The Pyrenees are a strange mountain range: a thin wall of 3000m peaks rising up abruptly between France and Spain. They afford some great hiking, skiing and cycling opportunities but when you are right in among them you struggle to get any perspective as the valleys are narrow and steep-sided. The best place to appreciate the grandeur of the range is from the foothills, 15 kms of so to the north.
This property is in – or rather on – the foothills of the Ariège. Perched on top of a ridge the house and gardens look out over a great wedge of high Pyrenees to the south and the whole of the Garonne/Ariège hills to the north. Guests have been known to spend several hours immobile: just staring out at the beautiful panorama on their first day. (It helps to have a glass of something chilled in your hand..)
What is for sale here is an authentic Ariègeois farmhouse with 4 B&B guest rooms, a studio/gite, a vegetable patch and about 3.5 hectares of land. There’s no pool but there’s plenty of space to put one if considered really necessary.
Guests (and owners) really appreciate the fact that while the property is in a secluded location with no near neighbours in a totally quiet environment it is only 10 minutes from the local town (Pamiers), the train station, shops and the motorway north to Toulouse and Carcassonne and south to Andorra.
Owners’ section : comprises spacious and bright reception rooms on the ground floor: lounge (with open fire), dining-room with wood-burner and fitted kitchen. Upstairs there are three bedrooms (not always used as such) of which two have ensuite shower rooms. There is a ‘family bathroom’ the size of an urban flat. The whole house is heated by cast-iron radiators fed by an oil-fired boiler. Hot water is supplied by solar panels on the roof.
Guest house: comprises 4 large bedrooms, each with en-suite shower or bathroom. Again, all are centrally-heated and provided with solar-powered hot water.
Studio/gite is in the garden, facing the mountains, in a stone and wood based chalet. A massive picture window lets guests enjoy the view and an extensive terrace allows them the do the same outdoors. Further away from the buildings there’s a massive wood ‘deck’ – perfect for yoga or, eventually, placing a yurt or tepee.
The land falls away from the gardens around the house to a patch of woodland and a stream to the south. All the fields near the property are given over to livestock-raising or hay … there are no cultivated fields, no pesticides or toxic treatment used.
The extraordinary location of this property – in the Pyrenean foothills but near to civilisation, trains and amenities – makes it an excellent choice for a guest house with a theme. The Camino passing 4 metres from the house is an obvious pointer but the spacious rooms, the studio and its terrace, the ‘deck’ on the hillside and the organic veg patch all militate for a vegetarian or vegan-themed retreat of some kind. Whatever your project this well-kept and perfectly functional property is well-worth a viewing.