GENERAL INFORMATION

Before your arrival a comprehensive housebook will be sent to you, giving lots of information about all kinds of things such as shopping, restaurants, markets, beaches etc.

GENERAL INFORMATION

HOUSE MANAGEMENT
There is a husband and wife team who live in the village and they organise the cleaning. They will help with queries or problems that may arise.

GETTING TO LAURAC
There are airports in Carcassonne (30 minutes from the house) and Toulouse (55 minutes from the house) and also at Perpignon, Beziers and Girona. The nearest train station is in Castelnaudary. Car hire is available at the airports and in Castelnaudary.

DIRECTIONS & ARRIVAL DETAILS
For those who decide to rent our house detailed directions as to how to find the house and what to do on arrival will be sent to them.

PARKING
You can park at any time outside the front door to unload your luggage or groceries and then you go to park at either the top or the bottom of the road each of which is about 130 metres away. All parking is free. We have never heard of a security problem with cars parked at either location and as the village is so small everyone feels very safe.

LINEN
All linens are provided including bathing towels.

HAIRDRYERS
There are hairdryers in all the bedrooms.

SHOPPING
There are no shops in the village but 10 mins away in the village of Villasavery there is an excellent grocery, butcher, baker, pharmacy and hairdresser. Castelnaudary, 20 mins away, has three major supermarkets and every other kind of shop you could need.  Mobile baker, greengrocer and butcher vans come to the village on a regular basis.

TELEPHONE & INTERNET
There is a telephone 0468 78 15  62 in the house and we operate an honesty box system for outgoing calls.  There is a broadband connection in the house.

TELEVISION & DVD
The television works through a computer beside the TV set. Follow the instructions and then you will get all the BBC, ITV and many, many other channels.  There is also a separate DVD player. See the Housebook for more details.

HEATING
Apart from the wood burning stove all areas in the house are heated by eco-friendly electric radiators.  Very plentiful hot water, heated by electricity, is available 24 hours a day.

MEDICAL
In Villasavary, 10 mins away, there is an excellent doctor and in Carcassonne, Castelnaudary and Toulouse there are hospital. In Castelnaudary there are many doctors and dentists etc.

BEACHES
The nearest beaches are in the Narbonne area and are just over an hour away.

HORSE RIDING
There is horse riding available nearby.

BIKE HIRE
Bicycles can be hired in Bram (about 4 kms East of Castelnaudary). Full details will be found in our house book. Cycling along the Canal du Midi is very flat and very pretty. There is also plenty of off road biking in the surrounding hills.

GOLF
There is an excellent golf course in Carcassonne which apparently is not crowded or expensive.

CAFES / RESTAURANTS
Whilst there is no café in Laurac nearby Castelnaudary has lots of cafes and also four good restaurants which we have listed in the housebook. In Mirepoix there are plenty of cafes and a very good restaurant. Carcassonne is awash with cafes and we have listed four reputedly good restaurants. We know there are other good restaurants within reasonable distance but we have not been to them.

MARKETS
There are weekly markets in Bram, Carcassonne, Castelnaudary, Mirepoix and Revel.

WALKING
The area around Laurac has been described by our friends as a walker’s paradise. There are many different types of terraine, vegetation and scenery with views of the Pyrennees, the Corbieres and the Montaigne Noir.  The going varies from easy to middling to hard.  Tracks are well marked and there are many minor and major walks in the neighbourhood and in the foothills of the Pyrennees.  We cannot over emphasise the superb walking you can have within reach of Laurac.

WILD FLOWERS
Knowledgeable Wild Flower visitors to our house are amazed at the wealth of these during Spring and early Summer.  These can be easily walked to from our house and in May and June in the foothills of the Pyrenees, the meadows off the beaten track, are apparently a mass of unusual species.

SKIING & WINDSURFING
You can ski within an hour and a half of the house and an extra 45 mins will see you on the best slopes in Andorra. In the house there is masses of storage space for skis and drying facilites for ski clothes. Windsurfing is about  20 mins away and there are other locations in the area.

PAINTING
For a number of years we have run a painting course based on our house and most of the Artists have been many times as there are so many excellent rural and village locations to choose from.  Ask Anne Marie if you want to use easels, chairs and tables as these are in the basement. By the way you cannot take oil paints in your cabin baggage.

VINEYARDS
There are plenty of vineyards nearby who welcome visitors and the famous wine area of the Minervois is just to the east of Carcassonne.  Limoux, 25 mins, is the home of the world-famous sparkling white wine - Blanquette which dates back to well before Champagne.  The pundits say that in this region the best white wines in the South of France are produced.

THINGS TO DO AND SEE
CATHAR CASTLES – Laurac is in the heart of the Cathar Country about which much has been written recently. Their famous castles such as Montsegur are all within easy distance.
ABBEYS - The Abbeys of St. Papoul, St. Hilaire and Villelongue are amongst many in the Area.
CAVES – There are a number of caves in the area but of particular importance is the famous Grotte de Niaux which has superb pre-historic drawings.
CARCASSONNE – The fortified city is the main attraction and there are guided tours of the ramparts and the castle or else just wander around by yourselves and then see the artisan shops and there are many restaurants, cafes and bars. There are medieval spectaculars throughout the summer.
CANAL DU MIDI – Just 10 mins away from the house for walking and cycling. Bike hire available nearby .
MUSEUMS – In nearby Bram there is a quite excellent museum with a very extensive collection of Roman archaeological artefacts found in the locality. The Oppidum of Enserune, perched on a steep-sided hill and covering a huge area, offers ideal natural protection, for a fortified village. This type of high settlement is characteristic of the indigenous world of Southern Gaul from the Bronze Age to the Roman conquest. It is quite remarkable and there is also a Museum on the site which houses an incredible collection of artefacts found on the site. Excavation is still continuing. It is about 15 mins east of Narbonne. There is a quite excellent Dinosaur museum in Esperaza.
PARKS AND GARDENS - Jardin aux Plantes in Limoux has many varieties of plants and herbs indigenous to the area laid out in an informal manner. There is a large Wild Life Park at Sigean and an Adventure Park, Accro’Parc in Alet les Bains.
CANOEING AND RAFTING – There is plenty of choice on the River Aude and these are mostly located by the road from Limoux to Quillan.
THERMAL BATHS – There is a very large open air swimming pool heated by thermal waters at Rennes les Bain about an hour away and thermal baths at Ax les Bains.
CITIES AND TOWNS – Toulouse is 55 mins by car or go by train from Castenaudary. The old centre of Toulouse is vibrant with cafes, bistros, restaurants, market shops and boutiques and there are some superb Museums and Galleries. It is a very pleasant and interesting city. The ancient walled city of Mirepoix with its famed square and 13th century half-timbered houses is only 20 mins away and the rose coloured city of Albi with its famous Cathedral and Toulouse Lautrec museum is within easy distance.

Read about the history of Laurac Le Grand....

HOUSEBOOK
A comprehensive housebook is available in the house which gives lots of information about all kinds of things such as shopping, restaurants, markets and boring things like rubbish disposal, household machines, TV etc. There are also books on walks and pamphlets on places to go and see.

SMOKING
Please do not smoke in the house but as the terrace is adjacent to the living areas we hope this will not cause any problems.
Please ring if not understood.

REVIEWS FROM SOME OF OUR GUESTS

  • Fabulous: Michelle on 18/08/2018 

    What a treat! This is a truly fabulous property in the peaceful and beautiful village of Laurac. The house and pool were immaculately presented and far exceeded our expectations. The concierge service was fantastic and we were very well looked after. We took advantage of Anne-Marie’s cooking and I can highly recommend it! The locals were very friendly and welcoming and we were lucky enough to experience the annual fete which was a real treat. The house is in an ideal place for a relaxing get away from it all holiday, but adventures can be found less than an hour away. We visited the bustling city of Toulouse, the ancient medieval city of Carcassonne, the water park on the nearby Lake Cavayere, the beaches at Narbonne, the wine factory in Limoux and lots of the quaint villages nearby. The unique little town of Mirepoix is well worth a visit, and is awash with places to eat. We had 2 weeks here and could easily have filled 2 more! I can not recommend this little hidden gem of a property highly enough. We will definitely be returning.

  • Wonderful location and property: Liz on 16/08/2018 

    It was a beautiful villa, lovely bedrooms and such stunning views. The village was beautiful and such an amazing place to be able to visit Carcassonne and Mirepoix and the beauty of the place just took our breath away. The secret garden and pool was just amazing and sitting watching the sunset from the balcony was beautiful.

  • Such a nice place: John on 28/07/2018 

    Great location for some R&R. The pool was perfect with weather being hot & humid.

  • Wonderful Stay! David on 21/07/2018 

    We absolutely loved the location, the peace, tranquillity, smell of lavender as you walked down the narrow lanes and the friendly hellos of the locals. The house was perfect of our needs and the pool was most definitely a beautiful secret garden.

SOME COMMENTS FROM OUR VISITORS BOOK
August 2018: We have just returned from our holiday and I wanted to thank you for the use of your gorgeous house. The villa, I could see from the photos that your property was lovely but the house and the pool exceeded my expectations and Anne Marie and Hubert are such a charming couple and took great care of us during our stay. We were very sad to leave.
Personal email from Yorkshire.
The skiing at Aix Les Thermes was fantastic.
We had a fantastic holiday at your beautiful house in Laurac. Everything was perfect and even better than we hoped. The pool area is beautiful and the terrace absolutely delightful. To sit out there on an evening watching the wildlife (highlights were golden eagles and a deer and fawn) and the stars later on, was a real treat. We had a superbly relaxing holiday and hope to visit it again in the future.
Paradise – no more needs to be said.
You have done a fantastic job and to stay in Laurac is a guaranteed cure for the cares of the World.
Thank you so much for the use of your beautiful home. Would love to come back. Very relaxed in a lovely area.
A really beautiful hide away. The ridge of the hill was spectacular for wild flowers.
The house we found to be most comfortable and relaxing. Kitchen was excellent. Splendid hot water in the bathrooms. Pool was most enjoyable.
What a wonderful house you have here in Laurac – a perfect haven for rest and relaxation; just what we all needed. We’re delighted to have found this treasure. Most of the fortnight has been spent enjoying the sunshine, the garden and pool and cooking at home.
We are having the most blissful time here. Everything is just perfect. We adore your house and especially the secret garden with the swimming pool.
This is an incredibly special place. The village, the pool, garden, the house just fantastic.

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