the road; luckily it's not very busy
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique gites
- Self-catering, drive to shops and restaurants
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
- Concierge Service
- Towels & linen provided
Two of the cottages flank Tilly and Will's home, the whole forms a stone terrace bookended by large barns. The largest, Le Jasmin, where we stayed, has 2 bedrooms – a high-ceilinged double and twin attic room for kids – plus TV snug with sofa bed on the top floors. Below is the kitchen-diner-living space and bathroom with excellent walk-in shower and clawfoot bath.
L'Etoile is also on 3 floors but narrower so there's one room per level. In descending order: the master bedroom with shower bathroom, a living room with sofabed and Juliet balcony for those awesome vineyard views, and the funky kitchen-diner.
Smallest, for couples, in the garden and mini-orchard near the pool, is stand-alone Le Figuier with galley kitchen and shower bathroom (with underfloor heating) beside an airy bedroom.
Since our visit, Le Marin has been added. The owners promise that this ground-floor apartment is a spacious home-from-home, with one bedroom (kingsized bed), a small kitchen, shower bathroom and a private terrace.
All have whitewashed walls, natural materials like rattan or flagstones on the floors, kingsize beds, a private terrace or patch of garden with table and chairs (and your own BBQ) and full kitchens.
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- Cots Available
- DVD player
- Extra beds
- Full kitchen
- Hob or stove
- Ipod dock
The 3 kitchens have all you need for self-catering. Each has a coffee machine as well as an oven, stove and fridge-freezer, in which you'll find your bottle of Blanquette de Limoux (the inspiration for Champagne) for booking through i-escape. Tea, coffee and milk are supplied on arrival. The 2 larger cottages have dishwashers and dining tables, Le Figuier's bistro table and chairs are on its private terrace overlooking the orchard and vines.
Your convivial hosts arrange weekly wood fired pizza evenings in the Barn Bar, and can offer local cassoulet served with salad from the garden any night of the week (on request). Tilly also provides simple suppers brought to your cottage on arrival night, or any night of the week if you're booking the whole house for exclusive use.
Alternatively, head out for dinner to Limoux, Mirepoix, or Belveze-du-Raze - we enjoyed a meal at winery Domaine Gayda - or plunder the local food shops and markets (Mirepoix Mondays and Thursdays, Limoux Fridays - about 10-15 minutes drive away).
- Children's meals
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- Communal dining
- Dinner by arrangement
- Full kitchen
- Hob or stove
- This is Cathar Country: hike along the Cathar Trail or climb up to soak up the views from these magnificent castles (we visited Montsegur and Puilaurens) and discover a fascinating period of history
- With a vineyard in the valley below, and wineries all around, sampling local fruits of the vine is a popular pastime
- Check out the local markets and brocante shops
- Grotte de Niaux has 14,000 year old cave paintings
- For active types canyoning, canoeing, white-water rafting, wild swimming and paragliding are all possible nearby; Tilly and Will can make bookings for you
- It's easy to explore the area and cycle and walk from the property; Tilly and Will can advise
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Shopping / markets
- Wine tasting
We enjoyed bringing our family to these boutique gites which are very well set up for children (Tilly and Will have two sons so know about providing for families). There's even a lovely big rocking horse to ride at the entrance. Our children romped around the grounds, eagerly bouncing on the trampoline, playing football, swinging in hammocks, feeding the chickens, and playing with the toys and games in situ. The pool is gated and the cottages are well-equipped for easy self-catering. And there are lots of child-friendly activities in the area. Fun for all the family!
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
Le Jasmin, where we stayed, and L'Etoile are perfect for families: both are over three storeys, with useful kitchens and comfy living rooms. Le Jasmin sleeps up to 5 in two bedrooms and has an additional TV snug room plus a tub in the bathroom, while L'Etoile has a master bedroom and shower bathroom on the top floor and a sofa bed in the living room below. Both have their own small terrace/patio area outside their kitchen doors for valley views, Le Jasmin also has a hammock at the front. Le Marin has room for an extra bed or baby cot, and can work as an annexe to Jasmin or Etoile, or for a family of 3
- Baby bedding
- Night light
- Baby bath
- Stair gates
- Books and toys
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
All cottages are well-equipped for self-catering
Kids Activities on site:
- Fenced swimming pool
- Chickens to feed
- Swings and slide
- Toys and outdoor games to borrow
- Table tennis
- Pool table
- Craft workshops at certain times of year, please enquire
Kids Activities nearby:
- Bison farm
- Butterfly farm
- Goat farm 2 minutes away
- Caves and castles to explore
- Water park in Carcassonne
- Underground river trips
- Beach is an hour's drive
Families Should Know:
The pool is fenced. A few drops and steps around the property so keep an eye on toddlers. Steep stairs in L'Etoile and Jasmin make them less ideal for younger kids
- Airport: 35 minutes (Carcassonne); 1hr 15 minutes (Toulouse)
- Hospital: 15 minutes (Limoux); 35 minutes (Carcassonne)
- Shops: 10-15 minutes (Belveze-du-Razes, Limoux and Mirepoix)
Languedoc Hideaways is to the south-west of Carcassonne in the south of France, in an area known as the Razes, between Limoux and Mirepoix.
Fly to Carcassonne (30-35 minutes) or Toulouse (1hr15m). Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.
From the Airport
You can take a taxi for around EUR40-50, or request a transfer to be booked.
Most will hire a car, see our car rental recommendations.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to France and getting around
- Carcassonne 35.0 km CCF
- Toulouse 100.0 km TLS
- Beach 100.0 km
- Shops 9.0 km
- Restaurant 15.0 km