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  • Cevennes foothills

  • Spa town – Edwardian villa with 12 rental units

  • excellent turnover – repeat business

  • 30 minutes Béziers and Med beaches

  • €495,000 * ref: 241

* 8 x 2-room appartments
* 4 studio flats
* separate owner’s (or manager’s) accommodation
* Mediterranean garden (easy to manage)

* Oil-fired central-heating thoughout
* 30 minutes Béziers and Mediterranean beaches

The Mediterranean coast from Montpellier to Perpignan is flat and sandy and the housing is recent, favouring concrete over stone. But retreat inland 30 minutes or so and you are in the real Mediterranean hinterland: a region of vineyards, olive groves and maquis-covered hillsides. The villages are small and tight-knit and as one approaches the Cevennes there are a number of spa towns.

Lamalou-les-Bains is not only a renowned treatment centre for rheumatology and neurological problems but it’s also a base for tourists, hikers and cyclists keen on exploring the wild Cevennes mountains, the vineyards and the villages in the region.

The spa ‘season’ runs from February to December which means that demand for short-term accommodation is practically year round.

The turn-of-the-century villa is located in the spa town itself but on the upper slopes in a calm residential area. It has been extended over the years and now has a one-storey annex out the back with space for a number of easy-access flats to complement the units in the main villa. This house has three stories (served by lift) with a mixture of two-room apartments and cosy studio flats. Some have been adapted for severely-handicapped guests (on the ground floor) and they all easily accessible.

All the 12 rental units have been scrupulously maintained and decorated. They are sold fully-furnished and equipped: ready to let. A feature of the business is the amount of repeat bookings: guests come back year after year for their annual ‘cure’ at the spa and regularly ask for the same apartment. The simple garden – alive with Mediterranean shrubbery and trees – is an important feature that allows guests to eat outdoors and enjoy the peaceful surroundings and views of the maquis-covered hills.

Our opinion:

Everyone is attracted by the Mediterranean coast … but the Languedoc is not the Riviera. The coast has been poorly developped with concrete blocks and tacky breeze-block ‘houses’. One has to move inland to find properties with some charm and authenticity. Lamalou-les-Bains is just that: a spa town built around the end of the 19th century with a number of striking Edwardian public buildings (the baths for examples) and private villas. This business is an excellent way of generating a steady income stream while enjoying life in a warm and sunny part of the Mediterranean basin. It is currently run by just one person: a couple could hope to boost earnings by concentrating more on the tourist side of things. Great value at this price.

* agency fees included reference n°: 241

more information or to arrange a viewing – email

  • Ref n°: 241 
  • Summary: Again, not a typical property. It's more of a boarding house than a B&B in the sense that customers stay for 3-week spells as they attend the thermal baths. But they could be considered gites as all the rental units are self-catering. Whatever your take on the property it certainly is flexible, well-located and in good nick. And it generates a nice little income.  
  • Address: Lamalou-les-Bains, Occitanie 
  • Price: €495,000 
  • Commission: 3% (included in asking price) 
  • Bedrooms: 14 
  • Bathrooms: 13 
  • Location Description: Languedoc coast

    The Languedoc coastline of the Mediterranean is a long sandy strip running from the Rhone delta (Arles - la Camargue) to the rocky outcrop where the Pyrenees crash into the sea at Collioure.

    Until relatively recently this was a moquito-infested swamp with few dwellings apart from fishermen's cabins. A few ports pepper the coast ranging from the Greek settlement at Cap d'Agde through Sète to the more recent industrial port at Port La Nouvelle. Narbonne was a major port in Roman times but the sea-level has receded since then leaving the city some 10 kms inland.

    After the second world war the swampland was cleared and treated with DDT. The coastline was haphazardly developed with - mainly - low-rise appartment blocks, little estates of 'fisherman cabins' and rows of tacky seafood restaurants and pizzerias. Narbonne Plage, Leucate and Baccarès are good examples of thiese sixties and seventies developments.

    However, just 20 kms inland one finds the real Mediterranean feel: olive groves, vineyards, tightly-knit villages and plenty of space. The St Chinian, Minervois and Corbières wine regions occupy these open spaces.  
  • DPE: energy rating: B,C