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Cycling and walking heaven in the foothills of Midi-Pyrenées/Haute Garonne

Overview

Property

Updated: 22-Nov-2016
Enjoy the fresh clean air and rushing streams in the verdant mountains between France and Spain, by foot or bike or car, not a bad holiday

This is cycling, walking, skiing, motorbiking and horseriding heaven in the Pyrenées. Not too much traffic around here! The pretty village of Soueich is in the lee of a higher plain, sheltered from wind. It is idylically located on the river Ger amongst the gently rolling foothills of the Pyrenees before they rise up in Aspet to start the steep climb upwards over the mountains leading up and over to Spain via St Béat. The Cols de Menté (1349m), Larrieu (704m), des Ares (797m) and Portet d'Aspet (1069m), test the afiçionados of cycling, as they follow in the tracks of the heroes of the Tour de France in the spring, summer and autumn. In winter up till Easter, go up to the small sunny ski station of le Mourtis 40 minutes away for a little skiing and lovely lunch in the sun, and enjoy the wonderful winding road through banks of snow and rooftops blanketed with a metre of snow. The roads are all efficiently cleared of snow for cars. After Easter, carry on over the mountain for lunch in Spain and a bit of Spanish supermarket shopping. Within an hour you can be seated at your table for paella and tapas, and after a slow lunch and a bit of shopping, you can be home again way before dark.

For sporty people, there is so much to do; cycling, skiing, hiking, swimming in mountain lakes, horseriding, paragliding in the mountains, canoeing in the valleys, you name it.

For motorcyclists, you can roar round the mountain twists and turns without too much else on the road.

For horseriders, you can ride up the mountains with a guide.

For children, you can learn to ski at half the price of the Alps (it's a secret place)

For gourmets, there are markets and specialist shops selling all cuts of meat, only seasonal organic produce, chocolatiers, wine aisles in the supermarkets which will make you wish you had just gone to Lidl! - even the yogurt counters will boggle your mind.

For girls, there are some great boutiques in St Gaudens, a bit different (and I will draw a map) not to mention NafNaf and CacheCache.

For painters and writers, it is an inspiration of light and landscape; encompassing lakes in emerald green, skies of azure, mountains of cadmium yellow and green and fields of cows in their every variety.

For nature lovers and bird watchers, there are birds small and enormous, some circling in the thermals, and some twittering in the nut trees.

The summer is boiling, the winter is cold, the autumn is beautiful, but the Spring can be grey....a bit of a generalisation as you never do know.

For people wanting nightlife, go somewhere else! There are restaurants open at night within 12km, but mostly lunch is the thing, and supper at home.

The area is central for the exploration of Lourdes, the beautiful cities of Toulouse and Pau, and both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean coasts, which are equidistant. There are mediaeval villages, cathedrals, rivers, caves - and markets in towns almost every day with organic produce within 5 to 40km. A LeClerc giant supermarket in St Gaudens tempts with cheeses, fishcounter, butcher, vegetables and fruits all proudly, colourfully and reverently displayed. Summer provides lovely picnic areas next to rivers and in the mountains, walking through the endless forests and drinking from the mountain streams. There are lakes and fishing, cayakking, rafting, paragliding...all manner of activities in this pure air.

The loft-style apartment, renovated by an English decorator, is furnished with an eclectic mix of family English antiques, French antiques and 'modern Bali', with a brand new kitchen and modern-style bathrooms. The whitewashed wooden floor is 95 square metres, and has a large open plan kitchen/ dining room and lounge with huge sofa and modern bamboo chairs. There's a nice big central dining table and a large armoire full of crockery and glasses. It is lit by large windows and skylights under the lofty whitewashed beams, the skylights catching the sun all day. At either end are a smart kingsize/twin bedroom with airy ensuite bathroom comprising bath, loo and basin, and at the other end a romantic French double sleigh-bed with ensuite bathroom comprising walk-in shower, loo and basin. The whole project is newly installed to a high standard. The curtains are handmade and interlined for a cosy feel. The ground floor reception/studio of 35 sq m has armchairs, coffee table, bookshelves with lots of maps and local info to study, easels for painters, - making a 'snug' and studio with excellent lighting. The state-of-the-art stove is in here for a warm welcome. The barn has its own front door, entrance gate, courtyard and garage and is at a distance from the main house for a private feeling. Outside furniture, barbecue and dining facilities are available for those long summer evenings. The village has a Post Office and shop to pre-order your croissants and buy a coffee. 3km away is a Carrefour Express which has a surprising array of necessities, open 8 to 8'ish. 4km away is Aspet which is a gorgeous place for coffee, a market on Wednesday and Saturday, and a crystal view of the Cagire mountain on a sunny day.

Nearby St Gaudens has a great market on Thursday and the town buzzes. Book for lunch at Café 50 while you finish your wanderings - they don't rush you. There are some great boutiques and quirky shops if you look hard or get a map from me. Banks and cycle shops, hairdressers etc.

Day trip to Pau recommended; go to the Berry for lunch, very good meat, manic brasserie, and lovely shops and chateau so pristine with moat. Park by the station and go up by lift to the town...all very smart.

I have a big list of restaurants, smart or otherwise, including the one up the road which has set meals, usually pig, cow or duck with chips and salad, a huge cheeseboard and very cheap wine, great fun - almost like a 'local' (see photo).

More Details
  • Sleeps 4
  • 2 Bedrooms
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Parking
  • Garden
  • Barbecue
  • Internet
  • Dish washer
  • Washing machine
  • Towels provided
  • Linens provided
  • Bookable online

Top Traveller Review

About the Owner

I'm Julia and I bought the house for holidays, but am still here 5 years later... and it has become home. Now I've converted the tumbledown barn for overspill from the main house when friends and family from England and South Africa arrive en masse, I would be happy to share it with other visitors for the rest of the year. I spend a lot of time here enjoying the tranquillity of the village and the overwhelming beauty of the mountains after a hectic life as a decorator in London and Durban. I am on site for practical tips and local advice on where to go and things to do, so don't hesitate to ask.

Call Owner
Speaks English, French, little bit of Spanish and German

10 Reviews

5
based on 10 holidaymaker reviews

5

Luxurious retreat in a glorious part of the world

  • 5 of 5

We stayed here for a week and it was a wonderful, relaxing experience. The village is quiet, which suited us down to the ground, and as everyone else has mentioned, Jule provided the perfect balance between helpful advice and letting us get on with it. A perfect host. The barn is beautifully furnished and has everything you could need. Fantastic countryside to explore. I had my bicycle and rode over several passes - the road up the Col de Portet D'Aspet from Saint-Girons is particularly lovely with lots of little villages to pass through on the way up. Would definitely love to return at some point in the future. Highly recommended.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 24, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for the review. I try hard to make it 'just so', and seem to very fortunate with quality guests. I hope your onward journey was fun. Please come again, bienvenu!
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0 0
5

lovely

  • 5 of 5

The apartment is very comfortable, full of character and beautifully decorated. The area is great for cycling and walking in the immediate vicinity as well as being within striking distance of the Pyrenees with it's wonderful walking and iconic cycling climbs. Jule is a delightful and welcoming hostess, getting in touch before the holiday to ensure we were well prepared before our arrival. Thank you, we had a lovely and beautifully memorable holiday. Tim & Dinah

  • Review Submitted: Jul 31, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you Dinah and Tim for being great guests; it was fun meeting you. jule
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0 0
5

Outstanding Accommodation in a Stunning Location

  • 5 of 5

This is 5 star accommodation, located on the doorstep of some of Europe's most stunning scenery. I can't recommend it enough. I rented the barn for an extended period and have loved every minute of it. Its paradise whether you are into outdoor pursuits such as skiing, cycling and hill walking or would rather take a more gentle approach and sit back on a terrace and enjoy some great food and wine. It has the perfect blend of being in rural French countryside to chill and relax but also being within an hour drive of so many great places. My highlights were: Baqueira, La Mongie and Peyreguedes for skiing, multiple local Tour de France routes and cols for cycling and Balnea spa for a day of relaxation and pampering. Aspet just up the road is fantastic on market day and for a coffee in the morning, with Pau, Lourdes, Foix and Mirepoix all great for sightseeing and a day out. If that all sounds too much effort then just chill at the barn which is even better than the pictures and description. Its a home from home with fantastic beds, shower, bath, wood burning stove, furnishings - you wont want to leave - I didn't! Finally, as I stayed for some time I can completely vouch for previous comments about the helpfulness and consideration of Jule who owns the barn. She found the perfect balance of being non intrusive whilst helping make my stay the best it possibly could be. Thanks :-)

  • Review Submitted: May 1, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Mar 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: So rewarding to hear your comments, merci! There is a perfect blend of attention and privacy which must be judged per client. Not everyone likes a little village like this, but it is rather addictive, and they will miss you!
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0 0
5

Classy comfort

  • 5 of 5

I enjoyed a very comfortable stay in the foothills of the pyrenees . The owner was kind and attentive. I am happy happy to recommend Rue de Trusse to anyone.

  • Review Submitted: Nov 12, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Nov 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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0 0
5

Lovely barn conversion

  • 5 of 5

Comfortable accommodation

Lovely large open plan living space with dining area and kitchen

Peaceful location

Beautiful surrounding countryside

Plenty to see and do nearby-we enjoyed walking,cycling and rafting

  • Review Submitted: Sep 8, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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0 0
5

Immaculate barn in a peaceful village

  • 5 of 5

Owner is charming, generous and helpful. The barn is beautifully decorated, well equipped and with extremely comfortable beds. Market day in nearby Aspet is not to be missed and there are plenty of activities such and hiking, rafting and cycling in the pyrenees within a short drive. We are already thinking about a return stay.

  • Review Submitted: Sep 7, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Location

From the Owner

A random visit to friends in the area revealed the wonders of the Pyrenées! Mountains and forests and rivers seem to be the antidote to modern western life. The pure air and delicious water, silence and serenity, stars at night instead of pollution, friendly people in a pretty village; easy access to trains and airports so still not cut off! Hop across the mountains to Spain for a change of scenery. A slice of paradise for me.

Activity and Interests

Nearest Airport : Toulouse at 95 Kilometres Nearest Barpub : Encausse les Thermes at 3 Kilometres Nearest Ferry : Montpellier at 327 Kilometres Nearest Golf : Lannemezan at 26 Kilometres Nearest Train : St Gaudens at 11 Kilometres Nearest Motorway : St Gaudens at 11 Kilometres Nearest Restaurant : Aspet and Pointis Inard at 3 Kilometres Nearest Ski : Le Mourtis at 28 Kilometres Nearest Beach : Biarritz at 235 Kilometres Car: necessary

Coast/Beach:

2.5 hours to both the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts. North Eastern Spain 3 and a half hours. A long but easy day trip to les Landes or Biarritz is do-able. The motorways are smooth and fast, not very busy except in August. The Med coast can be rather busy in summer so would need a night-stop. Barcelona is 6 hours over the top of our mountain via Aspet though beautiful mountain passes and glittering emerald lakes.

Travel:

Flight connections Toulouse (Blagnac) or Tarbes/Lourdes both 1.25 hours drive from Soueich; car hire recommended to enjoy the area.

On A64 exit 20 to Aspet. Before you get to Aspet, turn off through Ganties. Carry on along the lane 4 km and as you enter Soueich down the steep hill, turn RIGHT sharply before the road turns right into the village. Rue de Trusse. Snake left then right; on your right you will see 153.

Longitude 0.78 Latitude 43.047764 Altitude 388

Distances:

Aspet 5 km

St Gaudens 12 km

Pau 1.5 hours

Biarritz 3 hours

Further Details:

Aspet town has 2 markets a week, takeaway pizza, roasted chickens to order for Sundays, and a little Carrefour supermarket that sells everything, open till 8pm. Hairdresser, patisserie, butcher, cafe in the sun

St Gaudens is 11 km, has a big supermarket Leclerc, cinema, bike shops, train station, hairdressers, petrol stations, banks etc. A lovely market on Thursdays.

Motorcycling through the endless Pyrénéean mountains and valleys, a lovely day trip to either the Med or Atlantic, and Spain just an hour over the mountain.

Cycling; mountainous route of Tour de France, try it for yourself; -

VTT-FFC Mountain bike through 600km of clean roads in the green mountains with torrential streams; write to contact@tourisme-aspet.com or call Bois Perché in Aspet, which is an entry point to the endless paths, on 05 61 94 86 00

200km of safe and easy family cycle routes with picnic areas along the way; see “Parcours Cyclables” Garonne, from St Gaudens to Carbonne on www.tourisme.haute-garonne.fr

Rafting on the tumultuous rivers.

Hiking, rambling, paragliding, kayyaking, horseriding, and fishing amongst the endless mountains, forests and streams.

Fishing season is 14 march – 20 sept, see www.fede-peche31.com for details

Wildlife and birds; bears, boar, deer, vultures and eagles....and more

Laidback/spiritual activities

Markets; in nearby towns every day of the week.

Lunch in Spain is one hour away over the mountain according to snow! paella lunch, supermarket and home in a day, even with snow.

Supermarkets; the produce is excellent, cooks and wine drinkers will love it here.

Explore; The Atlantic and Med equidistant for a long day out and a total change of culture.

Culture; Wonderful majestic churches, Roman ruins, mediaeval villages

Religion; Route de Compostela of St James, Lourdes, St Bertrand de Comminges within striking distance.

Relaxing; in the 40° Japanese baths under the snow capped mountains in Balnéa Spa; see www;balnea.fr

Availability

Rental rates

Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
 
winter
18 Nov 2016 - 20 Feb 2017
7 night minimum stay
£455
for 7 nights
From
£65
 
 
My Standard Rate
7 night minimum stay
£450
for 7 nights
£450
 

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees

Booking Notes:
Please contact owner

Changeover Day:
Flexible changeover day. Please contact owner

Notes on prices:
A refundable security deposit of £300.00 (or €300.00) is required for all rentals in order to secure the booking. (Note that this will be refunded in the currency in which it is received). The balance to be paid 6 weeks prior to arrival by cheque or bank transfer in GBP or Euros. In the winter you will need to buy wood granules for the stove; 20 hours will use one sack @ €6. Stock will be on site. In the winter a reading of the electricity meter will be agreed for extra use.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
Avg/night
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Updated: 22-Nov-2016
12
Available arrival
12
Available
12
Unavailable

Facilities

From the Owner

All mod cons in the converted barn whilst living in a very rural laid-back little old-fashioned village. Close to mountains and central for exploring the Pyrenees.

Property Type

  • barn

Theme

  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Sports & Activities

General

  • Garage ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wood Stove ...

Kitchen

  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Toaster

Dining

  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area

Entertainment

  • Books ...
  • Games ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television

Suitability

  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only ...
  • pets not allowed ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible

Location Type

  • mountain
  • rural
  • village

Attractions

  • autumn foliage
  • caves
  • churches
  • forests
  • playground
  • restaurants

Leisure Activities

  • bird watching
  • horse riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking

Local Services & Businesses

  • Babysitter
  • groceries
  • massage therapist
  • medical services

Sports & Adventure Activities

  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • paragliding
  • rafting
  • ski
  • tennis
  • whitewater rafting

Floor Area

  • 130 m²

Bathrooms

  • Shower room 1 - Shower Enclosure
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet, Bath (no shower)
  • Master bedroom has a bath, cabinet basin and loo, bookshelves, heated towel rail, with sliding double-sided full height mirrored door to the bedroom. Double bedroom has the same door, 120x90cm shower with glass panels, heated towel rail, basin and loo.

Bedrooms

  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • Bedroom 1
  • Bedroom 2
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 4 (2 double bedrooms) Notes on bedrooms: Master bedroom with twin beds made up as king-size but could be made up as twin beds; ensuite bath, basin and loo. Double bedroom with sleigh bed, ensuite shower, basin and loo.

Outside

  • Bicycles ...
  • Terrace ...
  • Golf ...
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue
  • Ski & Snowboard ...
  • Tennis ...
  • 3 bicycles

Meals

  • Self-catering

Notes:

  • Notes on accommodation: Extra guests; a friend half km down the road has a Gite with extra accommodation for 6, walking/cycling distance. Please note this is a no smoking house and pets are not accepted. people. Utility Room: Cleaning things, hoover, iron and board, wood pellets (to purchase) all in under-stairs cupboard Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: All linen and towels are provided and will be cleaned and replaced weekly, or by arrangement. A quick cleaning service can be arranged on a daily basis @ €40 Other: The reception room on the ground floor has coat racks, comfy chairs, and an efficient, clean and eco state-of-the-art stove which burns wood granules. It has easels for painters, good lighting and has a chilled atmosphere.

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