Set in four hectares of beautiful parkland, the majestic 13th-century Château Des Cathares is a fairy-tale castle full of character and history. Located in the amazing Cathar country, near the delightful market town of Mirepoix, this is a magical place where young and old can stay in this enchanting part of the Languedoc.
The castle was originally built in the thirteenth century by a Cathar Lord and later extended some three hundred years later. The current owner is a sculptor whose work you can see across the grounds and it has been her labour of love to create a grand yet warm and welcoming family home. Each of the ten bedrooms has its own story to tell with immense character and beautiful pieces of artwork and furnishings from across the centuries. The grand reception rooms allow you to dine by the open-fire in cooler months or enjoy the view of the gardens from the summer salon. If you’re planning a special party or a spectacular wedding then the Knights’ Hall is fit for a banquet and guests can sip champagne by the terraces for a unique and unforgettable event.
Yet despite the traditional ambience, you’ll find contemporary bathrooms plus modern appliances in the well-equipped kitchen and there’s Wi-Fi for guests to use. Families can enjoy table-tennis, board games and table football plus there are children’s toys and books, whilst older guests can browse the impressive library or have a game of French billiards. The owner can arrange for services such as a private chef or babysitter to make your stay as relaxing as it can be.
In the grounds of the château, with its own entrance and garden, is a delightful 18th century cottage with perfectly modern interiors and four further bedrooms. With its own charm and character, this is the ideal place for an extended family gathering or holiday with friends. For 21 guests or more the cottage is included in the rental price or it can be rented separately.
Outside you can explore the vast parkland and private forest, also a wonderful setting for a wedding, or relax by the lawns of the immaculate swimming pool, in the shade of the ancient trees or by one of the owner’s sculptures. This region is a hiker’s paradise with rolling hills and valleys full of sunflowers whilst there are also opportunities to cycle, horse-ride or fish nearby.
The local village, just five minutes by car, has a bakery, butchers and little grocery store or head to the historical town of Mirepoix, famous for its ancient timer-framed houses and amazing market on a Monday morning in the beautiful square. Food lovers take note that foie gras is produced in the farm just across from the château and of course there are some stunning wines to sample in vineyards across the Languedoc region.
This is the Cathar country with so many spectacular castles and ruins to explore, such as the most famous in nearby Montségur. The incredible fortified city of Carcassonne is just forty-five minutes away, with delightful Limoux and vibrant Toulouse also within an hour’s drive. You may prefer to just head nearer to home such as pretty Castelnaudary (30km), the birthplace of the Cathars, where you can take a boat trip or cycle ride along the Canal du Midi.
After a day exploring this outstanding region, you will still feel the spirit of the Cathars in your ancient medieval castle, a truly unique place to stay in this very special part of southern France.
Château Des Cathares and the cottage are set in a spectacular location of four hectares of gardens, parkland and a private forest. In the nearby village (7km) you will find a bakery for your morning croissants and bread, a butchers, a small grocery shop with bar and a garage with a café. It’s just a little further to larger supermarkets such as those in Mirepoix (16km) or Pamiers (24km).
This area is a paradise for hikers with the rolling hills and valleys. There is tennis in the local village as well as horse-riding and fishing nearby and golf lovers can head to Golf de Carcassonne within 45 minutes. If you are a food lover then you may appreciate the foie gras producer in the farm just across from the château and don’t miss the highly recommended Monday morning market in nearby Mirepoix (16km), a delightful town known for its beautiful market square and ancient timer-framed houses.
Discover the Romanesque ruins and 13th century castles dotted around the landscapes; within a short drive you can be in the heart of the Cathar country. Visit the ruins of the famous Château de Montségur (45km), one of the last strongholds of the Cathars and there’s a museum in the village nearby.
Head north to Castelnaudary (27km), the birthplace of the Cathars, and be sure to try some local cassoulet as well as taking a boat trip around the grand bassin of the Canal du Midi. The cycle route along the Canal du Midi may also appeal as it’s suitable for all abilities and ages, making a perfect day out for the whole family with a picnic stop along the way.
It goes without saying that the fortified city of Carcassonne (48km) is a must see, there are guided tours and medieval shows throughout the summer to entertain all visitors. One of the largest local markets is in Carcassonne, held on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings at Place Carnot in the town centre.
Other day trips should include delightful Limoux (45km), on the Aude River, always bustling with activity, especially in the summer. The market on a Friday morning is simply wonderful when shopping for local, fresh produce or simply find a picturesque café in one of the pretty squares for coffee and pastries. You are also not too far from Toulouse (70km), known as ‘La Ville Rose’ (the pink city), a vibrant place full of history and culture with many cafes, restaurants, museums and shops as well as the City of Space, a must for all the family.
At Excellence Luxury Villas we pride ourselves on going that little bit further for our guests. From private chefs to babysitters we can help you arrange those little extras that make it a truly memorable holiday. Simply fill in the
concierge request form or contact Excellence Luxury Villas Concierge Team who will be happy to help. We can typically help you arrange any of the following:
- Maid service/extra cleaning
- Private chef/cook/catering
- Welcome hamper/pre-stocked fridge
- Local day-trips or tours
- Airport pick-up/drop-off
- Babysitting / childcare services
Extras available at this property:
- Fridge stocking/Shopping service
Please note that all extras are subject to availability and must be requested in advance of the holiday (prices on request). Due to some rural/remote locations, not all services will be available at all properties. However, we will always do our best to fulfil your requests!