Sunny apartment in ancient Narbonne


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3 gjester, 1 soverom, 3 senger, 1 bad
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In the heart of Narbonne, 300 m from 12th C. cathedral & the Canal, a lovely 1-bedroom apartment of 45 sqm in quiet courtyard, close to everything. 2 bicycles included. Ideal for a couple and a child. Separate kitchen and bathroom. Close to station.

In the heart of old Narbonne, 300 m from 12th C. cathedral, and the restaurants and bars along the quays of the Canal de la Robine, a lovely self-contained one-bedroom apartment (45 sq. m) in quiet courtyard, close to everything. Five mins to station, two bicycles included. Ideal for a couple and one child - or two kids with a little rearranging. Separate kitchen & bathroom.

We are an Australian-English couple and we speak English and French. This is one of two apartments we have available to rent on the same courtyard (ask us about renting both).

Studio Balcon is a pretty, sun-filled one-bedroom apartment on the first floor, with its own balcony, in the old part of Narbonne. The historic centre of town goes back 2000 years, but the apartment is fully modernised. You are close to everything you need and we provide access to two bicycles. Arrive by train, and we are five minutes walk from the station.
The main house was built in 1775, and this apartment is part of the same complex, facing onto the beautiful courtyard, with its cooling palm tree in the middle. The street is already quiet, but the Balcon apartment is back from the street frontage so you hear very little noise during the night.
Studio Balcon has one large and comfortable double bed (actually two king-size singles joined) and another sofa bed which can be used for a child, in the separate entrance room. All the beds are very comfortable Scandinavian-sized singles that fit together, providing great flexibility. The main bedroom has plenty of room for another single bed, if a couple has a small child, or two kids could share the smaller entry foyer room - as you wish.
Studio Balcon was freshly painted in 2014. It has a small kitchen with two hot plates, but no oven. Everything else is there: microwave, full-sized fridge, coffee-maker, pots and pans and plates etc. Each room has s small electric heater for the colder months, and there is an electric fan in the main bedroom. There is a TV with TNT access box, providing all the free-to-air French channels and a couple of English ones. You have access to our laundry downstairs.

We spend only part of the year here, so we may not be here in the winter months. If you come between late April and October, we will be happy to welcome you ourselves. Otherwise we have our house manager meet our guests. We are happy to help you plan your stay, and point you towards the delights of the region - which are many.

Everything you will need is within walking distance, and you have bikes if you wish to go further. There is also a local bus service, and the extensive French rail network is five minutes away.

We do not provide parking. See the arrival instructions for details about where to park.

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Narbonne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Frankrike

What can you do in Narbonne? A better question would be what can't you do? Narbonne is one of the jewels of the Languedoc-Roussillon department, an extraordinary combination of history, culture and amenity and a perfect base for exploring the region. The sun shines here 300 days a year, more than in Provence. The beach is 15 minutes away, and the mountains about an hour. Swim in the morning, climb Mount Canigou in the afternoon and visit a vineyard or two for lunch in between! Narbonne is one of the oldest cities in France, established by the Romans 2200 years ago. It was their first colony outside Italy. In the main square, you can stand on the 2000-year-old exposed stones of the Via Domitia, the Roman road linking Italy and Spain. The Spanish (Catalan) influence is strong in this part of France – indeed, you can be in Spain by car in just over an hour. Or walk to the station and catch a train to Barcelona, two hours by rail. The gorgeous and historic Cite de Carcassonne, the most visited place in France after the Eiffel Tower, is 50 kms by road, or an hour by train and Montpellier, Beziers and Perpignan are also an hour or less away by train or road.

There are five airports within an hour or two: Beziers is the closest (Ryan Air from the UK and Northern Europe), but there is also Montpellier, Perpignan, Toulouse, Marseille and Girona (just over the Spanish border).

Narbonne itself is bisected by the Canal de la Robine, and the quays on either side are shaded with huge plane trees and dotted with bars, cafes and restaurants. Linked to the Canal du Midi, this is now a busy tourist route, with canal boats travelling up and down through the many locks and harbours. You can rent a canal boat from here and putter up to Toulouse if you want. Or rent bikes and do an extended trip along the trails which run alongside the canal. We sometimes ride 25 km to the mouth of the canal, at Port La Nouvelle, for lunch. Stop at a winery on the way back. If you want some challenging cycling, the winding roads through the Corbieres should satisfy you. The Cathar castles of Queribus and Peyrepertuse, atop sheer and daunting mountains, have to be seen to be believed.

Languedoc-Roussillon is the largest wine-growing area in France and the quality of its wines is rising fast. The wines made here used to be rough and ready - not any more. The quality is hard to believe, considering the price. Wine here is cheaper than almost anywhere in France, but don't take my word for its quality. Here is Jancis Robinson, Master of Wine, talking about the wines of Western Languedoc in the most recent edition of the World Atlas of Wine: 'The Languedoc... is France's new world, a scene of new ideas coming good and growing expectations. Money and talent are immigrating here to replace old bad habits; it deserves close study…'.
The region encompasses Minervois and the rugged region of Corbieres, two distinct and characterful production areas that are now producing some of the best wines in France. Try a Château D'Aussieres at €17 a bottle: it's owned by Château Lafite. A similar quality Bordeaux would cost at least five times that. You can take a wine tour from Narbonne, visits vineyards in the area or simply taste and buy from a number of great wine shops in town.
Narbonne itself has a small but visible Australian community, because of the association with the Narbonne Racing Rugby club (owned by Australians, coached by Australians, and many of the players come from the Australian conference). There are two bars run by Australians, and a very well-equipped gym called on Ozy Fit. Who knew? You will get a warm welcome at the Macar bar from your host Craig, or his colleagues on the other side of the canal at the Wallabeer. Order a pint or a glass of rosé and settle in for some serious discussion about rugby, French or otherwise. Most of these Australians came here to play rugby and liked the town so much they stayed. There is a little corner of Narbonne that is forever antipodean.

Cuisine in Narbonne is spectacular, as you expect in the south-west. The turn-of-the century Les Halles market, open till 1pm seven days, is an incredible place for local produce, but you can also eat there and mix with the Narbonnais. Sunday morning sippers with tapas is a real social event here. There are at least 30 restaurants in town. Our favourite is Le Coq Hardi, around the corner on Rue Droite, where they serve traditional French dishes made with passion and commitment. Best cassoulet I've ever tasted! I will provide a more detailed guide to guests on arrival.

Our neighbourhood is central, but not full of traffic. Most of the people living here are French, not expats. We have a boulangerie at 2 mins, for the morning baguette, and our street has lots of school children passing by, chattering and laughing. Because Narbonne Cathedral is so close, most of these buildings were ecclesiastical - monasteries and convents and big houses belonging to the town luminaries. It's an area of character and charm, with crooked streets and medieval houses, leaning at angles as if they're going to fall down. The town has a population of 50,000 - big enough to have a cultural life, a permanent theatre and a number of cinemas, but not as bustling as places like Avignon and Arles. There are many festivals throughout the year, often with a Spanish flavour, because this was once part of Catalonia. What more could you want? The delights of French cuisine and culture, and the beautiful Spanish love of life! Incroyable.

Paul er vert

  1. Ble med i august 2012
  • 203 anmeldelser
  • Identitet er verifisert
Paul and Mary are an English-Australian couple, Mary providing the English part. Mary is a consultant working mainly with government. Paul is a journalist.

Under oppholdet ditt

As little or as much as they wish, if we are here.
  • Språk: Français, Español
  • Svarprosent: 100%
  • Svartid: innen noen få timer
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