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Aerial view of the medieval abbey at Caunes Minervois

Aerial view of Caunes Minervois

Close to the world heritage site of La Cité, Carcassonne, two distinct properties, Maison du Midi and Maison St. Gérome,  both completely renovated, are available to rent in this delightful village.

The village of Caunes lies on the eastern edge of the sun-soaked minervois vineyards and up against the Montagne Noir of walking trails, limestone caverns, marble quarries and deep riverine gorges as well as ruined Cathar fortresses.

If you enjoy exploring, walking, wine, sight-seeing, cycling, and the French way of life – then Caunes-Minervois is an ideal location for your holiday. The village is famous for the local pink marble – and you can watch the local marble sculptors. There are also art galleries and pottery classes and demonstrations. There are 3 markets a week in Caunes – on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays – even though it is a village of only 1400 inhabitants.

It is in the grounds of the Abbey that delightful open-air classical music concerts take place weekly from July to early August each year. The abbey, which maintains a permanent exhibition covering both the local history and geology (e.g. the famous marble quarries), typically houses a succession of art exhibitions.  Underneath this impressive edifice the extensive caveau are used for regular jazz nights and other local events.

Maison du Midi

Maison du Midi

Maison du Midi

Perched high, this typical village house, extends over four levels overlooking the medieval heart and away towards the distant Pyrenees. Maison du Midi is an ideal base from which to explore and enjoy southwestern France, and even Catalan Spain. Fronting onto the main village thoroughfare and backing onto the medieval lanes, it is a short walk from all the necessary amenities in this unusually bustling French village — a choice of restaurants, bars, boulangerie, general supplies, post office, etc. Maison du Midi  invites a range of activities: wine-tasting tours; walking in the mountain foothills, through the vineyards or along the Canal du Midi; cycling; driving excursions across the Minervois plain to Narbonne plage and the Mediterranean coast, into ancient bastide villages and up to the many Cathar castles, to the Black Mountain caves, ravines and grottoes or to the swimming lakes and rivers both in the mountains and the plain (Lac du Jouarres in Homps, just 15 minutes away, or the similarly close-by new aquatic centre). The world heritage site of ancient Carcassonne, La Cité, is 20 minutes drive. Catalan Spain is just two hours away, either over the Pyrenees or along the coast. Salvador Dali’s house and museum are popular destinations, as is Barcelona. Many good restaurants can be found throughout the region, a remarkably good selection in Caunes itself, just a few minutes’ walk from the house. Market days occur in all the villages, as well as the very large produce market in Carcassonne on Saturdays, in addition ‘vide greniers’, or flea markets, can be found in one of the local villages most weekends.

A variety of ‘spaces’ around the house have been created to cater for outside living from day-long full sun (the sun terrace), partial shade (the kitchen terrace and courtyard garden) to full shade (next to the barbecue beneath the kitchen terrace) — a range of excellent opportunities for relaxing outside with a book and a glass of wine, dining al fresco on balmy evenings, and sun-bathing. The kitchen terrace, the barbecue and the courtyard garden are  directly accessible from the main street (via the side alley) as well as from the kitchen.

Maison St. Gérome

Maison St. Gérome

Maison St. Gérome

Maison St Gérome is situated within the medieval village lanes, nestled between the timeless and quiet high stone walls, just a short distance away from the impressive ancient ramparts and fosse.

At this secluded 2 bedroom house you can sit out and absorb the atmosphere of a way of  life that was once the norm in  villages and towns but is now almost a unique window into a lost tranquility.

Bottles of the local wine, selected by the owner, await the arrival of guests to welcome them to both houses.