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Château d'Agel
6, place du Château
34210 AGEL
Monsieur and Madame ECAL-BESSE


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Languages:  English, Spanish
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Département: Hérault (34)
Special Features: 

Château d'Agel

  It is our great pleasure to include among our members the incredible Château d'Agel in the Minervois region of Languedoc.  Located just south of the Parc Naturel Régional du Haut Languedoc, this imposing 12th century castle boasts an important historical significance as a strategic fortress during the  Albigensian Crusade in the 13th century. The Crusade against the Cathars was led by the famous Simon de Montfort and continued mercilessly as Simon attempted to take Minerve in 1210. The château was nearly completely destroyed by fire.  The Treaty of Paris, which annexed Languedoc to France in 1220, put an end to the Crusade. It was Guiraud de Pépieux, having escaped the massacre, who restored the castle for his own descendants.  Records date back to the year 1300, documenting all that took place and providing details of the many owners through the centuries. 

As indicated by the various styles of windows in the château, ranging from the small windows of the 12th century to the large and lovely windows of the Renaissance, the architecture of the château evolved over the past thousand years.  The Renaissance and 17th century brought changes to the castle such as replacing the Renaissance recesses of the façade by broad bays with small squares influenced by Trianon.  Regrettably, by the early 20th century the castle fell into serious disrepair.  It was the Ecal family who began the daunting task of restoration in the 1960s.  Not only were the buildings restored, but the gardens were rejuvenated as well.  Today, visitors will meet the Ecal-Besse family whose decades of loving effort have brought this amazing Medieval property back to life with warmth and beauty, reminiscent somewhat of Tuscany ~ but definitely maintaining the intrigues of the middle ages while offering visitors the comforts of the twenty-first century.

Château d'Agel is a weekly rental property, and bed and breakfast accommodations are offered only in off season when there are no weekly bookings.  There are two spacious and comfortable salons, a quiet library, an office, two dining rooms, a modern and well-equipped kitchen, six sumptuous bedrooms, and five bathrooms in the château ~ all on a park of two hectares.  The park offers specimen trees, terraces, manicured box hedges and a fine swimming pool.  Grape vines provide the fruit for the château's wines, and guests can enjoy tastings in the château's cellar and can visit the vineyards during their stay.  An orangerie in the château is ideal for wedding receptions indoors, but a marquee can be provided for garden weddings as well.  Staff can be hired when renting the château, including a maid and cook. 

For wine enthusiasts, this is a rich land with an abundance of vineyards for visits and dégustations.  Château d'Agel is just about ten kilometers southeast of the town of Minerve, the heart of Minervois wine country, and just north of the Corbières wine region.  Vines were first introduced to the region by the Romans,  and it is said that Romans Cicero and Pline were lovers of Minervois wines.  Primarily full-bodied red wines are produced here that are elegant when young and become silky after two or three years of aging. Dry white wines and fruity rosés are produced here as well.  Some ten varieties of grapes are used to make the much appreciated wines of the region. 

Your hosts will be pleased to arrange a variety of thematic stays for your enjoyment including a 7-day Discovering the Minervois region, a Castle Weekend that includes winemaking, a Decorative Painting course, horse riding near the castle, and participation in other cultural events.  The château is the ideal authentic French location for a wedding, family gathering or courses and seminars.  Your hosts, Martine and Jean-Marie Ecal-Besse are warm and welcoming and have years of expertise in creating memorable special occasions for guests at their family home.  Inquiries are welcome.  When you are next planning to visit Languedoc, be sure to consider renting this incredible Medieval castle for a holiday you will always remember fondly.

* * *  Book this lovely château by contacting au Château and mention 'Agel' in the subject line.  * * *


Rooms:   Six double bedrooms and one triple.  Sleeps 15 people. Five bathrooms, all equipped with hair dryers.
Self-catering weekly rental rates: (breakfast is not provided) 
€ 4500 January 7 to April 1 and September 30 to December 16€ 5100 December 17, 2016 to January 7 and  April 1 to May 27 and December 16 to January 6;    € 5500 May 27 to July 1 and September 2 to September 30;  €7000 July 1 to September 30.  Prices include taxes, and all linens are provided.
Renting for less than one week:  2 nights, 50% of weekly rate, 3 nights 60% of rate, 4 nights 70% of rate, 5 nights 80% of rate and 6 nights 90% of rate.
B&B prices per night (in the off season when available - not in July or August): Doubles € 165 to € 176 per night; suite € 176 to € 242 per night.  Breakfast is included. 
Deposit:  A 30% deposit is required at the time of booking a reservation both for B&B accommodations and weekly rentals.  Balance due one week or more before arrival.
Dinner: gourmet dinners can be served by prior reservation (48 hours notice) at € 35 per adult, wine not included.  Local restaurants at Aigne, Minerve, and Bize-Minervois.  Your hosts will be happy to make reservations for you.
Seminars and receptions can be hosted at the château. 
Weddings: Please ask for prices.  One week rentals in high season.
Please ask about bringing small pets when making your initial booking inquiry.
Satellite television and DVD are available.  No telephone. Stereo and Internet ADSL.

Open all year.
On site:  lovely park, gardens, table tennis, swimming pool, BBQ and bicycles
Vicinity:  Free tennis in the village, horseback riding (5 kms), hiking and walking nearby.  Carcassonne and the Canal du Midi are both convenient day trips.  About 35 kilometers from Mediterranean beaches at Gruissan and Narbonne Plage, and others. The historic cities of Narbonne and Béziers convenient to the château.  Minervois and Corbières wine country.  The Cathar city of Minerve with its natural bridges, breathtaking canyons, hillside vineyards, dolmens and ramparts.  White chalk cliffs and canyons hollowed out over the centuries by small rivers are nearby.   Ensérune (in Nissan, 25 kms from the château) is a Gallic village with excavations uncovering life in the region from 6th century BC to the 1st century AD.  There are some 24 Cathar castles or castle ruins in the region for visits.


From Paris Gare de Lyon by TGV direct  to Narbonne, 4.5 hours; Gare de Lyon by TGV direct to Beziers, 4 hours 10 minutes.

From Paris & the North by auto: take autoroute A9 or A75 and exit Béziers Ouest direction St Pons. Take road marked Montady / Capestang (D11) for about 25 kms to Cabezac.  Then turn right direction Bize-Minervois along the D26 for 2 kms.  At Bize-Minervois follow signs to Agel on D26 (4 kms) and D20 (2kms).

From Carcassonne: take périphérique north of the city to the D610 to Mirepeisset (road number changes to D11 and D5), turn left onto D607 / D907 direction Aigues-Vives.  In town turn right onto D20 to Agel.

Airport:   Carcassonne (50 kms)
Railway Station:  Narbonne (25 kms) and Béziers (35 kms)
Car Rental Narbonne rail station (click here)
Car Rental Béziers in town (click here)
Car Rental Carcassonne Airport (click here)

FranceMichelin Map to Château

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Suites and Bedrooms Cuisine and Dining The Château Salons for Relaxation Park & Swimming Pool