The house sits at an altitude of 500 metres in the commune of Rimont (09420) in the heart of the Parc Naturel Régional des Pyrénées-Ariégeoises, an attractive village of around 570 inhabitants , divided between the village centre, some nearby hamlets, and more isolated farms and houses. It has a boulangerie, épicerie/bar, post office, artisan charcuterie/restaurant, artisan distillery/bar, microbrewery and various other small producers and artisans; There is a weekly 'Drive Rural' through which you can order from over 35 local producers for collection in the village.
The village has an école maternelle. The nearest école primaire is in the neighbouring village of Castelnau-Durban (5 minutes); there is a collège at Le Mas d'Azil (20 minutes) and another at St Girons, and two lycées - one general and one professional - at St Girons. There are a number of local associations.
Rimont, in turn, is a part of the territory known as the Séronais, which is made up of 16 communes that sit between Foix and St Girons; the terrain ranges from rolling green foothills to the mid-mountain environment of the Massif de l’Arize, the range of hills rising to around 1600 metres that you can see to the south of the garden. The Séronais was once the division between the old counties of Languedoc and Gascony.
To the west of Rimont is the town of St Girons, third largest in the Ariège with around 7000 inhabitants and a 15 minute drive away. St Girons is a sous-préfecture of the Ariège and has full local services, including 6 supermarkets, many small independent shops, a number of restaurants and bars, a hospital, a new indoor swimming pool and schools for all ages as well as a renowned Saturday market. There is a full cultural programme and many associations. The town is the capital of the large territory of the Couserans with its 18 valleys, perhaps the most emblematic part of the Ariège. Mont Valier is here, of course, as are lots of the most beautiful walks, many truly authentic mountain villages and a surprising amount of lovely Romanesque architecture.
To the east of Rimont is Foix (30 minutes), the departmental capital and second largest town with around 10000 inhabitants, known for its amazing château that dominates the town. Foix is on the river Ariège, which runs north to south through the department, and again has many local services as well as a train station (with regular services north to Toulouse and south to Latour de Carol), a theatre and a cinema, a swimming pool complex and a larger hospital outside the town at St Jean de Verges. Travel south from here, following the river, and you hit the territory of Haute Ariège with its high mountains and villages clinging precipitously to steep valley sides. It has a very different feel to the greener and much more open Couserans. The most famous prehistoric caves are here.
South of Rimont is the long line of the Massif d’Arize, running parallel to the highest chain of the Pyrenees a little farther south. There are just two crossing points, one that leads to Biert and the other to the Col de Port, both reached by taking the road from Rimont up to the Col de Rille. There’s an amazing road – the ‘green road’ to Foix – that runs right along the ridge of the massif, with jaw droppingly panoramic views to the south.
To the north are the valleys of the Arize and the Lèze. This is gentle farming country, less dramatic than the Couserans and Haute Ariège but with some charming spots such as Le Mas d’Azil (with its caves, dolmen and river and good Wednesday market) and the artists’ village of Carla Bayle. Further to the north east and 50 minutes drive from the house is Ariège's largest town, Pamiers, with various commercial centres and all the usual chain shops and supermarkets. The city of Toulouse is a 90 minute drive from the house.
The Ariège and in particular the Séronais are very welcoming to new residents and there is a good deal of support and help available for those wanting to set up new business and/or work from home. See the Home Working page for more details.
A compromis de vente has been signed for the house with signature of the acte de vente scheduled for September.