Home for Rent

Rivel France

Listing # 93828

Rates From EUR 750 Monthly
Academic Verified
About Member
Last Updated: Sunday, February 21, 2021

Maison Canadienne

This ancient stone house offers a warm, spacious, and contemplative sabbatical retreat. It presents an ideal location for relaxing, hiking, exploring, and generally mulling things over. It's a great place to kick back, read, or write a book (we have done all three).

The house and village are adorable, quiet, quirky, yet close enough to restaurants and shops. If walking/hiking inspires you, start by marching right out the front door. We are tucked away in the foothills of the Pyrenees.

The church up the street is nearly a thousand years old. When the Cathar inquisition sacked the village in 1210, the church was spared but the village and castle were abandoned and moved to the present site, about a half mile away. In fact, the medieval village walls stood literally outside the front door (now your parking spot). You can still walk up to the old castle too, a 10-15 minute scramble away (but watch out for the thorn bushes.)

We offer three large double bedrooms on the second floor, each with an armoire, area rug, and chest of drawers. The master also has a Juliette balcony. The third floor consists of one rustic bedroom (suitable for an adventurous kid or a cranky uncle). The house has two and half bathrooms (main floor with shower, toilet, bidet, and sink; second floor with tub/shower, sink, and toilet; and the half bathroom is a Turkish toilet situated off the inner courtyard).

On the main floor there’s a typical French kitchen (including gas range and a full-sized fridge), separate dining room with pellet stove, living room with large leather sofa, chairs, DVD, i-Dock music player, wifi, board games, etc. A washer and dryer sit in the attached single car garage. In addition to the pellet stove, the house is warmed with wall-mounted electric heaters.

The home includes flights of 18 stairs each to reach the second floor and third floors. Parking is at the front door. Outdoor sitting area and bench rest in front of the house. The externally lit (glass ceiling) large interior courtyard reaches upward three full stories for those outdoor/indoor moments that allow one to escape the vagaries of winter weather.

The area boasts terrific restaurants (it’s the home of foie gras), outstanding wines (the Maury region has recently been "discovered" and Limoux is where sparkling wine was first created), numerous castles, hiking paths, bike trails, medieval villages, and early Christian historical sites. The coast is about 75 minutes by car, Carcassonne 45 minutes, Toulouse 90 minutes, Andorra 60 minutes, and Spain 90 minutes (toward Barcelona). Food and drink are as close as three minutes by car.

Chalabre is four km away and offers two taverns, a bakery, a butcher shop, pharmacy, ATM, choice restaurant (Hotel de France) and excellent small grocery store (Huit a 8). It’s an easy walk along a pathway built upon an old rail bed, since removed.

Foothills accurately imply that we are located in rolling hills, great for walks/hikes/picnics, subject to sudden storms, and brilliant nights with starry skies.

For sun lovers and kids, nearby beaches at Lac Montbel and Puivert Lake are only a few minutes away. Meanwhile, less than an hour away the stunning cave art at Niaux dates back 20,000 years. Guided tours will take you a trip deep into a mountain grotto that you will never forget. There’s also an 18-hole golf course in Caracassonne. Twenty minutes away you will find an awesome go-cart track with an international reputation (to elicit and reward your twelve-year self). Skiing in the Pyrenees is also superb. A number of resorts are as close as an hour by car. For a real work out, join cyclists on some of the Tour de France routes in the area.

We are two academics who love this house but are unable to live in it full time (some day!) so we offer it in the spirit that you too have the chance to fall in love with Cathar country in the same way it has smitten us.

How to find Rivel:

Rivel is 40 minutes from Carcassonne (airport served by Ryan Air), 90 minutes from Toulouse and Perpignan airports, and three hours from Barcelona. To fully enjoy the area, you really need a car.

Please note that summer rates are higher but that we open to negotiation, especially for longer stays. Plus, during the warmer months you will find a cozy one-bedroom apartment (sleeps two), with full bathroom, above the garage.


Number of Bedrooms
Number of Bathrooms
Number of Offices
Surface Size
1800 Sq. Feet
Suited for
8 people
Property Type
Cottage or Country Home


Available from Thursday, September 10, 2015 onward
Minimum Stay
1 week(s)
Flexible With Dates

*Approximate location of the property is within the blue radius. Red markers indicate surrounding points of interest including schools, universities, libraries and museums.

City Rivel
Postal Code - State or Province Languedoc-Roussillon
Country France
Neighborhood Keywords Village; Cathar country; Pyrenees foothills; quiet; close to shops and restaurants; hiking; beaches
Closest University University of Toulouse
University nearby

Rental Price:

EUR 750 Monthly
Rental Fee Comments
October-April long-term rate negotiable; summer rates available
Rent Negotiable
Utilities Included
Cleaning Services Included


  • Rural Environment
  • Near Woods
  • Near Shops
  • Near Ocean/Lake
  • Near Restaurants
  • Near Mountains

Additional Information:

  • Furnished
  • Second Home
  • Available for Academic Term
  • Available for Long Term
  • Off Campus
  • Holiday Term
  • Available for Short Term
  • Writing or Country Retreat
  • Historical Home
  • Summer Term


  • Modern Kitchen
  • Washer
  • Dryer
  • High Speed Internet
  • Wireless Network
  • Printer
  • Stairs
  • Reserved Parking
  • TV
  • Other: pellet stove; expansive interior courtyard


Kid Friendly
Small Children Safe
Smoke Free
Pets Welcome
Car Available

Perform Housesitting Duties?:


About Member

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Academic Confirmed Academic Faculty or Staff (Universities, Research Institutes, and Museums)
(Status Confirmed)
(0) Paid Made-a-Match Fee(s)
Member Since Feb 25 2015
This member has 2 reviews
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This member has 2 reviews
ReviewRatingPosted ByDate
We based ourselves here for nearly three months while I was on sabbatical leave. My wife and I, and our three school-aged children, absolutely loved it! The house is large, with ample room for a family of five. It is located on three levels, and contains a separate flat (where I worked). The flat is connected to the main house by way of an enclosed courtyard. It was a quiet refuge where I could write without noise or distraction. The three main bedrooms on the second floor are all lovely, and the bathroom servicing them has been nicely renovated. Rivel is a lovely, quirky little rural village dating back to the 12th century. The people were warm and hospitable, especially our immediate neighbours who spoke excellent English and were extremely helpful. The village itself is located within a short drive of some larger towns with great market and restaurants. There is a really picturesque rail trail that runs for about 40 kilometres between Rivel and some of these towns. We loved riding along this on bikes that we hired (cheaply) for the duration of our stay. We also enjoyed climbing in the Pyrenees, swimming in the local lakes, and exploring the many Cathar castles and ancient churches in the region. The location really is superb. Carcassonne, Toulouse, Provence, Perpignan, the Mediterranean, and Spain are all just a short drive away. The landlords were excellent. They provided us with excellent instructions on the house and really helpful advice on food, wine, and fun activities in the region. They were prompt in their communication and really generous when we had problems with the toilet and pellet burner. We would warmly recommend this place. It made for a superb sabbatical experience. Excellent John Tucker 12/20/2016 7:17:00 PM
My wife and I spent the better part of five weeks at this lovely home this past April and early May. In a word, it was wonderful.

When one enters the house, the first thing that greets them is a dining room centered by a long banquet table. Just beyond the dining room is the kitchen, which comes with a small table we used for breakfast each morning when I returned from the post office with our daily baguette. Yes, you read this correctly. The post office sells baguettes.

Beyond the kitchen is the courtyard, which at one time was a street dividing the two houses that now are part of the estate. For the adventuresome, there is a Turkish toilet located at the end of the courtyard.

A door to the left of the dining room leads to the living room and one of the most comfortable couches I've had the pleasure of napping on. The room is well lit and contains a growing library with emphasis on the Cathars.

Another door leads to the upstairs area which has three bedrooms and a very spacious bathroom, which has been completely renovated with a new and very modern tub, rain shower, toilet and sink. There is also a bathroom downstairs.

The master bedroom has a comfortable bed that nicely fit my 6' 2" frame, as well as a Juliet balcony. This bedroom, and the other two bedrooms on the second floor were of a good size, and beautifully decorated.

The ancient village of Rivel, where the house is located is peaceful and quiet and a wonderful jumping off spot to begin exploring this fascinating area of southern France from the Pyrenees to the Mediterranean.

Close by are a number of small villages including Puivert. This small village has an excellent brew pub and a free store, where I found an excellent French English dictionary. There is also a grass airfield a couple of miles out where one can go for a ride in a glider. Highly recommended.

Carolyn and I rented a car at the airport in Toulouse and it really enhanced out time in the area, letting us explore the various castles and learning the culture of the Cathars. We would also recommend bringing a GPS loaded with the French map.

If your travel plans involve Southern France, this is definitely the place to stay. Thank you Mark and Carmen for being such wonderful hosts.

Excellent Dentist 9/20/2016 11:52:00 AM