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- Domaine de Gressac is a luxury organic agriturismo vineyard hotel/farm stay gite, near Avignon in the south of France, which is part winery part horse breeding farm. The accommodation is in the form of luxury, self catering, old stone cottages, the property, both inside and out, is nothing short of gorgeous, and is surrounded by a full 280 acre estate comprising of vineyard, pastureland, woodland and even a river beach. THE ACCOMMODATION: The gites are in the form of very charming stone cottages, with the largest being able to sleep up to 7 people. They are all built quite recently from the stones and beams of the old farmhouse which was lying in ruins before the present owners lovingly restored the entire place. Though technically new in that case, the gites feel thoroughly authentic, like classic south of France farm cottages but with very much modern levels of comfort and facilities. The furniture and fittings are all nicely chosen, though mainly contemporary they don’t seem to detract from the beautifully rustic feel of the property. They all have plenty of space, with good sized lounge & sitting areas, plush kitchens and bathrooms, and come with all mod cons; flat screen TV, air-con, WiFi etc. Beautiful as the gites are, the estate that surrounds them is even more impressive. There are the lovingly tended gardens and lawns with an outdoor swimming pool and plenty of space for lounging around. Then there are the vineyards, from which the owners produce a range of reds, whites and rosés, all of which are organic. There is an on-site winery at the property too; the entire process is done in house and you can arrange tours and tasting sessions of the vineyards, winery and cellars. Then there is the horse breeding farm where you can watch some of their very beautiful thoroughbred Spanish horses trotting around. There are also areas of beautifully peaceful woodland that are lovely to stroll though, and a river with its own river beach. You can rent bikes out for free at the farmhouse and you’ll find plenty of trails through the estate for cycling and hiking. Children will be entertained READ MORE
- Beside the popular ski resort town of Formiguères, Languedoc-Roussillon, southern France, the highly rated Le Calmadou farmstay has self catering accommodation on its working sheep farm where it produces its own range of cheeses. The surrounding countryside is peaceful and serene and the views from the farm are spectacular. THE ACCOMMODATION: Their very comfortable 95 square meter self catering apartment is part of a converted barn with traditional wooden beamed ceilings and can host up to 8 people. There are three bedrooms (two doubles and a twin), a lounge area with sofa bed and flat screen TV, a modern, fully equipped kitchen, two bathrooms and a 15 square meter outside terrace area. THE FARM: The farm is a fully working sheep farm producing and selling a good range of home made cheeses, yoghurts and spicy merguez sausages. Being at an altitude of 1500 meters the winters here are cold and so the sheep move indoors to the barns but the hospitable farm owners are always happy to offer tours of the farm and the cheese factory whatever time of year you arrive. THE LOCATION: Formiguères is a popular ski town and the farmstay is just 4km from the nearest slopes, so the location is ideal for winter sports. When the season ends it is also a great area for hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking. The wider area is part of the Parc Regional de Catalan Pyrenees which is a wonderful area to explore, full of wild scenery, mountains, lakes, including the famous glacial lake at Engolasters, and thick green forests. The borders with both Spain and Andorra are less than 20km away and so the region is also a popular stopping off point before crossing the Pyrenees. WHAT OTHER GUESTS SAY: “We really enjoyed the tour around the sheep farm and the sheep’s cheese was beautiful! The gite overlooks the Pyrenees and we thoroughly enjoyed eating our breakfast on the veranda of a morning. We found the accommodation to be very homely, cosy, clean, relaxing and had a fully equipped kitchen. Thank you Francoise and Jean Pierre for our amazing stay :-)…” >> CLICK HERE TO READ MORE REVIEWS & READ MORE
- Near the beautiful city of Carcassonne, in the old Languedoc Roussillon region (now Occitanie) of France. This lovely, very friendly, boutique vineyard hotel is surrounded by the farm’s own grapevines and guests are free to wander the vineyards and enjoy wine tasting in the company of the extremely knowledgeable hosts. The rooms here are super clean and comfortable with private bathroom and WiFi but the real draw here is the wine and the food. The hosts are very enthusiastic about both, and they are great cooks. They produce some amazing meals shared by all the guests in an informal atmosphere, and washed down of course with generous helpings of their own quality wine. WHAT OTHER GUESTS SAY: “The hosts made us feel like family. Wonderful, delicious meals. Very comfortable bed. We would love to stay there again!…” “Fantastic location. Fantastic facilities. Fantastic food. Fantastic people! Loved the tour and my wine has been delivered already! Thank you….” >> CLICK HERE TO READ MORE REVIEWS & TO BOOK YOUR STAY AT O’VINEYARDS B&B: READ MORE
- La Noyeraie is a cosy, charming farm stay B&B near the UNESCO World Heritage village of Rocamadour in the green hills of the Eastern Dordogne, France. THE ACCOMMODATION: It offers a nice range of suites, rooms and self catering studios all with private bathroom and every morning they serve a great French breakfast in the farmhouse dining room, or weather permitting, on the terrace. Good wholesome home cooked evening meals are available too and they offer a great selection of local organic wines to go with them. The farmhouse is surrounded by 9 peaceful acres of orchard groves, woodland and walnut trees. The owners of La Noyeraie make their own walnut products like walnut biscuits, walnut cakes and walnut oil, which you can sample at the farmhouse as well as buy to take home. They are very enthusiastic about food generally, from harvest to table, and not just their own; they are very knowledgeable about local food and wine and they have a small farm shop where you can also buy other local delicacies to take home; pâté, duck confit and much more. As mentioned previously they also offer a selection of quality locally sourced Cahors wines; reds, whites and rosé as well as the classic Malbec ‘black wine’, all of which you can also buy at the farm shop. THE LOCATION: La Noyeraie is beside the famous cliffside pilgrimage site of Rocamadour, one of the Dordogne’s and France’s most picture perfect towns, and an important place for over 1000 years. The also picturesque and historic town of Sarlat is nearby too, and there are many more beautiful and equally historic little places to explore. The countryside in between too provides constant reminders as to how the Dordogne became one of Europe’s most popular regions for rural tourism. Ramblers and hikers may know that Rocamadour was on the traditional route of the St. James’ Way or Santiago de Compostela on its long and winding way towards Galicia in Spain. There are a few different versions of the route but Le Puy Route which passes through Figeac and Rocamadour before moving onwards through Cahors is the most well known, and the most scenic. Between Cahors READ MORE
- 1,000 meters high in the Catalan Pyrénées-Orientales department of Languedoc-Roussillon, France, and just outside the village of Prats-de-Mollo-la-Preste, El Casal has a stunning setting for its working cattle farm and traditional stone farmhouse where guests will be welcomed with the best in hospitality and comfort. THE ACCOMMODATION: Their spacious rooms are rustically stylish and come with en suite bathroom, air conditioning, flat-screen satellite TV, WiFi, a seating area plus an outdoor terrace with beautiful views over the valley below. It’s B&B and you’ll be treated to a very good and generous breakfast in the morning, with fresh bread, fruit juices, homemade jams cakes, yoghurts, and more. And if guests feel like cooking for themselves later during the day they can also have access to the farmhouse kitchen. The farm is a working beef cattle farm, with lush green pastures and meadows, and comes with incredible views over the surrounding valleys. THE LOCATION: As mentioned before, the main attraction of this farm stay is the location, the views are breathtaking from the farm itself and there are some great hiking trails around that go all around the mountains. You could really spend days exploring the trails around the farm or just sitting on the grass contemplating the beauty of it all. It’s also about five kilometers from the centre of the very pretty Catalan town(s) of Prats-de-Mollo-la-Preste. The Prats-de-Mollo section has a lovely old town with cobblestone streets and stylish squares guarded from above by the impressive medieval walls of Fort Lagarde, and a 14th-century round tower. The fort is a bit of a climb from the town centre but has amazing views. La Preste is the adjoining, more modern part of town as is known for its therapeutic spa waters. They have allegedly many beauty and health benefits, and your feet might enjoy an evening dip after that tough hike up to Fort Lagarde. The nearby Reserve Naturelle de Prats-de-Mollo (about 30 minutes by car from the farmhouse) is a stunning nature reserve with an abundance of wildlife on its rocky plateaus; vultures, eagles, wild cats, and the famous Pyrenean chamois (wild goats), for example. It also has a cafe and plenty of READ MORE
- This 19th-century château, near Carcassone, has a variety of lovely rustic style, self-catering accommodation on a famous Languedoc winery with nearly 300 acres of vineyards and olive groves. Their wines are highly prized and they do a full program of wine tourism activities; tours of the vineyards and wine cellars, tasting sessions, etc., but even if you have very little interest in such things Château Canet is still a very pleasant, sociable place to stay with a lovely peaceful setting and plenty to do and see both around the estate and in the surrounding area. THE ACCOMMODATION: They have a great range of accommodation on offer, mainly cottages but with some small apartments too. All are very charming, comfortable and clean and come in various sizes, with the largest covering 250 m² and which can sleep up to eight comfortably. Check your options on the booking page here. The accommodation mixes rustic and modern styles well and generally doesn’t stray too far from the traditional French farmhouse look. They are comfortable, homely, and well equipped and there is plenty of outside seating, dining and lounging space plus BBQ facilities, a swimming pool, tennis courts, a boules court, and a playground for the kids. Beyond the gardens, there are some small sections of farmland and woodland but the estate is mainly comprised of vineyards and olive groves. Château Canet is very well known in the region and has won numerous awards for both wine and olive oil with their Minervois (an AOC in this area of Languedoc-Roussillon) being a mixture of whites reds and rosé. Olive oil tasting sessions and educational tours are available as well as a full program of wine tourism activities. THE LOCATION: The chateau is very near Carcassone, just 15km from the city centre in fact, and so makes a good base for enjoying the spectacular fortress city while also avoiding much of the daily tourist hordes. The accommodation is self catering and shopping for food supplies etc. can also of course be done there. The charming little town of Trèbes is less than five minutes away too, and is a good place to arrange a long READ MORE