Domaine de la Veine, Palaja, Nr. Carcassonne

Sleeps 16 + 6

£13,500 per week

Set in 250 hectares of unspoilt undulating Mediterranean landscape surrounded by a pine forest, wild juniper, lavender, and rosemary-covered hillsides with vineyards, olive groves, and a 25 hectare grassland park opposite a lake, the Domaine de la Veine is one of the largest private estates in the Languedoc-Roussillon region and the biggest in the vicinity of Carcassonne. The estate has been designated as a Natura 2000 wildlife fauna and flora conservation zone, as well as being renowned for its magnificent unspoilt surroundings and spectacular natural views and wildlife, including deer and wild boar in the forest.

The house lies in an idyllic, tranquil setting for friends or family looking for a relaxing and secluded getaway far from the madding crowd, and whose silence is broken by nothing but the harmonious chorus of cicadas during the day and the hooting owls or the song of nightingales after dark. Approached by very long winding east and west drives, it is nevertheless situated only 16 minutes drive from the world-famous cathedral city of Carcassonne.

The house has been beautifully restored in traditional Provençal style and is tastefully decorated throughout. Filled with beautiful 18-19th century Georgian and early Victorian or Regency and French Empire antique furniture, along with landscape oil paintings and inherited family portraits, this is not a house for those who prefer what the owner calls “blank minimalism”!

Adjoined is a charming cottage or old French Bérgerie with a separate kitchen and 3 bedrooms that can sleep a further 6 guests. The rooms are nearly all spacious and bright and have stone-flagged floors or, in the eastern side of the house, old terracotta tiles so the house remains cool during the summer. Nearly all the windows have shutters and in most parts the stone walls are over 80 cm thick.

The large main kitchen and back kitchen are particularly well equipped, including a professional top-of-the-range French Château Cornue cooker, a very large stone fireplace designed with a raised platform at hip-height to double as an easily usable barbecue, and a long old antique pine kitchen table with another table extension seating 16. Next door is the large dining room and two very spacious drawing rooms in which ample sofa and armchair seating is available, again with large stone fireplaces. One of these rooms converts into a cinema room connected to surround-sound speakers also directly linked via the DVD/CD player to the in-house WiFi system.  This extends throughout the whole house as well as the swimming pool and the adjoining Bérgerie cottage.

With its eight bedrooms, seven of which have large private bathrooms and three of which are extremely large by any standards, the main house sleeps 16 guests very comfortably.

The property is set in a beautifully maintained four hectare garden with extensive lawns, a magnificently arched winery, a barn, dry-stone-walled terraced olive groves, parasol pines, plains, and cedar trees — all of which can be remotely floodlit at night. The deep, ultra-marine-coloured diving pool has a large shallow end, 1.2 m deep, which is perfect for children. Surrounded by stone terracing and plenty of sun loungers, there are wonderful views of the surrounding sun-baked hillsides on the estate and, over the distant plains and hills, the Minervois region is visible 60 km away towards the Med.

The pool is set in front of a pool house equipped with both a built-in barbecue fireplace with a chimney flue to evacuate the smoke and two large tables that can be placed end-to-end to seat up to 24 guests. Here there is an independent and well-equipped kitchen area plus a newly built shower room extension with separately accessed WC. The whole pool area has a sound system with two microphones that can be wirelessly linked to any smart phone. Ideal for teenagers — they can play music as loud as they want here without a soul complaining as the nearest neighbours are over 2.5 km away!

Price Guide 2019:

July & August £13,500 per week
Other months on request

Sleeps: 16 + 6

Ground Floor

  • Main Hall with balconied mezzanine landing above and sweeping staircase
  • Drawing Room (85 sq.m.) with traditional stone fireplace and French doors to the garden to the north and the courtyard to the south
  • Very large high-ceilinged Kitchen with fireplace doubling as a barbecue
  • Dining Room
  • Back (Staff) Kitchen
  • Utility Room/Office
  • 2nd Utility/Boot Room

First Floor

  • Drawing Room/Cinema Room
  • Four-poster (Peach) Bedroom with ensuite Bathroom
  • Twin (Grey) Bedroom with ensuite Bathroom
  • Master (Blue/Grey) Bedroom with super kingsize bed and ensuite Bathroom
  • Double (Pink) Bedroom with ensuite Bathroom
  • Double (North-facing Yellow) Bedroom with ensuite Bathroom
  • Double (South-facing Yellow) Bedroom with ensuite Bathroom (separate access to bathroom via a door from main passage)
  • Twin (Green) Bedroom with Bathroom across a private passage area

Second Floor

  • Twin (Blue) Bedroom, sharing bathroom of the room below. Here there is a narrow/steep staircase access more suitable for teenagers.  However, this is a large and light room with a large seating area and a French/English satellite TV and WiFi

La Bérgerie

  • Double (Olive) Bedroom
  • Two Twin Bedrooms
  • Bathroom
  • Private enclosed garden with barbecue and arched eating area

General Layout of the Domaine

La Bérgerie

Note:  These plans are not to scale.

Main House – Ground Floor

Main House – First and Second Floors

Note:  These plans are not to scale.

  • Caretaker couple living onsite providing:
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Gardening/pool maintenance
  • Chef — can be arranged at extra charge
  • Swimming Pool 15 m x 7 m (2.5 m deep) with large shallow end, 1.2 m deep
  • 16 sun loungers
  • Pool House with shower room, WC, changing room, kitchen facilities, bar counter, and barbecue
  • Cinema Room with 4.5 m x 3 m cinema roll-down screen with surround sound
  • Bluetooth stereo system, CD, and DVD with 450 film library
  • WiFi extending throughout the house as well as the swimming pool and La Bérgerie
  • Televisions with French and English satellite channels
  • Large Trampoline with high surrounding safety net
  • Table Tennis
  • Children’s swing in Play Area
  • Horse Trekking with a fully qualified professional riding school instructress
  • 9-hole golf course 20 mins drive
  • Palaja 7 mins drive (local village with baker, butcher, tobacconist, hairdresser, chemist, grocery store, café pizzeria, and post office)
  • Carcassonne 16 mins drive
  • Carcassonne Airport and supermarkets/hypermarkets 20 mins drive
  • Montpellier 1 h 25 mins drive
  • Perpignan 1 h 15 mins drive
  • Toulouse Airport 1 h 30 mins drive
  • Mediterranean sea (best fish beach restaurant – Chez Biquet) 50 mins drive
  • Barcelona Airport 2 h 45 mins drive

Please note that the map is only a general indicator of location

What Sarah thinks:

“A rare opportunity to rent a house and estate of such important standing in the region. Although there are formal rooms including the dining room and not one but two drawing rooms, this is a house which welcomes you warmly as the family home it is, with a wonderful relaxed farmhouse style kitchen, huge pool, techi facilities and stunning views privacy is not a problem!

Client Reviews:

“A little corner of heaven on earth! Rosie and James welcomed us to this magnificent residence with much kindness and generosity. The house and estate are even more beautiful in real life. We took advantage of the location to relax whilst discovering Carcassonne and the surrounding area. The quality of the facilities was way more superior than our expectations. We had an excellent stay with our family and will very gladly go back with our friends!”

“We were welcomed with remarkable kindness and the hosts were very attentive. The property was simply wonderful, and the house in which we were staying was sublime. We came with our family and will be coming back soon.”

“Stunning location in the middle of nature, whilst being very close to Carcassonne (10 mins). Our hosts were very friendly, attentive to small caring details and quickly responded. It was impossible to leave the pool, its pool house and barbecue. As soon as you have tried it you will want to come back.”