Village House in Caunes Minervois, Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon
My husband and I took some time out from London life when our son was born in 2009. We decided to spend the time as a family in Southern France renovating our home in the medieval village of Caunes Minervois. It was sometimes a challenge to juggle parenting and renovations, however, we got there in the end! We discovered this picturesque village in 2007 whilst on holiday in the area. We loved it so much, we also got married there and held the reception in the Abbey.
Owner purchased this House in 2007
Why Owner chose Caunes-Minervois
We love Caunes because of its unique location: in southern France, close to Spain, close to the beaches of the Mediterranean, close to the Pyrénées, in the middle of wine and Cathar country and just twenty minutes away from the UNESCO World Heritage site of La Cité in Carcassonne. Caunes is a sleepy, picturesque village crammed with higgledy-piggledy old buildings and maze-like narrow streets that all seem to deliver you to the Benedictine Abbey at the heart of the village. In the summer months the village comes alive with a full programme of live music in the Abbey grounds and many a fetes offering regional produce and wine tasting.
Check-in: 4:00 PM
Check-out: 10:00 AM
We don't ask for a deposit but we would like to know of any breakages. We ask guests to replace glasses etc... if they are broken. We also ask that treat our home as well as you would treat your own.
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
Disappointed by some aspects of the property
Our stay in Caunes-Minervois was mixed and I'm disappointed that our expectations of the property were not entirely met. I couldn't fault the kitchen, bedrooms, bathroom and facilities therein but even with shutters full open, we found the living-room dark, with a musty smell, and in need of TLC. We'd looked forward to sitting out on the terrace but it was completely overgrown so that no light or sunshine could get in there at any time of day -we found the photos misleading. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the village and what it had to offer, and it provided a good base for exploring an interesting region.
Thanks for your review. I'm sorry to hear you found the area outside the house overgrown. We did ask our helpers to cut back the shrubbery a little and it sounds like this was not enough. We would have ensured this was taken care of during your stay, if you had let us know, as we are very keen for our guests to enjoy the house. During the very hot summer months, it is often a relief to have a shaded living room window as it keeps the room cool. If there are ever any questions, we are more than happy to help during our guests' holidays.
I'm glad you enjoyed the region, it is a lovely place to investigate the surrounding area from!
As good as expected
Lovely little cottage in beautiful Caunes Minervois. A car is a must - we were out most of the days returning back for a meal in one of the village restaurants. We didn’t really cook , rather enjoyed the fabulous cassoulet and pichets of wine for around 8 euros
Driving is easy with clear roads but dependent on where you go - quite hairy at times. We drove to see the Cathar castles with windy tiny roads but breathtaking views
Hospitality was great - Emma was great even booking a restaurant for us and being available by phone should we have needed it
It always great to hear our guests have had a lovely time! There are so many amazing sights in the Minervois region - I'm glad you were able to enjoy some. You are welcome back anytime!
Cosy, well appointed retreat cottage
Stayed here five days while house hunting in the area. The house is perfect for a quiet retreat, but convenient for restaurants / shops. Five minute walk to shop for morning croissants. Several restaurants nearby, one only 90 seconds away. House is well appointed with everything you might need including wifi. Quiet at night. Would stay here again.
Home away from Home
The old Maison St. Gerome has been beautifully restored. Best parts are a large kitchen and equally large bath to make you feel at home. No car noises at night in this quiet cul-d-sac. Morgan and her parents were solicitous and always there if we had a question. A car is a must in this lovely region with its many historical monuments. Don't miss Villelongue!
Chill out in Caunes!
The cottage is right in the heart of the old town, along a narrow cul de sac. Expect to have to walk the last few yards from your parking space! The house has been nicely restored by the owner, but remains at its heart an ancient building. If you are after a quiet retreat and some respite from the summer sun, this is for you. Caunes has a useful convenience store and bakers in the centre and a supermarket with artisan butcher a little further away. We only sampled Emilie's Table - run by Linda (English!) - but we can say it was very good. We went twice. Plenty to see within driving distance and good walking from Caunes.
Cathar Country Gem
The house is charming, very comfortable, very well appointed and a great base for walking and exploring the area. We loved it.
Caunes is in a fabulous region of France, amazing history, castles, architecture, food, wine, people - I could go on........
Special interest holidays:
In the gardens of the Abbey at the centre of the village concerts (both a classical season in July/August and more popular events) are staged weekly in the summer. The village hosts an annual marble sculpting competition as well as a variety of craft classes at various times. The foothills of the Montagne Noir begin behind the village and provide walking, hiking, bird watching and rock climbing opportunities. The extensive vineyards of the Minervois, and the Canal du Midi that runs through them, provide excellent walking, cycling and picnicking opportunities.
The Mediterranean sea and miles of sandy beaches are approx 50 mins drive from Caunes Minervois. Lac Jouarres has a sandy beach - it is a large lake 10 mins drive from Caunes, near Homps and the Canal du Midi where you can swim, sail or just lounge by the shore.
Caunes is easily accessed (by car) from a number of airports: Carcassonne (20 mins), Beziers (1hr 10 mins), Perpignon or Toulouse (1hr 20 mins). Girona (Barcelona) 2 hrs 30 mins.
Car availability is recommended unless a local cycling and/or walking holiday is required, full shopping facilities are close by. Caunes is approximately 10 hours drive from Calais (virtually all by motorway except for the final 15-20 mins.)
Carcassonne and the World Heritage site of the old walled city is 20 minutes by car. A wealth of interesting villages, such as the Cathar stronghold of Minerve, are about 30 mins drive away, and to the south a variety of ruined Cathar castles can be visited en route to the Pyrenees. The world famous Salvador Dali museum at Figueres is 2 hours drive away and Barcelona is 2-3 hours drive from Caunes.
Caunes offers two bakeries, a small supermarket, a butcher's shop, a bistro, a bank, 2 cafe-bars, a cafe, a pizzeria and a hotel with a restaurant. In addition, there are several outlets for the local wines, a local foodstuffs shop, art galleries, a sculpture gallery and a post office. Parking is in an off-street car-park 30 metres from the house.
Local activities include: cycling along the Canal du Midi, hiking around Cathar ruins such as Lastours, discovering the Black Mountains and hill top villages around, relaxing by the local lake or Mediterranean beaches, enjoying French cuisine at any of the local restaurants, visiting the Abbey, learning about the Minervois wine - and of course tasting it! Day trips a little further afield - 2 hrs drive to Figueres (home of Dali), Barcelona, and the Pyrenees.