Les Volets Bleus
Les Volets Bleus is a large, 120 year old comfortable home on the banks of the Canal du Midi in a lovely Languedocien vineyard village. The property is owned by cycling Brits who enjoy sharing their home and experience with you.
The rooms are big and airy, with comfortable beds, good showers, lots of hot water – just what you need after a day on the bike. There’s a huge secure garage for the bikes, with tools and cleaning materials available if required, and there’s drying space in the house, although wet weather is not usually an issue there!
Breakfast is a generous continental buffet, served in the sunny dining room – where the hosts also serve dinners (book in advance) and are happy to accommodate any special dietary needs. Cold drinks are always available on arrival, and there ia an honesty bar for anything else.
The village has a good choice of shops and services, and Narbonne, the nearest big town, is 13km away – and reachable either on the road or via the towpath. The covered market in Narbonne is a must for foodies, and is well worth the trip.
There is easy cycling on the canal towpath, plus there are lots of lovely routes on the extensive network of small roads (with generally cycle-friendly local drivers); the terrain is gently rolling, with no real big hill climbs but enough undulation to make it interesting – the hosts can tailor routes to suit your needs. There is also good mountain biking, with a graded terrain park on the outskirts of Narbonne – so other than big, long climbs, the area pretty much ticks every cycling box.
It’s generally agricultural, lots of vineyards and wineries to visit and the hosts have done their best to check out the best, situated as they are between the Minervois and the Corbières – here’s history galore, mostly Roman and Cathar; there are lovely rivers and lakes for swimming, as well as the Mediterranean beaches (approx 30mn drive); the weather is generally good – 300 days of sunshine per year is the average – you have to dust your bikes down more than clean them!
The 3rd Sunday of July sees the annual village festival ‘Eau, Terre et Vin’, which includes boat-jousting on the canal, wine-tasting (but of course), live music and generally eating well and having a good time.
There are many other local festivals and events throughout the summer , and the hosts themelves always participate in a couple of great events – the ‘Sentier Gourmand de la Clape’, a walking wine-tasting safari lunch held in May, then the ‘Randonnée des Primeurs’ in October – an 80km cycling tour of the local wineries to check out the new vintage, with obligatory lunch!
Prices start from 70€/night for B&B for 2 adults and extra extra beds can be fitted in most of the rooms, so plenty of flexibility to bring young children.
Les Volets Bleus also hire a range of basic hybrids, 15€/day, with a choice of sizes. For a more
extensive range of ‘serious’ bikes, we can contact Mellow Vélos in Paraza, which can also supply kiddy seats, tagalongs etc., and will deliver direct to accommodation.
Local bike routes: the hosts are well-informed about the local area and are always happy to indicate interesting local routes and handout maps for customers to use.