Chateau De La Joie
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What Oliver loves…
- Privacy, tranquility and so much space both indoors and outdoors creates a perfect retreat
- The breathtaking 360 degree views
- Views from the pool cottage out to the fields with grazing sheep and lambs
- Tennis court, swimming pool, games and even a ‘disco room’ offer fun and activities for everyone
- One feels like a family guest in this warm and welcoming home full of family memories
- A local cook can prepare and serve delicious meals
Arriving at Château De La Joie is a joyous event in itself. As you wind your way through verdant, patchwork hills at the foot of the majestic Pyrénées mountains, your spirits are instantly lifted. Then curious anticipation sets in as you approach the small farming hamlet where a quaint country road rolls over a hill and leads to the entrance, where you start your way down the long, private drive. Here, you have already left the world behind, but nothing quite prepares you for your first sight of the château.
Sitting on a hill, surrounded by 360 degree views over beautiful countryside and the Pyrénées beyond, it is clear that this is a special place and a private retreat you will not want to leave.
The estate is made up of a superb 19th-century château, originally built as a shooting lodge, an adjoining 16th-century farm, two separate cottages and a splendid 12th-century chapel. Amongst the impressive six hectares of grounds, sublime statues by David William Ellis stand in silence and contemplate the views. Lawn gardens, flower pots and impressive trees adorn the extensive grounds with a private lake, which is often dressed in water-lilies.
Indoors the journey continues. Family portraits and memorabilia invite you to be part of this real family home, rich with warmth and joyous memories, which only a truly loved home could have. The elegant rooms are spacious and bright with beautiful views of the outdoors. There is plenty of room for friends and family to spend quality time together as well as lots of space to spread out. The new ‘disco room’ is the ultimate in family fun, with a bar, billiard table, dance floor and balcony with views of the Pyrénées.
This is the land of Cathars, an area full of beautiful hiking paths, ancient castles and market towns. A trip to the ruins of the Château de Montsegur, one of the last Cathar strongholds, should not be missed. Pamiers is only 10 minutes away and offers all amenities, whilst Foix, with its ancient castle and Mirepoix are a little further.
The Ariège is the flower garden of Europe offering 3000 species of flowers, 160 of which are unique to the area - a paradise for flower- and bird-watchers. Furthermore, the château is only 55 minutes from Ax Les-Thermes, a charming ski resort with a hot spring and hiking in the summer.
Château De La Joie is the perfect blend of refined and elegant accommodation, breathtaking scenery, history and rich family memories and it has generously opened its doors to new guests and their own memories.
What you should know…
- The cottage in the woods is more simple and rustic but it is much loved as it is set apart and has gorgeous countryside views from its terrace (it used to be the farm shop!)
- The twin bedroom in the Château is under the eaves and has low ceilings
The whole estate comprises of the main chateau with its adjoining farmhouse sleeping 10 guests and 2 separate cottages sleeping a further 2 guests each, for a total maximum capacity of 14 guests.
Chateau+ Farmhouse (10 guests)
- Main entrance hall
- Dining room
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Large drawing room with bar
- Shower room with washbasin and WC
- Guest WC
- Billiard room/utility room (dividing the chateau from the farmhouse)
First Floor (accessed through main staircase off hall)
- 2 large master bedrooms with king-size beds, dressing rooms with walk-in wardrobes, en-suite bathrooms with showers, washbasins and WCs
- 1 small bedroom with queen size bed
- Bathroom with shower, washbasin and WC
First Floor (accessed through second staircase)
- Small library area
- Evening/Disco/Games room with balcony with tables and chairs (can also be accessed from the backstairs of the farmhouse)
- Small kitchen (with backstairs leading up to disco/games room)
- Small sitting room with log-fire
First Floor (accessed through backstairs off kitchen)
- Double bedroom with king size bed, dressing room with walk-in wardrobe and en-suite bathroom
- Double bedroom with king size bed and adjoining balcony (doors opening onto disco/games room)
- Bathroom with shower, washbasin and WC
- Double bedroom with king size bed, dressing room with walk-in wardrobe and en-suite bathroom with shower, washbasin and WC
- Twin bedroom with 2 single beds and en-suite shower room with washbasin and WC
Pool Cottage Interior (2 guests)
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Drawing room
- Guest WC
- King-size bedroom with en-suite bathroom with shower, washbasin and WC
Cottage in the Woods Interior (2 guests)
- Double bedroom
- Shower room
- 6 hectares of private grounds
- Lawned gardens with flowers and trees
- Private heated swimming pool (size: 14mx6m/shape: rectangular) with automatic security hard cover
- Poolside terrace
- Outdoor dining area
- Covered terrace
- Tennis court
- Private chapel
- Private small lake with boat (not suitable for swimming)
- Zip wire
- Boules pitch
- Covered parking space
- Underfloor heating (main chateau ground floor)
- Heaters (upper floor and electric heaters in cottages)
- 2 working fireplaces
- Flat-screen satellite TV
- DVD player
- Coffee machine
- Washing machine
- Tumble dryer
- Iron and ironing board
- Billiard table
- Ping pong table
- Outdoor dining facilities
- Sunbeds and parasols
The property sits in the middle of the Cathars land, a stunning area full of beautiful hiking paths,...
The property sits in the middle of the Cathars land, a stunning area full of beautiful hiking paths, ancient castles and market towns. A trip to the ruins of the Château de Montsegur, one of the last Cathar strongholds, should not be missed.
Pamiers is only 15 minutes away and offers all amenities, such as cafés, bars, a supermarket, bakeries and restaurants, not to mention its lively Saturday market.
Foix, with its medieval castle located on a rocky hill overlooking the Ariège and Arge rivers, is just 30 minutes away. Take a stroll in the old town, exploring its narrow streets, pretty squares with ancient abbeys, local restaurants and authentic shops. There is a also a superb market every Friday.
The bastide town of Mirepoix is also within easy reach: a vibrant gem, with one of the best markets in France on a Monday and hosting plenty of festivals and events throughout the year.
The Ariège department is considered the flower garden of Europe offering 3000 species of flowers, 160 of which are unique to the area - a paradise for flower- and bird-watchers.
Furthermore, the château is only 55 minutes from Ax Les-Thermes, a charming ski resort with a hot spring and hiking in the summer.
The fortified city of Carcassonne is located about one hour south from the chateau and is a must see. Its famous summer festival, brings together over 100 performances, including opera, dance, theatre and music, most of which you can watch free of charge.
A bit further afield, the town of Albi boasting formidable architectural features, is well worth a day trip out.
Finally, bear in mind that the Tour de France runs close by, Andorra is just one hour and a half away and the Spanish border is not too far either!
|Nearest Train Station||
Golf Club de Ariege
Lac de Mondeley /Gruissan (Côte Vermeille)
A relatively new addition to France, the Midi-Pyrénées was created to surround the cultural capital of Toulouse in the late 1970s. You might think that its relative youth would mean the Midi-Pyrénées is short on character or identity, but remember, this is France we’re talking about – the whole country is steeped in history and tradition. Encompassing parts of Gascony, Languedoc, the Gers and several others, you’ll get a varied slice of the whole French experience here, not least if you stay at one of our beautiful chateaux in the Midi-Pyrénées! And if you want to discover the best of what the region has to offer, our Midi-Pyrénées travel guide is here to show you where to go, what to eat and how you can make the best of your break with some amazing activities.
2 highchairs and 2 travel cots are provided.
Bikes: 2x kid's bikes
Baby and Toddler Equipment
- High Chair(s)
Kids Activities Close-by
- Tennis Nearby
- Horse Riding
- Tourist Towns & Villages
- Historical Sites
- Board games
- Child-Safe Pool
- Heated Pool
- Tennis Court
- Games Room
- Indoor Games
- Outdoor Games
- Table Tennis
- Chef/Cook Available
- Maid Service Available
- Chef/Cook Available
- Maid Service Available
- Fridge-Stocking/Shopping Available
- Bike Hire and Delivery Available
At Oliver’s Travels we pride ourselves on going that little bit further for our guests. From private chefs to babysitters we can help you arrange those little extras that make it a truly memorable holiday. Simply fill in the concierge request form or contact the Oliver’s Concierge Team who will be happy to help. We can typically help you arrange any of the following:
- Maid service/extra cleaning
- Private chef/cook/catering
- Welcome hamper/pre-stocked fridge
- Local day-trips or tours
- Airport pick-up/drop-off
- Babysitting/childcare services
Extras available at this property:
- Daily maid service
- Fridge-stocking/shopping service
- Bike rental and delivery
Please note that all extras are subject to availability and must be requested in advance of the holiday (prices on request). Due to some rural/remote locations, not all services will be available at all properties. However, we will always do our best to fulfil your requests!
Oliver's Travels Chef Service: A Gourmet Dining Experience
Make hosting a memorable dinner party at your villa an absolute breeze with our superb Chef Service. Our chefs will take care of everything for you from start to finish so you can just sit back and enjoy the gastronomic experience. They will bring all the necessary ingredients, cook and serve the food and even clean up afterwards. To find out more visit www.oliverstravels.com/chefs
Here is the perfect tranquil retreat for joyous wedding celebrations, set on a hillside with glorious countryside views in every direction and the shimmering Pyrénées on the horizon. This beautiful and impeccably maintained château will delight your carefully chosen group of guests as they meander around its lavender scented manicured lawns, sit beneath the olive trees next to the pool or enjoy the bronze dancing hares and other statues in the large grounds. Its 12C cedar shaded chapel could provide a charming and romantic setting for a moving ceremony and there is a large barn for your reception. After the feasting and fine wine the disco room and dance floor are just perfect for dancing throughout the night.
A reception for up to 60 seated people can take place in the barn, on the terrace or inside one of the château’s reception rooms.
Dancing for up to 60 guests can take place in the château’s disco room, complete with its own dancefloor. It can continue for as long as you like as there are no music restrictions.
A ceremony of up to 60 people can take place in the chapel on-site or inside one of the reception rooms of the château.
The venue can suggest contact details for an English-speaking celebrant.
Where to Stay
Up to 14 guests can stay in Château de la Joie whilst accommodation for up to 60 further people can be found in nearby hotels and B&Bs.
Clients may arrange their own wedding planner to work at the venue. There is a relaxed attitude towards wedding planning here – you can choose to have a planner or decide to plan the event yourselves, with help from the château who can provide you with recommendations for local suppliers.
The owners can recommend local caterers or clients may arrange their own. There is no corkage fee during your event.
Marquee not necessary – large barn available
Please note that any event rental may be subject to additional charges, venue hire fees and to a higher security deposit, which will be in addition to any published rental rates and fees.
All events are on request only and subject to prior agreement from the owner, who reserves the right to refuse all events without their prior authorisation.
These terms and conditions may be amended from time to time.
|Security deposit||€1000 paid to the owner by bank transfer one month before arrival and refunded two weeks after departure subject to inspection.|
|Arrival time||4.00 p.m.|
|Departure time||10.00 a.m.|
|Energy costs included?||Yes.|
|Heating costs included?||Yes.|
|Linen & towels included?||Yes, including pool towels.|
|Pool heating charge?||No. The pool is open and heated approximately 1st May to end-October. Please note that like all heated pools, pool heating and water temperature are reliant on weather and outside temperatures.|
|Minimum stay||7 nights.|
|Smoking Allowed?||Outdoors only.|
|Other Ts and Cs||Weddings and other celebrations are on request only and subject to prior arrangement with the owner and additional charges.|
Prices based on an occupancy of 14 people:
|Oct 16th 2019 - Apr 27th 2020||£3,075|
|Apr 27th 2020 - Jun 27th 2020||£3,075|
|Jun 27th 2020 - Aug 29th 2020||£4,730|
|Aug 29th 2020 - Apr 18th 2021||£3,075|
Prices based on an occupancy of 14 people:
|Oct 16th 2019 - Apr 27th 2020||€3,401|
|Apr 27th 2020 - Jun 27th 2020||€3,401|
|Jun 27th 2020 - Aug 29th 2020||€5,232|
|Aug 29th 2020 - Apr 18th 2021||€3,401|
Prices based on an occupancy of 14 people:
|Oct 16th 2019 - Apr 27th 2020||$3,752|
|Apr 27th 2020 - Jun 27th 2020||$3,752|
|Jun 27th 2020 - Aug 29th 2020||$5,772|
|Aug 29th 2020 - Apr 18th 2021||$3,752|
Please note that prices may not be 100% accurate for dates outside of the current calendar year. For an accurate quote, please enquire.
How long have you owned the property?
What was it about the property that you first fell in love with?
As my father came up the long private drive he fell in love with the utter peace of the place, the mesmerising 360 views of the Pyrenees, the extensive gardens and grounds, the private chapel, lake and the sheer possibility of what he could achieve here. And achieve he did, lavishing care and love on the Chateau, The Farm, developing annexes, creating a swimming pool and Tennis Court, manicured gardens replete with statues and restoring the chapel. A place where all our friends/family arrive from their frazzled lives and always leave re-energised.
Are there any interesting stories in its history?
The estate was owned by a family, allies of the local and powerful Count of Foix. The Chateau itself was the centre of the local community with its own chapel dating back from the 14th Century where the villagers would come to worship. Over time it became an extensive hunting lodge before it passed into the hands of its current owners.
Have you ever had any famous guests staying?
Famous BBC broadcasters, politicians, pre-eminent financiers from Europe and the US – all who will remain nameless – discretion is key.
For anyone coming to stay is there anything in the surrounding area they should...
Really do & see?
- Visit the historical town of Foix, capital of the region with its beautiful windy streets and imposing castle sitting above the town.
- Saunter through all the many local markets: Foix on Friday, Pamiers on Saturday, the famous hippy market at Montbrun on Sunday, and the amazing medieval town of Mirepoix on Monday.
- Climb up the last bastion of the Cathars to the epic castle of Montsegur where you can enjoy jaw dropping views of the Pyrenees.
- Race around the 1400 metre Ariege Karting track near Mirepoix.
- Follow the route of the Tour de France.
- Parachute out of a plane at Pamiers Les Pujols, home of the French Parachute Restaurant
- A round of golf at Golf Club de Ariege at Bastide de Serou, surrounded by jaw dropping mountain scenery.
- Swim at Lac de Mondeley and then have a picnic on its beach.
The larder of the Pyrenees is overflowing with delicious locally sourced slow food:
Amazing cheeses– Brebis is the local favourite.
- If it takes your fancy, this is Foie Gras country all available locally at very decent prices.
- Vegetables in every shape, size and colour from the local markets.
- The local lamb perfect for the BBQ is available from our friendly farmer Olivier.
- For wine lovers there are the crisp whites from nearby Limoux and punchy reds from Corbieres along with a number of vineyards worth a visit that have their own restaurants.
- Head to the stunning mountain top village Carla Bayle and eat at Auberge Pierre Bayle with stunning views of the mountains.
What insider tip would you pass on about the property or the area?
In all honesty, if you are after the fast life, clubs and cocktails this probably is not for you.
The Chateau is all about tranquillity and escape. It is about big groups of friends and family having cracking lunches and dinners on our many different terraces, settling down with a book, before a game of tennis and swim, it is about heading out to relaxed local towns for dinner and having a good but not hectic time where you’re sweating about your reservation. For the young we have created their own space with an evening room/club for them to enjoy at night – and perhaps you to join?
We’ve spent years making sure the garden and grounds are picture perfect with many works of art and statues by famous sculptors dotted throughout.
In short, it is about properly unplugging and taking a break from the fast lane.
Chateau de la Joie truly topped the lot!
In 25 years of renting houses for our summer holidays, Chateau de la Joie truly topped the lot! Ed and Katie have kept it as a family home which gives the house a lovely ambiance and makes it so welcoming and interesting. We loved the artworks, both in the house and the garden. The guide to the house, helpfully shared in advance, was comprehensive. It meant we weren’t struggling to work anything out for ourselves and the information on the local area was really helpful. The local team gave us a lovely welcome too and looked after us flawlessly throughout our stay. The rooms all have great character and were very comfortable indeed. The hilltop setting gives outstanding vistas all round and the terraces surrounding the house and pool offered the best of the sun at all points of the day, particularly sunsets at dinner. The kitchen is amazingly well equipped and the cooker is fabulous. Martin and Philippa, who Katie recommended, cooked a wonderful meal for us and were thoroughly engaging company. There is so much to do, in and around the house and in the local area, that it was hard to do it all justice in a mere two weeks. A day’s white water rafting and kayaking with Eau Vive at Foix was a big highlight.
Truly amazing stay!
The most charming, stylish Chateau which is full of character, lovely art and enormous beds! There is a room for every mood, including a club (!), a billiards room and the most beautiful drawing room. The best equipped kitchen we have ever stayed in, a wonderful pool, tennis court, croquet, pétanque….it’s impossible to be bored here! The house strikes the perfect balance between being impressive yet still a home. There are lots of different seating options for eating but we highly recommend dinner at the back of the house for the incredible sunsets. We couldn’t have loved our stay more and had booked our return visit by day two!
It’s hard to know where to start with this wonderful home, the inside and outside are so special its impossible to choose a ‘best bit’! I didn’t know this part of France at all, and whilst it was a wonderful discovery, the town itself stands head and shoulders above its surroundings (literally) with his jaw dropping views. 360 degrees of rolling hills, almost no building in sight and just the sheep and their charming bells the only signs of neighbours. The pictures simply can’t do it justice. The house itself is extremely luxurious in its proportions and furnishings. The main difference to other holiday homes is that it is so evidently a comfortable home. We had one rainy day on our trip and the excuse to be inside for the evening with the fire and comfortable sofa’s was a great treat. The mixed accommodation is wonderful, with the farm house next to the chateau and the two charming cottages in the grounds. Very much one for a gang of friends or large family. Katie and Ed provide some brilliant suggestions on what to do when venturing further afield - should you want to! But there seem to be endless possibilities, in our brief 10 days we discovered so much and feel we could happily come back every year for 10 years and still be finding new spots. The castle at Foix is an absolute must for children and for adults, if you don’t want to go parachuting after your market trip to beautiful Mirepoix the Michelin restaurant in Camon is a must. But equally with the tennis court, heated pool, choice of terraces to eat on, chapel, lake and boat it would be entirely possible to spend a happy week going no where at all. Perhaps apart from a trip down the drive to Olivier and Marielle’s informal shop.
An unforgettable holiday!
We celebrated a big family birthday at Chateau De La Joie and enjoyed a welcoming and stunningly beautiful home, with great fun at the pool, tennis court, zipline and on the dance floor. The Pyrenees were the backdrop to the most glorious of settings.
Awesome family stay!
What can I say but awesome.
We all arrived at the same time to drive up the long drive to the picturesque chateau. Obviously we had seen pictures but they did not do it justice.
We were met with a glass of bubbly and were shown around the property. It was like being shown around a personal home rather than a holiday rental property. There was everything you could want for a relaxing holiday for our two families, including a tennis court, swimming pool, snooker/pool table, croquet set and the all important ice machine as we were in the middle of a heat wave.
All the rooms were luxurious with all but one bedroom (which had it's own bathroom) having en-suite bathrooms and the two main bedrooms having dressing rooms as well.
The grounds were spectacular and there was even gorgeous little chapel.
The best endorsement I can give is that we were all discussing how we could come back next year.
Thank you Katie for letting us share your French home.
Fabulous Family Holidays!
A more tranquil spot in France you will not find. The house has 360-degree views across stunning French countryside that rolls and undulates towards a backdrop of the Pyrenees. It feels like you’re a million miles from the stresses and strains of modern life, another world, and yet within 20 minutes drive you can be in a huge supermarket that will cater for all your needs. The house itself is incredibly comfortable, with all mod cons. It sleeps 14 people in great comfort, including in two well-appointed cottages in the grounds. And yet it retains its cosy feel. Some days we lazed by the pool and ate our meals on one of the terraces, other days – when it was cooler - we lit the fire and settled in. It’s genuinely as comfy inside as it is outside, which is not always the case in French holiday lets. Our young children were in heaven. When not swimming or playing tennis, they roamed the five acres of immaculately kept grounds, building camps, rowing on the small lake .There’s snooker croquet and table tennis too, if it’s wet. And then of course there is the party room. Set well away from the grown-up bedrooms, the party room has a bar, DJ–quality speaker system, and a proper disco – glitter ball, lights and all. Incredible fun.
You really won’t want to leave the chateau and grounds at all – it’s a self-contained little hill-top world - but if you do have itchy feet then there are lots of walks nearby, or you can visit one of the many beautiful French towns nearby (Mirepoix market is a must). I cannot wait to return.
We had the most magical week at the enchanting Chateau!
A beautiful house with outstanding facilities set in a most stunningly unspoilt expanse of French countryside. With some gloriously grand rooms in the chateau, immaculate gardens and seemingly endless out-buildings, Chateau De La Joie still had a wonderfully homely feel to it. We enjoyed days spent splashing in the pool, long lunches and drinks with a view. And a couple of nights of being cooked for and hosted by the lovely Martin and Philippa were an absolute treat. Visits to the nearby pretty towns of Foix and Mirepoix were lovely and other places to recommend include the stunning Montsegur and some interesting prehistoric caves near the charming town of Mas d’Azil. All in all a most heavenly escape. We look forward to returning.
Simply and Truly Amazing!
What a stunning, tranquil, heaven on earth this place is! We rented it for a week’s family holiday and had the most magical time ever. The rooms are all stunning, without exception, and there is so much to do – tennis, swimming, billiards, boule, al fresco eating, drinking, playing mad games, etc – that we hardly felt the need to explore the area, although we did venture out to the amazing Mirepoix and Foix markets. The views in every direction, especially the majestic peaks of the Pyrenees in the distance, are just breathtaking. There are very few places where I can safely say that the beautiful photos on the website still don’t really do justice to the real thing, but Chateau de la Joie is most definitely one of them. We will be back!
We Highly Recommend!
My family and I have been fortunate to stay at Chateau De La Joie a number of times and absolutely adored each and every holiday there. The chateau is located in the most stunning location, with glorious gardens and wonderful walks. The rooms are truly beautiful, private and incredibly comfortable. We cannot recommend Chateau De La Joie more highly for a very special holiday.
What a truly magical place!
We stayed at Chateau De La Joie for 2 long weekends in the summers of 2016 and 2017. You arrive up a winding country road to this jaw-dropping chateaux set in it's own stunning and perfectly maintained gardens. The house and gardens have been renovated with beautiful taste and works of art are in abundance. There is also a separate renovated chapel which is very pretty and generated much chat about its being perfect for weddings and christenings. The rooms are plentiful and all decorated to a very high standard. There are extremely large and comfortable beds and the linen is top quality too.
The indoor sitting areas are beautiful but we think you'll find it hard to leave the two large sitting and eating areas either side of the house in the gardens. One provides beautiful views across the manicured lawns and on over the valley. The only sounds you will hear are the sheep and goats from nearby farms and owls. There is a fabulous pool with separate bar and shower area, perfect for a day working hard on the tans. There is also a hard tennis court where many a competitive match was played before cocktails. This is an absolute gem of a home and a truly wonderful place to unwind over a long weekend or longer if you can afford it!
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