Vacation Rental Description
La Petite Maison is a charming Stone cottage-styled house which was once a wine cave. It sits in a terrace of 3 stone properties all owned by the same proprietor. One, L'ancien Cafe Rives, is as the names suggests an old cafe, now a house occupied by the proprietor and offering a holiday apartment available to let separately or together with La Petite Maison for friends who would like to holiday together but retain separate albeit adjacent, living space. The other property, L'ancienne Boulangerie, is separated from the rest by a lovely courtyard. It was once the village bakers and still has the old bread oven in situe. It is another gite, currently on long term let. La Petite Maison offers a secluded haven, with sunny terraces, outside dining and a delightful shady courtyard. It is in the pretty, traditional French village of Rivel, which enjoys a peaceful rural valley location. The property is in a lovely location in the heart of the village with its narrow streets, ancient ruins and crumbling stone houses. There are lovely walks in all directions. The village nestles in a lush green valley near the foothills of the Pyrenees, amidst the rolling hills of the historic Cathar region of France. You don't have to go far (5 minutes drive) to find magical castles, perched on craggy promontories, with views to capture your heart and histories to capture your imagination.
The house is only 5 Mins Drive to a delightful swimming lake with a man-made beach, snack bars dotted along the shore-line, peddle boats and children's playgrounds. There is a larger, beautifully natural swimming lake 10 minutes further lovers of nature who want to escape the crowds, swim in the cool deep waters with nothing to observe you but wildlife and the occassional ornithologist, Lac Montbel is a natural wild-life haven with an extensive range of flora and fauna.
The interior of La Petite Maison is very chic and charmingly decorated, with colombage interior walls on the upper floor. It offers a romantic hideaway or a comfortably furnished family home. An eat-in kitchen with French doors leads to the delightful shady courtyard and large, sunny, south-facing terrace. 2 BBQs and stylish outdoor furniture provide for comfortable outdoor living. There is a cosy lounge with a soft Habitat feather sofa and a firmer handmade daybed/sofa. The lounge and kitchen have tiled floors. A wooden staircase leads to a landing and small reading area with parquet floor and colombage walls; tiled bathroom with bath and shower over, 2 double bedrooms (1 with double bed and small cot, 1 with twin beds) with sea-grass flooring and built-in storage. This property can be booked with an extra bedroom with king size bed if required. Please enquire. All-in-all this is a very stylish, French country house - very 'shabby chic'.
- Cable Satellite
- Cleaning Service
- Cooking Utensils
- Linen Service
- Amenity Parking
The baker delivers fresh bread and croissants every day except Monday. There are also weekly meat, fish and vegetable deliveries. The nearest shops are in Chalabre (4 km), an easy bike ride along the cycle track or 5 min drive. Bikes can be hired locally. Chalabre has 2 bakers, butcher, grocers, 2 small mini-markets, a weekly outdoor market, 2 cafe bars, a bank and a shop selling organic produce. Nearby is an organic trout farm producing prime quality lake trout which you can buy direct from the farm. There's a selection of restaurants, 1 about 1km away - walking distance for most along leafy country roads, an easy (flat) cycle ride or a very short drive. There's another excellent and very reasonably priced restaurant in the next village, its a little further away but some guests have cycled there along the old railway line that joins several villages in this region and is now used solely for cycling or walking.
- Adventure Sports
- Horse Riding
- Hunting/Rock Climbing
- Mountain Biking
- Night Clubs
- Snow Boarding
- Theme park
Coastal resorts on the Mediterranean are within a leisurely drive through the breathtaking scenery of about 1-1/2 hr. Like for example, the stunning Catalan harbour town of Collioure - an inspiration for artists, writers, poets, singers and painters with its 13 galleries, fabulous shops, museums and restaurants. Well worth a visit if you're looking for a bit of culture and bags of charm.
Carcassonne has a wonderful golf course only 40 mins drive from Rivel with 18 Holes, Par 71, 5,800 metres, built in 1988 by Jean Pierre Basurco to an International standard. It has panoramic views, located close to the medieval City, between Cavanac and Carcassonne on the D204. It is visitor friendly and has reasonable green fees in peak season and off peak.
- Travel Info: Accessibility:
Mobility is important the properties are situated on a slight hill. Entrance to L'ancienne Boulangerie is via several steep stone steps, plus there are stairs to the first floor of both houses which are quite steep. L'apartement Aubergine is situated on the first floor - access to the walled garden is via stone steps from a terrace on the ground floor; access to the terrace of La Petite Maison is 1 step up from its kitchen with steps down to the walled garden for sharers.
From La Petite Maison kitchen you step directly onto a 20sq mt sunny south-facing terrace, with a barbecue and seating for 4. The terrace is exclusively for guests of La Petite Maison (but expect the odd feline visitor and canine greetings from the owner's garden below). It offers a lovely views over the fields and the walled garden below. Furniture includes good quality sun loungers, bistro style table and chairs, various loungers, comfy cushions and an array of deck chairs if needed. La Boulangerie has a private courtyard reached via the kitchen. This is a beautiful shady spot for reading or enjoying a cold beer or rose wine...it leads to a larger south-facing private terrace with a table and chairs for 6, bbq and quality loungers. This terrace sits side by side with the terrace to La Petite Maison and a gate can be opened for access where friends / families are sharing. The lovely walled garden is only let with the apartment but is accessible for sharers.
Rivel is 40 minutes from Carcassonne and hour and half from Toulouse and Perpignan airports. A car is recommended to get the most out of your visit and car hire is available at the airport (it is recommended that you book in advance in high season). There is parking outside the properties for 1 car per property and additional parking nearby. There are various taxi services available on request for non-drivers and cycles can be hired locally (please ask if you'd like me to reserve them for you).
The medieval village of Chalabre is 5 mins drive. The lovely Market town of Mirepoix is 15 mins drive and Limoux 20 mins. For swimming and sailing, 15 mins by car takes you to the beautiful lake at Montbel and in only 5 mins you reach Puivert Lake with its man-made beach and lake-side snack bar - nestling beneath the stunning Puivert Castle. Rivel provides easy access to The Pyrenees and many famous Cathar castles such as Montsegur which is only a leisurely 1/2 hr drive away.