- Castelnau de Montmiral Self Catering Accommodation
- Sleeps 1 to 6
- £220 to £450 per week
Comments from recent guests
"A stunning, peaceful location, amazing views and very relaxing. A superbly equipped gite with all we needed."
"The photographs do not do it justice, we were very pleasantly surprised when we arrived. The gite was much better than other self catering places we have stayed in."
"Everything the ad. said is true - even understated. The few things we didn't find in the gite were readily loaned by John and Judi so we lacked for nothing. Their welcome, their hospitable advice and obvious care for La Greze, will stay with us."
"It was like being in our own place for a fortnight. You gave us a great feeling of being welcomed to your home and garden but at the same time we felt very independent".
La Greze is located just outside the beautiful old village of Castelnau de Montmiral in the Tarn. The "grange" at La Greze has been converted into two luxury gites. Set in 17 acres of rolling meadows and woodland, there are glorious views across the valley to the Foret de Gresigne with Castelnau in the foreground. The village is less than a kilometer away and has two restaurants and several shops, including a small supermarket.
Castelnau de Montmiral is situated between the Tarn and the Aveyron rivers, close to the "golden triangle" (the area between Gaillac, Albi and Cordes). The north Tarn is a land of rolling hills patterned with vineyards, of forests, rivers and dramatic gorges, of medieval hilltop villages and pretty riverside towns. The pace of life here is leisurely and relaxed; despite new autoroutes into the area, little else seems to have changed in a hundred years.
La Greze makes a perfect base from which to explore the many other bastide villages in the area, such as Cordes Bruniquel, Puycelsi and Penne. Each one is different, with its own character and history, and its own bars, restaurants and cafes where you can sample the excellent local cuisine and wines. Throughout the summer there are many activities in and around these towns and villages including jazz festivals, classical music and rock concerts, markets and fairs. For the more energetic, the nearby Fôret de Grésigne, which is full of rare birds, deer and wild boar, offers fabulous walks, cycle tracks and stunning views.
Accommodation - Les Lavandes and Les Orchidées
Each gite has a large, light and airy double bedroom, an open plan living room/kitchen and a luxury bathroom with full sized bath, separate shower, washbasin and WC. The kitchen has a full range of units with an integral oven and hob, a refrigerator, dishwasher and a dining table. The lounge is comfortably furnished with a sofa (one with double sofa bed), easy chair, sideboard and coffee tables.
Patio doors lead to a private terrace for outdoor dining and if you're lucky you may just see one of our resident deer coming to take a drink at the old "lavoir". Pick the right week and you can pick your own cherries, plums, apricots, peaches, apples and figs just a few steps from your terrace. If you miss your favourite there's usually home made jam available from our home grown produce.
All rooms have electric radiators for those cool autumn evenings or winter lets. A radio/CD player and a selection of books and games are provided, to help you while away a leisurely evening. Hairdryers are also provided. The two gites have a connecting door and can be let as one unit sleeping up to 6 people. There is also a washing machine available shared between the two gites and a wifi hotspot at no extra charge.
Grounds and Pool
The 12m by 6m saline pool, surrounded by meadows full of wild flowers, affords wonderful views across the surrounding countryside. There are loungers and umbrellas for relaxing in the sun and watching the many birds of prey soaring overhead, or you could take a stroll through the meadows and try to identify some of the wide range of wild flowers, including several varieties of rare orchids.
By Air: Toulouse Blagnac airport is 50 minutes drive away and Carcassone and Rodez airports one and a half hours. All airports have car hire facilities.
By Sea and Road: The drive from the Channel ports is now almost all autoroute making this a fairly easy journey.
We are situated in the northern Tarn, one of the "departements" of the Midi Pyrénées region. The Midi Pyrénées is one the largest and most varied regions of France, the landscape is spectacular and unspoiled, ranging from the high peaks of the Pyrenees, through dense oak forests and the steep gorges of the Tarn and the Aveyron rivers, to the rolling hills, patterned with vineyards and medieval hill top villages, of the Pays de Cocagne ("land of plenty"). We are also close to the mountains of the Montagne Noir and the dramatic scenery of the Lot valley with its many prehistoric caves. Even the Dordogne or the Mediterranean coast are easily accessible for a day out.
A surprising range of flora and fauna can be found in the area including many deer and wild boar. Buzzards and hawks are an every day sight, vultures can often be seen in the Tarn gorges and, if you are very lucky, you may spot one the few remaining bears in the Pyrenees. The meadows full of wild flowers are a real joy, especially in spring when we have several varieties of wild orchids, now rarely seen in Britain.
For those who want to do more than simply relax in the sun and enjoy the slow pace of life here, there are many activities and places of interest.
History and culture
We are close to what the French call the "golden triangle", the area between Gaillac, Albi and Cordes, a perfect base to explore the many ancient hilltop, fortress villages known as "bastides", the most famous being Cordes itself. This beautifully preserved 14th century town sits on a high hill, surrounded by ramparts and is listed as one of the most beautiful villages of France. As you walk its narrow cobbled streets you will discover the shops and studios of all manner of artists, as well as shops selling local produce, leather goods and other handicrafts.
Gaillac, the centre of one of the oldest wine producing areas in France, lies on the banks of the Tarn just 10 minutes drive to the south. The town itself can trace its history back almost 2000 years and has much to offer the modern visitor. As well as the 10th century Abbaye Saint Michel on the banks of the river, there is the Musee des Beaux Arts located in the Chateau de Foucard and the museum of Natural History. There is a large, colourful market every Friday and throughout the summer there are various concerts and fêtes including the Gaillac wine festival in August.
The beautiful city of Albi, now a World Heritage Site, is less than half an hour's drive away. The mellow, pink bricks of the old quarter give this city a soft, dreamy atmosphere; the elegant squares with their fountains and cafes make it an ideal place to sit a while and watch the world go by after a stroll round the old streets of the pedestrian shopping area. The spectacular cathedral of Ste. Cecile, which is claimed to be the largest brick built building in the world, dominates the centre of the Place Ste Cecile and the nearby Toulouse Lautrec museum, with its beautiful gardens on the banks of the Tarn, is well worth a visit.
For those with a particular interest in the Cathars, in additon to Albi, both the beautiful walled city of Carcassonne, a Cathar stronghold, rich in history and dating back to the 6th century and Mont Segur, the Cathars' final stronghold, can be reached in under two hours.
There is also a wide range of both traditional and specialist museums and art galleries to explore. The best known is the Toulouse Lautrec museum in Albi but there is also a Goya museum in Castres, an excellent gallery of modern art in Toulouse, the Museum of Chocolate Art in Lisel-sur-Tarn, an exhibition of Roman artefacts in Montans and many more.
For the wine lover
Gaillac is the centre of one of the oldest wine producing areas in France; though little known outside France, the gourmet wines of this region date back over 1000 years. You can tour the local vineyards and sample the produce on site, or visit the Maison du Vins where a different selection of local wines can be tasted each day. The Gaillac wine festival in August is well worth a visit.
For the technocrat
The "Cite de l'Espace" (space city) in Toulouse, where you can see one of the original Ariane rockets, is open throughout the year and is an interesting day out for all the family. It is also possible to arrange a tour of the Airbus Industries factory where you can see the new A380 being built and go on board one of the last Concords ever built. Please note that numbers are limited and security strictly controlled so places need to be booked well in advance. We will be happy to organise this for you if you would like to make a visit.
For the more energetic
Walking or mountain biking - there are many marked trails for walking or biking, particularly in and around the Fôret de Grésigne. This huge, old oak forest is full of rare birds, deer, wild boar and other animals. Mountain bikes (VTTs) can be hired locally.
Swimming and Water Sports - there are many places to swim ranging from the Bas Vère-Grésigne which also has wind surfing, pedal boats and sailing (5 minutes away), to the "Swim-Paradise" in Albi (30 minutes away).
Kayaking - the full or half day trip through the Aveyron gorges, over gentle rapids and dams is suitable for children and beginners as well as the more experienced. There are places to stop and pic-nic or buy snacks and drinks en route. For the more experienced, kayaking through the Tarn gorges is a more exhilarating day out.
Fishing - there are numerous small rivers, lakes and commercial fish ponds. Permits can be purchased at local shops selling fishing equipment.
Other activities available in the area include tennis, golf, mini-golf, pedal-boats, horse riding, rock climbing and canoeing.
The local area is well served with a wide range of excellent restaurants providing traditional cuisine, including "sanglier" (wild boar), venison, duck and rabbit. Most villages have at least one restaurant and there is a wide variety of restaurants and brasseries in and around the local town of Gaillac.
The local Gaillac wines provide a perfect compliment to the typical cuisine of the region. Wines range from the sweet Gaillac Doux, excellent with foie gras, to the heavier reds to accompany a hearty dish of "Civet de Sanglier" (wild boar stew).
For those who wish to cook for themselves, both gites have well equipped kitchens and we provide a small welcome pack of food so that you can prepare a simple meal on your first evening and breakfast next morning. We are also happy to do more shopping for you in advance of your arrival if you wish.
Prices given are per week and include clean linen and towels(including pool towels) for each week of your stay, plus a basic pack of food to get you started. An extra charge is made for electricity as used between the end of September and the end of April.
Castelnau de Montmiral self catering accommodation
Castelnau de Montmiral