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Chateau Canal du Midi

Château on Canal du Midi

  • Canal du Midi

  • Château – estate with 3 gites

  • between Toulouse and Carcassonne

  • €1,475,000 * (ref 123)

The Canal du Midi – a 17th century engineering masterpiece – links Toulouse to the Mediterranean sea. It is now a tourist waterway with small boats, barges as well as cyclists and walkers using its water and towpath. There are practically no B&Bs or tourist accommodation near the Canal.

A former military fortress transformed into a Palladian-style chateau by an Italian architect, this property goes back a long way. Luckily the present owners have made great efforts to bring the chateau up to modern-day standards without compromising on the authenticity of the materials or décor. In other words, there is no IKEA furniture cluttering up early 18th century drawing rooms.

As befits a chateau of this standing, the property is completely surrounded by its 5.8 hectares of grounds with no near neighbours. A broad swathe of lawn drops down from the chateau to the Canal du Midi. This part of the canal is relatively quiet – between Castelnaudary and Villefranche-de-Lauragais – but there is a steady traffic of pleasure boats, a sprinkling of cyclists and some walkers in summer.

Château on the Canal du Midi

The chateau has three storeys covering roughly 420m² each. Ground floor comprises the vast entrance hall, large lounge, dining-room, kitchen, study, artist’s studio and diverse pantries and cloakrooms. The second floor has a billiard room (which could double as a ball-room), four bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, at least 3 servants’ bedrooms and a warren of corridors, secret passages and service stairs. The top floor is attic space with headroom for giants, split into about 6 very big spaces.

The grounds are a mix of woodland and lawn, French-style garden and horse paddocks. They include a 3 bedroomed cottage near the canal of around 120 m². The other two gites are in the west wing of the chateau. There’s also an old forge and a bakery (with a bread oven). In other words a selection of accommodation which could be used to generate a bit of income.

The local village has shops, café, restaurant and post office. Castelnaudary (with all services – even a hospital) is only 4 kms distant.

Our opinion: Since the Canal du Midi has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there has been a mini-boom in property prices along its banks. As the canal itself is owned by a Govt organ – the VNF – Voies Navigables Françaises – which does not allow any building or commerce within 6 metres either side of the canal, you can appreciate the value of this sort of property. We would rig it out as a luxury Guest House (using the existing 4 en-suite bedrooms) and offer a table d’hôte befitting the status of the place. The gites could be re-decorated and let at once. The cottage could serve as living quarters for the owners while the servants’ quarters were turned into a comfortable manager’s flat. The whole chateau could be let to groups or wedding parties. There is no limit to what could be done.

* agency fees included reference n°: 123

more information or to arrange a viewing – email

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Entire Hamlet for sale Tarn Valley

Entire hamlet: 4 houses – 2 barns – 6 acres land
no near neighbours – Tarn river valley – secluded location
€350,000 * ref: 176 – direct sale by owner

A rare and beautiful property just a few miles from the Tarn river in the Aveyron département: secluded, yes, but still less than an hour from Albi, 90 minutes from Toulouse and the Med coast. It is a real hamlet – with its own name – and comprises 4 houses, two barns, 2.5 hectares of land and a stream.

As a lifestyle property this has it all. As a gite or B&B business … there is still a bit of work to be done. It is not a going-concern and is being sold simply as a hamlet with loads of potential.

Here’s a run-down on the various buildings:

The main farmhouse. Originally a Vigneron’s house (the valley was full of vines in the past) the basement floor is a vast wine cellar with vaulted roof and thick stone walls. The first floor (or ground floor from the street-side) has two very large reception rooms, a big farm kitchen, a maze of pantries and back kitchens as well as a bathroom and toilet. Upstairs there are 8 double bedrooms and a wash room. On the third floor – the roofspace – is a vast loft area with more than enough headroom to convert into living space. There is oil-fired central heating with a big boiler in the basement and radiators on the kitchen/reception floor.

Gite 1: This is a small two-storey cottage with a fine terrace out front, south-facing and over-looking the valley. Walls and roof in good shape but the interior needs total renovation.

Gite 2 is a much bigger building. It’s really just a shell with good roof but everything to do inside.

Gite 3 is a small house with living space above a cow byre. As yet unrenovated.

The big barn opposite the main house is a beauty. Made of the same red stone typical of southern Aveyron, it has a most unusual roof with stone vaulting giving it a vaguely ecclesiastical look … as well as a fabulous space for any amount of activities. The basement covers the same surface area and is used for animals.

The second, open barn – more a hangar – is used as a garage and storage for hay, farm machinery etc.

The 6 acres of land stretch away in front of the hamlet to a stream below and northwards, behind the hamlet to a wood. Most is meadow which a local farmer cuts for hay. Land is cheap around here and extra woodland, for instance, could be bought fairly easily. There is an extensive vegetable garden and orchard beside the main house and a spring-fed water reserve.

There is a road which runs right through the hamlet. Only one other farm uses this road so its more a link to the outside world than a nuisance. The whole hamlet is within the Parc Naturel des Grands Causses.

Our opinion:
There are hamlets and hamlets but this one ticks a lot of the boxes for hamlet lovers: no near neighbours, land all around it, 4 or 5 separate dwellings, barns to renovate/convert, veg garden and orchard … OK, there is renovation work to be done although the current owners live quite comfortably in the big house. It’s the sort of property that could be done up bit by bit. First, get the main house running as a B&B (there are 8 bedrooms and a loft!) then get gite 1 sorted out before moving on to the others. The big, vaulted barn could quickly become an events room/gym/hall for meetings, activities or wine-tasting. It’s secluded but not far off the beaten track: The Roquefort caves and the Millau viaduct, the lakes at Villefranche-de-Panat and the hiking region to the south are all within easy reach.

The property can be visited by appointment only.

* no agency fees – direct sale by owner – reference n°: 176

Contact the owner for more information or to arrange a viewing – email

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