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Lovely, Quiet 17th Century Village House, South of France

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Medieval arched entrance to L'Ecritoire.


Last updated: 07/02/2014
Check availability
23 Available
21 Unavailable
22 Today
23 Selected dates
  • Minimum stay:7 nights
  • Internet:Yes
  • Pets considered:Yes
  • Wheel chair accessible:No

Caunes Minervois cottage description

L'Ecritoire is a three-storey village house built in the early 16th century, with metre-thick stone walls and a sunny terrace overlooking a patchwork of ancient tiled rooftops. It faces south on a quiet cul-de-sac in the medieval heart of the village of Caunes-Minervois, one of the prettiest villages in the Languedoc.

Transformed into a writer's retreat, with book-filled study, desk and wi-fi, pictures, music and peace. Perfect for one or two people, with a double bedroom, entrance hall, delightful working kitchen, sitting-room and sunny , private rooftop terrace. In the historic heart of the village on a tiny, secluded lane. Perfect for writing, reading, or simply exploring the village, and the Cathar country around about..

The house was sensitively restored to retain its original character and is furnished with antiques, fabrics and photographs found in village houses and markets.

An arched stone doorway opens from the street into the hallway and dining area. A cloakroom with a toilet and basin opens off the hallway. To the left, the kitchen is fully equipped to make the best of the fresh vegetables, fruit, cheeses and meat found in the local markets.

A stone staircase curves upwards to the bedroom, which has a double bed and a generous walk-in cupboard. On the same floor is a study with a wall full of books providing enough good reading for a few months. On the writing desk are a phone and wifi internet connection. Double doors lead from the study into the shower room with a hand basin and toilet.

Another flight of stone steps leads up to the top floor which has a bright living room with a view over the roof tops. It is furnished with a sofa, a couple of comfortable armchairs, a coffee table and lots of pictures and mirrors discovered locally. A television, DVD and music system provide entertainment.

Double French doors open onto the sunny terrace which has a table and chairs, a barbecue and two deck chairs - perfect for enjoying a glass of wine and a book from the study.

Bicycles are available for guests who would like to explore the countryside.

Two minutes’ walk up the cobbled streets from L'Ecritoire is a small square with a bakery, Marlene's shop, an outstanding restaurant, and the mairie. A café serves light meals under the plane trees. Other services in the village include a pharmacy, bank, hairdresser, two bakeries, a pizzeria, a small supermarket, a butcher, a newsagent and four wineries. The owners have compiled a book of useful information about things to do, and lists of nearby restaurants.

The village has an 11th century abbey which houses an information office for visitors. The twisty ruelles through medieval Caunes are a delight to explore. There is a small twice-weekly market on the square while nearby villages have markets full of richness and variety. The next village has a swimming pool, and one can also swim in a lake twenty minutes away. Walking and cycling in the mountains and vineyards is a wonderful way to explore the countryside.

The richness of this region lies in its diversity, with castles and mountains, lakes and coastlines. In every direction, there are things to discover.

Two of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites are nearby: the medieval citadel of Carcassonne, and the 17th century Canal du Midi, which runs from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, between avenues of trees.

The Black Mountains which rise behind Caunes are ideal for walking, picking mushrooms and trout fishing. The many small country roads or trails through the vineyards are perfect to travel by bicycle - and guests have the free use of bikes. The region’s wine tasting opportunities are excellent, with hundreds of different vineyards to visit and wines to taste.

It takes about an hour to get down to the Mediterranean coast near Narbonne, and about an hour and a half to get to the Spanish border. A trip to Gerona and Figueres is a great treat. Lively cities to visit nearby are Toulouse, Narbonne, Albi with its Toulouse Lautrec museum, and Perpignan on the coast.

Keywords: Stone-built village house, sunny roof terrace, quiet cul de sac, heart of medieval village.

Property Type

  • 3 story
  • Cottage
  • 90 m²

Accommodation Type

      • Vacation Rental


          • Guests Provide Their Own Meals

          Onsite Services

              • Housekeeper Optional


              • Long-Term Renters Welcome
              • Pets Considered

              Bedrooms: 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 2, Beds for 2

              • Bedroom 1


              • Double Beds (1), Baby Cribs (1)

              Bathrooms: 1 Bathroom, 1 Half Bathroom

              Kitchen & Dining

              • Dining Area Seats:


              • Child's Highchair
              • Coffee Maker
              • Toaster
              • Catering Available
              • Kitchen
              • Dishes & Utensils
              • Cooking Utensils
              • Refrigerator
              • Stove
              • Seating for 4 people


              • Parking:

                Drive up to the house to unload the car and then turn around and park in the safe and free abbey parking area one minute's walk away....moreless

              • Living Room seats 4:

                Light South Facing room with double doors leading out to terrace. Comfortable sofa and two arm chairs....moreless

              • Heating:

                Oil heaters in all the rooms...moreless

              • Air Conditioning:

                Fans in all the rooms....moreless

              • Linens Provided
              • Hair Dryer
              • Iron & Board
              • Parking Off Street
              • Towels Provided
              • Washing Machine
              • Clothes Dryer

              Other Amenities

                  • Markets, mountains, historic sites, medieval villages, wine farms, world heritage sites, golf....moreless


                  • Satellite / Cable
                  • Stereo
                  • CD Player
                  • Music Library


                  • Telephone
                  • Wireless Internet
                  • Mobile Phone
                  • Free Long Distance
                  • Broadband Access
                  • Internet

                  Outdoor Features

                  • Golf:

                    Nearest golf course 15 minutes away. Three others within the vicinity....moreless

                  • Tennis:

                    Available on village courts. We have rackets....moreless

                  • Bicycles:

                    4 bicycles available to borrow....moreless

                  • Deck / Patio
                  • Outdoor Grill


                  • Romantic
                  • Away From It All
                  • Historic
                  • Tourist Attractions

                  Location & View

                      • Mountain View


                      • Restaurants
                      • Golf
                      • Mountain Biking
                      • Fishing
                      • Rock Climbing
                      • Whitewater Rafting
                      • Mountaineering
                      • Golf Privileges Optional
                      • Freshwater Fishing
                      • Tennis
                      • Swimming
                      • Hiking
                      • Cycling
                      • Massage Therapist
                      • Fitness Center
                      • Mountain Climbing
                      • Medical Services
                      • ATM/Bank
                      • Shopping
                      • Antiquing
                      • Sight Seeing
                      • Boating
                      • Walking
                      • Scenic Drives
                      • Eco Tourism
                      • Bird Watching
                      • Playground
                      • Winery Tours
                      • Ruins
                      • Churches
                      • Museums
                      • Groceries
                      • Hunting Small Game


                      Write a review 5
                      from 5 traveler reviews
                      Rental basis: Per property
                      Dates Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
                      Jun 23 - Sep 27, 2014
                      7 night min stay

                      €595 €2,380
                      Sep 28 - Nov 29, 2014
                      7 night min stay

                      €495 €1,980
                      Nov 30 - Mar 28, 2015
                      7 night min stay

                      €425 €1,700
                      Mar 29 - May 30, 2015
                      7 night min stay

                      €495 €1,980
                      May 31 - Sep 26, 2015
                      7 night min stay

                      €595 €2,380
                      Sep 27 - Nov 28, 2015
                      7 night min stay

                      €495 €1,980
                      Nov 29 - Mar 26, 2016
                      7 night min stay

                      €425 €1,700
                      * Approximate Monthly rates, actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay

                      Additional information about rental rates


                      • Cleaning fee €50
                      • Taxes Not included


                      We offer reduced rates for longer term rentals.

                      Rates include bed linen, towels, free WiFi, French Tourist Tax and the use of bicycles.

                      Electricity is charged according to use; approximate summer usage is 10 Euros a week.

                      Cancellation policy:

                      100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.

                      This owner accepts: Credit cards.
                      Always make sure to call the number on the listing to confirm payment details. Only pay using credit card, PayPal, check or direct bank transfer. NEVER pay by cash or instant money transfer services such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Learn more

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                      Last updated: 07/02/2014
                      Check availability
                      23 Available
                      21 Unavailable
                      22 Today
                      23 Selected dates


                      15 Miles
                      Nearest Airport
                      15 Miles
                      Nearest Train
                      Carcassonne Station
                      15 Miles
                      Nearest Motorway
                      45 Miles
                      Nearest Beach
                      Narbonne Plage
                      75 Metres
                      Nearest Barpub
                      Croixe Blanche
                      100 Miles
                      Nearest Ski
                      15 Miles
                      Nearest Golf
                      Carcassonne Golf Course
                      30 Metres
                      Nearest Restaurant

                      Car: Recommended

                      Chock full of markets, villages and vineyards, castles, legends, and friendly locals.

                      Two World Heritage Sites are in the near vicinity: La Cite which is a beautifully restored medieval castle in Carcassonne. And the Canal du Midi which is a plain-tree-lined waterway which stretches from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Hand dug in the 18th Century it is great for walking and cycle along or barging along under the shady trees.Caunes-Minervois is in the Languedoc region of Southern France, some 20 minutes from Carcassonne, at the foot of the Black Mountains, mid-way between Toulouse ( 90 minutes) and Montpellier. It is about one hour from the Mediterranean , and three hours from Barcelona.

                      Caunes, our village, is in the centre of the historic Cathar region. There are are mountains and markets, ancient hill top villages, castles and small towns . There is wonderful cycling (we have 4 bikes you can use), walking from right outside your house and into the hills and vineyards. Two World Heritage sites are within twenty minutes of the village; La Cite, an amazing castle in Carcassonne, and the wonderful, winding Canal du Midi. There is a superb golf course twenty minutes away. There are dozens and dozens of winemakers in the area. There ar olive orchards and cheese makers. Fresh food from the markets is to die for.

                      Fly into Toulouse and hire a car from there. Or fly into Carcassonne. Trains to either Narbonne or Carcassonne.


                      Owner info

                      Year Purchased: 1992

                      About the owner: The house is owned by Ingrid Hudson, a photographer turned restorer, with a passion for finding old ruins and making them breathe again. Christopher Hope is a writer of novels and stories.

                      Why the Owner Chose Caunes Minervois:
                      We fell in love with this beautiful part of France with its Cathar castles, ancient villages, great wine, food markets and abundant sunshine. Both the World heritage sites of the Canal du Midi and La Cite in Carcassonne are less than twenty minutes away. Albi, too, has been declared a World heritage site and has the Toulouse Lautrec Museum.

                      The Unique Benefits at this Cottage:
                      An hour's drive to the Mediterranean coast and a bit more to Spain. Carcassonne is just twenty minutes away, Albi and Toulouse and Carcassonne are within easy reach.What is wonderful about this peaceful village is that it has four restaurants, bank, butcher, two bakers, chemist, 3 doctors, a tapas bar in summer, concerts in the abbey and an ever-helpful tourist bureau. Three private wine estates right in the village.

                      Contact us

                      Speaks: french, english

                      Links to more information:



                      • Medieval arched entrance to L'Ecritoire.

                        Medieval arched entrance to L'Ecritoire.

                      • Kitchen table in well equipped kitchen.

                        Kitchen table in well equipped kitchen.

                      • Sunny roof terrace.

                        Sunny roof terrace.

                      • Bathroom with shower in L'Ecritoire. There is a second lavatory downstairs.

                        Bathroom with shower in L'Ecritoire. There is a second lavatory downstairs.

                      • The nearby Canal Du Midi, a World heritage Site.

                        The nearby Canal Du Midi, a World heritage Site.

                      • Sunny leading through French doors to terrace.

                        Sunny leading through French doors to terrace.

                      • Bedroom with double bed and generous walk-in cupboard.

                        Bedroom with double bed and generous walk-in cupboard.

                      • Library in the writer's study.

                        Library in the writer's study.

                      • Surrounding vineyards and wine estates.

                        Surrounding vineyards and wine estates.

                      VRBO #354277

                      There have been  visitors to this page since the counter was last reset in .

                      This listing was first published here in 2011.

                      Date last modified - Tuesday, April 15, 2014

                      €425 - €595 per week (EUR)

                      1 Bedroom / 1.5 Bathroom
                      Sleeps 2

                      View calendar: Updated 07/02/14
                      Minimum stay: 7 nights
                      Dates are unavailable
                      Please stay a bit longer. A stay of nights or more is required for these dates.
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                      Email owner

                      +33 (0) 686 306 744 (France)

                      Speaks: french, english

                      Always make sure to call the number on the listing to confirm payment details. Only pay using credit card, PayPal, check, or direct bank transfer. Learn More
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