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Renovated Farmhouse, sunny Smallholding in rural valley, late booking reductions

Bedrooms 3
Half Baths1
Property type villa
Minimum Stay 1 - 7 nights


About the property

Gite in Rivel, Nr. Chalabre, Aude, Very Sunny Position, Private Garden for Gite, use of Owners Large Pool. Smoking only outside. well equipped & comfortable

Gaillardet Garden is located in a beautiful, wide valley in the foothills of the Pyrenees. A traffic-free location, cowbells and crickets are the loudest noises you will hear. The four acre smallholding is the perfect place for a relaxing holiday at any time of year. The owners, Anni and Gary, live in the adjoining, converted barns. Seasonal fruit, vegetables, new laid eggs and babysitting available. Above Gaillardet is the Grottes de l’Homme Mort, totally uncommercialised, you can safely go with Gary and explore the caves with the spectacular stalagmites and stalactites. The property is 10 minutes from the charming market town of Chalabre providing shops, banks, bars, restaurants and a garage. The area is perfect for outdoor activities especially walking, cycling, horse-riding, canoeing and fishing. Many places of historic and cultural interest are within easy access and the region is the heart of Cathar country with many castles to explore. One of the most popular opportunites is the boat trip on the underground river - it's quite amazing. Another favourite is the nearby natural rock maze. For winter visitors the ski resorts are only a short drive away, and Les Monts d'Olmes is famous for its powder snow. Many places offer toboganning, husky mushing and cross country skiing.

2018 is our nineteenth holiday season and we have had many happy families having great holidays with us. Our visitors book is full of enthusiastic comments, and we are always being told that you get exactly what you see on our website Children of all ages have a wonderful time here and love the freedom of being in the countryside, seeing the animals and chickens. All of them are fascinated by the farm machinery - old and new, and perhaps the possibility of a ride on something under strict supervision by Gary and parents. There are pool toys including the popular pool volleyball, plus lilos for floating and admiring the views. Lots of swimming games and challenges feature highly.

There are a number of toys/games either in the private gite garden, we supply a sandpit and paddling pool for younger children with appropriate toys, or elsewhere in the grounds, such as badminton, mini golf, croquet.

We would like to encourage people without the need to come in school holidays to visit us in the wonderful months of May, June, September and October. these are some of the best months for pursuing outdoor activities such as walking or horseriding. Our gardens are at their best and it is very warm without being too hot to do anything. The pool is still a great attraction at these times, and the whole area offers many opportunities for exploring. WE OFFER A SUBSTANTIAL DISCOUNT FOR COUPLES ONLY AT THESE TIMES.

We have contact for wine tours run by a wonderful lady which leads a very informative day out with visits to vineyards, tastings and lunch and a possibility of a visit to another venue such as olive oil factory, honey farm and chocolatier. I highly recommend her tours.

More Details
Registration Number : 8020967

Member since: 2007
Speaks english, french, italian
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
July 19, 2018

About anni

Gary and Anni were happily living in South East England but a love of France and the more relaxed way of life spurred them to leave the crowds, traffic, parked cars and general phrenetic way of life for this rural bolt hole. Gary had his own property maintenance company in UK and was able to use his experience to totally transform a tumbledown farmhouse and barns, overgrown meadows into the lovely property we have here today. It was a crazy project but we love it all. Anni is able to use her degree in Art History by giving lectures and tours on C19 French art, she also works as a couturiere creating wonderful outfits with another Rivel resident who imports wonderful vintage Japanese kimono material. And the prettiness of the valley is sheer heaven for artists like Anni.

Why anni chose Rivel

We travelled around France for a number of years and eventually found the Aude/Ariege and immediately felt this was It. The surrounding region is so diverse - from dramatic to pretty and fully of cultural or outdoor actvities. the possibilities are plentiful and being undiscovered by marauding hordes is a joy. Although a rural backwater it is easily accessed from the rest of France and the UK. The difference in property prices allowed us our dream of a smallholding and the animals are a constant source of amusement. Being able to produce our own food is such a revelation and one that we can share with our clients. Anni is an excellent cook and can provide popular and tasty menus. We love the light and clear air, summer heat, blue skies, sunshine and longer days of winter.

The deal was Gary could have a tractor if Anni had a swimming pool! The tractor has been put to good use transforming the field into beautiful flower gardens, and lawns. The vegetable garden provides us with year round produce, as do the chickens. The dogs are just decorative!

The swimming pool is a dream, the sun shines on it for 12 hours a day, it is surrounded by lawns and flowerbeds, there is a decking area for relaxing, and a poolside pergola covered in wisteria and bignone for shade. It's a rare opportunity to swim in a pool while watching the soaring buzzards and griffons and admiring the magnificent views, to the sound of cow bells and crickets.

How often do you have poolside aperitifs at house martin-o'clock?

What makes this villa unique

Gaillardet is tucked away under the Pyrenees in a open empty valley, but is easily accessible. It is a working smallholding, but we have fitted the gite to a high standard, made pretty gardens, a wild flower garden and a fabulous pool with decking and a pergola.

We can offer a chance for children to see animals at close range and learn a little about country life during your stay with us. We have nutured friendships with all our clients, and have an innate sense of leaving alone or having fun barbecues or aperitifs. Many clients have said how they have enjoyed the peace and quiet and how nice it is to have family time. Two weeks at Gaillardet gives time to relax and enjoy the pool and gardens, and to explore this undiscovered area.

Guestbook comments from the owner

We have returned 4 times & highly recommend this idyllic taste of France

Pretty house, comfortable beds

Toys in the pool were great, Anni's cooking is superb

Peaceful inspirational place, precious memories

Hope you enjoy it here as much as we did

Amazing time, amazing hosts. Gonna miss you

10/10 FOR Gite. Pool fab. Enjoyed egg collection, eating, being apprentice shepherd. Caving with Gary the Guide a high spot. Hosts friendly and welcoming, we did not want for anything. Super holiday in your comfortable home and surroundings, best gite we’eve ever stayed in.

Relaxing holiday in a very comfortale & well-equipped gite. Highlight of our stay was swimming in Lac Montbel & climbing Montsegur Castle. Thank you Gary & Anni for all your help and friendliness.'

Very comfortable, beautifully appointed gite in a lovely setting. A great holiday.

Very welcoming, very peaceful, lovely fresh veg and eggs. Children loved the animals, the space and the pool’
Apr 2007
  • 1 of 1


Accommodation and Amenities for this vacation villa rental in Rivel, France

Property Type:
  • villa
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 7
  • Children welcome
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets considered
Location Type:
  • Mountain
  • Rural
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking
  • Washing Machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Child's Highchair
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower , Large washbasin & mirror,cupboards, heated towel rack
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower
    Bathroom 3 - toilet , washbasin, cupboard and mirror
  • En suite to bedroom 1 with loo, vanity unit and washbasin. En suite to bedroom 3 with loo, vanity unit, wash basin and bath with shower. Ground floor large shower room, separate loo and washbasin.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 7
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 baby crib
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 5/7 (3 Bedrooms) Notes on bedrooms: Bedroom 1, light, airy, attic family room with twin beds, sofabed, table and chairs. En suite loo and washbasin. Bedroom 2, first floor with single bed. Bedroom 3, first floor with double bed and luxury en suite bathroom.
  • Golf ...
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Ski & Snowboard ...
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
Pool / Spa:
  • Private Pool
  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • museums
  • playground
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • waterfalls
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • horseback riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf privileges optional
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • paragliding
  • rafting
  • sailing
  • ski lift privileges
  • skiing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • wind-surfing
Notes on accommodation: The gite has two double bedrooms, one with double bed and en suite bathroom, and the other with two singles and en suite cloakroom, and one single room.There is a choice of 2 sofa beds for extra 2 people or we can supply comfortable blowup matresses. It has been renovated to a high standard and in winter a wood burning stove heats the whole gite. Electric radiators are available for the very cold weather but seldom required. All the furniture, beds and bedding are high quality and English and so affords home from home comfort. Well behaved dogs are welcomed by arrangement. We ask you to respect our non smoking household. The gite can be rented on a pro rata basis out of high season and not necessarily on a Saturday. We will give a discount for bookings made within 4 weeks of arrival. We are happy to negotiate long winter lets on a monthly rental basis. SUBSTANTIAL DISCOUNT FOR COUPLES ONLY USING DOUBLE ROOM EN SUITE MID SEASON. Outside: This is a working smallholding with a farm next door. Machinery, animals and water and a small river nearby should be taken into consideration when booking with young children. The gite has its own safe private courtyard and garden area with wonderful views of the valley and a mixture of shade and sunshine. The area is provided with loungers, dining table and chairs and a barbecue. There is a grassy play area for children and clients have the use of the owners' large pool in a big, sunny, grassed area. There is a variety of pool and other toys available. Children must be accompanied in the pool area by a responsible adult who can swim. Free range chickens and other animals add to the charm and interest of the property. Hugo the small dog is very popular and features highly in our visitors book! Many different walks through pine forests and fields can be enjoyed in the immediate vicinity of the property. Out of school holidays Autumn is our favourite time of year, June is wonderful too. Utility Room: Deep freeze space available. Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: Good quality cotton bedlinen, towels and pool towels supplied weekly. Extra changes, cleaning and laundry at small extra cost. Other: All the rooms are tastefully decorated regularly. There is a very good wifi connection to the internet, which allows TV and Skype etc. Many people have worked internationally from the gite without a problem.


Excellent! 4.3/5 -
(6 traveler reviews)

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Renovated Farmhouse, sunny Smallholding in rural valley, late booking reductions
average rating of 4.3333335 based on 7 reviews

Relaxed, child-friendly gite with great pool and welcoming hosts. Ideal for big families.

  • 5 of 5

Lovely place - comfortable, spacious and well equipped while being laid back and unfussy. Great for kids - big attic bedroom, paddling pool as well as the brilliant big pool. Kitchen has everything for making the most of great local produce, plenty of space to eat indoors and out. Anni and Gary went out of their way to make sure we had a great time - kids loved the calm and friendly dogs too.

  • Submitted: 22-Aug-2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Rural paradise with a warm welcome

  • 5 of 5

If you want a comfortable rural retreat in the mountains then this is a place for you. Anni provides a warm and friendly welcome combined with efficient service. You will need a car because it is a drive to any facilites not on site but the counter to this is peace and quiet where you are more likely to see a buzzard than another person. The cottage is well maintained and comfortable with a well equiped kitchen.

One of the best holidays I have had.

  • Submitted: 26-Jul-2016
  • Stayed: June 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you Richard for such a lovely review. It was lovely to have you and we thoroughly enjoyed your company. Looking forward to having you again next year.
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Wonderful rural setting with views of the Pyrenees

  • 4 of 5

La Gaillardet is in a rural setting with views of the Pyrenees. It has been renovated to a high standard, furnishings and facilities are of a good quality and the property is well maintained. . There are many interesting towns and villages within reasonable driving distance and we found several great restaurants to try out. Anni and Gary are welcoming and helpful hosts who do everything in their power to make your stay a great experience. .I can highly recommend this holiday home for families or couples. .

  • Submitted: 19-Oct-2015
  • Stayed: September 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Relaxing week in beautiful surroundings

  • 4 of 5

We had a really super family week in Gaillardet Garden. Set in beautiful, peaceful countryside, the gite is lovely and comfortable and very well equipped The pool is fantastic. Anni and Gary are very welcoming, kind and helpful. We enjoyed exploring the area and simply relaxing too. Thank you Anni and Gary.

  • Submitted: 12-Aug-2015
  • Stayed: July 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for this lovely review. We really enjoyed having you all, and the chats we had around the pool from time to time. Top of the Best Guest List this year! We wish all the children all luck with exam results and future careers. Do come back and see us sometime. Remember, Mum and Dad, reduced rates for couples out of school holidays.
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A warm welcome awaits

  • 4 of 5

My husband & I , & three friends spent a wonderful week at Anni & Garys's gite. The gite has everything one could possibly want, & has been beautifully restored by Gary. The welcome we received was so friendly, we hope to return at another time to enjoy the gorgeous scenery & great food of the area. It is an ideal holiday for both older people & for young families, & I highly recommend it.

  • Submitted: 4-Jul-2014
  • Stayed: June 2014
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you Mamima. we so enjoyed having you. we thoroughly enjoyed your company when we got together for an apero, as we do with many of our clients who all seem to be of the same mind! We look forward to having you back sometime.
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A rea; get-away-from-it-all holiday!

  • 4 of 5

After an epic journey down from Scotland the lovely meal Anni had prepared for us was most welcome. Our little boy ajust loved the pool and our dogs just loved the garden and my husband enjoyed reliving his days as an agricultural engineer when Gary's baler broke down! We couldn't fault the owners for their hospitality and patience with our muts. When the odd little thing did go awry they were quick to put it right. Anni and Gary are very knowledgable about the area and very happy to make recommendations of places to eat and things to see. We were very early in the season but the weather was still fantastic - even the spectacular storms.

I would recommend this holiday to anyone looking for a peaceful holiday who likes farms, the outdoors and exploring Cathar castles. A car is an absolute essential in this area as there is so much to see. The local people are very friendly too.

  • Submitted: 25-Sep-2013
  • Stayed: June 2013
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Car: necessary

Special interest holidays:

Anni is a designer/maker for special occasion wear and millinery. A Wedding Dress Special includes the hire of the 2 bed gite for a week while your wedding dress is fitted and made. You can have a relaxing holiday free from the usual stress of wedding arrangements. Good choice of fabrics and designs. Inclusive price from £2,500 depending on choice of fabric. Possibilities for bridesmaid, mother of the bride, waistcoats and hats.

Anni is also an art historian and will give guided gallery visits to places such as Toulouse, Montauban (Ingres), Albi (Toulouse Lautrec) or Castres (Goya), and of course a day out with the Cathars.

Gary is the outdoor type and happy to take any partners of the above on camping/walking trips in the mountains. Walk with Gary to a local underground cave that has not been commercialised area is a highlight.

We can also organise fascinating day long wine tours in the Languedoc-Roussillon with a qualified wine guide.


The nearest beaches are on the Mediterranean coastal strip from Narbonne to the Spanish border, including the resorts of Argeles, Leucarte, Canet and Coullioure, our favorite. These are about one and a half to two hours drive through spectacular scenery of the Corbieres wine growing region and Cathar country.

Nearby is the huge Lac de Montbel, about 15 minutes by car, which has facilities for swimming, sailing, windsurfing and pedaloes. Puivert also has a lake with a beach - 10 minutes drive.


A car is essential and all the local airports have hire facilities.

Toulouse airport is served by EasyJet and British Airways, about one and half hour's drive. Carcassone (50 minutes drive) and Perpignan (one and half hours drive) airports are served by Ryanair.

Calais is 1020km, St Malo 850km and Bilbao 450km.

The nearest mainline stations are Pamiers, Foix and Carcassonne.


Chalabre is 10 minutes drive and has bars, restaurants, shops, banks and garage. Belesta is a pretty village 10 minutes away with a supermarket, petrol, bank, post office, shops, bars and restaurants. Lavelanet is a larger town with usual facilities plus cinema, weekly market is 20 minutes drive. Mirepoix, Quillan and Limoux are all interesting towns on rivers and have weekly markets and are about a half hour's drive. Spain and duty-free Andorra are a day trip. Barcelona is about 3 hours drive.

Further Details:

The region is full of places of historic and cultural interest from Cathar castles to prehistoric parks. These and outdoor pursuits such as white water rafting, cycle hire and horse riding can be discovered between 10 minutes and 2 hour's drive from the property. There are unusual museums such as the Dinosaur and Hat Museums at Esperaza on the River Aude which has an interesting Sunday market. Mirepoix is a beautiful old Bastide town with its medieval arcades and squares where the famous Monday market is held. Foix on the Ariege river has a maze of little old streets, huge Friday market, castle and a nearby underground river with boat trips. There are spectacular drives through the rolling hills of the Corbieres, dramatic gorges, Cathar castles perched on rocky outcrops and many mountains and valleys to explore on foot, bicycle or horse, and of course skis or snow shoes in winter. Husky driven sleighs are also a winter highlight. Some of the restaurants are quite amazing - like the one on the Plateau de Sault with its colourful mine host. Most of the food in the area has local or home produced mountain cuisine which is fabulous, especially the foie gras. The wines are rustic and local and a perfect partner for the local produce. There is something for everyone in this area, be it active, cultural or historical, young or old - or even middle aged. There are many, many festival of every sort imaginable throughout the year, but especially in summer. This is also a very musical area so there is always the chance of some sort of concert. Toulouse is the major city of the South West and very beautiful, with many old pink stone buildings, lots of shops, galleries, bars and restaurants. A must is the World Heritage site of the Cite of Carcassonne, the medieval bastide having been restored by Vauban in the 19th century. Perpignan, is a delightful old Catalan town and Collioure on the rocky coast was made famous by the artist Matisse and the Fauves.


Rates & Availability

Rental Rates for this vacation villa rental in Rivel, France

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Rate 3
Jul 1 2018 - Sep 1 2018
7 night minimum stay
Rate 4
Sep 2 2018 - Sep 29 2018
5 night minimum stay
Rate 5
Oct 1 2018 - Oct 31 2018
4 night minimum stay
Rate 6
Nov 1 2018 - Mar 31 2019
3 night minimum stay
Rate 7
Apr 1 2019 - Apr 29 2019
3 night minimum stay
Rate 8
Apr 30 2019 - May 28 2019
5 night minimum stay
Rate 9
May 29 2019 - Jun 30 2019
7 night minimum stay
Rate 10
Jul 1 2019 - Sep 2 2019
7 night minimum stay
Rate 11
Sep 3 2019 - Oct 1 2019
7 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Pet Fee C$46.01
Refundable Damage Deposit C$383.38

Booking Notes:
Prices are listed for a one week rental in UK Pounds/€ Euros. A choice of sofabeds is available to a maximum of 2 extra people at a cost of £85 pp pw.SUBSTANTIAL DISCOUNT FOR COUPLES ONLY MIDSEASON . Electricity and gas included plus wood for the fire for 24 hours. Out of high season rentals may be of less than a week on a pro rata basis and not necessarily a Saturday arrival. We are also happy to negotiate long winter lets on a monthly rental basis. babysitting available at usual rates.

Changeover Day:
Our preferred changeover day is Saturday and the gite is available from 4pm on arrival day and must be vacated at 10 am on the day of departure. We may be able to be flexible for lets out of high season.

Notes on prices:
Out of the July/August high season, May, June, September and October, are ideal for couples who do not have to adhere to school holidays. We offer a substantial discount of up to 50% for couples only using ground floor and the en suite double bedroom. Medium and small dogs welcome at £25 per week.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • No refunds for cancellations made after payment is made
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