Arriving at Chateau De La Joie is a joyous event in itself. As you wind your way through verdant, patchwork hills at the foot of the majestic Pyrenees mountains, your spirits are instantly lifted. Then curious anticipation sets in as you approach the small farming hamlet where a quaint country road rolls over a hill and leads to the entrance, where you start your way down the long, private drive. Here, you have already left the world behind, but nothing quite prepares you for your first sight of the chateau.
Sitting on a hill, surrounded by 360 degree views over beautiful countryside and the Pyrenees beyond, it is clear that this is a special place and a private retreat you will not want to leave.
The estate is made up of a superb 19th-century chateau, originally built as a shooting lodge, an adjoining 16th-century farm, two separate cottages and a splendid 12th-century chapel. Amongst the impressive six hectares of grounds, sublime statues by David William Ellis stand in silence and contemplate the views. Lawn gardens, flower pots and impressive trees adorn the extensive grounds with a private lake, which is often dressed in water-lilies.
Indoors the journey continues. Family portraits and memorabilia invite you to be part of this real family home, rich with warmth and joyous memories, which only a truly loved home could have. The elegant rooms are spacious and bright with beautiful views of the outdoors. There is plenty of room for friends and family to spend quality time together as well as lots of space to spread out. The new ‘disco room' is the ultimate in family fun, with a bar, billiard table, dance floor and balcony with views of the Pyrenees.
This is the land of Cathars, an area full of beautiful hiking paths, ancient castles and market towns. A trip to the ruins of the Chateau de Montsegur, one of the last Cathar strongholds, should not be missed. Pamiers is only 10 minutes away and offers all amenities, whilst Foix, with its ancient castle and Mirepoix are a little further.
The Ariege is the flower garden of Europe offering 3000 species of flowers, 160 of which are unique to the area - a paradise for flower- and bird-watchers. Furthermore, the chateau is only 55 minutes from Ax Les-Thermes, a charming ski resort with a hot spring and hiking in the summer.
Chateau De La Joie is the perfect blend of refined and elegant accommodation, breathtaking scenery, history and rich family memories and it has generously opened its doors to new guests and their own memories.
The whole estate comprises of the main chateau with its adjoining farmhouse sleeping 10 guests and 2 separate cottages sleeping a further 2 guests each, for a total maximum capacity of 14 guests.
Chateau+ Farmhouse (10 guests)
- Main entrance hall
- Dining room
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Small sitting room with bar
- Shower room with WC
- Guest WC
- Billiard room/utility room (dividing the chateau from the farmhouse)
First Floor (accessed through main staircase off hall)
- 2 large master bedrooms with king-size beds, en-suite bathrooms, dressing rooms with walk-in wardrobes
- 1 small bedroom with queen size bed
- Evening/Disco/Games room with balcony with tables and chairs (can also be accessed from the backstairs of the farmhouse)
- Small kitchen (with backstairs leading up to disco/games room)
- Shower room with WC
First Floor (accessed through backstairs off kitchen)
- Double bedroom with king size bed, walk-in wardrobe and en-suite bathroom
- Double bedroom with king size bed and balcony (doors opening onto disco/games room)
- Double bedroom with king size bed and en-suite bathroom (accessed via backstairs)
Pool Cottage Interior (2 guests)
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Drawing room
- Guest WC
- King-size bedroom with en-suite bathroom with WC
Cottage in the Woods Interior (2 guests)
- Double bedroom
- Separate shower room
- 6 hectares of private grounds
- Lawned gardens with flowers and trees
- Private heated swimming pool (size: 14mx6m/shape: rectangular) with automatic security hard cover
- Poolside terrace
- Outdoor dining area
- Covered terrace
- Tennis court
- Private chapel
- Private small lake with boat (not suitable for swimming)
- Zip wire
- Boules pitch
- Covered parking space
- Underfloor heating (main chateau ground floor)
- Heaters (upper floor and electric heaters in cottages)
- 2 working fireplaces
- Flat-screen satellite TV
- DVD player
- Coffee machine
- Washing machine
- Tumble dryer
- Iron and ironing board
- Billiard table
- Ping pong table
- Outdoor dining facilities
- Sunbeds and parasols
The property sits in the middle of the Cathars land, a stunning area full of beautiful hiking paths, ancient castles and market towns. A trip to the ruins of the Chateau de Montsegur, one of the last Cathar strongholds, should not be missed.
Pamiers is only 15 minutes away and offers all amenities, such as cafes, bars, a supermarket, bakeries and restaurants, not to mention its lively Saturday market.
Foix, with its medieval castle located on a rocky hill overlooking the Ariege and Arge rivers, is just 30 minutes away. Take a stroll in the old town, exploring its narrow streets, pretty squares with ancient abbeys, local restaurants and authentic shops. There is a also a superb market every Friday.
The bastide town of Mirepoix is also within easy reach: a vibrant gem, with one of the best markets in France on a Monday and hosting plenty of festivals and events throughout the year.
The Ariege department is considered the flower garden of Europe offering 3000 species of flowers, 160 of which are unique to the area - a paradise for flower- and bird-watchers.
Furthermore, the chateau is only 55 minutes from Ax Les-Thermes, a charming ski resort with a hot spring and hiking in the summer.
The fortified city of Carcassonne is located about one hour south from the chateau and is a must see. Its famous summer festival, brings together over 100 performances, including opera, dance, theatre and music, most of which you can watch free of charge.
A bit further afield, the town of Albi boasting formidable architectural features, is well worth a day trip out.
Finally, bear in mind that the Tour de France runs close by, Andorra is just one hour and a half away and the Spanish border is not too far either!
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A tranquil villa in Iznate, Nerja. Offering stunning sea views, a private pool and shaded areas you can enjoy a holiday in a peaceful location, where the Spanish live and tend their grapes, olives and almonds.