Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 3804: Owner, Les Remparts
1bed/1bath house in Rieux-Minervois, Languedoc-Roussillon
July 2008, one week
This lovely gite is located in the very tired, small town of Rieux. It is located in the ramparts of the original city. Parking is tight, and what could be a charming traverse through a maze of tiny alleys and walkways is marred by the incredible amounts of baking dog excrement and urine. Not a pleasant arrival. Since the house is built into rampart walls, there are neighbors. However we never saw them, and believe that they are part-timers. The advertisement boasts a "lively village" but it didn't seem very lively to us, and we're not picky nor hard to please!
Rieux officially has a "place" for coffee but it is a parking lot at all hours of the day and sits in an alcove off the national highway which runs right through Rieux. Sidewalks are barely one-body wide and there are no side-walk cafés to speak of. There are two bakeries, which are okay; a pharmacy; a florist; a tiny grocer; a nice butcher and a street market three times a week (very small, with vendor vans in lieu of stands/stalls).
The house is renovated very nicely in a 1773 dated building. The thick walls made it sound-proof. The kitchen and living room form the lower floor attached to a nice deck that looks out over the village walls, country-side and mountains; the household power lines obstruct this view somewhat. Upstairs is a huge and airy bedroom with two twin beds and a large bathroom. A washing machine is below the sundeck in the "garden" area.
You can view the property directly: Les Remparts.
The deck/balcony has new patio table, chairs and umbrella along with a barbecue. It is private, yet visible to others on their decks. As mentioned earlier, the household power lines obstruct the view a bit.
This house is immaculate and all furnishings, towels, linens are in excellent shape. Plenty of seating inside and out for four, although it only sleeps two.
The bedroom is huge and the two large windows open onto a gorgeous view (above the power lines so you cannot see them). The beds were comfortable and the bathroom extremely clean. The man who hung the mirror and installed the shower is very tall, so a step-stool might be needed to see your reflection!
This was the best equipped kitchen of our trip. Full-size oven, large fridge and even a dishwasher! Everything you needed to cook a full meal was provided.
Problems or Bonuses
We knew we were traveling the road less traveled and were not looking for "entertainment" or luxury. The tiny streets, covered in dog droppings (to an extent I have NEVER seen in Paris) cooking in the hot sun all the way to our front door was a disappointment. This village has the national highway running through it as well, making for narrow sidewalks, no central "place" or gathering locale, minimal strolling and just a tired feel. The gite itself far exceeded our expectations.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked through the owners and dealt with them directly. They are a Brit and a Dane and incredibly welcoming. While there is no Internet at the gite, nor anywhere in town, the owners welcomed us into their patio any time (even when they were not home) to use their wireless Internet with our laptop. They returned the deposit in cash at the end of the stay. The ad on gites.com is accurate as to the property, less so regarding the town of Rieux.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We loved the greater Minervois area! The people of Rieux were generous and kind. There were some beautiful sights, villages, wines and proximity to the Canal du Midi. However, we would not choose to stay in Rieux again.
Things to do in this area
Bike/walk along the Canal du Midi; wine-tasting; market in neighboring Mirepoix fabulous and picturesque although swamped with tourists; general exploring of Cathar ruins; and more!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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