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This is a really magical place nestled in a Pyrenean valley less than 2 hours away from Biarritz or Pau. The house is full of character and charm with a roaring fire and many cosy bedrooms to choose from. An atmosphere inside that makes you feel instantly at home and gardens and land to explore outside that will keep you in walks for days . A spectrum of beautiful environmnents all on the estate - from shady woodland streams to wild meadows. The spectacular view of the mountains so close by from the kitchen window will stay with me for ever I am sure . The owner Andrew stays discretely in a barn across the garden. He is there to advise on local knowledge and walks should you feel inclined.We so enjoyed his company that we ended up socialising on several nights. But equally Andrew will keep himself totally separate from you and he is very respectful of your privacy as he goes about his farm chores. The main house for guests is completely secluded with its own garden not overlooked - and a wonderful venue for breakfasts or supper al fresco watching the sun go down. The downstairs bedroom has doors leading out to the garden which in turn face a dramatic mountain scenery. It makes getting up a joy. It was just myself and partner in this lovely old house but we will come back with our wider family and friends without doubt. In fact we were looking to buy a small home in the area but on discovering this wonderful house and spot have decided to just come back here instead. Would suit a family with young ish active children as there is so much of the natural world to discover here and the most perfect of playgrounds. There is even a trampoline in the middle of an adjacent field which went down very well with us even in our fifties, coupled with the daily evening table tennis. Aside from the comfort of the house, the breathtaking views you will also be overwhelmed with the warmth of Felix and his sister Marcel in the local general store which can feed you for several days if you cant be bothered to head for the supermarkets a few miles away. We were here in September (late) and enjoyed very warm fine days with just one day of rain. I am already scheming a return visit to this place that so feels like home.
We had a wonderful week in Maité's beautiful gite with our dog in late September. The photos here really don't do it justice.
The property is situated on one side of the valley overlooking the village of Arette and the mountains beyond. Maité has clearly put a lot of thought into the conversion of this old sheep barn; it's a good combination of rural charm (exposed beams and wonderful views) with the practical needs of her gite guests (a spacious and well-equipped kitchen, separate living room and huge utility area which is great for walking and dog gear.) The two balconies mean you can breakfast with the morning sun and enjoy your apéritif as the sun sets over the mountains.
Arette itself is a charming village with everything the visitor needs - a village shop with all the basics and fresh fruit and veg (there's a larger supermarket in the next village), post office and a couple of bar / restaurants. This is a really comfortable base for exploring this beautiful part of France. It's also incredibly good value.