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Emerging at the edge of the woods descending from the mountain, and overlooking the hamlet and and valley below, this house has partly retained the appearance of its defensive past. In a subtle balance between the subdued intimacy of certain rooms that highlight ancient structures and those that are part of an art of living more open to light and nature, we cross the centuries here with just a few steps. A starting point to explore the lands of the Haut-Bugey rich in well-preserved nature and eclectic heritage, this property will provide you with the calm and freshness of a refuge perched 900m above sea level.
We came across this region following a series of unexpected events during a hike. A broken down car, a rescue in a mountain hut, chance encounters and it was ultimately love at first sight for the castle, the mountain, the beauty of the landscape and the wild surrounding nature. The location, halfway between Geneva and Lyon, made the decision all the easier.
It is a medieval fortified house, built with limestone blocks and originally four towers. One of these towers remains along with the vestiges of the others. The facade was redone in the 18th century. The walls are more than two metres thick in places. Ramparts surround it on both sides.
The house was built in the 10th century. Saint Arthaud, who became bishop of Belley at the age of 87, was born there in 1101 and lived there until the age of 105. Looted during the French Revolution, the beams blackened by the flames in the attic are still visible to this day. The property was restored in 1950 and we are only the fourth family of owners in a thousand years!
It is both a castle full of history and a comfortable family home with a twenty-metre long swimming pool, calm, silence, pure air, unspoiled nature, a beautiful mid-mountain landscape (900m) and breathtaking views. Close by are ski resorts and marked trails for hiking or cross-country skiing depending on the time of year. The Grand Colombier mountain is great for cyclists as the Tour de France often passes through here. Absolute calm but with a TGV station just thirty minutes away, and the airports of Lyon and Geneva at one hour.
You don't have to go far to find an excellent restaurant. La Fine Fourchette in Virignin is thirty minutes away. Around the castle are the picturesque and sleepy little villages of Haut-Bugey: Lavours, Ceyzérieu, Pérouges, Talissieu, Izernore and its Roman remains, Vieu-en-Valromey and its 11th century church, and the ruins of Chateauneuf - former feudal capital du Valromey. The vineyards of Vongnes and Béon, the spectacular waterfalls of Cerveyrieu, Clairefontaine, Glandieu. The highlands, Plan d'Hotonnes and Plateau de Retord are great for skiing or hiking. The Grand Colombier mountain offers panoramic views over the Rhône. Lake Bourget, the natural sites of Pain de Sucre - stalagmites and waterfalls in a natural amphitheater - the intermittent resurgence of the Source du Groin, the Marmites de Thurignin. The organic, aromatic and medicinal plants in Gaëtannies at the Ferme de Neufontaine (Hotonnes) are also worth a visit. Organic goat and sheep cheeses at the Bergerie de Munet in Virieu-le-Petit; the bakery of Champagne-en-Valromey. And my creation workshop, where I make sandstone animal sculptures, is located in the old wine cellar of the castle.
60 € - 160 € per night
The bedrooms are on the first and second floors of the house. On the ground floor, there is a bathroom and toilet; on the first floor are three double bedrooms, one with two single beds, a bathroom, and a toilet to share. On the second floor are two double bedrooms and a dormitory with four bunk beds and a final double bed as well as a bathroom and toilet to share.