We hosted our first photography holiday in 2014.


The peacefulness and beauty of the surrounding countryside and the flexibility of the accommodation make Manzac the ideal location for photography holidays (as well as other activity holidays including painting, etc)  


While much of France has been very well documented and photographed, the Ariege Department in SW France remains relatively unknown, traditional and unspoilt and from the world of photography, somewhere which has not been 'shot' to any great extent. There are therefore great opportunities to photograph (and publish?) unique, original pictures of magnificent countryside, mediaeval towns / villages, extensive wildlife  as well as capture and record a very traditional lifestyle and slower pace of life that still exists in this part of France.


Our holidays are all-inclusive and we provide accommodation, food and drink (wine and beer etc) throughout the week [less two visits to local restaurants which are payable at the time].  It also includes transport, both to and from the airport, and locally to photography locations and restaurants.


The price per person for the Manzac aspects of the holiday (less two visits to local restaurants which are payable at the time) - ie. accommodation, food, drink and transport, is €850.


For those guests who share a room, then each person will benefit from a 10% discount - a rate of €765. 


Photography tutoring fees are paid separately and directly to the Tutors, usually in £££s.

To view some of the photographic opportunities in the Ariege, please place your cursor over the arrows at each end and the photographs will scroll across the screen.  To view individual photographs (with descriptions), please click on the photograph and it will appear in full screen mode.   Please note, the quality of the pictures is much greater in full screen mode.

To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key.

These holidays can take place any time outside the high season, ie during May and October which are often the best times to visit Manzac d’en Bas and the Ariege, as invariably, the light is at it's best (not too harsh) and the countryside is at it’s most beautiful. Holidays can start and finish on any day of the week, thus enabling participants to take advantage of cheaper mid week flights. 

To view some of the pictures of our photographers at work, please place your cursor over the arrows at each end and the photographs will scroll across the screen.  To view individual photographs, please click on the photograph and it will appear in full screen mode. Please note, the quality of the pictures is much greater in full screen mode.

To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key.

While we hope that our guests will progress photographically, we hope also that that they will have an enjoyable, happy and memorable holiday, part of which will be to enjoy good food, wine and company. 


Due to the spacious nature of the accommodation and facilities, course participants are most welcome to bring their husbands / wives / partners with them who can then enjoy a relaxing holiday at Manzac with everything that it and the surrounding area has to offer. 

To view some pictures of the non photographic aspects of our holidays, please place your cursor over the arrows at each end and the photographs will scroll across the screen.  To view individual photographs, please click on the photograph and it will appear in full screen mode.   Please note, the quality of the pictures is much greater in full screen mode.

To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key.

Many of our guests have very kindly left independent reviews of their photography holiday at Manzac d'en Bas - some of these are copied below, but please click here or on the Tripadvisor logo on the left to see many more.

"Manzac d’en bas is set in the midst of Ariege's always-green countryside with inspiring views towards the Pyrenees. The rambling house has been beautifully restored but still retains its original warmth and character. The owners, Giles and Louise, are friendly, welcoming and unobtrusively attentive. Excellent meals were provided, the wine flowed freely and all was done to ensure that the whole experience was relaxing and trouble-free. Lakes, flower meadows and landscapes, as well as local markets and artisans provided abundant photo opportunities. The studio facility near the main house allowed the group to work together and review our shots at the end of the day while watching the sun setting over the Pyrenees. All in all, a most enjoyable and memorable experience."


"I had a wonderful time on the photography course at Manzac d'en Bas.  Everything was just superb: the venue beautiful, the hosts Louise and Giles were warm and welcoming, and nothing was too much trouble for them. The food was delicious, the accommodation very comfortable, and the places of interest to photograph were well chosen."


"I have just spent a wonderful 6 days at Manzac on a Landscape Photography course. The Gite proved the perfect place to stay with brilliant hosts, Giles and Louise. They have obviously worked so hard to design and build accommodation that is suited to courses and holidays and in a most beautiful location. The catering by Louise was excellent - cuisine that used French local produce but with a British twist. Giles was our driver and travel guide with an intimate knowledge of the area showing how much time he has spent in getting to know the area in order to offer travel advice on what to see and where to go. I also enjoyed the salt pool with its lovely view towards the snow-capped mountains.
I was so looking forward to this trip that I was afraid it may not live up to my expectations. In fact it didn't - it surpassed it by a long way!
I cannot recommend this venue highly enough - a true gem of a destination in a relatively unknown part of France . Thank you for a lovely time!"


"I stayed at Manzac d'en Bas while on a photographic holiday.  Giles & Louise are a delightful couple, excellent hosts, and nothing seemed too much effort! 
The gite, which they have built themselves from almost nothing, is beautiful with wonderful views of the Pyrenees.  Giles drove us to sites particularly suitable for landscape and travel photography. One day he gave us a delicious barbecue for lunch, other days we ate out at lunch or in the gite. Louise provided great food in the evenings.  I couldn't fault them, the location or the service provided.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!"


"What a breath of fresh air after the fast pace of life we lead in the south of England. The owners of Manzac (Giles and Louise) were absolutely brilliant. The food was delicious, the Gites were wonderfully cosy and comfortable with majestic views all round. I never tired of the superb view of the Pyrenees. Truly breathtaking. Thank you Giles and Louise for all your hard work and making it a stay to remember."


"Manzac d’en Bas is the perfect location in South West France to run a photography workshop. On clear spring days you can see the snow-capped Pyrenees. The hay meadows are brimming with wild flowers, and on market days the local towns are bustling with life. Our hosts, Giles and Louise Nevill pulled out all the stops to ensure that my students had a wonderful time, and nothing was too much trouble for them. The bedrooms are superb, the food delicious and the glowing wood burning stoves in the kitchen and/or lounge were a welcome sight after a long days photography. The course was greatly enriched through Giles' local knowledge of the region and his contacts with local craftsmen. We moved effortlessly from landscapes settings, to lively street markets, we popped into tradition flour mill, took pictures inside an artisan boulangerie, meet a local violin maker and stopped off to visit a clog maker on the way home from trip into the mountains. We had great fun, the students took some stunning images and picked up a few photography tips during their holiday."


"We have just returned from a fantastic week of stunning and truly inspirational photographic opportunities in and around this great gite on a photography course. Giles and Louise looked after us superbly with every tiny detail taken care of - the rooms are gorgeous, the views stunning and the food that Louise cooked for us was excellent. The whole itinerary from start to finish was so carefully thought out and gave us unique opportunities to explore with our cameras in hand; from colourful markets, tranquil lakes in mountainside settings, a Citroen graveyard, fascinating architecture of churches and cloisters to some very unusual artisan craftsmen at work (a clog maker and a violin maker amongst them). This was a truly memorable holiday made so by the gorgeous location and faultless hospitality of the owners."


"Accommodation great, scenery fantastic, food marvellous, hosts absolutely wonderful.  I think it would be difficult to praise Manzac d'en Bas too highly. Set in the beautiful Ariege countryside, with wonderful views across to the snow capped Pyrenees it presents an idyllic refuge from the noise and congestion of southern England. Where it truly excels however is in the warmth and attention of the hosts Giles and Louise Nevill. Nothing is too much trouble and the clear determination to ensure their hosts are treated as honoured guests, if not family members, is outstanding. A truly wonderful experience."


"Having just returned from a wonderful week of photography based at Manzac I must say what a great job our hosts Giles and Louise did in providing the accommodation and catering infrastructure that made the course work so well. From the moment of meeting at the airport Giles was the perfect and charming host for which nothing was too much trouble. Throughout the week he took every opportunity to ensure our comfort and well-being, providing both transport and information in abundance. Due to the nature of the course and the need to find a variety of locations, it relied heavily on our hosts' local knowledge and relationships. Through this they were able to arrange delightful informal visits to a working period flour mill, a local bakery, a beautiful mountain lake, typical village markets and even a clog maker among others. This knowledge included, great coffee stops and local restaurants as well as the best places to take both sunrise and sunset shots against the simply stunning backdrop of the snow-capped Pyrenees. The accommodation at Manzac is first rate being both comfortable, homely and well thought out and the fully catered experience provided by Louise and Giles was really first class. Beautifully prepared meals from good quality local produce bought daily in local markets was the order of every day but even extended to a barbecue supplied by Louise and prepared by Giles for us beside a mountain lake in the middle of nowhere. Nothing was too much trouble including the coffee that appeared just when most needed to the drinks and nibbles that seemed to pop up almost like magic out in the garden just before dinner.  I'd go again like a shot and recommend it whole heartedly."