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French Pyrenees: eco-house – retreat – autonomous living

  • Ecological bioclimatic stone and wood house

  • 8 acre estate with woodland, pasture and permaculture

  • Solar water heating, springs and wood all on site

  • Dry toilets and reed-bed sewage system

  • Yoga centre

  • Outhouses: shepherd’s cabin, workshop and gypsy caravan

  • €430,000 – agency fees included – ref n° 261

We have some unusual properties for sale on this site but this is truly a special and unique place. Although it looks like a timeless old Pyrenean shepherd’s house it is in fact a new-build dating back to 2010! Using an old stone barn as a base, a talented artisan has created a superb 3-bedroomed home out of seasoned timbers of oak and chestnut. Incredibly well insulated with hemp and wool, decorated with coloured lime washes and heated with a Jøtul wood-burner with secondary combustion system, the house lies at the heart of a 3 hectare estate. It overlooks the the village of Massat and the Mont Valier massif in the Ariège département.

Sustainable living is the watchword here. Toilets – and there are four of them – are dry compost toilets. Grey water (shower and washing-up water) is treated in a reed-bed system which filters and purifies the water before returning it to nature. Domestic water is heated through solar panels and stored in a 300l tank.  The water itself comes from two wells on the land: each produce more than half a cubic metre per hour. Electricity is mains … but there is a project to generate electricity from the run-off from one of the sources.

From a business angle there are a number of ways to exploit the premises using not just the main house but the yoga/events studio on the ground floor; the cabin with its own kitchen and dry toilets and the independent gypsy caravan out on its own in the woods.  The current owner has used the property successfully for retreats based on healthy living, fresh air and sustainable development. The extensive vegetable garden (which uses permaculture and is 100% organic) and the orchard can provide nearly all of the host and guest needs. There’s an excellent artisan bakery just down the road: walking distance.

More mundane details:

Main house: downstairs open-plan kitchen/lounge/study or extra bedroom. Upstairs three bedrooms and a bathroom. 145m² in all. Wooden balcony and terrace on two sides … with views!

Yoga studio: it’s on the ground floor of the main house, in the old stone barn. About 72m² of floor space.

Cabin and workshop: behind the main house in wooden structures

Gypsy caravan: set in the woods away from the main house this independent unit has its own bedroom and kitchen/dining area. Ideal getaway for single people on meditative projects … or couples seeking tranquillity. Independent shower and toilet cabin nearby.

Our opinion

There is a lot that can be done with this property. As a family home it’s ready to go. As a home plus retreat for yoga classes or sustainable development sessions it’s ready to go. As an upmarket Vegan retreat for exclusive clients wishing to taste the garden produce and appreciate the total silence … it’s ready to go. And then there is the whole cycling side to this part of the Pyrenees that we haven’t even touched on. The property is just 7 kms from the Col de Port and 4 kms to the fearsome Mur de Peguère! It would make an excellent cycling centre for dedicated amateurs of Tour de France climbs. A unique and special place that just must be visited.

viewing by appointment only                                       more information and details

en français

similar property in the Pyrenees 

  • Ref n°: 261 
  • Summary: We've classifies this property as a gite business but it could equally well be run as a B&B or Cycling centre. In the mountains, away from everything in its own 3 hectare estate with views over the high mountains, it could be used as an experiment in autonomous living (wood, water and food all on site) or as a retreat for weary urban dwellers.  
  • Address: Boussenac, Occitanie 
  • Price: €430,000 
  • Commission: 4% (included in asking price) 
  • Surface Area: 3 hectares 
  • Phone Number: +33 950685946 
  • Bedrooms:
  • Bathrooms:
  • DPE: energy rating: C, C