Château de Balarin

Gers

  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
Web Ref: 3816

Accommodation

At a glance

  1. Sleeps 8
  2. 4 Double Bedrooms
  3. 4 Bathrooms
  4. WiFi
  • Ground floor: Entrance hall. Cloakroom. Formal drawing room. Living room (Satellite TV, DVD, sound system) with French doors to balcony terrace. Kitchen/dining room (Aga, oven, dishwasher) with French doors to side terrace. Utility room (hob, dishwasher) with door to side terrace. Laundry room (washing machine). Underfloor heating. WiFi.
  • First floor: Landing. Principal double bedroom with en suite bathroom (separate shower). Double bedroom with en suite shower room. Double bedroom with en suite bathroom (separate shower). Double/twin bedroom with en suite bathroom (separate shower).
  • Outside: Spacious grounds of parkland, lawns, terraces, castle ruins and observation tower (no access available), pool terrace.  Barbecue.  Private parking. 
  • Private swimming pool (11m x 3.5m) with Roman steps.

Experience life on a grand scale at this most elegant of châteaux. Set in spacious parkland, surrounded by the vineyards and fields of the undulating Gascon countryside, Château de Balarin is a beautiful example of a French country residence. The layers of history are evident in the ruins of the original castle in the grounds, the square set tower at the far end of the stone balustrade on the upper terrace and the soft honey stone façade of the main edifice, built in the late 16th Century. This immense building, which stood empty for many years, has been given a new lease of life as an exquisite family home.

As befitting a property of this stature, the entrance hall makes a statement: from the high ceilings, elegantly tall French windows and chequered stone flagged floor to a fabulous Venetian style chandelier suspended from the beamed ceiling and, the pièce de résistance, the grand sweeping cantilever staircase with handcrafted ironwork.  The owner’s innate sense of design is apparent in this appealing mix of classic and contemporary.    

But this is not a château which stands on ceremony.  Yes, the proportions are grand but the ambience is irresistibly relaxing, as the accompanying images show.  The subtle colour palette is restful, artistically enlivened with vibrant touches such as jewel hued cushions and blue and yellow high stools. There are two spacious living rooms: one a sumptuous drawing room, the other a place to lounge and watch a film.  Double doors link this room to the kitchen diner, a glorious space which combines functionality with style to great effect.      

Four large bedrooms, all en suite, occupy the first floor.  From its corner position, the principal bedroom enjoys views over the countryside to the Pyrenees in the distance.  Each bedroom is individually decorated with understated flair, featuring interesting artwork and beautifully patterned wallpaper, with shots of colour on the bedlinen, cushions and rolltop baths.   

And whilst the focus may initially be on the stunning interior, outside living has not been forgotten.  The large stone balcony is the perfect spot for an early morning coffee and the side terrace, furnished with outdoor sofas and chairs, is the spot to catch up on summer reading or gather for pre dinner drinks. Wide stone staircases lead down to the lower terrace, where cypress trees give an air of classic formality and at the far end, a contemporary style pool benefits from a south facing position, an open invitation to while away a summer’s day.   

There is a treasure trove of places to discover in the region.  Nearby Montréal (5km) and Fourcès (5km) are gorgeous: Montréal bustles with local life whilst Fourcès is a perfectly formed circular village worthy of any postcard. Larressingle (7km)  is a tiny fortified village, known as the ‘Carcassonne of the Gers’.  Condom (12km) provides amenities and activities such as canoeing and boating. Throughout the summer, there are concerts and exhibitions in the churches and cultural centres, farmers’ markets offering delicious local produce, cycling and horse riding, not forgetting visits to the local vineyards and Armagnac chais!

 

  • Within the grounds of the Château is the property Balarin (two cottages rented as one with a separate private pool), which is also available for rental through Vintage Travel.  Please note that when the Château is rented, Balarin is not available for rental, ensuring privacy for the guests of the Château.
  • It may be possible to rent the Château and one of the cottages together if your party is larger than 8 people.  Please enquire for details.
  • The double/twin bedroom is prepared as a double unless otherwise requested.
  • Please note that in addition to the property rental there is a local tourist tax to pay. We collect this tax prior to your departure and remit it on your behalf. €2.30 (£2.00) per night for adults only aged 18 or over.

Pricing & Availability

Location of Château de Balarin

Locality

Great Things to Do Near Château de Balarin

The town of Condom

The town’s name (which might seem unusual to English-speakers!) is derived from the word ‘condatomagus’, meaning old gallic market. It lies on the river Baïse along one of the main pilgrimage routes to Saint Jacques de Compostelle (Santiago de Compostela). Don’t miss the impressive Cathedral St. Pierre. The town also has an Armagnac museum, where you can learn all about the history and production of this renowned regional spirit.

Visit the beautiful medieval villages of the Gers

For a small department, the Gers harbours quite a few official ‘Most beautiful villages in France’, and two of them are only 5km from the house! Fourcès, with its distinctive round 'square', and Montréal-du-Gers, a traditional bastide town founded by Alphonse de Poitiers on the site of a previous roman settlement.

Shop at the market

Head to Condom on a Sunday morning and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the weekly market. Buy some tasty produce to take back to the property for an al fresco lunch.

The Gallo-Roman Villa of Séviac

This exceptional archaeological site just outside of Montréal-du-Gers was discovered in the 19th century. A Gallo-Roman villa dating from the 4th – 5th century, it boasts splendid mosaics and sumptuous thermal baths. The site is open for visits every day. To complete your visit, head to the museum in the village of Montréal itself, where several mosaic panels as well as other artefacts excavated from the villa are displayed. Perhaps combine with lunch in this pretty bastide town.

Roman ruins at Eauze

At Eauze, you can discover an archaeological treasure: the remains of the Roman settlement of Elusa. Named after the ancient local tribe, the Elusates, the town was an important administrative and religious centre for the region between the 3rd and 7th centuries. You can start at the visitors' centre in Eauze's old railway station, and continue by exploring the 3000m² site itself.

Visit the circular bastide of Fourcès

The charming village of Fourcès is only 5km away. Half timbered houses surround the village square, which is actually round. A castle once stood in the middle but has been replaced by plane trees, providing some welcome shade in the summer sun. Fourcès has a restaurant, café, small general store and a couple of places that sell delicious local produce.

Abbaye de Flaran

This is an old 12th century Cistercian abbey and one of the most visited attractions in the Gers region. In the summer, concerts take place at the Abbaye, dubbed 'Les Nuits Musicales'.

Visit a pocket sized Carcassonne!

The tiny fortified town of Larressingle is a lovely little fortified town that can only be accessed on foot. Outside of the fortifications there are a few houses, a restaurant and the reconstruction of a medieval encampment complete with typical weaponry such as trebuchets and catapults. Larressingle is only about 10 minutes' drive away.

Thermal baths at Barbotan

The renowned thermal resort of Barbotan is about 30 minutes from the house. You can go and relax for an hour or two in their heated pool with jacuzzi and hamman, or treat yourself to a massage.

Armagnac tasting

Balarin is in one of the best Armagnac areas. Visit a local château and discover that it is also a great area for wine by tasting a few along with the armagnac! There are plenty to discover in the nearby vicinity. Armagnac is sold under the appellations XXX (less than 2 years), VSOP (4 years), and Napoleon (5 years or more). Or try the apéritifs based on Armagnac: sweet Floc de Gascogne (red or rosé) and La Belle-Sandrine, made with passion fruit.

Family fun at Lac de l'Uby

This lake in Barbotan-les-Thermes, near Cazaubon, offers water activities including pedalos, canoeing and row boats, and fishing. On land there is mini-golf, boules, table tennis and children’s play equipment. Set in grounds of 6 hectares which can be explored on foot or by bike; take a picnic or buy refreshments on site. There is also a sandy beach and an outdoor swimming pool with waterslides. The water park is open June to September, whilst the other activities are available from 1st April to mid October.

Canoeing or boating on the river Baïse

For those who enjoy messing about on the river... Canoes can be hired at Beaucaire-sur-Baïse, whilst motorised boats can be hired at the harbour Condom.

Go for a round of golf at the Golf de Guinlet

This 18 hole golf course is just north of Eauze (approx 20 min drive), is 5675m in length and par 70 overall.

Anyone for fishing?

Keen anglers can try their hand on the fishing lakes at Castelnau-d'Auzan (about 20 mins drive) or Barbotan-les-Thermes lake (30 mins). There are other activities at both places to entertain other members of the family who may not be able to sit still for very long!

Parc Walibi at Roquefort, near Agen

Water rides, tropical forest, corkscrew etc... Open every day from mid June to end August. Open weekends only in May, June and September. About a 50min drive from the house. More info at www.parcagen.fr

Marciac Jazz Festival

'Jazz in Marciac' is a very famous jazz festival that takes place in Marciac every year from around 20th July to 20th August. Marciac is a little over an hour's drive away. More information at www.jazzinmarciac.com.

A little bit of history...

The original tower at Château de Balarin was mentioned in a letter dated 1073 from the Bishop of Condom to the French Pope Clement, who was based in Avignon. The tower was sold or gifted by the Church and was lived in by the Gollard and Mercier families. In the late 16th or early 17th century the new château was built in a single wing facing the valley. The fortifications were dismantled, and the Tower at the west wing of the terrace was constructed in the Quercy style. In the mid 19th century the Château was acquired by the Ordres de Premont, a missionary group, and the west wing of the Château was constructed, and the Château has remained as it appears today.
 

Nearby

Towns

Fourcès 7 mins
Montréal du Gers 8 mins
Larressingle 10 mins
Condom 15 mins
Valence-sur-Baïse 20 mins
Eauze 25 mins
Vic-Fezensac 30 mins
Auch 50 mins
Agen 55 mins

Airports

Pau 100 mins
Toulouse 100 mins
Bordeaux 110 mins
Biarritz 150 mins
Times are approximate

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