Newly renovated and very well-maintained, this appealing 1-bedroom 3-storey town house is nicely furnsihed and beautifully decorated; it is ideally located close to the centre of Olonzac, the 'capital' of the Minervois wine-growing region.
From here, you can simply stroll out to do your shopping, visit the Tuesday market (one of the best in the area), enjoy a cup of coffee or glass of wine, or eat in the local restaurants.
The property has been tastefully renovated and decorated, the kitchen and shower room are newly fitted, and the furnishings are in the French style.
Stepping inside the house it has a light, pleasant ambience. It comprises a kitchen and dining area with a wood-burning stove on the ground floor; a double bedroom and a shower room on the 1st floor; and a sitting room with folding glass doors that lead out onto a charming and quite spacious private roof terrace on the second floor.
During the day you can enjoy the small town's bustling centre especially on a Tuesday morning (market day!), when the market stretches into the streets nearby. You can also stroll in the pleasant park where there's a large pond, a boulodrome and tennis courts.
Olonzac is a 45-minute drive from Carcassonne and about 35 minutes from Narbonne and Beziers and is ideally placed for exploring this lovely region. Less than 2kms away at Homps you'll find the Canal du Midi offering lots of opportunities for walking, cycling or a boat trip as well as relaxing with a drink in one of the many cafes watching the passing boats.
Ground Floor - Dining Area and Kitchen: As you enter the house from the square, you'll find this open-plan area which makes for great convivial dining. The new, neat, well-equipped kitchen has a fridge/freezer, cooker, microwave, dishwasher, washing machine and ample storage. There's an oak dining table and 4 chairs and a wood-burning stove to keep you warm and cosy in the cooler months. It's a light and airy space room with a stable door for fresh air and sunshine.
First Floor - Double bedroom and Shower room: A staircase leads up from the ground floor to a delightfully pretty double bedroom with a double bed, storage and hanging. The shower room is fitted with a modern double shower, stylish washbasin and a WC.
Second Floor - Sitting room and Roof terrace: On the top floor of the property is the sitting room comfortably furnished with a sofa and an armchair. There's a coffee table and a TV receiving international channels. This delightful room has tinted glass doors which open and fold back along their length to access the quite spacious private roof terrace where you can relax with a book or a glass of wine, and enjoy a barbecue on a warm, balmy evening. If you wish to use the sofa bed, there is a supplementary charge for the extra bed linen and towels of £15 per week.
Parking: There is free parking close by - spaces are not however allocated.
Internet and telephone: A WiFi internet connection is available for use with your own laptop. There is no landline telephone installed but mobile phone signals in the area are generally good.
Suitability Note: Please note there are 2 staircases in the house - it may not therefore be suitable for young children, toddlers or elderly people. The property is close to the centre of Olonzac which is generally quite a quiet place - you may from time to time hear some of the sounds associated with daily life in this small town.
Additional accommodation: Joie de Vivre can also offer you an alternative gite in Olonzac which sleeps 2 - GITE COQUET - which is also a very charming, well-maintained property.
Winter Heating: The house has electric wall heaters and is warm and cosy in the cooler months. Should you wish to use the wood-burning stove, there is a supplementary charge for the logs, payable direct.
Gas, electric and water: Are included in the rental cost.
End of stay cleaning: Is included in the rental cost provided the house is left neat and tidy and as found.
Bath & bedroom linen: Is included in the rental cost for a couple. If the sofa bed is used, a supplementary charge of £15 per week is made for the towels and bed linen.
Taxe de Sejour: In France, it is necessary to pay a Taxe de Sejour (tours stay tax), and this has been calculated and included in the cost of your holiday rental.
Damage Deposit: The owner requests a damage/security deposit of 150 Euros or £150 on arrival. This will be refunded to you at the end of your stay less the replacement cost of any breakages or damage.
Change over Day: Normally Saturday in June, July, August and September. It is flexible in other months according to availability.
Mini Breaks and long weekend stays: A mini-break of at least 3 nights may be possible out of the main summer season; please enquire for price and availability. Please enquire for longer term bookings.
Pets: are not permitted here - sorry.
Smoking: is not permitted here - sorry.
About the local area
Olonzac is well-serviced with boulangeries for your morning bread and croissants, a butchers, a traiteur and a good supermarket.
Activities: This a great area for walking and cycling and a great base from which to explore the Languedoc. The Unesco World Heritage site, the Canal du Midi, is just 2kms away at Homps - a lovely little spot. In Olonzac, you can also play boules and tennis in the attractive park (please ask the owner for tennis racquets). The Lac du Jouarres, just 5 minutes away by car, is a great place for a stroll and a cool beer at the little cafe there open in the summer months. For those of you who like to play golf, there are courses in Beziers and in Carcassonne.
Swimming - We are often asked 'Where can we go for a swim?' from those of you renting a house without a pool. You are well-placed here! Just 5 minutes away by car, you can swim at Lac du Jouarres (pictured) a man-made lake with a number of beaches. Wind-surfing is also popular here. Also within 20 minutes drive, a natural pool in the River Cesse in Bize Minervois - a pretty spot with lawns and a pebble beach (water is tested for safety by the local authority). Also Lac de la Cavayere, near Carcassonne, a very attractive lake with 2 beaches and ample car parking (40 minutes drive). For a swimming pool try either the indoor or the outdoor pool at Espace Liberte, a leisure centre in Narbonne. And finally don't forget the Mediterranean beaches - fine sandy beaches between 35 minutes and 50 minutes drive away.
Sightseeing: There are lots of things to see and do whilst you are here e.g. visit the ancient Cathar stronghold of Minerve, the medieval city of Carcassonne with its 52 turrets, Narbonne with its cathedral, archbishop's palace and lovely main square, the Canal du Midi at Homps and the staircase of locks at Fontseranes, the beautiful abbeys of Fontfroide and Lagrasse, the Cathar castles and last but not least a day trip to Spain as the border is only a 90-minute drive away.
Wine: You are in the wine-producing area of the Minervois here, with the 'Corbieres' also on your doorstep. The Languedoc is now producing some fantastic wines - red, white and rose. Many of the local chateaux and domaines offer wine-tastings and direct sales of the wines they produce. Try 'Les Trois Blasons' at Azillanet as just one example.
Markets: Olonzac has one of the best markets in the region on a Tuesday morning! Full of fresh local produce and quite a social occasion (as evidenced by the busy cafe-bars) it sells everything from food to wine, basketware to jewellery and quilted bedspreads to beds! There's a further market in Lezignan Corbieres on a Wednesday morning, and in Narbonne on a Thursday and Sunday morning. Narbonne has a fantastic and renowned indoor food market in Les Halles which is open every morning of the week - it's well worth a visit.
Restaurants: The town has a number of reasonably priced cafe-bars and restaurants all within walking distance e.g. the Bel Minervois, and Cafe de la Poste. Many of the surrounding villages also offer good restaurants e.g Homps and Beaufort.
Supermarket: The nearest supermarket is just on the edge of the town and there are a couple of mini-supermarkets in the town itself. For larger supermarkets we suggest St Marcel sur Aude, La Redorte, Lezignan Corbieres or Narbonne
Delightful, very satisfied. CB, Dorset, UK, Sept 2016 Gite Charmant is fabulous, the house is superbly fitted out with everything to make our stay perfect. Very satifised. Mrs VL, Australia, August 2015. Gite Charmant is excellent. Had three weeks there it was a great area to stay. Mr E., Cambridgeshire, UK. May 2015. Really very good. Well equipped, well situated. Dr B, S. Yorks, England. July 2014. We were very impressed with Gite Charmant and the information provided and service offered by Joie de Vivre. The accommodation was EXCELLENT. Mr and Mrs B, Dorset, England. April 2013.
Excellent, clean, light ,airy and tastefuly decorated and furnished. We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday in this lovely Gite which had everything we needed to make a perfect Xmas. Everything was perfect. Mrs S, East Sussex, England, December 2011.
Excellent, lovely and homely, and very welcoming. Nice to have milk and wine in the fridge particularly if arriving late. Accommodation had everything you could require - it really shows that the holidaymaker is thought about and provided for. Ms LJ, Eire, August 2011. We loved our time there and we loved being at Gite Charmant. It was very nice and comfortable and its been a real pleasure to come back here every evening and watch and the listen to the sounds of the birds and the village life. Thank you too for all your help and advice regarding a proposed move to France. Mrs L, Devon, UK - June 2011.
A lovely relaxing break and what a delightful house to stay in. We have both enjoyed our few days here and found riding bikes along the quiet country roads a real pleasure. A real easy going down to earth town and we have felt right at home here. Mrs and Mrs R, Cleveland, UK, May 2011
EXCELLENT! Mrs W, Scotland. September 2010. Excellent. It was beautifully renovated and had all the amenities we needed. MC, London UK. July 2010.
Excellent in every way, the owner had thought of everything we might need + bottle of cold rose and milk in the fridge! Mr & Mrs W,UK June 2010. Extremely comfortable and well presented - very stylish. The owner was helpful and on hand nearby for any problems - not that we had any! We were very satisfied with this property. Mrs R, UK. May 2010.
It's a great house, a wonderful location - with a wonderful owner. Ms S. dbC, Illinois, USA, March 2010
Outstanding property; ideally suited to a couple. Good information about local attractions and so forth. Our host was very helpful and has done a magnificent job on this property. Happy to recommend it to friends and family. Mr. B. Nottinghamshire, UK. September 2009.
Absolutely fabulous! I thought the house was even better than it looked in the photos. Mrs L.S. West Sussex. AUGUST 2009.
The 'welcome bits' were very welcome- wine, tea etc. House is spacious, clean and beautifully decorated. Living room lovely (TV and English speaking channels - a bonus!) A really enjoyable stay, thanks! Mr & Mrs T, UK, June 2009.
The owner did a wonderful job here.The house is very comfortable and we like this neighbourhood. We will be coming back. HVDV, Netherlands. JULY 2009
The accommodation was lovely - clean and very well-maintained - we were very satisfied! Mrs O, Northants, UK. JUNE 2009.
A lovely relaxing break and what a delightful house to stay in. We have both enjoyed our few days here and found riding bikes along the quiet country roads a real pleasure. A real easy going down to earth town and we have felt right at home here. Mr & Mrs R, Cleveland, UK, May 2011
, and domaines offer wine-tastings and direct sales of the wines they produce. Try 'Les Trois Blasons' at Azillanet as just one example.