Situated in the departement of Aude www.audetourisme.com and region of Languedoc Roussillion, Gaillardet rests in a beautiful, sunny, tranquil valley in the foothills of the Pyrenees in SouthWest France, and 10 minutes from the delightful market town of Chalabre, Gaillardet Garden is a converted, renovated farm building and the gite forms part of a complex where the owners also live. Set in four acres, the smallholding is surrounded by wonderful views and has its own market garden where in season fresh vegetables, soft fruits and new laid eggs are available. Guests have the use of the owner's large swimming pool set in the sunniest spot on the property, they have the use of large communal areas and the gite has its own private courtyard and lawn accessed from the dining room.
"A week is not enough, two weeks enabled us to spend time relaxing by the pool and to explore this fabulous region" - these are comments we regularly receive from our clients.
Gaillardet Garden is 1h 30min drive from Toulouse and Perpignan airports, 50 minutes from Carcassonne airport, 1020 Kms from Calais, 835 Kms from St Malo and 450 Km from Bilbao (Spain). www.viamichelin.com. The nearest mainline stations are Carcassonne, Toulouse and Pamiers.
The owners, Anni and Gary, pride themselves on the care they take in both the property and the warmth with which they welcome their guests. They are readily available to help and advise on any aspect of your stay.
As you can see from the 'Comment' page, we have had many happy families spending a great summer holiday with us. However the high summer season is not the only time to come here. For those who are not governed by school holidays the months of May, June, September, October and November are fantastic. Whilst not so hot as July and August, June and September and even October are very warm and the pool is used regularly during these months. Autumn and Spring are ideal temperatures for more active pursuits such as walking and cycling. Although this is not a highly commercialised area it does tend to be less busy during these times. The Autumn colours are spectacular, plus the added attraction of the stag's rutting season, and mushroom hunting. It's our favourite time of year.
From the property extensive walking and mountain-biking are easily accessible, and in addition the area is perfect for other outdoor pursuits such as horseriding, windsurfing, white water rafting, go karting and rock climbing which are all within 20 minutes drive. Up above Gaillardet is the Grottes de l'Homme Mort - totally uncomercialised and you can safely go with Gary and explore the caves with the spectacular stalagmites and stalagtites.
There are two beautiful lakes nearby - the very large Lac de Montbel where you can relax or partake of watersports, Just over the hill from Gaillardet is the lovely village or Puivert with it's castle, museum and a small lake with an artificial sandy beach sloping very gently into the water, totally safe for children and very popular with our guests. In winter the nearest ski station is only 40 minutes drive away. For those with more leisurely pursuits in mind the region is steeped in history and culture from prehistory to the present day.
There are a number of supermarkets in all the local towns and villages. Rivel has it's own lovely restaurant run by a French chef, Le Mouline de l'Eveque, and nearby Puivert has a Pizzeria/Afghan restaurant and a fabulous lakeside bar and restaurant. In the locality there are many bars and restaurants that come highly recommended.
Anni is also an art historian and can take you on gallery visits in Toulouse, or the Toulouse Lautrec museum in Albi, the Ingres Museum in Montauban or Goya in Castres. Plus of course a day out with the Cathars.
Gary is an outdoor type and happy to take any partners of the above on camping/walking trips in the mountains.
An especially memorable day is a wine tour and tastings with a wine expert in the Minervois or Corbieres wine regions of the Languedoc Roussillon. This day out gives you a sense of the area, knowledge of the history of the wine of the region, a super lunch and maybe a tour of an olive oil co-operative. Highly recommended.
A sports massage expert is available for either a relaxing massage or for anything to do with sports injuries.