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Medieval Cottages within the Chateau-de-Brissac ramparts share Spectacular Pool - 5 Rue Caterine (sleeps 4/5)

Bedrooms 2
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 7 nights
Popular Features
  • Fireplace
  • Barbecue
  • Washing Machine
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Internet
  • Parking



5 Rue Caterine (sleeps 4/5)

Master bedroom with super king-size bed (190 x 200 cm), east-facing balcony with 'timeless" view, walk-in closet. Twin bedroom with 2 single beds, wardrobe; house bathroom with sink, bidet, shower, bath and WC. Fully furnished kitchen with hob, oven, fridge freezer, kettle, microwave and dishwasher. Living room with large sofa plus single sofa-bed, bookshelf with small library, sideboard, wood-burning stove. Dining room with refectory table, 9 chairs, sideboard, comfy "Kibitzer's chair" next the kitchen. Walled "Secret" garden across the lane from the kitchen door (no cars, just the odd tourist on foot goes past), with stone table and seating under tiled roof for particularly agreeable outdoor dining, plus deck chairs and BBQ; suitable for petanque; digging area for small boys. Weekly change of all linen and towels, inc pool towels. "...we've not found a better view to wake up to, or to gaze at through the day/night." "Lovely accommodation with loads of room." "..very comfortable..

About the property


"Sensitively restored" medieval cottages in the ramparts of the Château de Brissac-le-Haut provide a smooth-running background for your perfect holiday. Master bedrooms each have their own balcony with "timeless" and "spellbinding" view; both cottages also have their own private garden with a particularly agreeable outdoor dining area. "The garden was fantastic in the evenings, when we sat and watched the sky change colour, content to listen to the birdsong give way to the sound of crickets and frogs and watch the stars come out." The silence is tangible, broken only by the village clock, whose bell rings the hours and the half hours, accurate to within 25 minutes of world time, which suits Brissac just fine. "The most dramatic of swimming pools (sculpted into the rock on which the castle sits), with amazing views", is shared between the guests in the two cottages; if our family and friends are staying in the castle they also come down for a swim. The pool lies above and behind the cottages, safe and private behind high stone walls, accessed by your front door key. It is a natural shape, some 16 meters long and up to 3.5 meters deep - excellent for diving or a plunge to cool off. There are numerous sitting areas around the pool: on the decking, under the pine trees, or beside the pool house, which is furnished with a hot shower and a toilet and a well-equipped kitchenette with small refrigerator/freezer and hob, perfect for lunch beside the pool. Next to the pool is a large rock garden full of local aromatic plants which perfume the area and attract bees and butterflies. As the sun moves round during the day it is always possible to fine either sun or shade someplace around the pool. There is also a large terrace nearby with a marble table, six chairs and another BBQ for dinners under the stars. The cottages are originally of medieval construction, rebuilt as necessary, most recently some 40 years ago when they were restored from roofless ruins to provide holiday accommodation of the highest standard. They are the last houses in the village, with only the ruins of a medieval inn beyond. Your neighbours there will be the birds, the cicadas, the frogs, and the occasional tourist passing and returning on the Rue Caterine. The most important decision of the day becomes when to go up to the pool, or perhaps to have a day out and go down to St Guilhelm le Desert for a stroll round the church before an excellent meal of fresh trout, followed by a swim in the Herault on the way home. Brissac is a small rural village surrounded by extensive oak forests interspersed with small vineyards. Located between the Cévennes National Park and the Mediterranean Sea, Brissac is well placed for canoeing, walking, climbing and mountain biking. Nimes, Montpellier, Avignon, Arles, the modern bridge at Millau, Beziers, Sete, Carcassone, and the Mediterranean beaches are all within easy reach. Good restaurants are everywhere. "There is a huge amount to see and do and savour, but the most important is to fill yourselves full of the peace and serenity."

About Us

Vera Sampson
5018 49th Street, Apartment 407
X1A 3R6 Yellowknife
VAT Reg No

Vera Sampson
Member since: 2003
Speaks English, French
Calendar last updated:
14 August, 2017

About Vera Sampson

The castle which provides welcome shade to parts of the swimming pool in summer was purchased by my parents as a restoration project for their retirement. They had a lot of fun turning a roofless ruin into a family home of timeless beauty, but abandoned both project and castle when they became too old to manage the stairs.

They chose Brissac because it is moderately close to Montpellier, where my grandmother lived. There were other advantages too: Brissac is a charming and friendly village in an unspoiled rural setting. There is so much to see and do in this region that after nearly 50 years we have yet to visit everything it has to offer. And it offered a wonderful castle to restore.

Fortunately they had purchased some house ruins to protect the pool area from unsympathetic development, which they rebuilt to form the two cottages now known as No 5 and No 7 Rue Caterine. We have maintained the cottages to retain their original charm while ensuring that they provide a smooth running background for your perfect holiday, furnished to the standard that we ourselves would like to find in a holiday cottage. The French describe the lifestyle of those who live in castles as "La Vie de Chateau," which consists of lazy days surrounded by beautiful architecture, swimming in a unique private pool, interesting visits out, good companionship and good food. We gladly share these pleasures with our guests on the Rue Caterine, while sparing them the disadvantages of life in a real medieval castle: dicey plumbing, ghosts, and icy blasts howling round corners. Life on the Rue Caterine is luxurious, sybaritic, relaxing, a nice change from the modern world.

Vera Sampson purchased this cottage in 1960

Guestbook comments from the owner

From guests who knew us and therefore booked directly:

We booked our holiday at Le Chateau Brissac on the recommendation of our son who had stayed there last year. I would like to recommend this property to anybody who loves a quiet life with spectacular scenery. The gite was the best equipped in which we have ever stayed, and the bed the most comfortable.

Vera, our hostess, did everything she could to make our stay so enjoyable - nothing was too much trouble. We will certainly recommend this property our friends and if we are ever back in this area would have no hesitation in staying there again.
May 2017
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Available Rentals

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Booking Notes:
Book directly by email with the owners.

Changeover Day:
Changeover Saturday. Please plan to arrive not earlier than 5pm, and to depart by 9.30 am to give us time to clean the cottaes to meet our very high standards.

Notes on prices:
Prices are for each property per week in Euros. Security deposit of €300 payable with final balance. From May through September cottages are let for whole weeks only, from Saturday to Saturday. Price includes ironed, white, hi-quality cotton bedlinen; duvets and feather or hypoallergenic pillows; bathroom and pool towels; tablecloths and tea towels; electricity, gas and water; selected kitchen & bathroom consumables, & final cleaning - just Pack & Walk Away. No electricity or consumables for long winter lets.


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday cottage in Brissac in Hérault

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Self-catering
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 17:00 / Check-out: 09:30
  • Max. occupancy: 5
  • children welcome ...
  • pets not allowed ...
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • rural
  • village
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Fireplace
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Tumble Dryer ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 9 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Bath with Shower , Bidet , Small marble bathroom
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 5
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed
    Bedroom 2 - 2 Single Bed
  • Master bedroom has excellent firm 2-meter-long king-size bed, walk-in closet, secretaire with 3 drawers under, fan, balcony with exceptional view. Twin bedroom below has 2 single beds (or king-size), French armoire for clothes storage, fan, mirror, view over roofscape of Brissac-le-Haut.
  • Books ...
  • Games ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Toys ...
  • Balcony ...
  • Terrace ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Communal Pool ...
  • Outdoor Pool
  • caves
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • museums
  • playground
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • waterfalls
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horse riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • paragliding
  • rafting
  • caving
  • swimming
Notes on accommodation: "The most comfortable and best equipped house we have stayed at." "Exceeded expectations." Electric fan in each bedroom. Electric heating throughout each house for cold weather. Guests' laundry washed and tumble dried by resident laundry fairy. No pets. Reserved parking at entrance to chateau. Children very welcome: age-appropriate furniture and furnishings, and interesting, creative toys are all free. "Arrived to find, unlike many gîtes, absolutely everything we should need." "You are so thoughtful with all the little touches like the toys and the extra sheets." From a boy aged 10: "Scorpions, Beetles, Owl Pellets and Bugs - fantastic. The pool is great - fantastic place to learn to dive." And from his brother, age 7: "The pool was the best, great for bombing." "...it's so hard to drag yourself away from the scenery and the stars. Secret Garden is great to eat out, especially with lots of candles." Outside: The spectacular natural-shaped pool, (16m x 6.75m max - 0 to 3.5m deep), has steps at the shallow end and middle. "The most beautiful swimming pool ever" "A work of art in itself" "The amazing architecture" "The setting is unbelievable and the pool incredible." The pool house has a kitchenette and changing room with toilet and hot shower; "exceeded expectations". Pool is shared between the cottages; family and guests in the adjacent chateau also come down to swim. There is decking for sunbathing, and several separate seating areas including under the pine trees, on the decking, beside the pool house, and beside the pool. Seating includes deck chairs, comfortable arm chairs, and a marble dining table with 6 chairs on the terrace below the pool. Child-size furniture as appropriate appears when needed. The entire pool area is surrounded by high stone walls for privacy and child security. The cottages are part of a living chateau which includes you during your stay.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(7 traveller reviews)

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5 Rue Caterine (sleeps 4/5)
average rating of 5.0 based on 8 reviews

Unforgettable Holiday

  • 5 of 5

Well, what a find! We had such a lovely, memorable holiday staying in Rue Caterina 5. Vera, your host, is the most amazing, fascinating and most helpful lady you are ever likely to encounter. The pool was wonderful and we used it every day - Vera put the slackline up a couple of times for us and we had great fun falling in and trying our luck on the 'highwire'! The cottages are lovely - absolutely everything you need is provided from night lights to cool bags. You can be sure that Vera has thought of it before you even know you needed it! We travelled from Montpelier and enjoyed visiting the city before going to Brissac, however, driving into Montpelier is to be avoided at all costs! The road system is dreadful and parking even more so. Our children, aged 10 and 11, found themselves looking forward to finding rivers and waterfalls to jump from, caves to visit and natural geological sites to marvel over. We enjoyed dining outside in the private garden, where we also had boule competitions each day. Seeing the castle and learning about its history were such a bonus to what was already a very original holiday in the nicest sense of the word. Vera is charming, super-friendly - without being intrusive - and one of life's characters, who we were fortunate enough to meet. Thank you Vera. We hope to come again in the future.

  • Review Submitted: Jul 27, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Guests, We're so glad that you enjoyed your stay on the Rue Caterine. Sharing the castle and the many wonderful activities of the region is our pleasure, with your delight as our best recompense. We would love to see you again in the future. There is so much to do around Brissac that you will not be bored.
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Stunning location, unique and extremely comfortable accommodation. A wonderful holiday.

  • 5 of 5

We absolutely loved our holiday in Chateau Brissac. Vera is the most loveliest of hosts whose attention to detail, made our stay one of the most memorable holidays. There is so much to do and see in this region. We fell in love with the canoeing and did a 9km and 12km route down the river and saw some of the most beautiful countryside we have ever seen. The sleepy rural villages were so charming and we will never forget our beautiful walk down to the bakers in Brissac each morning to get our fresh bread. So memorable.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 21, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Guests, It was such a pleasure hearing of your thrilling adventures canoeing the wildest part of the Herault, and seeing your happiness in having conquered the rapids. We thoroughly enjoyed your boys playing in the pool as only teen-aged boys can do, battering each other with noodles and conquering the Slackline. We hope when the boys are grown that you might return for another peaceful week on the Rue Caterine, absorbing the silence and the peace as you count the hours rung mostly less accurately by the village clock.
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Amazing place

  • 5 of 5

We stayed one week in an appartment at the castle in Brissac, and we loved it. It is so authentic, so full of history, simply an amazing place to spend your holiday. Before leaving, we booked it again next year - just can't imagine that we can find such a place again elsewhere. We have already spread the word to everybody around us back in Denmark.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 7, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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lovely location, great views, helpful friendly owner. Interesting Castle tour from Owner

  • 5 of 5

The property had everything we needed, the beds were comfortable and the sheets we nice soft cotton, kitchen was well equipped. Vera the owner is a very helpful lady and even offers to do some laundry for you while your there which was really handy. The views from the cottage are spectacular and the walking in the area is really challenging, rocky paths with lots of up/down sections. A word of warning if your not very mobile, the village is on a hillside and you have to walk at least 50-100 metres from the nearest car parking spot to the cottages some of which is up hill. If you're reasonably fit the walking will send you home even fitter which is nice. There's an excellent bakery in the lower village which is about 10 minutes walk away but is about 10-15 floors below the cottages along a tarmac/stone path/road so you'll be wanting an extra croissant to help fuel the walk back up. We did the walk every day and really enjoyed it, but if you don't like the idea the baker does drive up to the top village in his van about 9-10am so you can buy without walking all the way down if you want. The lower village also has a lovely village green area with lots of trees and a stream running along it, perfect for a little picnic. Vera has a couple of very large guard dogs who bark when you ring the bell but they are perfectly friendly when introduced to you by Vera. I certainly wouldn't want to be a burglar and find myself facing them without the owners introduction!! The lower village also has a posh looking restaurant and a small cafe with shop attached for a few basics. there are 2-3 good sized supermarkets within 15 minutes drive. We tried river canoeing which was fun and a little more exciting than the River Thames near us, we did a 7km run down river from the suspension bridge which took about 1.5 hours and involves several sets of rapids where the canoe bounces along the rocks. Not recommended if you want to stay dry!!! They arrange a pick up time at the end and then drive you back to the start point and your car. Cost was about 40euro for a 2 man canoe and they provide the life jacket and helmet. Vera's castle tour is well worth doing. There's even a dishwasher which is handy. No telly which for us is just fine as we don't watch telly on holiday.

  • Review Submitted: Jun 5, 2017
  • Date of Stay: May 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for your informative review giving future travellers an excellent idea of life on the Rue Caterine. It was a great pleasure receiving you as the first guests of the year, and we are happy that you enjoyed your walking and other activities, despite our paths which are normal for limestone country. And yes, there's no getting away from the fact that our medieval castle and it's associated cottages were all built in a good defensive position at the top of a steep hill at a time when safety was paramount. That's why the view is so nice.
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Eventyrlig oplevelse

  • 5 of 5

Vi boede en uge i disse pragtfulde rammer, og det står som en af de mest fantastiske ferieboliger vi som familie har boet i. Helt fredfyldt i på toppen af denne lille middelalderby med udsigt over hele dalen og som nabo til højt knejsende borg. Huset er smagfuldt indretttet - personligt med respekt for husets særlige karakter. Køkkenet er stort og veludstyret, og skulle der mangle noget sørger slottets søde ejer, Vera, at imødekomme gæsternes ønsker. Vores tre børn elskede stedet, ikke mindst det smukke poolområde og poolhus, som man uden problemer deler med nabohuset.

Et helt igennem eventyrligt sted med både mystik og skønhed, der går i blodet på én.

  • Review Submitted: Jul 19, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you dear Danish guests. We are happy that you enjoyed your holiday and hope to see you again sometime.
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Wonderful cottage in a spectacular setting

  • 5 of 5

5 Rue Caterine is a spacious and comfortable home from home with large bedrooms and a very well-equipped kitchen. But that is only part of the story. The "added extras" are what make it extra special.

Opposite the front door is a door to a wonderful 'secret garden" to which you have the key. There is a massive stone table on which to eat your meals under cover from the sun; or watch the moon rise and the stars come out by candlelight. Then there is the swimming pool. Where else can you swim within a castle's ramparts? If the weather takes a stormy turn, the top-floor balcony will provide cover from the rain and a panoramic view of a natural spectacle.

If you are keen walkers (as we are) there are fine and well-signposted walks from the front door; or spectacular and more challenging hikes a short drive away - Pic san Loup, Le Cirque de Navacelles and a circular route up and around St Guilhem le Desert I can recommend from experience. The variety of flora and fauna will keep any budding naturalist happy.

The nearby town of Ganges has market days twice a week, and even the smaller one (Tuesdays) will provide you with bags of fresh produce with which to make a fine meal. The butchers in the covered market are well worth a visit. Minced steak never tastes this good at home. Le Jardin des Sources in the village will provide you with five-star cuisine, or I would recommend O Dix Vins and the Bar de la Poste in Ganges for simpler, really good meals and friendly service.

Vera, the chateau's owner, is rightly proud of her family home and takes obvious pleasure in making sure visitors are having the best possible time. Do ask for a tour of the castle - it's fascinating stuff.

I have now stayed at Rue Caterine four times and look forward to returning again soon. It is a perfect base for walking, eating, or just perfecting the fine art of doing nothing.

  • Review Submitted: Jun 14, 2015
  • Date of Stay: May 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Nearest Restaurant
0.5 Kilometres
Car: necessary

Special interest holidays:

Children of all ages are particularly catered for with interesting and challenging toys and activities.


The Mediterranean beaches are little over 1 hour away by car for a good day out.

Many guests also enjoy the gravel beaches of the Herault River which runs nearby. Canoeing on the Herault is "not to be missed - great fun and very pleasant on a hot day."

Also, "The pool is out of this world." "What an amazing place to be."


Brissac is approximately 1 1/4 hour from Montpellier airport (MPL) and 1 1/4 hour from Nimes (FNI), Beziers (BZR) and Perpignan(PGF), or 11 hours drive from Calais.

Train: Eurostar to Avignon in summer, approximately 2 hours drive away. Or Eurostar changing to TGV in Lille to Nimes or Montpellier.

A car is essential. There is parking reserved for you at the entrance to the chateau, or generally available in the communal parking area at the entrance to the village.


Ganges 10 km - all local amenities and not-to-be-missed Friday market. St Guilhelm-le Desert half an hour. St Jean de Bueges approx 15 mins. Causse du Larzac ½ hour. Montpellier and Nimes approx 1 hour. Carcassone approx 2½ hours. Herault River for paddling, swimming 5 - 10 minutes. (Times are all driving times.)

Further Details:

Brissac le Bas is an easy walk, although coming back is uphill all the way! It has a Boulangerie, also a nice restaurant, or a snack bar. Ganges (6 miles) has all the local amenities such as supermarkets and petrol station, coffee roaster, ATM, cafes and shops, as well as a Friday street market full of local produce and products, and a Sunday "Marche au Puces." You can attend a local market in a nearby town or village every day of the week. For even wider choice, Montpellier and Nimes are within easy access by car. There are more restaurants than we can count nearby, from simple country hostelries to superb haut-cuisine establishments - the Restaurant Book kept in the pool house is becoming an excellent resource as guests add cards or brochures and describe their experiences. Canoeing on the Herault river is popular, with numerous starting points and distances from 3 to 20 or more km. Walking is another pleasure, ranging from gentle meanders round Brissac or along the river to serious hiking in the Cevennes. In Brissac history is everywhere around you. The local area is chock full of Romanesque buildings, including our castle with its two 11th century towers. The thirteenth century, the time of the Cathars, is recent history, and Brissac's strong fortifications were built to keep out the English after the battle of Crecy. Roman Nimes and medieval (and modern) Montpellier are nearby. The local area is becoming noted for producing excellent wines, which you can buy at the supermarket, or when visiting the domaines, or 'en primeur' for collection the following year.

"Felt very well looked after." 'It usually takes me a week to unwind, but here it only took a day.' "The most important decision becomes when in the day to go up to the pool." 'The house is so well designed, comfortable and welcoming.' "Extremely clean." "It all exceeded our expectations & was a wonderful place to stay." "Everything was perfect." "We have had an absolutely amazing time." "A truly spectacular location."