Self catering cottage (gîte) for holiday letting
St-Ferriol, Aude, Languedoc, South of France - Testimonials









Extracts from our Visitors' Book:


What a wonderful 2 week stay. Gracious host and hostess Jamie an Sophie made us feel more than welcome, actually having us to the Chateau for a BBQ. Beds really comfortable kitchen great to cook in. A home with a southern french charm. Relaxing and calm. Great view of the Pyrenees.

Sophie send us on ours way with herbs!! Many thanks

To ours new ‘amis’.

Louis and Margaret, Niagara Falls, Canada October 2013


A comfortable home, in a beautiful, quiet, central location with gracious, helpful hosts lays a great foundation for a memorable able holiday. Many thanks.

Neryl, David and Sciffer, Australia, September 201


Hey Sophie and James,

Thanks for letting us stay in your cool house. It has been as relaxing and as chilled out as we had hoped. A week was not long enough.

Cheers Aaron and Jess, Brisbane, Australia September 2013


Muchas gracias Sophie,

Hemos pasado unos días estupendos. La casa nos ha encantado, es mucho mejor de lo esperado y le hemos enviado fotos a todos nuestros amigos.

Este ha sido un viaje muy especial para nosotros cuatro, después de un año para olvidar.

Nos vamos encantados,

Valencia, August 2013


What a wonderful place you have here!

The maison d´Eglise was just right for the four of us. Lots of room and a toilet on each floor, magnifique! What a treat it was to be invited to the chateau for an evening of live music and chance to meet some of the local characters. We are very glad to be “amis du chateau”!

Thank you for your friendly chats and advice as to places to visit and eat. We really enjoyed the walks up to “Le dent” wishing you all the best.

Gerald and Don, Vancouver, BC, Canada. July, 2013


Thoroughly enjoyed our all too brief brush with Cathar country and learning about the local history here. Terrific location and superb scenery. Clearly we need to spend much more time here! Thank you for an enjoyable stay wonderful surroundings.

Paula, Jeremy and Azzedine, Wellington, New Zealand and London, UK July 2013


Merci Sophie de nous avoir accueillis dans votre maison d´eglise. Un week-end parfait! Nous reviendrons pour un week-end pluvieux, histoire de profiter de cette maison si chaleureuse et restauré avec tout de gout.

Bravo pour ce que vous avez fait ici et pour ce que vous faites au Chateau.

Au plaisir de vous rencontrer bientot!

Amitiés, Philippe et Nuria


Chaud et chaleureuxs chiens adorable. Bon vin, Bon amies.

A bientot.

Andrew et Kythe, 1 Novembre 2012


Fijze vahartie gehard in dese mooir strerh. Veel mo ie dirgen gez´ien. We ganz met leh goeil gevoel haar luis.

Danzy Corry Bart 16 November, 2012


We have had such a wonderful stay here in your quiet village! We will miss the bells and the beautiful vistas in every direction. Your Gite has been perfect for exploring the haute Aude region and beyond. We will return for part deux!

Thanks you for your hospitality so appreciated.

Until our next visit… All the best!

Marty and Claudia, 13 October 2012, USA


Great talk by James on the Cathars – clear, interesting, well illustrated. A real help to understanding the area. Followed by a medieval feast how Sophie – wonderful. Huge variety of textures and lashings of wine. [stay co-oincided with an event at the Chateau]

We discussed organising events here and hope to attract high quality musicians and performers to take advantage of the marvellous space in the Chateau. These would be magic events.

Then Puivert – stunning; Montsegur also stunning.

Puivert is fascinating close up and inside; Montsegur’s attraction in contrast, is from afar– but a great view from the top.

And now – back to Prades.

Thank you for an opportunity to explore here.

Mike Westwood, September 2012, France



Un grupo de amigos que ha pasado 4 días de tranquilidad en la naturaleza.
Gracias Sophie!!!

Barcelona, Septembre 2012


Hem vingut a Sant Ferriol a passar uns dies envoltats de festa i xerinola! Hem anat visitant algun que altre castell. El dia 11 de Setembre el nostre pais es manifesta. Esperem que un dia o altre pogueu venir a la nostra petita terra. Molt i molt agradablement:

[We came to Saint Ferriol to spend a few days and looking for a great atmosphere! We have been visiting some castles. On September 11, our country will have a big celebration. Hopefully one day you will come to our region. Very very nice.]

Oriol, Mireia, Xavier, Cesc Tarragonna, Spain, Agost 26, 2012


Thank you for your generous, warm welcome again!


Crista & Mark, Vermont, United States, September 17,th 2011



Two months of tranquility & enjoyment. I came here to write, & write I did. But with the charming hospitality of Sophie & the residents of St. Ferriol I was able to feel truly at home. The gite is more than comfortable, a welcome scope, & surprisingly cool on the hottest summer days. There is much to see & do, for those yearning for touristy adventures, as many of my visitors did. Highly recommended for either long or short stays. Thank you Sophie!

Adam, London, United Kingdom, July and August 2011


One whole month of bliss. What a blessing! This place has the best energy ever. The landscape, solitude and just plain old relaxing. It has magic. All the comforts, style of home back in USA – couldn’t have found a better place. Kitchen is well stocked and the beds are really comfortable ! Even the washer and dryer make it easy to stay for the whole month. My husband enjoyed the bike riding tremendously. Comfort, comfort, comfort ! Sophie is the best – very accommodating and helpful. A big fete at the château added to the real French experience – my ‘parlez francais’ was tested quite a bit and now I need to study even more. I just love it. The couple next door offered us fresh eggs, meat and in-season vegetables. They were friendly and patient with the French speaking as well.The neighbourhood is extremely safe and easy to walk around. The markets Esperaza Sunday, Limoux Friday, Quillan Saturday...couldn’t get enough of it. There is even a daily van that come through the village every weekday with croissants and baguettes.

Will come back twice a year and even started the process of buying our own gite. Had a medical emergency and Sophie drove me right down to the Quillan clinic and helped me sort it out. I love you Guys.

[Quina benedicció! Aquest lloc té la millor energia que mai he viscut. El paisatge, la solitud i la relaxació. Té màgia. Totes les comoditats, estil similar al d'EUA (impossible trobar un lloc millor). La cuina està ben equipada i els llits són molt còmodes! Fins i tot la rentadora i l'assecadora han funcionat perfectament durant tot el mes. He fet el descobriment més profund, treball de recuperació espiritual, l'ambient acompanya! Em sento com un nou jo. El nostre matrimoni va prosperar i el meu marit va gaudir de la bicicleta enormement. Comoditat, confort, comoditat! Sophie és la millor, molt complaent, molt servicial, ella és la millor. Una gran festa al castell va arrodonir l'experiència. El meu "Parlez francais" es va posar a prova per demostrar que he d'estudiar molt més. M'enamore! La parella de veins ens va oferir ous frescos, carn i vegetals de temporada que no podriam aconseguir en cap altre lloc. Eren amables i pacients amb el meu francès. El barri és molt segur i fàcil de recorre. Els mercats (Esperaza - Diumenge, Limoux - Divendres, Quillan - Dissabte) eren molt macos! El noisette (cafè) i el meu favorit pain aux raisins estaven deliciosos. Hi ha fins i tot un camió que passa a través del poble dues vegades per setmana per oferir baguettes del dia. Després d'acostumar-me a les campanes de l'església, no he tornat a utilitzar el meu rellotge un sol cop. Sophie, James i Guilhem eren com la meva pròpia família (sense el tedi és clar). Tornarem dues vegades a l'any i fins i tot vaig iniciar el procés de compra de la casa que hi ha just a la cantonada. Vaig tenir una emergència mèdica i la Sophie em va portar dret a la clínica Quillan i em va ajudar a resoldre-ho. He trobat una millor amiga de per vida. Gràcies des del fons del meu cor.]


Diane and Mark, Connecticut, USA, June 2011


Thank you for the many chats and the educational sessions we were able to have. I would encourage your guests to visit Queribus and Collioure. These areas are full of castles, wineries and restaurants. In Port Vendres we visited the plage area called Paulillas, a beautiful beach and château.

Jamy and Janel, Denver, Colorado, USA


We had a real French experience because of you all !! Everyday was a new event and we captured it on film. The food, wine, markets, Esperaza, Limoux, Cacassonne. The trip to Collioure was a delight. Our turn next time in Connecticut.

Faith and Dominic, Connecticut, USA, October 2010


Sejour tres agréable, un réel plaisir pour les yeux car de nombreuses visites touristiques incroyablement belle comme les Gorges de Galamus, Le Château de Puivert, les bains chauds de Rennes les bains et d’autres encore.

La situation du gite entre les montagnes et la mer est parfaite et favorise de nombreuses promenades aux choix multiple.

Le village de St Ferriol est très calme et très reposant, le voisinage est accueillant et sympathique.

Marie, France August 2010


Peyreperteuse was the most exciting experience I’ve ever been on and having climbed so high up which I never expected to manage. This is definitely a place I’d come back to.

Aimée Richardson, Dublin, Ireland August, 2010


All of us had a great week. I add that the caves of Niaux are a chance of a lifetime to see. Thanks for all the hospitality.

Natalie Joynt, Dublin, Ireland August, 2010


Having James explaining to us the background to the history of the Cathars and being able to draw from your vast knowledge of the history of Christianity was of special interest to us and we look forward to reading your coming publication ‘Beyond Belief’

Great to meet you all and be introduced to the château.

Olive and Frank, Dublin, Ireland August, 2010


Four girls from the UK, didn’t know what to expect from St Ferriol and the Languedoc Roussillon region but found a truly peaceful tranquil retreat. We loved the gite . On our many trips we discovered some lovely places particularly at the later « out of season » Later part of our trip. St Cyprien Plage – near Perpignan. Miles and miles of white sand and aqua blue sea ! Fab !!

Canet plage – as above
Le Rebenty – Marvellous French Belgian food Axat
Pyrennees – wild horses – wonderful !! Miles and miles of winding roads and spectacular views (Tour de France route !)
Limoux wine tasting ! Great !
Montsegur – what a climb ! Well worth it. Even with fear of heights Views great but castle not much left f it !
Horse riding in Granes – Nicole> Lovely people, 120 Euros for 2.5 hours for 4 people !
Quillan – Pizzaria in plaza – great !!
Mirepoix – Medieval village if you like architecture.
Puilaurens/Axat – visit château !! Great bar at bottom of the hill in the village.

All in all a fantastic holiday. French people very helpful, friendly. Village life idyllic !

p.s. Forgot Collioure. Quiet fishing port. Casablanca great fish restaurant.

Trudy, Angie, Ally and Antonia, UK, August/September 2007


This area of France is a delight ! It reminded me so much of Franschoek and in parts also of Drakenberg. The weather has been disappointing but the wearying and dramatic landscape – mountains, forests, gorges, rock formations, vineyards and fields with hay bails – more than made up for the weather ! We visited a few of the Cathar sites and other places of interest during our stay. Glen and Liam mostly enjoyed the Chateau D’Arques and the walled city of Carcassonne. I loved the Abbey of Saint Hilaire – the Gothic arches and stained glass windows are superb. The basilique de Notre Dame de Marseille (outside Limoux) is another site with beautiful stained glass windows. The gite is comfortable and well-equipped, and Sophie most hospitable.

We’re looking forward to our next visit to France already.

Sophie, Glen and Liam Campbell, the Netherlands, August 2007


Thank you so much Sophie for a wonderful stay. Our highlights during our week in this fab area and house for chilling out have been :

visit to Carcassonne – although touristy in August, we found it awe-inspiring.

Visit to Montségur – what a climb – you definitely need sturdy shoes for this. The view is breathtaking.

Rennes le Château (musée) and le bains (thermal springs).

Dinner at
La Chaumiere, Quillan – fancier French dining
Café de la Gare, Good value basics
Arques Roc Café (on the left driving through Arques

We loved the church bells and finally adored all the poodles. Beth especially loved Charlotte !! Thank you for loaning them to us for the walks….
Wishing you the very best with « project le château »

Gill, Craig and Beth, Shropshire, UK, August 2007


Thank you for renting your house – it is a lovely and peaceful area.

Family Hammer-Jakoban, Denmark, August 2007




We’ll be back.

Louis, Jo, Alex and Ruby, Paris, France, July, 2007



This was a great week here and we enormously enjoyed your gite and the hospitality of Sophie and James. Charley and Christina, Washington D.C, USA, July 2007

Good luck with the renovations. It will all be worth it…You have picked a wonderful place.

The Brooking family, UK, May 2007


The Pyrenees remain a profound part of my life. It makes me very happy that such a delightful couple have made it a dream to restore and make available this lovely gîte ...The area abounds with unforgettable scenery and walks and picnics. Do explore the small villages & local cafes and do cross over the mountain to Belcaire & its villages. This is a place of beauty and mystery. Thanks ever so much.

PS. Breath everything in. You won't find it elsewhere!

Marilyn - California - May 2007


We have really enjoyed our stay at Sophie's gîte in St Ferriol. So much history ... Visited many of the castles and villages mentioned in previous pages and found them charming. The castle at Villerouge was most well restored and easy access. The narrow winding road to Château Termes was the most "heart stopping". Our favourite place for lunch - Auberge du Faby in Rouvenac.

Wine, baguettes and cheese for dinner at home! All in all an unforgettable holiday!

Elissa & john, Marjory & Brock - Vancouver, Canada - April / May 2007


We have had a lovely stay at Sophie's gîte in St-Ferriol. Three and a half days was not long enough to fully explore this interesting out-of-the-way area but we did our best.

Day One - Château de Queribus

Day Two - Drove to Axat and on through the Gorge de Galamus. Lunch in Rouffiac de Corbiéres at the lovely little Auberge de Peyrepetuse at the foot of the fortress. Hiked up to the Château de Peyrepertuse - not to be missed! Drove back via Bugerach, Rennes-les-Bains and Couiza.

Day Three - Carcassonne

Day Four - Morning walk to Granès. Rennes-le-Château. Roman aqueduct south of St Paul de Fenouillet in Ansignan. Picnic supper at a beautiful spot just east of and below the Col St. Louis on a back road between Quillan and the D117 (going SE)

Thank you!

Alison and Dick - Massachusetts, USA - April 2007


A really lovely week spent in this very tasteful gite! Apart from the obvious "must see" trips to Carcassonne & Mirepoix we visited gorgeous Collioure, just under two hours' drive from here on the Côte Vermeille. Also had one day of mountain sightseeing - taking the road from Quillan to Ax-les-Thermes, picnicking at Col de Chioula before briefly stopping at Ax-les-Thermes and driving back along the spectacular (if nerve-racking) D256 + D107! (Yellow road?!! Mmm).

Another lovely day was simply spent visiting the villages in the local area - Rennes-le-Château, Arques, Rennes-les-Bains, Château de Peyrepertuse etc.

Not one lost day, all successful, just fantastic!

Really jolly lady in the pizzeria approaching Quillan, but make sure you're hungry" Very Good food.

Glad we found you!

Andy, Jacqui & Gwen - UK - April 2007



The sky was blue and the sun shone
The air was warm and fresh and cleared our minds
The beds were comfy providing great rest ...

Meg & Peter - Australia/NZ - October 2006

We loved your gite.It was comfortable and beautiful - very beautiful - incredible design.

Bob & Andrew - LA, USA - October 2006


Thank you for giving us the chance to stay at the Maison de l'Église – it was a wonderful pied-à-terre for our week in the area… For your future guests, here are our recommendations:

Gorges de Galamus: incredible drive. If you have the time, take an extra hour & walk to the ermitage carved out of the gorge

Rennes-le-Chateau: For you Da Vinci Code fans, a must see, but still interesting for those who missed out

Châteaux Peyreperteuse & Queribus: bring good footwear as the very old stones are very slippery. Beautiful vistas of the valleys

Carcassonne the château tour in the old "cité" is worth it

Mirepoix: Quaint medieval town with well priced shops

Caves de Niaux. Make a reservation. It is one of the last caves open in France & Spain

Cucugnan. Lovely little town which can easily be missed

The Hotel Moderne et Pigeon in Limoux. Excellent gourmet food with outstanding service

The poissonerie in Quillan Very fresh. The fishmonger will recommend local fish.

We enjoyed our stay, hope to see you again

Ken & Muriel, Diane & Granger – Canada – August-September 2006


…we enjoyed our stay in St Ferriol. Highlights included

Meals at La Chaumiere [a restaurant in Quillan]


Chateau de Peyreperteuse


L'Auberge at Rouvenac

Cliff, Martin & John - August 2006


We had an absolutely fabulous time and we want to live in this area now! We loved Camon, we had a great time kayaking. The views are simply amazing. Lovely comfortable pretty gite. Sophie's herbs and blackberries are delicious – try them

Nicky & Teri - England - August 2006


Had a lovely stay – Lovely landscape, eccentric chateau … summer time is tops here. May have time after the vide grenier today to go to the outdoor swimming baths at the foothills of Axat. Must come over for a longer stay: this time was too short to see all this great area.

Andie, Cathy and Sadie - England - August 2006


Great week. Great House. Great region. Many thanks for everything. Wine, Flowers and even writing paper all unexpected luxuries.

Jake & Jasmine - Australia - July 2006


It was such a privilege to stay in La Maison d’Eglise – the house is delightful, comfortable and beautifully finished. I had such a productive two weeks working [painting] in the landscapes…

Wendy Winfield - July 2006


We've enjoyed a wonderful week of mountain villages + walk, sybaritic living and thermal pools. The perfect rest-cure!

Rennes-le Château: most spectacular views in this pretty mountaintop village

Alet-les-Bains: Medieval town beside the river - wonderful hotel gardens to mellow out in, a trip back in time.

St-Ferriol: delightful mountain walks on good tracks. Sophie kindly lent us her girls [three dogs] for a perfect outing to the ruins of an older chateau - a round trip.

Esperaza: Excellent patisserie ... great fun at the hat factory ... Fernando of the main square serves`excellent food & wine and is a most charming host

Lapradelle-Puilaurens: amazing chateau perched on a hilltop. Worth seeing.

Gorges de St-George...Thrilling

Axat: like a Swiss village. Lovely river garden.

Thank you for the warm welcome and kindness…

Helena and Lorcan - County Meath, Ireland - July 2006


Unexpected luxury! Such a fantastic house. And what an amazing area! So much to do, so much to see. Thank you so much for the best holiday of our lives!

Penny and John - UK - 2006


We have had a wonderful week relaxing, discovering,, shopping and cooking in this great southern part of the province. ... We record the following points that may be of assistance to future guests:

Esperaza: Sunday market - particularly if the "Oompah" band is playing - they were fantastic! ...market had lovely dips & jambon

Miropoix: Monday market spoils the town. Go another day to enjoy this Tudor town.

Carcassonne: The old walled city is definitely worth a visit ...

Caman: We all enjoye walking around this walled town - it's very picturesque.

Rennes-les-Bains. Took the thermal baths ...

Rennes-le Chateau: amazing hill top town. If you into the Da Vinci Code or conspiracy theories this may be the town for you. Appears`to have a very good book shop on religions and esoteric subjects.

Lagrasse: A really cute town... The town square was delightful as were the abbey and the fish in the river.

We enjoyed the walks around Saint Ferriol and the generosity of our neighbours – Mme Sire gave us a huge bunch of parsley and Louis showed us around his farm. The cow bell tinkling had intrigued us from day one !

Hayden and Jane and Simon and Ngaire - New Zealand - 2006


Contact Sophie McDonald about renting the cottage.

You can reach her at + 33 468.20.11.42: from France,
00 33 468.20.11.42 from the UK
011 33 468.20.11.42 from the US

or by e-mail. Once you have checked availability, and agreed your reservation, you will need to check our terms and conditions and then print off and fill out a booking form.





The Languedoc. Click here to open this site in a new windowThe Aude (Cathar Country)