Chambre d'hôtes insolite à Carcassonne

The barge. Rare luxurious accommodation

Moored at the Herminis lock, a few minutes away from the historical center of Carcassonne, the Mirage houseboat welcomes you in a quiet, original and luxurious setting.

The Mirage : a name and a story

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Built in 1954, the Mirage was a former Fraycinet barge that carried grain

Originally 39 meters long, it was shortened to 30.5 meters to pass the locks of the Canal du Midi.

Jeannette, Bernard and Jean-Michel, the recent owners redesigned it to make it a warm and welcoming place.

The names of the barge and cabins refer to aviation. It is not a coincidence. At the beginning of the XXth century, the pilots of the airmail service between Toulouse and Dakar flew visually. The Canal du Midi offered them excellent natural landmarks. Daily , they flew over to Narbonne, then, along the coast down to Perpignan, down the Spanish coast and finally reached Africa.

The barge is named after the mythical plane , the Mirage; its gentle pace is in striking contrast with the dazzling speed of the latter. While the airplane like a screaming arrow crosses the skies at the speed of sound, the barge glides languidly down the peaceful waters of the canal.

A cosy and refined interior

Entering through the wheelhouse at the rear end of the barge, you suddenly enter a place out of time that will, as if in a dream, take you away from your daily routine.

Going down a few steps, you arrive in the spacious living cum dining-room with a large table, it can seat 6 guests, near the open kitchen. In the living-room area you can read or rest in the large leather sofa facing the cast iron wood stove. Silghtly higher, there is the bar area laid out in the style of a lounge bar. Four comfortable club chairs welcome you for chats over a drink.

The woodwork gives the entire 60 m2 space a warm and intimate atmosphere enhanced by soft candlestick light. Fourteen portholes and a skylight bathe it in natural light. Its decoration was specially thought out. Jeannette has carefully sought out and combined several elements evoking travel : a gold-plated leaf of life from Laos, bronze sculptures of African women, raku pottery, paintings of the Walled City of Carcassone by a local artist.

From the lounge, a corridor leads to the three cabins – Saint-Exupéty, Concorde and Caravelle- at the front of the barge.

A large outdoor area

You can have breakfast or sunbathe outside, on the chairs and armchairs of the large teak deck terrace. You can also treat yourself to a good, relaxing time in the jacuzzi ( it accommodates five people, with two lying down). Aromatherapy on request.

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At the rear end of the barge, you can take a seat in the wheelhouse and get an introduction to navigation. This glazed compartment, the cockpit of the barge, offers you a 360° view of the canal.

Bicycles are available on request.