AND OVER IN THE ARIEGE PYRENEES ...
... is L'Atelier d'Artiste, the rather lovely eco-converted barn that forms part of our old stone farmhouse, Maison Grillou. Spacious, beautifully renovated and fantastically equipped, it sleeps two people in great comfort. Set in the rolling green foothills of the natural park, this is a secret place … no other visible houses, no passing traffic, no street lights, nothing to disturb the deep peace but birdsong and occasional cow bells in the valley below.
Combine with Maison Leela to create a two-centre Pyrenean holiday, or just take a week or two to discover this almost totally unknown part of France. Find out more >>
HOW TO GET TO MAISON LEELA
GETTING HERE BY AIR
To Perpignan: between four and eight flights a week from London Stansted, two flights a week from Birmingham (both Ryanair); two flights from Southampton, two flights a week from London Southend (both Flybe); four flights a week from Dublin (Aer Lingus); three flights a week from Brussels (Ryanair) plus internal flights from various parts of France. Perpignan airport is a 30 minute drive from Maison Leela.
To Girona: flights from no less than 9 UK destinations (Ryanair and Thomson) plus Dublin, Cork and Knock (Ryanair). Girona airport is a 75 minute drive from Maison Leela.
To Béziers: flights to London Luton, Bristol, Manchester and Edinburgh, all with Ryanair. Béziers airport is a 90 minute drive from Maison Leela.
To Carcassonne: flights from London Stansted, Manchester, East Midlands, Prestwick, Dublin, Cork, Brussels, Eindhoven (all Ryanair). Carcassonne airport is an easy (motorway) drive of around an hour and a half from Maison Leela.
To Toulouse: two or three Easyjet flights every day from London Gatwick, and two or three British Airways flights from London Heathrow; both operate all year round. New daily flights from 2017 with Ryanair to London Stansted. Also: other flights from Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds-Bradford, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin, Shannon (seasonal), plus Amsterdam, Brussels, several German cities and other European destinations. There are direct flights from Toronto as well as connecting flights from other long haul destinations from Paris (over 30 flights a day). Toulouse airport is a two and a half hour drive from Maison Leela.
If you're planning a two centre holiday with a week at Maison Grillou and a week at Maison Leela, we recommend flying into Carcassonne, which is just 90 minutes from both houses, though any of the other airports (perhaps not Girona) are certainly do-able.
Maison Leela is in the village of Villelongue dels Monts, in the department of Pyrénées-Orientales - right on the Spanish border and the most southerly in France. Although very close to so many places, this is essentially still rural France and you really do need a car to enjoy your stay here. There are at most 5 buses a day to Argelès-sur-Mer (with connections on to Perpignan) so without your own transport you're seriously limited as to where you can get to.
We'll give you full directions and GPS coordinates before your arrival.
GETTING HERE BY TRAIN
There is a TGV service from Paris Gare de Lyon to Perpignan (direct, at least 3 times a day, around 5 hours) to Perpignan - or travel to Montpellier and take a regional train on to Perpignan. You can book a hire car for collection at Perpignan train station.
GETTING HERE BY ROAD
It’s possible - just - to drive here from Calais, Boulogne or one of the Normandy ports in one day; it will take around 12 hours, on good roads, allowing for stops. It can be a tiring experience though, and we think an overnight stop makes it into a very much more enjoyable journey. Rather than circuit Paris, we’d suggest heading for Rouen, then Chartres ( a great place for an overnight stop) and onto the A75 motorway through Clermont-Ferrand and over the Millau viaduct - it's a gorgeous route through fantastic scenery.
We recommend this site for good route and time planning.