4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, private pool and stunning views
- english, french
About Oliver Ripley
I lived in France for many years in my youth and grew to love the interesting, varied and beautiful country. Have been running this property for 7 years now and have really developed efficient systems for ensuring guests have a great holiday and enjoy all the benefits of the Languedoc region
Oliver Ripley purchased this Villa in 2006
Why Oliver Ripley chose Laroque-des-Albères
The key to this property is the sheer beauty of the location. It sits in the Alberes and is quite high up into these small mountains. The views seem to follow you around as they are present in so many areas of the villa. There is a lovely private pool with the villa with the aforementioned views and the villa has a total of six comfortable bedrooms and is really perfect for large groups wishing to explore and enjoy this wonderful region of France. It has castles, beaches, endless vineyards, medieval villages, Barcelona and some of the best restaurants in France. You will never be bored in Languedoc.
What makes this Villa unique
It has 5 bedrooms and a private pool which is not overlooked in any way. The villa has 3 bathrooms and on the lower floor there is a annexed apartment with it private kitchen, bathroom and living areas with Sky TV and so on. There is a lovely balcony at the property with stunning views and a barbecue area on the rear terrace with lovely views down to the Mediterranean in the distance. As the property is quite high it is also cooler in the summer months and seem to escape that oppressive summer heat you get on the plain of Rousillon. During the evening you get the 'tramontanes' as the cooler wind from the mountain tops rolls down the mountain side and these can be very refreshing after a hit day at the beach. All in all this is a lovely, well managed property in a very interesting and beautiful area of France.
Pool / Spa
Check-in: 4:00 PM
Check-out: 10:00 AM
Just do it on the balcony/outside
Dogs love this house. Walks galore.
There are high chairs and cots for young children
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
This was our 2nd stay and as great as always. Love the location. It has everything you need. A home from home.
Thanks, very pleased you enjoyed your second stay at the villa. The area just gets better every year and there are always improvements being made to the villa itself. Please come again. All the best Oliver
Amazing views of the mountains and sea
We had a very enjoyable week's stay in August 2018 at the villa which was set on the top of a hill up some lovely winding roads with some stunning views of the mountains and sea. The most impressive view was from the lovely balcony with comfy sofas and a table and chairs where we enjoyed our breakfast and other meals each day. There were only 3 of us so we had plenty of space as the villa was set over 2 floors. The villa was well equipped with 2 bathrooms with showers in the main building and a well equipped modern kitchen. There was plenty of seating to chill after a busy day. The pool was great for cooling down from the heat of the day. We did not use the downstairs flat.
It was about a 10 minute drive down the winding hill into Laroque Des Alberes which was a nice little town with a selection of restaurants. We tried the pizzeria and the Cafe Des Artistes which was run by an Irish couple. We also visited Ceret which was great for the art gallery and restaurants and Coulliere which was a lovely seaside harbour/beach with lots of cobbled streets full of shops and restaurants. You have to get there early to park though. We also visited the Valley of the Tortoises which was about 20 minutes away and was a nice little Tortoise zoo for a half day trip.
We flew to Toulouse and can highly recommend the scenic drive on the D117 recommended by Oliver to Laroque as the views were amazing. It was quite a long drive but we broke it up with photo and refreshment stops.
What a great place to visit and a great location.
Many thanks for your kind and informative review.
It was a pleasure to have you to stay and please come again.
All the best
Sometimes a beautiful view is just not enough....
Sometimes a beautiful view is just not enough to compensate for the deficiencies and discomforts in the accommodation. The view is indeed spectacular, the location is ideal if like us you have dogs and want immediate access to beautiful and quiet walks, and the terrace has very comfortable sofas for enjoying the views.
However, this house really is desperately in need of some TLC:
- Not enough duvets for the number of beds ( those that were available had blood stains on them and the sheets mildew stains)
- panes of glass cracked and taped up with sellotape
- main front door lock broken so that the door could not be locked or unlocked from the inside (could only be locked and opened by going outside and using the door key)
- broken furniture in bedroom
- several light bulbs not working
- No satellite or terrestrial TV. In fact TV unusable, despite owners directions about how to stream or cast using an App
- broken shelves in the fridge (limiting storage space)
- radiator propped up on bricks in the hallway
- broken toilet seat in downstairs shower room
But worse than any of this is the owner's attitude. We arrived at 9 pm on a Saturday night having picked up provisions on the way, only to find not one single sheet of toilet paper in the entire house. When we finally managed to contact the owner (he had written his mobile phone number down on the house information incorrectly) he was indifferent and seemed to think that it was not a legitimate expectation that there would be any toilet paper because it was a "self catering arrangement". Furthermore, following a fault in the plumbing which resulted in raw sewage flooding the downstairs shower room and hallway, and taking over an hour to clean up (by us), we received a perfunctory apology from the owner and the offer of a cheap bottle of red wine by means of recompense. When he was challenged on his lack of customer service, we were informed that he "just takes the bookings", (omitting to mention that he also takes the money!) and that he would give us our money back if we wanted to leave - this was on the third day of a 10 day holiday!
This could be a really wonderful holiday destination and worth a 5 star review if some care and attention were applied not just to the property, but also to the paying customers.
You made my manager cry and I got upset about that.
You also seem to forget that I got tradesmen immediately to sort out the problems.
I think you need a five star hotel which this isn't.
A fabulous place to come and relax!
Our 3rd visit to this wonderful hill top, our 2nd stay at the lovely villa.
Villa caters for 1 big family or 2 medium sized families. Plenty of space to spread out and not be on top of each other.
We have never been disappointed and we find it so lovely to feel that we are in a real home. This is then enhanced more with great pool, BBQ area, and views to die for!!
Will certainly return.
Many thanks. It was a pleasure having you back again.
Please consider the villa for future holidays....
All the best
A lovely villa with exceptional views, perfect for a relaxing holiday.
We stayed in this lovely villa for two weeks in August 2017 and had a fabulous holiday. We are a family of 6 with three teenage boys and an 8 year old. The house was just how it was described on the website. The downstairs apartment was useful as a place to change for the pool and we used the fridge in there for drinks etc. We had a few lazy days by the pool but most of the time we were out and about. The beaches are lovely and not too busy. The lake at Saint-Jean-Pla-de-Corts was a favourite with the boys with its inflatables on the water, pedalos and zip wire across the lake. The inflatables cost €8 for an hour and are great fun for all ages.
Collioure is a lovely place for a day trip but very busy with tourists so an early start is recommended. We enjoyed walking up the driveway from the villa and going out on to the mountainside and went on a few walks. The pathways are signposted and the views are breathtaking. We used the tennis court a couple of times. It is next to the public pool 5 minutes downhill from the villa. The pool looked nice although we didn't use it as the pool at the villa was lovely. The tennis court is free to use, you just need to write your name and villa address on the booking sheet at the court. It was well used in the evenings when it was cooler.
We ate in the villa most nights making use of the barbecue and sitting on the terrace or the balcony taking in the amazing views. We ate in the pizzaria in the village one evening which was delicious. All in all we had a very peaceful holiday in Laroque des Alberes especially when our boys were making use of the wifi and we were drinking wine on the balcony watching the sun go down. We hope to return one day.
Many thanks for the review and I am delighted you had a great time at the villa.
Please come again soon
Second stay just as enjoyable as the first
We vacationed there in July 2016, and enjoyed it so much we returned for a week this year. This is the best way I can recommend this property - it is the first time we have returned to a summer rental.
Thanks John. Great to have you back and good to hear that you had a good time. Please come again and (as you know) returning guests get a 10% discount
All the best
This villa sits in the magnificent Alberes mountain range. These are the foothills of the Pyrenees that meet the Mediterranean. It is pretty much the highest property in the Alberes and therefore it is very quiet and has no passing traffic noise at all. It also has the most incredible views towards the Med and you can just sit and gaze at the wonderful views from the private pool, the balcony or the dining terrace.
There is immediate access directly from the property to mountain walks in the Alberes. This is a Foret Nationale and is a protected biosphere with interesting wildlife - even wild boars are seen quite frequently and there are the wild goats that eat my roses. A little bit annoying but they are very friendly.
Even though the property feels remote, within 5 minutes you can be in Laroque des Alberes. This is a charming Catalan medieval town with a lovely circular fort at the centre of it. There are a few great restaurants (one has a Michelin star) and it has all the cafes, boulangeries, patisseries that you would expect from a French village. It also has a Carrefour supermarket for all those essentials, an English speaking chemist and the best pizzeria in the whole of France.
This area has some of the best beaches in France. The nearest is around 15 minutes away and it was recently voted as being one of the best beaches in France. It is a very long sandy beach with the mountains as the backdrop and they never get too crowded, not even in the middle of summer. They are “blue flag” beaches meaning that they are monitored for cleanliness and there are always life guards in attendance.
The beautiful town of Collioure is around 15 min from the property and is just stunning. It is well known for being one of the most beautiful towns on the Med and is famous as it is seen as the home of the fauvist art movement. Matisse, Picasso and Derain all lived there and they all painted Collioure. They said it had perfect light and in fact if you go to the Modern Art museum in Ceret there is the largest collection of Picasso pottery anywhere in the world. Ceret also has some stunning medieval squares and churches and fantastic market on Saturday.
There are many interesting historical towns nearby including Perpignan, Amelie les Bains, Carcassone which all have weekly markets and are well worth a visit.
Spain is only 30 minutes away and the famous Dali museum is only 40 min away in Figueras. Additionally the famous Cathar fortresses such as Montesequr are around 1.5 hours away and are an incredible day trip.
Barcelona is also accessible from this villa for a day trip as it is about 2.5 hours away and has many museums and the wonderful Sagrada Familia as well.
If you drive towards the central Pyrenees along the N116 you will see the so many lovely medieval towns such as Villefranche-de-Conflent and it is truly a lovely drive with so many things to stop and see. A fantastic drive with history all around you and those stunning Cathar fortresses.