La Muse is isolated and residents love the retreat because of it.
However, there is no public transportation to our village, Labastide Esparbairenque.
There is a bus stop at the top of the village but because of the sharp turn on the little road in the village below us big buses and trucks can’t gain access here.
So, transportation to the retreat is by car.
Taxis make the drive to and from Carcassonne for anywhere from 45-65 Euros one way, depending on the time of the day and where you leave from in town.
If you count in stops to shop etc. this adds up to be a lot more.
We strongly recommend that all residents have access to a car. Rent one or contact us about the “ride package.”
Rentals vary, but usually cost about 650 Euro per month.
Depending on the time of year and the size of car this could be more or less.
Some Musers (former residents who have been over 5 times now) feedback regarding transportation options to the retreat:
“As far as needs for local transportation: I think, as a couple, it has served us well and works economically to hire a car for the duration; particularly as we don’t have easy access to Carcassonne airport, but have to fly into Toulouse. But for individuals, unless they really want the freedom of getting out several times a week, having a rental/hire car is unnecessary.
The ride package provides access to all the places on the hit list for those new to the area (Lastours, the Cite) as well as the essentials for shopping each week. I think the ride package is great value for money and saves the hassle of petrol – very expensive, tolls and having to navigate mountain roads in a foreign country.”
During the school year there is a bus that makes round trips from Carcassonne to Mas Cabardes, a nearby village.
It’s a 45-minute downhill hike from Labastide Esparbairenque to Mas Cabardes, longer and uphill coming home.
The hours of the bus to Carcassonne are roughly 7 AM and 1 PM (This schedule varies, so make sure to verify. You also need to call in advance to reserve a seat!) Return trips to Mas Cabardes are around noon and 6.
NOTE: We describe the bus service only for those who may need additional trips to town. Most people get anxious without consistent, reliable transportation for groceries or other errands.
We are very reluctant to accept applicants who do not plan to avail of the ride package or rent a car. We do not feel comfortable leaving people to walk uphill in the rain (worst case scenario) on a narrow, winding mountain road, with groceries.
We also do not think it fair for people to ask those who’ve paid for the ride service or a rental car to get groceries for them, or to ask those who’ve rented a car for rides.
People have come and enjoyed hiking everywhere, but it would be unwise for us to assume that you are that kind of person.
In over 15 years of doing this we’ve met two such people; one of them a US marine who fought in Afghanistan before coming to La Muse.
We reiterate, most people are not happy here without access to a car during their stay.
Your comfort and safety are to an extent our responsibility while you’re here.
Again, we are very cautious to accept applicants who do have access to a car.