Chez Maison Bleue, our bed and breakfast and holiday cottage in the hills south of Carcassonne offer you authentic, rural France; winding staircases, old stone walls, rooms that started out as barns sometime during the 1700s. Step into the ancient square with the lovely old church and feel like time really has stood still for the past 50 years.
Spacious double room with shower room at our B&B in Languedoc, converted from the hayloft, a lovely mix of modern fittings and vintage furnishings offers comfortable, stylish accommodation. Original art works, tented ceiling, sleigh bed; moonlight bouncing off the chandelier brings the balmy nights of the south of France into your room.
Other rooms at the B&B are listed separately:
A door leads to a tiny balcony overlooking the terrace and across the old village church yard to the fields and hills. An extra bed and wooden cot will fit into this room. Free high speed Wifi.
Enjoy a generous breakfast and dinner late into the evening on the terrace to the sound of the cow bells as the cattle meander up and down the hills. The owl that has residence in the barn opposite will keep vigil as it swoops down the lane.
Nicolas is cordon bleu trained and can accommodate special diets including dairy & gluten free.
Walking, cycling, mountain biking, bird watching, all from the back door. We are cyclist friendly and have maps and 2 bikes to lend if they are suitable. "Wild" swimming in the river and lakes, Lac Montbel (5km) is a site exceptionnel, the mighty Cathar Chateau provides the stunning vista to Puivert Lake (8km).
Carcassonne is our nearest airport (60km) an easy drive along roads that are quiet even in August. Toulouse 1.5hrs and Perpignan just a bit further. Car hire from Carcassonne, Toulouse and Perpignan airports
We are just off the A61 motorway, junction 22 Bram onto the scenic D16 close to Andorra (110km) and the Spanish border, Barcelona 275km. The nearest train station is Limoux (26km). Mirepoix with its fabulous weekly market is 10 minutes away, Cathar towns of Puivert, Montsegur, Foix and Fanjeaux all closeby.
Varied terrain and a great climate, the Languedoc offers much to the cyclist. We cycle all year round on roads that are quiet even in August, though spring and autumn will avoid the baking heat of the summer. This is Tour de France country, mountain cols provide adequately for those who prefer more challenging terrain. We have maps and mountain bikes to lend and will arrange bike hire for you locally.
Not many roam in the hills surrounding Sonnac Sur L’Hers. A network of tracks lead from the village through ancient towns and villages. A path from the back door leads to Spain though you may prefer to choose one of the many circular routes that offer a full day’s walking or that will bring you back in time for lunch, French style (i.e. long!) on the terrace or on the village square. A short drive brings you to the mighty Pyrenees for more challenging walking. We have maps and can advise on routes as long or as short as you wish.
LAKES, RIVERS AND SEA
Lac Montbel (5km) is a site exceptionnel of 570 hectares, a lovely spot for walking, picnicking, swimming, water sports, fishing, bird watching, or simply soaking up the sun. Slow right down and spend the day by the river Hers that flows through the village. A few hundred yards downstream, at the foot of wooded slopes is a natural basin, lovely for swimming. After a leisurely breakfast you can be at the coast in plenty of time for lunch. Visit beautiful, coastal towns and sandy beaches such as Collioure and Argeles, about 2 hours drive.
The Aude is a fabulous region for birdwatchers with a wide range of habitats home to around 200 nesting species. From our terrace buzzards are a common sight, soaring high on the warm thermals. Watch the delightful “bobbing” habit of the black red starts and as dusk falls, see the barn owl heading off on its nightly patrol. In summer watch the amazing spectacle of swifts racing round the square hurling themselves into the eaves, often colliding with the zinc guttering with a resounding clunk whilst the house martins look on bemused.
Country roads and tracks across hills, woods and streams make ideal riding terrain. Our neighbour works at nearby stables and we will be happy to assist in arranging treks for individuals and groups.
The French Pyrenees are a stunningly beautiful range of mountains and completely underrated for winter sports. Whilst you don’t have the range and sophistication of the Alps, neither do you have the prices – or the queues. An adult daily pass at Les Monts D’Olmes is around 20 euros and for a family, 60 euros.
Les Monts D’Olmes (phone number hidden) metres) is the nearest ski station, 40 minutes from the house. It offers family orientated skiing in the stunning Massif de Tabe region of the Pyrenees and has 23 runs, a snowboard park and ski (website hidden) Les Thermes (1400 – 2300 metres) is about an hour away and is the largest ski resort in the Pyrenees. This lively resort offers 29 runs covering 80km and includes some beautiful forest lined slopes. A day adult pass is 29 euros.
We had such a lovely time with Carolyn and Nick at Maison Bleue, which felt more like a warm and welcoming home than a b+b. This lovely couple's hospitality is genuine and generous and we loved our evenings spent by the fire with them and other guests, enjoying delicious wines of the region and lively conversation. Our room was charming and Carolyn saw to it that we had everything we needed for a comfortable stay. Meanwhile, Nick went out of his way to cater to our diet requirements and impressed and inspired us with his tasty creations. We highly recommend Chez Maison Bleue - it is a wonderful base for exploring a beautiful part of the world.
To get to our summer home in Spain, it is a long long journey with a departure at 3.15am to get the first Eurotunnel train at 5.50am! We always try to drive the first part of the two-day journey the most miles. Thus when we wound our way to La Maison Bleue, it was a most welcomed sight to see Carolyn and Nick waiting outside for us. Their home was lovely and the room for us and the "girls" was large and comfortable. Very nice touches were added, such as bath gel etc, so if one was flying by my mate, Mr RyanAir, they didn't have to worry about cramming that little bit extra into their bag. We had dinner there that evening and Nick has a very deft hand in the kitchen. The meal was superb, the wine delicious, the Danish couple a delight to converse with - magic! The Languedoc-Roussillon is magnificent and I would highly recommend to anyone to stay at La Maison Bleue to start and end their journey. Thank you, Carolyn and Nick for making our overnight stay so comfortable.