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Chez Olivia
CANCELLATION!

We have just had a cancellation for the fortnight beginning 5 July 2014 up to 19 July 2014!

Please get in touch quickly if you are interested.................................!

About the area [scroll down for "About the Gite"]
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We are located in the beautiful Haute Bigorre region of the Hautes-Pyrenees, 1.5 hours south west of Toulouse, 2 hours (south) east of Biarritz and just a short drive north of Spain.
We are just 5 minutes drive from Bagneres-de-Bigorre (15 minutes by bike on the way as it's mostly downhill but a little longer to get back home!), 25 minutes south of Tarbes, a wonderful city, the home of Napoleon's Haras National, TGV station and Tarbes-Lourdes airport. 

We are very well serviced by transport connections, airports at Tarbes (25 minutes), Pau (50 minutes) & Toulouse (90 minutes); train stations at Tarbes and Toulouse and motorways all the way to Tarbes, either from Biarritz and Bordeaux (west France) or Toulouse (central).

Our area is extraordinary. If you like sport, nature, excitement, tranquility, culture, music, great food and wine, all the seasons, you will love it here.

Some of the local attractions and activities,
  • We are half and hour from the col du Tourmalet and the col d'Aspin (by car) for all those road bikers out there, or even Tour de France fans. Some of the best road biking in France and host to the Tour de France most years. 
  • There are also hundreds of kilometers of mountain bike tracks (VTT) accessible directly from the gite or starting further up in the mountains and catering to all tastes in biking from woodland tracks to aggressive downhill scree. I can recommend many trails depending on what you're looking for.
  • Skiing and Snowboarding at La Mongie, just half an hour away, or there is a bus from the town, five minutes down the hill which will take you and bring you back, no need to brave the roads or find parking.
  • The Pic du Midi observatory is accessible either by cable car from La Mongie or on foot from the col du Tormalet or Artigues (the most beautiful route in my opinion, through the val d'Arize and the original mule track to the observatory, although it is long). It is the most wonderful facility to visit with amazing views www.picdumidi.com - we can clearly see the "pic" from here.
  • Trail running is a very popular sport here and I can recommend many trails as it is my preferred sport. There are lots of races close and in the local area, the "Grand Raid des Pyrenees" at the end of August being the most well known, most well attended and one of the hardest in France (80Km, 160Kms or 240Kms non stop) starting and ending in the beautiful Neovielle National Park just over the next valley about an hour or so's drive away. There are many refreshment stops at which to view the race or why not combine your holiday with participating in this or one of the many wonderful races in the area [N.B. It is possible to arrange massage at the gite for post sport recuperation and/or during pre race rest days.]
  • If you'd rather walk, there are gentle ambles suitable for the most tranquil days or many day hikes. You can scale pics, hike to lakes and follow the herds. The Transhumance takes place in May or June and October of each year and is an amazing experience to walk with the herds from early in the morning as they are taken to the mountains for the summer or returned to the valleys. 
  • There are many other outdoor activities to enjoy,
    mountain boarding, 
    parcours accrobranche - ariel walkways in the forests and above the rivers, 
    cross country skiing,
    ski de randonnee,
    snow boarding,
    paragliding,
    golf
    horse 
    treking and even just an afternoon of "pony club" for the children at the Equestrian Centre at the bottom of the hill.
  • The local town, Bagneres-de-Bigorre is a strong cultural centre, being the host to Piano Pic, an International piano festival for about 10 days towards the end of July of each year (in 2014 I will be hosting a study holiday to coincide with the festival, studying the works for some time during the day, lots of free time to enjoy the local area and concerts in the evenings - more details and accomodation options to follow, once the programme is set). 
  • The summer is a spectacle of music here and summer evenings can be spent enjoying a drink or a meal outside with live music, be it Pierre and his 'cello or Jean-Baptiste and David's serious Blues and impro band!
  • Also in July is "Equestria" at the Haras National in Tarbes, an extravaganza of all things horse - amazing.
  • In August each year in Bagneres there is the weekend of Arts de la Rue and the Festival of Song, including everything from traditional mountain songs to modern vocal expression.
I could go on - visit the town website! www.ville-bagneresdebigorre.fr also www.grand-tourmalet.com 

If all of this seems too exhausting - Bagneres-de-Bigorre is a spa town and a visit to the Aquensis Spa is a must.
About the Gite
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The gite forms one end of a traditional Bigordain farmhouse believed to be in the region of 250 years old. The property was very important in the area and one of the buildings even has an original fully functioning bread oven which used to service the surrounding families - we use it periodically, usually for pizza parties! The bread oven is located in a very pretty cottage next to the house which we also use as our bike and sports equipment garage. It is lockable and available for use by guests for all sports equipment such as bikes and skis.

The gite has been renovated to the highest standard and although the house itself is old, the accomodation is clean, fresh and modern. 

The gite will comfortably sleep 5/6, will luxuriously sleep 4 and has the 
capacity to sleep 8.

The gite accomodation comprises,

  • Bedroom 1 - with a 160cm double bed, westerly orientation
  • Bedroom 2 - 2 single beds, facing east
  • Snug - a cosy corner for reading or watching a film. This corner has an extremely comfortable sofa / double bed - not a standard "clik-clak" but so good it can be used as a permanent bed!
  • Mezzanine sleeping platform - with 140cm mattress. Unfortunately this is not available for use until August as we are missing a ladder! Please also note this is not suitable for young children although it is perfect for older children and teenagers (and also rather fun for grown-ups too!). 
All beds and mattresses are of exceptional quality and dressed with crisp cotton sheets. All linens and towels are provided.
  • Shower room - extra large shower, toilet, basin, heated towel rail and washing machine with local slate floor.
  • Kitchen / sitting room area - fully equipped kitchen with oven, induction hob, dishwasher, fridge (separate freezer available), iron and ironing board and all cleaning equipment provided. Both the kitchen floor and worktop is of local slate from the stone quarry on the edge of the village up the road (as in the bathroom). The kitchen area also has a large oak table which seats 6-12 (extendable). 
  • There is a wonderful woodburner central to the kitchen / sitting room area - lovely on cold winter evenings or even on the occasional chilly Spring or Autumn day. The sitting room overlooks the fields to the west and has wonderful evening light. On occasion you may receive a visit from the ponies who spend time in the field adjacent to the gite from time to time.
  • The main entrance doors open into the kitchen / sitting room from the deck which spans the width of the building providing a lovely connection to the outside and a good spot for an aperatif!
  • There is a garden adjacent to the gite with an outside table and chairs and BBQ area. The best views on the property are from the gite garden where you can see the Pic du Midi, the tip of the Montaigu and of course the unmistakable bicycle shaped Casque de Lheris - the three ever present pics that define the Haute Bigorre. The prices this summer reflect the fact that the gite garden is not quite finished, although the roses are climbing already next to the gite and on the barn wall opposite. It will also not be possible to use the dedicated drive until later in the year although there is plenty of parking space and very easy access.
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Advent

02/12/2013 12:06:42
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Yesterday, the first Sunday in Advent, we held our annual Advent Spiral. We hold it on one of the barns now as we need the space and frankly the house is just too small to cope with so many children. It was dry and cold so we made a path of tea lights from the drive up to the barn and welcomed all by candlelight. As usual it was magical and quiet, the children in awe and unusually silent (but not unusual for our Advent Spiral!). Afterwards, we had hot chocolate, m...Lire la suite
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Wildlife

02/12/2013 12:00:20
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Thursday evening, dusk, coming home @ 6pm, we experienced the most amazing sight. There on the hill was a proud stag, just resting, surveilling the land, grazing a little. I so wanted to get some good photos but the light and the zoom all conspired against me! I'm posting the photos that I did managed to take just before he ran away into our woods.
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First ski of the season

29/11/2013 10:39:27
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So, yesterday afternoon I managed to make some time to go to Payolle for a couple of hours. What a treat! The pistes haven't yet been marked with the paths for "classic" cross country skiing but it was easy enough to get about as the ploughs had bashed down the paths a couple of time. It was just a bit slower than later in the year which was fine as the weather was so beautiful one had to stop and gaze........... The snow lay like cake icing in thick crystals glistening...Lire la suite
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"Marguerite"
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Photos of the Gite and Garden
Lac Payrelade
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Photos of the Area
Fun in the Mountains!
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Links

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Trail Running

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Hiking

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Cycling
PRICES PER WEEK 2014
We try to operate a simple pricing guide.
High season covers all the summer holidays and the Christmas holidays.
Peak ski holday period from mid-February to Mid-March is still considered high season here in France but we have dropped the price a bit to try to cater for everyone.  This also goes for the October holidays (in my opinion one of the best times of year here!).
For Late summer and Autumn walking and biking out of school holidays it's low season and finally we offer "super-low" pricing for Spring and late Autumn when the weather can sometimes be a little temperamental!!  However, we most often experience amazing summer weather in June and can see 20 degrees sunshine coupled with stunning early snow in November and early December.

As usual periods of 10 days and long weekends can be arranged out of high season and subject to availability.

4 January 2014 - 15 February 2014: 400 euros

15 February 2014 - 15 March 2014: 450 euros

15 March 2014 - 28 June 2014: 350 euros SUPER LOW!

28 June 2014 - 6 September 2014: 500 euros HIGH

6 September 2014 - 18 October 2014: 400 euros

18 October 2014 to 1 November 2014: 450 euros

1 November 2014 to 20 December 2014: 350 euros SUPER LOW!

20 December 2014 to 4 January 2015: 500 euros HIGH

 

NEWS
14 July 2013
Welcome to our website!
We hope you enjoy browsing the pictures and learning about the beautiful place in which we live.  Please feel free to contact us if you would like some more information and we hope to see you here soon!  
12 November 2013
The first snow has fallen on the mountains and work starts at La Mongie next week to prepare for the forthcoming ski season.  The hills are full of Autumn colours, chestnuts and mushrooms and the trails are starting to get wet and a bit muddy!  Autumn is beautiful here, mostly dry and sunny with cold mornings and evenings.  I am posting some new Autumn sunrise photos on the site taken from the house.  Beautiful..........
© 2013 All photos/images property of Famille Baulf
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