Pyrenees – former guest house
on the ‘route des cols’
Tour de France route St Girons-Col de Portet d’Aspet
Price € 148,000 * (réf 087)
The ‘route des Cols’ runs from the Mediterranean coast at Banyuls to the Atlantic beaches at Hendaye. It takes in almost every pass known to man or cyclist in the French Pyrenees. Above all, it includes all the cols used by the Tour de France.
This property is in one of the villages on the Route des Cols between St Girons and Luchon which includes the Col de la Core, Col de Portet d’Aspet and the Col de Menté. The establishment already has a reputation among cyclists (and motor-cyclists) as a place where they can rest up, fix their bikes (there’s a workshop out back) and get a decent meal.
Much like any old hotel dating back to the 19th century this one is rambling, full of extra rooms and corners and unexpected doors. It has been modernised to a large extent with a good gas central heating system throughout and a brand-new bolier.
The ground floor is devoted to reception rooms: the large restaurant itself, a smaller ‘breakfast room’ and a lounge corner. Then there are the two parts of the vast professional kitchen with its extractors, stove and fridges. Beyond the restaurant dining-room there are a couple of storage rooms and the bicycle workshop. This gives on to an outside yard where wood is stored and where the gas tank is kept.
Upstairs there are two wings: one leading to the four guest rooms (all en-suite) and the ‘spa’: a well-being centre with hammam and hot tub. One of the guest rooms is a suite with two rooms and a private terrace. The other wing leads to the two-room private quarters used by the owners.
Upstairs again we find a dormitory/large bedroom. This used to serve for the pilgrims on the Camino which passes through the village. It could be used as a normal guest room or for children. The rest of the second floor is stand-up attic space waiting for conversion.
Outside we have – at the side – a terraces area where guests can dine in the summer months. No real garden however.
Warning: this guest house is no longer in activity. The restaurant furniture has been removed and the kitchen stripped to the bare necessities. In consideration of these changes, the price has been reduced to €180,000
Potential buyers here should have a project in mind: the location on the route des cols points to a cycling/hiking/pilgrimage business which caters for these categories of tourist. The top floor really needs to be opened up and used as a large dormitory for groups of cyclists or hikers who will have been fed large quantities of nourishing fare down below. The village mayor is anxious to see the business take off again and will facilitate any planning needed.
The price was originally €380,000. It is now €148,000: you won’t find better than that.
contact us for further information and pictures. The property can be visited by appointment only.
* agency fees included reference n°: 087
more information or to arrange a viewing – email
- Ref n°: 87
- Summary: Bed & Breakfast with restaurant on the 'route des cols' - the famous Tour de France road linking the famous passes. Had many bikers and cyclists as clientele - a bargain. Not sold as a going-concern: restaurant and kitchen unfurnished and un-fitted.
- Price: €148,000
- Commission: 4% (included in asking price)
- Bedrooms: 6
- Bathrooms: 6
Hautes Pyrénées - Haute Garonne - Ariège
South of Gascony and Toulouse, the area covered by the central Pyrenees is more or less the départements of Ariège, Haute Garonne and Hautes Pyrénées. This is where the Pyrenean range rises straight up like a wall with very little piedmont of foothill area, to a uniform height of over 3000 metres.
Seen from the plains below words like majestic and stunning are too feeble. The Pyrenees are everything one expects from a mountain range: impressive, high, easily accessible and covered in snow. Unlike the Alps they are home to a carpet of deciduous forest - beech, larch, elder - which make for real seasons as springtime green turns rich and dark in summer before fusing into reds and flame yellows in autumn.
The main cities in the region are Foix, Tarbes and Pau - all associated with ruling kings and dukes who protected their citizens from invaders and terrors both real and imaginary. Lourdes, the other big town of the region, is actually in the mountains, surrounded by towering peaks and steep valleys.
Obviously winter sports play a major role in local tourism with a number of resorts serving urbanites from Toulouse and Bordeaux as well as a smattering of foreigners. The other big attraction is spas, of which the region has many. Although some of these are 'medicalisé' (you need a prescription to take the waters), the trend is towards a more open approach with each spa town vying to provide well-being water products for the tourist.
Finally, we can't speak of the Pyrenees without mentioning cycling. The moment of truth in any Tour de France is when the riders attack mythical passes such as the Tourmalet, the Aubisque or the Port de Balès. Here, we are a few kms from the long and difficult Col de Lers and the fearsome Mur de Péguère.
Route des Cols
On your bikes!