Gaillardet Garden

Cowbells and crickets, fresh vegetables and new laid eggs..

Out & About

gaillardet in springThe Aude and Ariege are still relatively uncommercialised with little traffic on the roads, and wonderful places to walk, laze, eat and drink, as well as plenty of opportunities for the more energetic to indulge in outdoor sports and activities. Anni and Gary will help to facilitate any aspect of your visit to make it a holiday to remember..
Gaillardet Garden is situated beneath the first foothills of the Pyrenees. Directly South the pinewoods provide shady walks and magnificent views up to the spectacular Plateau de Sault and beyond..
North of the house are gentle hills and valleys of fields and chestnut and oak woods, flowing with pretty streams and rivers. The enormous and uncommercialised Lac de Montbel is about 15minutes drive with its sandy beaches and facilities for swimming, pedaloes, windsurfing and sailing, plus lovely picnic sites and a beach café with super pizzas, great after a day at the Lac and watch the magnificent sunsets over the hills and water.  There is also children's play areas and a blowup area with many things to bounce on!
hotel bargeTo the East of the property lies the Mediterranean, about 1½ hours drive through the stunning vine covered, rolling hills of the Raze – part of the Roussillon wine growing region, on through the dramatic limestone cliffs and gorges of Cathar country and into the Catalan influenced region near the coast. The sandy beaches of the immediate coast provide safe bathing near to Perpignan, Canet and Narbonne. Further South along the coast towards the Spanish border is the pretty rocky coastline of the Cote Vermeille with its fishing villages, most notable being Coullioure, beloved of Matisse and other early 21st century artists, and Ceret with its renowned Musee d’Art Moderne. The Canal du Midi to the North of us flows from Toulouse to the Mediterranean, passing many pretty waterside villages. Boat trips are readily available on the Canal from different starting points
The whole immediate area is ideal for walking, cycling and horseriding . There are official Randonnees and VTT routes, as well of plenty of other tracks. Cycle hire is available and there are a number of trekking centres in the immediate vicinity.

White water rafting and kayaking stations are plentiful on the nearby River Aude. Fishing also available on the many little rivers and lakes. There are golf courses about 1 hours drive away at either Foix or Carcassonne
skiIn winter there are a number of ski resorts providing runs and lifts for all levels. The nearest are Camurac and Monts d’Olmes – 40 minutes by car – and Ax Bonascre – about 1 hour – above the delightful old spa town of Ax les Thermes . La Chioula provides cross country skiing, racquettes and tobaganning about 50 minutes drive. All have many sun terraces, bars and cafes. Many other good resorts are to be found a little further afield. The ski season usually runs from January to April depending on snow conditions, although most resorts have snow cannons.

The area is famous for its dinosaurs and pre-historic remains Many visits can be made to sites and museums of early history. Later history is provided by textile and millinery museums, and even the horn comb museum! Festivals are to be found all over the region throughout the year – from Jazz to hazelnuts! Limoux has a winter carnival from January to March. Caves and underground rivers are there to be investigated.mirepoix
Historically the region is the heart of Cathar Country, and many of the towns and villages have remains of this religious sect’s strongholds and castles, such as Montsegur, Puylaurens, Puivert and of course the magical old Cite of Carcassonne. Nearby is the beautiful medieval town of Mirepoix with its cafes and shops under the wooden arcades and famous Monday market (there is a market to be found somewhere on everyday of the week). Foix, Carcassonne, Perpignan and Limoux are other towns worthy of exploration.
The city of Toulouse, the pink city on the banks of the Garronne, is steeped in interesting architecture and history and is about 1 ½ hours drive away. It is the 4th biggest city in France and as you would expect has all the elements of a major city, including spectacular churches, art galleries, concerts, theatres, cinema and wonderful shops. Further afield are the towns of Montauban, home of the 19th Century artist Ingres, and Albi with the lovely Toulouse Lautrec museum.. The museum at Castres focuses on Goya. The region is liberally populated with artists and artisans and their ateliers. Anni is an art historian and is happy to talk to you about art and painting, and even take you on a guided tour to the gallery or museum of your choice.
P1010074These are just a few of the vast choice of places to visit. As you can see the area has many possibilities for everyone, but mainly it is geared to warmth and sunshine and the outdoor life. Added to these activities is the possibility of sampling the food and wines of the region. Cassoulet is the areas most famous dish and many towns will claim it for their own! Foie gras from goose or duck is a staple for any menu, and duck is everyman’s meat. Many of the meats available are raised organically on family run farms. The mountain charcuterie is to die for. Mushrooms and many varieties of vegetables grow in abundance in the very fertile soil. Last but not least is the famed wines of the Languedoc Roussillon and the drive to the coast is lined with caves and domaines where it is possible to sample and buy the local red and rose wines at various prices.

Quick Reference

Opening dates:
Open all year. Long winter lets available 1st October to 31st March
Number of beds:
 3 bedroom gite - sleeps 5 
1 ensuite 
1 large shower room
1 cloakroom
from €650 to €1400 per week
substantial reductions for couples only May, June & September
Ski package 4 nights bed and breakfast €500 per couple
Christmas/New Year package - €750/1200

Winter lest 1st November - 31st March €950 pcm + bills
Wedding Dress package – one week from £2,500
Payment methods:
€ euro transfer to French bank account
25% deposit when booking
Balance 8 weeks prior to arrival
Nearest Shopping & Eating Out:
shops, petrol, bars and restaurants in Rivel and Belesta – both 10 minutes drive.
on site
English, French, some Italian
Swimming Pool
Private garden area with seating and dining furniture
Shortwave radio
Bedlinen and towels and pool towels included
Internet access included
Pool towels included
Gas Cooker
Woodburning stove
Washing machine
10 minutes Chalabre,
20 minutes Lavelanet,
30 minutes Mirepoix & Limoux,
50 minutes Carcassonne and Pamiers,
1 ½ hours Toulouse and Mediterranean coast.