Published by Lyn on 3 May 2023
The Pyrenees offers some of the best cycling in France. This lovely cyclist-owned house and gite is looking for a new owner – it could be you!
For more information or to view this property, contact Tracey via email@example.com.
This could be your chance to turn your cycling habit into a profitable lifestyle.
Tracey and Tim Simmons, owners of the successful Happy Pyrenees biking base, are looking for a change of pace. They’re putting their house and gite on the market in the village of Ayros-Arbouix, just five minutes from the town of Argeles-Gazost, after 16 years in the Pyrenees.
It’s the perfect base for cycling – ideal for running a B&B and/or self-catered base for cyclists.
Where is it?
The property is at 11 Chemin Couture Bague, 65400 Ayros-Arbouix – check where it is on the map here. In short, it's in the heart of classic Pyrenees biking country. That's about a 20-minute drive from Tarbes-Lourdes Airport (direct flights to London), or two hours from Toulouse and Biarritz airports.
What is it?
House: 8-bedroom / 4-bathroom maison de maître situated at the foot of the Hautacam.
Gite: 2-bedroom self-catered house that's been running as a successful rental business for the last 12 years.
How much is it? €560,000
Read on to find out more.
The house is an 8-bedroom, 4-bathroom maison de maître at the foot of the Hautacam – a Tour de France classic and one of the most interesting climbs in France. Also, within striking distance are the Soulor, the mighty Tourmalet, the Aubisque, Ardiden, Spandelles and many more lesser-known climbs, as well as the stunning cirques Troumouse and Gavarnie.
Next door is the 2-bedroom renovated grange, which has an open-plan living and dining area on the ground floor, complete with a fully fitted kitchenette. There is also a separate laundry room. The first floor has 2 double bedrooms (one en-suite shower room), and a family shower room. There is a small outside terrace and parking for 3 cars + a secure garage attached for bikes.
We of course would sing the praises of this area for cycling from May to October, but it’s also known for its great walking and hiking (for all levels) and as a lovely winter destination, with popular ski stations nearby.
Sounds good, right? I've done the legwork for you to find out more about the house in case you’re interested in a change of pace – and a lifetime of cycling in France.
Here's my Q&A with Tracey.
What have you enjoyed most about living in the Pyrenees?
The complete change of pace. We were born and bred in the south-east of England, so to come to the Pyrenees has been transformative. Initially – for a complete change of lifestyle for our young family, we had the intention of creating a business for the property for walking, cycling and skiing holidays. Our young sons thrived in the area – learning French very quickly in the local village school and getting the opportunity to learn to ski with one of the local clubs (it’s also part of the school curriculum). The ski stations are usually open between December and April. And, of course, the south-west is well-known for its rugby culture. Now our sons are grown and we are looking for another change.
What originally brought you to the area and to this house?
It ticked all the boxes – we’d investigated many regions of France, having had some wonderful holidays in the country. You could say we ended up here by chance. We came across the property on the internet and it took just one visit to melt our hearts.
Can you tell us a bit more about the property and how it’s hosted cyclists over the years?
Many of our guests have used the property for their cycling base, but we have also offered full-board stays for small groups – tailor-making their stay to their requirements. Also, the Tour de France has literally passed our front door several times over the years – and that’s an incredible spectacle. And if it doesn’t pass the front door, it passes not far away. As soon as the route is announced, we start getting enquiries.
We've had all sorts of cycling guests, but mainly enthusiastic amateurs whose aim is to tick the boxes of the Tour de France climbs. That said, there are cycling routes for all levels – whether road bike or MTB – and, of course, now the area has completely opened up with electric bikes, giving everyone the opportunity to conquer the famous climbs.
Our guests come from all over the world, and most of our marketing has been through websites and word of mouth. Meeting all the different characters and helping to make their experience memorable has been amazing. Having been here 16 years and being cyclists ourselves, we have local knowledge that is often appreciated. And, of course, we've enjoyed making friends and keeping in contact with some of our guests.
What will you miss most when you sell the property?
Everything! We love the house, the mountain views (see the photo above!) and the area – it has been a huge part of our family’s life, but it's time to hand it on to someone else.
It’s just too big for us now and it needs either a large family or a small business – people who can enjoy it and realise the full potential of the property. Both Tim and I are on hand to answer any questions – we are really keen to see this house go to someone who will love it as much as we do. Please don’t hesitate to send us an email.
The property is on the market for €560,000.