About this listing
- A beautiful rental home in the heart of The Cathar Country with spa pool, secluded garden and barbecue.
This not just a house, it is also our French home, where we live when we are in France, recently renovated to a high standard.
L'Hirondelle is French for the swallow. These birds visit the Capestang and the surrounding area each summer to rear their families and can often be seen performing their aerobatics against the backdrop of an azure sky.
This not just a house, it is also our French home, where we live when we are in France. To this end we spent over 4 years in respect of the design, renovation and equipping our home to the highest possible standards within our means in the firm belief that what makes us happy will also make you happy.
Our house is mostly stone built and terraced. Having good modern insulation it is comparatively cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This is augmented by reversible heating and cooling to the main living area and the three bedrooms. A wood burning stove gives added heat and comfort in the coldest months.
Living Area:- It is built on two floors with the ground floor being mainly open plan, consisting of a front porch, then a spacious lounge/diner extending into the kitchen giving a spacious living area. In here there is an HD multi channel flat screen satellite and local TV. The TV receives French Terrestrial and UK FreeSat Channels. In addition to this we also have a DVD player/recorder so on the rare rainy day you will always be able to keep the kids amused! An audio centre is also available which will allow you play your own music via a memory stick plugged into a USB point or CD's. A wood burning stove for the colder months, a comfortable 3 piece suite and book shelves with a selection of books covering all interests. In the dining area there is a dining table with 6 chairs and also a sideboard.
Garage:- There is an integral garage, large enough to accommodate most makes of car. At the rear of the garage there is the laundry area with a washing machine. There is a downstairs toilet with a wash basin with a rear porch area.
Kitchen:- The spacious kitchen is fully equipped and includes an electric cooker, dish washer, fridge freezer, micro wave oven and a granite surface work top.
Rear Garden / Terrace:- To the rear of our house there is an outdoor terraced area with a barbeque and garden furniture to allow for outdoor eating and beyond this a walled and secluded garden which is gravelled, set out with citrus and olive trees, herbs and pleasant flower borders, together with a spa pool.
Second floor - Main Bedroom:- After mounting the stairs to the second floor there is firstly a double bedroom furnished with a pair of single beds, built in wardrobes with ample hanging and storage space.
Main bathroom:- From here the next room is the main bathroom which is quite large and has a tub, shower, wash basin and a W/C.
Second Bedroom:- The next bedroom is also fitted with built in ample sized wardrobes. It has twin beds and an en suite shower room with a shower, wash basin and W/C.
Third Bedroom:- The final bedroom is furnished with a double bed and again ample sized built in wardrobes and drawer space.
The beams have been left exposed throughout the second floor and in the single storey kitchen giving high ceilings and a pleasing ambience.
In the roof there are two Velux skylights allowing addition daylight to the stairs and upstairs landing.
In the bathroom there is a heated towel rail which can also be used to provide heat.
The domestic hot water system is heated via solar panels on the roof feeding a 300 litre tank provides ample domestic hot water.
We also have a telephone and internet access with Wi-Fi
Interaction with Guests
Although we live in England, we do our utmost to ensure that our guests have an enjoyable trouble free holiday - to this end we have people living locally who will be able to assist, otherwise we are just a telephone call or E-Mail message away.
The Village, Capestang
Cape d Entang:- Originally called "Cape d'Entang" because in former times the village bordered on a lake and was in fact a "cap d'etang" until it was drained in the Middle Ages to reveal what is now a "dartboard" configuration of fertile fields viewed best from the Oppidum d'Ensurune.
Restaurants:- We are fortunate in having a number of good restaurants in the village, all within walking distance. Average price for an evening meal for 2 with wine about 50€
Cafés:- A 200 to 300 metre walk through old narrow streets will take you to the village centre, where there are two cafés on either side of the square with a large impressive church. On the way you will pass the restaurant "Le Provence", which is often busy. Of the cafés, The "Café de la Grille" does very good "bar food" at a modest rate - it is very popular.
La Table de Vignoble:- Near the Marie you will find "La Table de Vignoble", where in the fine weather you eat outside in a courtyard, in less clement weather in a large barn. Here, Madame Cros will sell you her own wine, which is very very good. Cafe De La Grille
Market:- Twice a week there is a local market on Wednesday and Sunday mornings in the main "Place" in the centre of the village. Local Wine, meat, cheese, vegetables and lots of other produce can be bought.
Weather:- This area has a Mediterranean Climate with hot dry summers and mild winters, boasting of 300 sunny days a year, on average.
Tourist numbers have increased but Area remains unspoiled:- Over the years, the number of visitors to the village increase, thereby confirming its popularity but at the same time its basic character is not marred and it still retains its charm - that of a typical southern French working village, where viticulture (the science, production and study of grapes) is the main support. The local council appears to be very forward looking and have made many improvements.
Speaking of viticulture there has been a superb improvement in the local wines, which are now very palatable and very cheap when bought by the pichet in the restaurants.
Friendly Locals:- The friendliness and hospitality of the locals in the area will only add to the enjoyment of your visit.
Capestang is also an ideal base to explore the local area and a place where you can be as laid back, or as energetic as you wish, in fact an ideal place to wind down.
Whether you come as a family or with friends or relations, our house will make a perfect base to stay in and explore one of the best, though understated areas of France. Or, in other words very similar to Provence but less expensive. Indeed, this is the ancient land of the Troubadours.
It is not necessary to leave the village in the evenings, unless you wish, since there is a good selection of restaurants, bars and walks to keep you quite occupied.
Capestang has excellent transport links being just 15 kms from the Bezier West exit off the A9 motorway and an assortment of Airports within or about an hours motoring. See our Locality page for more details. The TGV travelling as near as Beziers and Narbonne and a motor-rail terminus at Narbonne from Paris.
Le Canal du Midi provides a waterway, often bordered by trees, from the Mediterannean to the Atlantic. It passes by the northern side of the village, where it widens to form the Port of Capestang, where there are normally a goodly number of craft moored.
Take a walk along it, see the boats and you will discover another good restaurant, "La Battalier". The local church being built in the 13th century is well worth a visit and its vast size in proportion to the village makes it unusual. The Chateau near the centre of the village has original medieval paintings.
A short distance away there is Oppidum d Ensérune which was a Roman hill top fort, ruins of their habitations still exist and there is a fine museum on site.
Local attractions - within 30 - 45 minutes drive:
Fonserannes - Les Neuf Ecluses Fonsérannes - 'Les Neuf Ecluses' (the Nine Locks) of Fonsérannes on the Canal du Midi in Béziers. This is the most impressive construction on the Canal du Midi, lying on the edge of Béziers. It now comprises 7 locks which enable boats to move up or down hill, rising or dropping about 30 metres. The locks attract visitors from far and wide and make this a highlight on any Canal du Midi trip. Directions to Fonsérannes
Oppidum Enserune Oppidum d'Ensérune - Hilltop ruins of a 2,500 year old settlement, occupied by the Greeks, then Hannibal then the Romans, who used it as a postal station on the famous Via Domitia. There's not much left today except broken pots and a few columns, but the view from the top of this hill is worth it - a spoked-wheel arrangement of fields first laid out in the 13th century.
Valras Plage: - Valras plage is one of Languedoc's big 'town beaches' like Narbonne, Canet and Palavas. It's certainly bustling, with plenty of postcard shops and ice cream stalls. It caters for families with a kiddie's play ground on a fine sandy first rate beach, with large wave-breakers having been built to stop erosion. This has created a number of 'beachlets' - smaller beaches separated by thin rock promontories, allowing shallower areas for small children to paddle in safety.
Roquebrun: - What makes Roquebrun so exquisite is its location, climbing up the banks of Languedoc's beautiful river Orb, with mountains rising behind it, and a lovely stone bridge crossing just where the river becomes a gently stepping weir where people swim in summer. Sit on the balcony of 'Le Petit Nice' café - sipping a glass of wine, or rent a canoe and take it for a paddle.
Narbonne: - Narbonne is the oldest Roman city in France, with its imposing Cathedral and old Roman road. The Canal du Robine runs through the centre and is edged with shady plane trees and a profusion of flowers, shops, bars and restaurants. 'Les Halles' is an award winning covered market here which is over one hundred years old.
Beziers: - The city of Béziers is well worth a visit. There is plenty to see, and the city has an abundance of cafés, bars and restaurants. All roads seem to make their way up to the massive 14th century Cathedrale St. Nazaire, with it's fine sculpture, stained glass and frescoes.
Agde: - the "black pearl" of the Mediterranean.
Bize Minervois: - Olive oil co-operative and river bathing.
Malpas Colombiers - oldest canal tunnel in the world.
Montouliers: - Castle and steep narrow streets.
Fontfroide: - Cistercian Abbey founded in 1145. Rose garden with over 2000 bushes.
Minerve: - ancient and spectacular Cathar village
on the river Cesse, once capital of the Minervois.
Local attractions - further afield:
Millau Viaduct: - The Millau Bridge was designed by UK architect Norman Foster, and is the world's highest road bridge. 300m high, it is higher than the Eiffel Tower, and is an amazing 2.5km long. Drive across it on the right day - and you'll pass over low-lying clouds.
'La Cité' - Carcassonne is picture-postcard perfect. This fairytale walled city of drawbridges, towers and atmospheric cobbled streets, was in fact the inspiration for Walt Disney's The Sleeping Beauty. It's a must see on any trip through this part of Languedoc. Its medieval core, La Cité, was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1997.
Montpellier: - Montpellier really is special. Broad boulevards lined with shady plane trees, a huge car-free central square laid out in the 1700s surrounded by elegant balustraded buildings, even a vast triumphal arch - you name it, Montpellier's got it. And it's just minutes away from the beach, too.
Collioure: - Collioure is a seaside town a few kilometres north of Spain. In the early 1900's artists like Matisse and Derain made it their meeting place, inspired by Collioure's medieval streets, Royal castle and lighthouse (now converted to a church called Notre- Dame-des-Anges) It feels like an Italian seaside town with its pretty pastel houses, cafés and restaurants.
Sete: - Busy fishing port with excellent restaurants.
Also in nearby Bouzigues there are lovely fish restaurants
but quieter than Sete - one of our favourite spots for lunch.
Meze: - on the Etang de Thau with its
oyster and mussel beds.
Mt Canigou: - 2784 metres plus Font Romeu
and Les Angles ski resorts.
Andorra is only a 3 hour drive away.
In the winter, spring and early summer you can
see its snow mantle from Capestang on a clear day.
Spain and the Costa Brava - the Spanish border is just over an hours drive away! Costa Brava about an hour after that, giving the advantage of being able to buy alcohol and tobacco at much less than the UK prices.
Golf: - There are various golf courses in the local area.
Beziers being the nearest at Golf de Bel Air St Thomas.
See Golf Saint Thomas on Google Maps
Tel: 04 67 39 03 09
There are also courses at Cap d'Agde, Lamalou-Les-Bains, Montpelliers Grande Motte and Carcassonne.
There are convenient Airports at Beziers (30 minutes), Carcassone, Perpignan and Montpellier (60 minutes), Nimes (90 Minutes) Toulouse and Girona (120 minutes) Barcelona (180 minutes).
Train Stations at Beziers and Narbonne, each about 20 minutes away.
Travelling by road the Beziers West exit off the A9 AutoRoute is about 15 minutes away.
There is a local bus service for trips into Beziers.
We have a garage but if this is inconvenient there is usually room on the street outside for parking.
Other Things to Note
Bookings taken on a weekly basis i.e. minimum booking 7 days - change over on Saturdays - can be varied out of the main season.
Discounts for extended periods of more than 28 days.
Security Deposit of £150 required.
Booking Deposit: £150 or 10% whichever is greater.
Optional Supplement of £10 per week for WiFi internet.
Bed linen and towels provided.
We are close to Mediterranean Beaches (25 minutes) Mountains of the Massif Centrale (approx. 35 minutes) and the Pyrenees (a little over an hour).
Cycles can be hired from the 'Port Office' on the canal, or can be delivered to our home.
Le Canal du Midi passes the north of Capestang and is about 500 metres from our house; ideal for walking or cycling.
for fuller details.
Generally to leave our home as it is found. It is in a populated area so consideration for neighbours who may wish to sleep at night.
No smoking on first floor though we are more relaxed about ground floor.
We do not encourage pets but should you bring one, no natural functions in the garden please - children will play there after they have gone.
About the Host, Michael
Now retired after a career in UK Police Service - Love France, Love Capestang, so much we bought second house here.
Two grown up children & 3 grandchildren - now taking up gliding again after lapse of over 50 years at Aero Club de Narbonne and London Gliding Club, Dunstable.
You have to have dedication to be a host - it is important to ensure that guests are happy.
Motto given to me by my late father: 'Life is too short to bear grudges'