THE REGION

DERNACUEILLETTE is tucked at the top of a remote valley in the Corbierès, looking towards Perpignan and the Mediterranean. The population of around 60 clusters round a mediaeval chateau and church, and a small river runs through the village.

THE CORBIÈRE range lies inland of the western Mediterranean coast of France. Dernacueillette is roughly equidistant between CARCASSONE, NARBONNE and PERPIGNAN, each about 35 miles away. At 350m above sea level, the village is elevated by UK standards, but the surrounding limestone hills climb to more than twice this height, providing dramatic views in all directions.

Everyone from pre-historic man to the Romans, the Vandals and the Celts have lived in the area. In mediaeval times the region was ravaged by Simon de Montfort's crusade against the Cathar heresy. An ancient dolmen, called La Table des Morts, stands just above the village, the pretty town of LAGRASSE, a few miles away, boasts an impressive Benedictine Abbey, and Dernacueillette is ringed by ruined chateaux like QUERIBUS, which provide staggering views (most of these castles can be reached in 20 to 30 minutes walk from local car parks). Also nearby is the village of RENNES LE CHATEAU, made famous by Henry Lincoln and Michael Baient in 'The Holy Blood and Holy Grail' and by Dan Brown in The Da Vinci Code.

ACCOMMODATION

Guests stay in Andrew and Fawzia's spacious, light and cool L-shaped house with a large living room and four bedrooms, 2 doubles and 2 singles. The house has a bathroom with WC, shower room and a separate WC. An extensive terrace overlooks a rustic garden bordered by a stream and with an orchard with fig, apple and apricot trees providing ample shade. Additional accommodation is available in a comfortable, modernised, gite in the square less than 100 metres away. The village is very quiet and peaceful - the only sounds to wake you are the tinkling of goat bells on the surrounding hills.

FOOD AND DRINK

Most meals are prepared by Fawzia and served either in the salle de jour or on the terrace. The menus make the most of the excellent local produce and feature seasonal variations throughout the year. Please notify us on booking if you have any special dietary requirements. Local red and white wines are included in the evening meals.

GETTING THERE

Travel is not included in the cost. The nearest airports are Carcassonne and Perpignan where we meet the daily Ryanair flight from Stansted and return you there at the end of the holiday. There is ample parking at the house if you come by car.

"Good food, accommodation, company, wine, not to forget good photography. And I go home with new friends too. Thank you so much to both of you for a wonderful holiday, it has met all my expectations and more" - Kaye