There is a husband and wife team who live in the village and look after the house, including tenant change-overs and pool and garden maintenance and they can organise, at tenant’s cost, cleaning on Tuesdays and Thursdays and babysitting in the evenings. 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.
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.
All linens are provided including bathing towels.
There are hairdryers in all the bedrooms.
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 operates on a Sky fixed menu package on which you can get BBC and ITV programmes and some other channels, including radio. There is a DVD player.
Apart from the wood burning stove all areas in the house are heated by adjustable electric radiators. Very plentiful hot water, heated by electricity, is available 24 hours a day.
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.
The nearest beaches are in the Narbonne
area and are just over an hour away.
There is an excellent golf course in Carcassonne which apparently is not crowded or expensive.
CAFES / RESTAURANTS
There is no café in Laurac but Castelnaudary has lots of cafes and restaurants and also in the neighbourhood there are many superb restaurants.
There are weekly markets in Bram, Castelnaudary, Mirepoix and Revel.
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.
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.
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....
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.
Please do not smoke in the house, as the terrace is adjacent to the living areas we hope this will not cause any problem.
|SOME COMMENTS FROM OUR VISITORS BOOK
|The skiing at Aix Les Thermes was fantastic. February 2013
|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. Vince Johnson, August 2012.
|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.