“We moved south to find the sun and now have beautiful blue skies…”
The Old Donkey Market offers a one-bedroom apartment on two floors, opening onto a private interior courtyard. The apartment is ideal for a couple or a single traveller. It adjoins the main house where the owners live. The property is a fully restored former trading post for donkeys, which were once an integral part of local life.
The property is made of stone and although it is 200 years old, it has been completely renovated and updated, while retaining its rural charm and many of the original features. The building façade, with a large arched doorway, is typical of the historic Vigneron houses in the area.
From outside, the accommodation is secluded. It appears when entering the arched entranceway into the courtyard under the cover of a pantile roof.
From the upstairs guests enjoy scenic views across to the Parc du Château where car parking is available. The property has a private courtyard, where guests may dine outside in the relaxing atmosphere of rural France.
The home features a very spacious open plan lounge, dining area and fully fitted kitchen. Stone stairs lead to the upper floor which has a large double bedroom and separate shower and bathroom. All rooms are light and airy but there are shutters and fully lined curtains.
The large kitchen features all modern appliances. There are plenty of characteristic features with wooden beams, exposed stone walls and alcoves, giving the design and décor an attractive blend of traditional rustic charm, with all the conveniences of a modern home.
The Old Donkey Market is an ideally suited home for singles or couples looking to unwind in a serene and historic part of France's southern wine country.
The Old Donkey Market is located centrally in the historic village of Quarante, which offers every amenity guests require, all within walking distance of the property. There is a boulangerie offering fresh baked goods, convenience store, butcher, pharmacy, doctor, and post office. The local bar offers excellent food midday and evening.
There is also new multi- purpose cycle trail and walking path to neighbouring villages. The area also hosts a wide variety of festivals and activities every weekend.
Quarante is located in the Hérault department, and enjoys great geographical diversity. To the north lie the scenic Cevennes mountains, and to the south is the Mediterranean coast. Between are vast agricultural areas and market towns and quiet rustic villages.
The nearby town of Capestang offers pleasant and relaxing pastimes for all tastes, with shops, restaurants and cafes, not forgetting the parks and picnic areas along the Canal du Midi. 14th Century Gothic architecture is prevalent throughout town, and the historic château and St Etiennes Cathedral are popular places to visit.
The area is a renowned wine making region, the pays des Côteaux d'Ensérune. The village of Quarante itself is surrounded by vineyards and makes up part of the award winning Saint Chinian Wine Co-operative.
Wine lovers are not the only guests who enjoy Capestang. For sport enthusiasts, the town offers rugby and soccer matches. Guided tours of the area are available for those who seek to take in the rich history of the town and its surroundings.
The property is located in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of Southern France, and boasts a microclimate offering over 300 days of sunshine and blue skies per year, making it an ideal destination for visitors who enjoy outdoor activities. There is plenty to do in the region, with something for everyone. The Old Donkey Market is situated in a secluded and peaceful area, yet within a half hour's drive are the beautiful and historic cities of Narbonne and Beziers.
Narbonne is an ancient city with a bustling harbor that was developed by none other than Julius Caesar. The awe inspiring medieval Narbonne Cathedral is one of the tallest in all of France, and is an impressive testament to the architectural innovations of nearly a thousand years ago.
Visitors enjoy basking in the sunshine at the cafes along the Canal de la Robine, which is linked to the Canal du Midi. Another popular spot is the Musée Archeologique, showcasing much of the archeological history of the region.
Beziers has the distinction of being part of the European Union's Most Ancient European Towns Network and dates its founding back to 575 B.C.
The city has the Musée des Beaux-Arts, and houses works by some of the legendary artists in history, including Holbein, Goetz and Van Gogh. Guests enjoy touring and picnicking on the scenic grounds of the Plateau des Poètes , the largest park in the city.
The Canal du Midi is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site with boat tours and walks and cycle rides along the towpath, while the rivers Orb and Aude offer kayaking and swimming from river beaches. The Mediterranean Coast is also a short drive away, with its vast beaches and warm waters.
“Cool and peaceful oasis. Mike and Lesley were generous, very helpful and engaging hosts. The property was well organised and very clean and we enjoyed the outdoor space amidst the greenery. Car parking was very close and there were a number of interesting places to visit near by.”
Colin & Terese - New Zealand
“Sehr empfehlenswert! Wir haben unseren Aufenthalt in Quarante sehr genossen! Lesley und Mike sind sehr sympathische Gastgeber und haben unseren Urlaub mit vielen Informationen zur Region bereichert. Das Appartement ist super ausgestattet und der schattige Innenhof ein Traum. Wir kommen gerne wieder!”
Anna & Roland - Austria
“Apartamento lleno de encanto, amplio y limpio. Anfitriones muy atentos, sin ser intrusivos. El patio da un gran desahogo. Dormitorio cocina y baño super equipado. Colchón firme. Pueblo tranquilo en un bello entorno de carreteras a través de viñedos.(por hacer un resumen completo pero estos dos puntos son lo menos significativo, pues el conjunto del apartamento supera las previsiones con creces) La wifi puede mejorar, hay que salir al patio o ir asomar por ventana piso alto. Aún mejorando no daría para poder ver Netflix en zonas rurales mientras no esté totalmente generalizada la fibra. Sofá muy blando.”
“Just to say thank you both so much for making our holiday here so very special! We were so comfortable and relaxed in the Donkey Market and enjoyed all the treats you left us. Thanks too for all the maps, info and recommendations - much appreciated.”
Ian and Andrea - Lanarkshire, UK
“This delightful gite is very well equipped and decorated in a rustic French style. The rooms are spacious, with the ground floor being an open plan design. The bedroom is light and airy - very spacious and quiet. The bathroom Is also large , with bath and separate shower. The gite is cool, even in the hottest of days! A little welcome pack on arrival is so thoughtful, especially the wine! The garden/ patio area is lovely, great for meals outdoors, with a raised decking surrounded by very sensitive planting. The owners live next to the gite and are helpful and interested in ensuring a comfortable stay as well as offering advice on places of interest to the guests.”
Nancy and John - Edinburgh, Scotland
“We have just had a second visit to this delightful gîte in a small village in rural France. Again it has fulfilled all our expectations. The Layout is perfect for two people, with plenty of living space (indoor and outdoor) excellent kitchen area and a huge bathroom with walk in wet room as well as bath! The owners of the gite, Lesley and Mike are perfect hosts - on hand to help, give advice on where to go etc. They provide a welcome pack on things of interest, as well as little hospitality pack to get one started in the gite. They certainly made our stays especially enjoyable, through their attention to detail and interest in us as guests.”
Nancy and John M - Scotland
“Wonderful gîte! There was everything we needed for a comfortable stay and the outside space was really nice. The gîte was immaculately clean and Lesley and Mike have put a lot of thought into making this a wonderful holiday experience. We loved the area and again Lesley and Mike were extremely helpful about places to visit etc. We will definitely recommend this holiday gîte to friends and family!”
Barbara and Clive - Birmingham, UK
“A beautiful place to stay! The property is very comfortable with all the facilities you would need. The best part is the outdoor seating area in the middle of lush plants. A very calming place to sit, eat and relax.The wifi is not strong if that is important to you.”
Tim and Dina - Leicester, United Kingdom
“We just enjoyed a magnificent week at the Old Donkey Market. Lesley and Mike were wonderful hosts, at once helpful and informative, but also discreet and respectful of space. This is a fabulous base to explore the area easy striking distance to St Chinian for wine and the local market, the Mediterranean for beaches and waterways, numerous historic hill towns, and the little villages dotting the Canal du Midi. Special call out to Lesley for booking a birthday lunch in advance of our arrival.”
Ray and Louise - Melbourne, Australia
“Left on May 11, 2017 for a stay in Apr 2017I can’t say enough about our wonderful week at The Old Donkey Market. It was totally relaxing and we easily could have spent the entire week simply enjoying our private patio and spacious apartment. Lesley and Mike were warm and welcoming hosts. Lesley recommended wonderful outings in the area. We enjoyed every one of her recommendations. She also shared her knowledge of the area’s interesting history. She went out of her way to insure our visit was enjoyable. The area itself is lovely and having the option of discovering it at a relaxed pace was unbeatable. If you’re looking for a comfortable place to renew and enjoy the surrounding area, you can stop your search right here. You will not be disappointed.”
Joanie and Tom B. - USA, USA
“Fantastic getaway.Your own little oasis. Big rooms .fitted kitchen .Leslie and Mike always on hand for local places to visit info. Just chill and be a local and have some wine.”
John and Jackie F. - Inverness, UK
“Great location, spacious, well equipped,clean and very private property.We were met by Lesley who made us very welcome and provided us with a plethora of information about the area. Although the owners live on site they were very discreet and the lay out of the property affords a high level of privacy. The village is very friendly and rural but has all the facilities you need within walking distance. The area is very interesting with lots of historic towns, markets, canals, rivers and beaches to explore. . I would definitely recommend the Donkey Market.”
Steve and Lesley - UK
“A fabulous gite and the most lovely and friendly hosts you could possibly want. They were accommodating in every way and gave us suggestions as to where to visit in the area. we became real friends and we intend to keep in touch. just fabulous. August 2016”
MAx and Susan L. - Colchester, United Kingdom
“The Old Donkey Market is very large for two people. Mike and Lesley were very welcoming, and made sure re we had everything we needed. The house was very clean, and bed linen and towels provided were of a very high standard. The courtyard was beautiful, they have spent a lot of time, effort and money to make it so. The weather was fantastic while we were there so a lot of time was spent outside.”
“Le gîte est très grand, confortable et aménagé avec goût. Tellement bien que l’on pourrait y prévoir un long séjour. Le petit jardin d’intérieur, semi-couvert, est un ravissement pour les yeux. Il permet de prendre tous ses repas à l’extérieur, même par grande chaleur. Leur connaissance de la région permet de profiter pleinement du séjour, d’autant que le région permet des visites et activités extrêmement variées culture, histoire, architecture, promenade, nature, marchés, restaurants.. Un seul petit point négatif: la difficulté à se connecter au réseau wifi... Cependant, la totale déconnexion nous a fait grand bien!.”
“The Old Donkey Market is a wonderful oasis of calm on the edge of Quarente. Lesley and Mike gave us a really warm welcome and lots of useful information about the local area with ideas of places to visit and things to see. The gite is perfect for a couple with a well equipped kitchen and lovely covered garden area to sit out and enjoy the sunny afternoons.”
Natalie and Jeremy H/ - Nottingham, United Kingdom
“We had such a charming welcome from Lesley and Mike. Lots of helpful and interesting information about the area and the restaurants around. Loved the walk to the local Boulangerie to collect fresh baguettes and croissant each morning. The Gite is really pretty, and very spacious, I loved the courtyard which is shaded, beautiful flowering plants, olive trees and vines growing all around. . This area is a huge wine producing part of France and we enjoyed this aspect of our stay very much.”
Karen and Colin M. - Far East
“Comfortable, well furnished one bed roomed accommodation in a peaceful setting . Good facilities for self catering with local amenities nearby. Linen and towels provided. Use of attractive secluded garden with table and seating..Made very welcome by the hosts and gift of wine and bread. Location was perfect for exploring the surrounding countryside. Accommodation faultless.”
Jane and Colin F. - Poitiers, France
“This home was beautiful, very well equipped, and super comfortable. My daughter and I spent a week here, traveling out each day to explore a bit more of the region. I wanted to show her the France that I knew when I was an exchange student 30 years ago - the France that is not Paris! Mike and Leslie were wonderful hosts, stayed up late to meet us upon arrival, and even had a bottle of wine waiting for us. The home has everything we needed and the bed was very comfortable - especially after long days of lots of walking, exploring the area, and some fairly far-flung day trips. I would definitely recommend and would stay here again!”
Shelley G. - Washington, USA
“Not many holiday accommodations offer so much space and so much comfort. Light and airy rooms, huge bathroom and fabulous downstairs (with kitchen, dining area and lounge) are all enhanced by the lovely outside space. Quarante is in a wonderful area with easy access to markets, mountains and vineyards by the dozen! Feel very relaxed about recommending The Old Donkey Market to anyone looking to explore the Languedoc region.”
Richard and Claire T. - Reading, UK