The area around Limoux, south of Carcassonne, is dramatic, broken country of vine-covered hillsides, steep maquis-covered gorges and glimpses of the snow-capped Pyrenees as backdrop. The region is peppered with hilltop mediaeval villages, spa towns, castles and monasteries replete with history, intrigue and mystery. In short: the perfect place for an exhilarating lifestyle change!
The property for sale is located in the countryside – a few minutes from a tiny hilltop village – in its own 2 hectare estate. It comprises a traditional stone-built farmhouse, three independent gites, a large pool and a mix of maquis, woodland and gardens. It has been run as a successful gite business for the past 12 or so years and has no problem attracting guests from all over the world from April through to October.
The different buildings:
* the farmhouse is a south-facing two-storey building with a large cellar/garage space. Two double bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and vast living/dining room. There’s a covered terrace with views over the countryside and the local castle. But it’s the attic and cellar space which will interest potential buyers as there is room here for another three or four bedrooms. Heat pump ensures low-cost central-heating.
* Gite 1 is in a separate building over 70 metres from the main house. It boasts two double bedrooms, a recently-refurbished shower room, living area and fully-equipped kitchen. Underfloor heating. Private terrace with barbecue.
* Gite 2 is away above the other dwellings and the pool, on the edge of the untamed mountainside, with views over the valley. it is a generous one-bedroom gite with open-plan, split-level lounge and kitchen. Again, it has its own private terrace.
* Gite 3 is a studio which is really part of the main farmhouse but with a completely separate entrance. There’s one double room, shower-room and – on the mezzanine floor – a neat little living/dining space with integrated kitchen.
A pool is obviously the centre of attraction in this region as temperatures reach the mid-thirties throughout the summer. And this pool provides all the space necessary for all-day lounging, swimming or just contemplating the 1000 year-old chateau on the hill. The pool is being refurbished in winter 2022/23 in a €35k upgrade.
For adventurous types there is a ruin on the land: not very accessible but a ruin nonetheless … and it’s marked on the Cadastre (land registry) so may be built upon.
Shopping is done in Limoux (7 minutes), airport is in Carcassonne (direct links to London, Dublin, Brussels, M’Chester …), seaside at Gruissan (60 mins) and skiing at Mont d’Olmes (60 mins). And all around you have the Limoux vineyards: sparkling whites (Limoux AOC), rustic rosés and some excellent reds are now being made in the region.
Very much a ‘lifestyle’ property with its dinky little stone-built cottages and farmhouse, big pool and views of castles and mountains, this property has all the ingredients to please the most demanding buyers. The house and gites have all been renovated and finished to a high standard, there’s a nice pool, plenty of space and a list of happy customers. That’s for the buyers who don’t want to do any DIY or work on the place. But for ambitious buyers, the challenge would be to get the cellar/garage space sorted out, use the attic space, build on the ruin … and double the income. Whatever your inclination, this is a genuine business well worth viewing.