Set in a tiny hamlet with stunning views in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the Ariege, SW France,The Barn at Bentefarine offers the ultimate escape-from-it-all rural retreat.
Oozing barn charm the property, converted in 2011, has comfortable accommodation for up to 5 people & is both child and baby-friendly although it is equally suitable as an idyllic romantic retreat for two.
There are two bedrooms; one double the other a twin which is large enough to accommodate an extra child's bed or cot as necessary.
We are 'baby-friendly' with loads of equipment to lend including books & toys.
The accommodation is arranged 'upside down' with the 2 bedrooms, large bathroom (with shower and bath) and separate WC on the ground floor. A wide beech staircase leads up to the beautiful light first floor where there is a well-equipped kitchen with farmhouse dining table and chairs, living area with sofa, log-burning stove and original A-frame beams. Go through one of three double oak French windows to the huge south-facing decked balcony where you can sunbathe and dine al fresco overlooking the wooded hills and mountains beyond.
Visitors to the barn are invited to share the owner's 8x5m pool which is securely fenced, unheated but rarely cold.
The Area: With views of the ruins of Montsegur and the first peaks of the Pyrenees, the hamlet of Bentefarine (sometimes called Ventefarine ) lies in the heart of the Cathar Region. Other ruins such as Lagarde, Puivert and Roquefixade are all close by. The hamlet of Bentefarine consists of 7 dwellings, the majority of the inhabitants are resident year-round with only the Barn itself and one other house built as holiday homes. We all consider ourselves very priviledged to live in such a beautiful location.
The beauty of the hamlet is that it feels very out-of-the-way despite there being many amenities within close proximity; the nearby village of Leran just a 5 minute drive away, has a daily market with bakery every day except Monday.There is a superb restaurant for evening dining in the Abbaye Chateau de Camon. Supermarkets can be found in Laroque D'Olmes just 8 kms away and in Mirepoix, 12kms away .The Monday market at Mirepoix is lovely.
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Mirepoix: The ancient city of Mirepoix, a medieval bastide town the centre of which seems almost unchanged since the early 1400s, is home to a weekly market on Mondays where local produce can be bought direct from the producers. There are also supermarkets,gift shops, chemists, tabacs, bars and many restaurants.The city plays host to a ream of weekend festivals and events. Please visit the local Office deTourisme website for details.
The beautiful Lac Montbel just 7 minutes drive away has a sandy beach, restaurant, plenty of shade and a lifeguard in July and August and has always been our favourite place to cool off in summer. Near the village of Montbel, there is a second pebbly beach with stunning views of the mountains and a beach bar. Both places have pedalos for hire.The lake is home to an organic trout farm and the local sailing club.
Just a 20 minute drive away is another lovely lake at Puivert. It is very popular with families with small children and has a playground and cafe.
In the Spring months the area is home to many rare wild orchids.
In the Autumn we like to forage for mushrooms.
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