La Fontaine Fraiche
- Paraza Holiday Cottage
- Sleeps 1 to 4, 2 bedrooms
- €200 to €350 per week
Paraza lies between the Black Mountains to the north and beaches of the Mediterranean to the southeast, Both the mountains and the sea can be reached in less than an hour. The mountains to the north have some of the best rock-climbing centres in Europe.
Lanquedoc, with its intense history contains gorgeous landscapes, mountains, caves, dolmens, gorges, abbeys, chateaux and many of the most beautiful villages in France. Nearby is the famous walled city of Carcassonne.
The village is built on the Canal du Midi at the foot of the hills of Minervois, that the canal follows in this region. Across the canal is the plain the River Aude, and beyond that the hills of Corbieres and then the Pyrenees. It lies on the border of two wine growing areas, both famous for their celebrated red wines. Paraza is built on the steeply rising ground on the north bank of the Canal, which allows views from the top of the village across the river to the mountains.
The countryside around is very beautiful, with many vineyards, of course but also with uncultivated hills and woods, full of wildlife. It is great for rambling, and the towpath on the canal allows easy long cycle rides; bicycles can be hired in the village.
Accommodation - sleeps 3/4
The house is in a quiet little cul-de-sac, with a patio facing east in front of the house, perfect for croissants, coffee and fruit juice to start the day.
The interiors have been recently restored: On the ground floor are the entrance and one large room containing the dining area, seating area and kitchen. All the kitchen equipment is new, fridge, electric oven and washing machine.
The middle floor has a bedroom with a French window, and a bathroom with a newly built oversize shower. On the landing is a small library with an eclectic and we hope interesting collection of books, including some relating to the cultural and natural histories of the region.
The top floor is one big open space, containing a double bed and leading onto the roof terrace through full height sliding glass doors. The terrace is walled and quite private, big enough for sunbathing and eating. However reaching up to look over the wall gives magnificent views across the roofs of Paraza, and the over the countryside beyond. On clear days sometimes the snow-capped mountains of the Pyrennees can be seen.
The stair that connects the middle and top floors is quite precarious, and although it is safe for the able bodied, it might be more difficult for toddlers or dodderers. It is very pretty, and ascending it from the comparative darkness of the middle floor landing into the brightness of the top level is one of the great pleasures of living in the house.
Behind the house on the west side is a small square with la Fontaine Fraiche, the cool fountain that gives the square and the road its name. The sound of the water can be heard in the house. Two sides of the square are made up by the garden walls of the Chateau de Paraza, behind which is a spectacular old garden, tumbling down the hill from the top of the village to the canal. The birdlife in the garden is copious and varied; in the evening large numbers of birds come to drink from the fountain, where they can be discreetly watched through the kitchen window.
The village contains a post office, a hairdressers, a butchers and a small general provisions shop with fresh bread every day. In addition there is a restaurant in an orchard and a bar/ restaurant by the canal. In Roubia, the village three kilometres away, boats can be hired for trips along the canal. The nearest town is Lezignan which is 10k away. As well as banks, restaurants etc it has an exceptional market every Wednesday which sells wonderful fresh produce.
Narbonne and Carcassonne are within easy reach.
La Fontaine Fraiche
Paraza holiday cottage
2 Rue de la Fontaine Fraiche