gites PYRENEES – château
Pyrenees – Gite business in prime location
6-bedroomed chalet plus 2 gites
pool, river access
Possible cycling centre with B&B
Price € 399,000 * (ref 169)
The main road from Paris to Andorra is the A20/N20. After Foix, capital of the Ariège, it enters mountainous country with steep valleys leading east and west to hiking, climbing and skiing country. Tarascon-sur-Ariège is the centre for a lot of these activities: this property is just 5 minutes from the town, its railway station and services.
The immediate area is known for its prehistoric caves – especially Bedeilhac and Niaux – which have some of most celebrated painted caves in France. A ‘Pre-history’ theme park – the only one of its kind in France – occupies the other side of the valley opposite the property.
The property itself is on the outskirts of a small village clinging to the side of the valley. The land falls away from the house and cottage to a lively stream.
The main house is a three storey modern chalet – in the local Pyrenean style – with a self-contained 4 bedroom gite on the ground (garden) floor and a 6-bedroomed ‘owner’s’ section on the first and second floor. (It was purpose-built as a care home but never used to that end). A separate ‘cottage’ (pictured above) is exploited as a second gite.
Six bedrooms and three shower rooms make the owner’s house sound big. It is, even bigger than you might think with some large spaces on both floors where yoga classes and meetings for groups have been held. The lower floor is open plan with heat from the 18kw wood-burner heating the two floors.
A lot of work has been put into the big gite downstairs: four bedrooms, two completely ensuite with the other two sharing a bathroom. Fine big kitchen/dining space and two French windows giving on to terrace, garden and 10 metre pool.
Heating is now almost exclusively by wood burner, for ecological reasons. There is a gas tank (full!) in the garden but gas radiators have been disconnected: these could be re-connected or replaced. And there’s mains drainage!
Finally, the cottage is a cosy but spacious one ensuite bedroom plus lounge and kitchen set-up which appeals to couples looking for a quiet week.
The garden has a vegetable patch, an orchard of cherry, apple and quince and lawns stretching down to the stream. There are two garages: one beside the house which doubles as a workshop, and the other in the garden which is used as a cycle shed and workshop/summer kitchen.
The local village is a couple of hundred metres away: village with services less than 3 kms.
The excellent location of this property makes us think immediately of its potential as a cycling centre. Tarascon is at the apex of a number of classic TdF climbs: col de Lhers, Plateau de Beille, Ax-Bonascre, Andorra, Col de Paillères and access to the airports at Carcassonne and Toulouse is by motorway (within 75 mins). The main house could be used as a B&B (there are 6 bedrooms!) with the owners living in the cottage. The 4-bedroomed gite could accommodate groups. Otherwise it could be run as it is today: a comfortable lifestyle home with two gites bringing in a reasonable income.