Languedoc Hideaways

Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon, France Book from Book from £98 per night

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)
Will and Tilly Howard had successfully run a nearby village B&B for 9 years when the opportunity arose to move to a farmhouse with barns overlooking a bucolic vineyard valley and small lake. They jumped at the chance to bring their boys up in the country and set about converting the barns into 4 self-catering cottages complete with 20-metre lap pool and south-facing terraced gardens.

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.

Highs

  • 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

Lows

  • 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
World Favourite Family Hideaway

    Best rooms for families

    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

    Parents 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
  • Baby bedding
  • Night light
  • Baby bath
  • Stair gates
  • Books and toys

Some equipment may need to be requested in advance

All cottages are well-equipped for self-catering

  • Fenced swimming pool
  • Trampoline
  • Hammocks
  • 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
  • Tennis
  • Bison farm
  • Butterfly farm
  • Goat farm 2 minutes away
  • Parks
  • Accorparc
  • Caves and castles to explore
  • Water park in Carcassonne
  • Underground river trips
  • Beach is an hour's drive

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Family
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique gites
  • 4
  • Self-catering, drive to shops and restaurants
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 22 Nov 2019 - 29 Feb 2020
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Babysitting
  • Creche / Kids Club
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Concierge Service
  • Laundry Service
  • Towels & linen provided
Room:

Rooms

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.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Cots Available
  • DVD player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob or stove
  • Ipod dock
  • Oven
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

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).

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Barbecue
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Communal dining
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Oven
Eating: L\\\'Etoile
Activity:

Activities

  • 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:

  • Birdwatching
  • Canyoning
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Kayaking
  • Paragliding
  • Rafting
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Wine tasting

Best Time to go

Languedoc Hideaways is closed every January and February. Spring is charming in the region (the hills are full of wild orchids), the summers wonderful and warm (can be very hot at times), and the autumns a riot of colour and harvests. Rain falls mainly in the winter months.

Our Top Tips

Visiting the Cathar castles is a must: although a bit of a steep climb to the summit for most, they repay your efforts with amazing views and a real sense of a bygone era.
Kid Friendly:

Location

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.

By Air:
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.

By Car:
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

Airports:

  • Carcassonne 35.0 km CCF
  • Toulouse 100.0 km TLS

Other:

  • Beach 100.0 km
  • Shops 9.0 km
  • Restaurant 15.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 16 independent reviews from i-escape guests

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

We had an absolutely fantastic week at Languedoc Hideaways recently. We stayed in the cottage - Figuier - and it was simply wonderful. It's completely private and ideal for a couple. The views are amazing and sitting outside at night simply looking at the stars was breathtaking. It also had the two main ingredients of any room - big and comfy bed and a great hot shower. Magnifigue!
Will and Tilly are perfect hosts - really friendly and welcoming, and give great tips on local places to eat. We had a great meal at Bacchus, which is nearby (be warned though, no English is spoken). Tilly also got us fresh croissants and bread every morning, which was very much appreciated. And we loved Will's pizza nights - great pizzas and a good selection of local wines.
We also really enjoyed the pool - 20m so great for doing laps or just relaxing in. The surrounding area is simply beautiful. The cathar castles are amazing to visit - such a sense of history. We also went to the beach, Narbonne, Carcassonne and some local villages to swim in the river. Only minor quibble was that the wifi didn't work at all in Figuier. Overall though, highly recommended. One of the best holidays we've had in years and hope to return one day.

10/10,

Wonderful hosts - very friendly and helpful. Beautiful location with the perfect mix of quiet/privacy and more sociable options including the shared pool and pizza nights. We would highly recommend to young families looking for a self-catered setting but with the added convenience of not having to cook a couple of nights a week and being able to make a daily breakfast/bread order.

10/10,

Thank you for a fantastic week with perfect service! What a marvellous place you have, thanks for sharing!

10/10,

We have just returned from a wonderful week at Languedoc Hideaways. Tilly and Will are very welcoming, will make recommendations when you need it and before you know it, you’ve adjusted to the relaxed pace of life and spent an hour staring at the beautiful scenery. Whether you are a couple or a family you will find your own way of enjoying this little piece of rural France.

9/10,

We had a magical time at Languedoc Hideaways. Our accommodation was stylish and comfortable, and Will and Tilly made us feel immediately at home. We had a beautiful view across vineyards from our balcony, as well as the sounds of a nightingale determined to attract a mate, and a stunning canopy of stars at night. Tilly was so helpful with local tips and booking restaurants, as well as kindly sorting out our accommodation problems at our next location. The daily delivery of croissants was divine, and we ate a number of delicious meals courtesy of Tilly’s cooking – and Will’s expertise with the pizza oven! A car is obviously essential in this area, although driving is pleasurable with such quiet roads and stunning scenery. There’s plenty to do locally, although doing nothing was also a great pleasure in such relaxed surroundings. Will and Tilly are generous and kind hosts who have a talent for hospitality, and we can’t recommend Languedoc Hideaways more highly. Not so much a slice of heaven, but the whole cake.

10/10,

Really great place - room was clean and really nicely decorated and kitchen had everything we needed. Owners are very friendly, helpful and accommodating. Glad we had hired a car as the closest town and shops are a 15 min drive away. Particularly enjoyed the barn pizza night and view across the vineyard from the swimming pool. Would love to visit again.

10/10,

Everything really wonderful. Tilly super relaxed and helpful. Superb Riding with Christel in Chalabre thanks to Tilly’s recommendation. The most well kept and happy and wonderful to ride horses! In a superb environment.
Tip : in May one has to count on cold nights and rain and bring the right gear.

10/10,

We went as a three family unit and occupied three of the four gites.
The property is an interesting, older building well situated on a hill with excellent views across a wide expanse of local, vineyard-covered countryside. Whilst close to the edge of a road, this caused little disturbance. The grounds are significant and well planted with a range of interesting shrubs and trees. The pool is longer than the norm and excellent for length swimming. At the same time the steps and shallow areas are prefect for younger children. The communal sitting/eating area was a helpful focal point for an extended family. The proprietors were discreet and friendly and never intrusive. Pizzas cooked on an open oven were delicious and reasonably priced. Figuier had a decent bathroom but is very small with a tiny kitchen area.

6/10,

We have the most fabulous time at Languedoc Hideaways. Tilly, Will and family were the perfect hosts. Beautiful accommodation and breathtaking views in wonderful settting. Lots of relaxation by the pool combined with trips to Mirepoix market, Limoux and Carcassonne.

10/10,

A magical and serene place. We had an amazing 4 days. The location, the kindness of Tilly and Will, pizza night, the pool, the chickens, and the views all made our stay very special. Our toddler loved it!

10/10,

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