Villa Laurier is a modern villa in a residential area just outside a traditional French village, near the medieval city of Carcassonne. With three bedrooms, it is ideal for up to six guests.
The house is built on one level, but is set on a small hill, so from the back it looks as if it is on two floors. A shaded terrace overlooks the pool.
Wide stairs descend through the garden leading down to the pool. Next to it is a games room with a pool table.
The eight by four metre pool is surrounded by a large dense hedge, so is totally private. Sunbeds are provided around the pool, and there is a shady arched area next to the pool with table and chairs.
The house is in a quiet location in a cul-de-sac, with three immediate neighbours. Just a few minutes' walk takes you into the fields where you can walk into the forest. The Pyrenees can be seen from the terrace, where there are stunning sunsets.
Inside, there are three bedrooms: one with a king size bed, one with a double bed, and one with a pair of twin beds. The bathroom has a shower and double sink unit, and there is a separate WC. There is also a separate shower room with WC and a single wash basin.
At the front of the house is a bright and airy fitted kitchen. Across the hall is a large living/dining room with two large sofas and armchairs surrounding a fireplace.
A dining table seats six. There is a large selection of videos, CDs, and plenty of books, plus a TV with English-language channels.
Doors open onto the terrace, which has a built-in barbecue. The terrace has an outdoor dining table for six, with an extendable awning for shade. There is also a study full of books and a second "French" TV which has a few international channels.
Ten minutes' walk down the hill is the centre of the village, with a bar/restaurant which holds live music evenings. The small grocery shop also sells newspapers and fresh bread.
The local villages all host weekly markets, selling fresh local fruit and vegetables, meats, cheeses, preserves, and more. There are bigger markets at Carcassonne and Castelnaudary.
There are many walking trails that wind through the local hills and forests. Bike rentals are available in the next village. It is a popular region for cycling. There are a pair of tennis courts behind the house.
It is a short drive to the medieval citadel of Carcassonne. This World Heritage Site is filled with cafés, bars, restaurants and sellers of crafts and food. Visitors can walk along the wide ancient walls that circle the old city. The Musée des Beaux Arts in Carcassonne has an interesting programme of events and a collection of paintings and sculptures.
Carcassonne hosts a major music festival every summer, with an exciting programme of varied musical acts, ballet, opera and rock. It takes place within the walls of the medieval city as well as in the adjoining modern city.
Nearby is the Canal du Midi, an 18th century engineering feat that connects the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. Pleasure boats run throughout the day along the canal.
Also within easy reach is a mountain lake area, with swimming, pedal boats, and water sports. Or visit the artificial beach area just outside Carcassonne.
The area has a famous wine route, which you can follow to visit many vineyards and châteaux for wine tasting. There are many castles dating from the turbulent medieval period of the Cathars.