The photos here (except the high waterfall)are of our olive mill at Sillans la Cascade:
3 BED house for 6 (own private pool), 2 BED COTTAGE (own private, heated pool) FOR 4 persons, STUDIO (own private, heated pool) FOR 2 persons.
Please see captions under each photo to identify which refer to the Tower House, the Cottage or the Studio.
Featured as one of the "Top Ten Riverside Gîtes" in "A River Runs Through It: The Top Ten Riverside Gîtes For A Spot Of Wild Swimming": http://www.toptentraveltips.co.uk/?p=4486&page=10
Activities (on site or nearby): Cross country skiing, Hiking, Biking, Fishing, Hunting, Wildlife viewing, Horseback riding, Golf, Tennis, Shopping, Swimming, Water-skiing, Boating.
The river, with several waterfalls, is a wonderful spot for fishing, exploring, etc.
* Free access to wifi is provided.
Architect owner's beautifully restored 18th century Olive Mill faces full south across its own valley, with a river (several waterfalls & natural pools) & 30 acres of hills (ancient woodlands), wildflower, herbs, cherry, plum, fig & apricot trees as well as wild asparagus & truffles. The house, the cottage & the studio each has its own very private pool well away from the others, each in secluded grounds overlooking the valley (the Cottage & Studio pools are heated in spring & autumn). ALL OF THE POOLS HAVE IRON SAFETY FENCES.
The property has 30 acres of hills, ancient woodlands of pines, oak, and laurel, wildflowers (orchids), herbs (thyme, rosemary, mint, lavender, fennel, marjoram), cherries, plums, apricots, figs, and wild asparagus. Olive trees grow by our river (fishing is possible). The Domain is completely private, but within easy walking distance of the village. The Mill has been restored to provide three completely self-contained dwellings, each with its own private pool set well away from the others.
The extensive gardens, the hills and our private valley are perfect for exploring - the river just below our olive grove helps make the Olive Mill an unforgettable and unique holiday. . There are a series of shallow pools in between the cascades which you can explore and which are a great success with children.
The TOWER HOUSE (sleeps six) was the original dwelling for the large stone olive mill which was built in the 18th century. It faces full south over an enclosed courtyard, overlooking grassy terraces which lead down to the pool. There are extensive views from each window and a panorama east, south, and west from the large roof terrace. The property has been completely restored (using period materials where possible, but incorporating the best modern equipment in the kitchen and bathrooms) and has excellent outdoors facilities: grassy terraces planted with lavender, sage, and irises, with wild mint and rosemary, mature trees for shade, a beautiful pool (ten by five meters) with natural stone surround, barbecue on the roof terrace, swings for children, and unlimited space for all games.
The TOWER HOUSE accommodation consists of:
* Large Ground Floor entrance hall paved with stone, with exposed beams, is ideal as a board games or relaxation area, with video (mostly English/American but also some French films), board games and books.
There is a guest water closet.
* First Floor includes double bedroom (en suite shower and water closet) with exposed beams. Good quality double bed, antique furniture and views of hills extending for miles to the east. Landing and stairs to second floor.
* Second Floor includes sunny and spacious kitchen/dining room with original Provençale floor tiles and exposed beams. The kitchen is fully-equipped with Siemens dishwasher, top of the range Siemens stainless steel electric oven, microwave oven, large refrigerator/freezer, and a good supply of small electrical equipment (toaster, kettle, coffee maker, juice extractor, blender, and beaters). There are extensive views south across the 18th century courtyard.
Well-decorated sitting room with comfortable sofas, antique furniture, with exposed beams, original Provençale floor tiles, television.
Second, main double bedroom with antique furniture, douible aspect south & west.
Small third double bedroom (2 single beds) with views south and east through trees (mulberry and fig, as well as ash and pine) and across our valley towards the river.
Bathroom with bath, antique walnut furniture (modern basin and fittings), and third water closet. There is a fourth water closet on this floor.
Steep stairs lead to the third floor.
Third Floor is a magnificent roof terrace paved with white natural stone, with panoramic views east, south and west across valleys and hills. Furnished (teak table, chairs, benches), with external lighting for outdoor meals. There is also a barbecue & second sink.
The washing machine is in a separate laundry room (for the exclusive use of the Tower House) at ground floor level.
Behind the large pool (see photo on web page) there is play equipment for young children: climbing frame with swing,slide, table and chairs for painting etc.
The entrance room also doubles as a play room, with children's furniture (chairs, table), books, drawing material and toys.
We can lend you (free of charge) a cot (please bring your own cot sheets, cot blankets and baby pillow - babies sleep better with familiar smells!), a high chair, a push chair (please check on availability).
THE STUDIO (40m2) is a restoration of the southernmost part of the 18th century olive mill, with direct access to the grounds overlooking our valley and the hills beyond. It is completely private, with its own pool to the west of the property.
*The Main Room is 30 meters square, with an impressive stone vaulted ceiling . It is very comfortably furnished with good quality modern and period furniture, cd player, dvd and tv. Sleeping accommodation is provided for two (large double bed: 1m60 wide).
* The separate Kitchen is south-east facing, with a dining area (table with 2 stools). It is fully-equipped with small refrigerator, electric hob, small oven, electrical appliances (kettle, toaster, coffee maker), and good quality china, glasses, and cutlery.
* The Shower Room faces south, with large walk-in Italian shower, basin, water closet. Washing machine, ironing board and iron.
* The Grounds immediately surrounding the studio have been landscaped to provide a grassy terrace with dining furniture and wonderful views across the valley leading down to the river.
*The private and secluded pool (in-ground, reinforced concrete, 5.5m diameter) is to the west of the studio, secluded and surrounded by oaks, pine, ash, fig, and cherry trees. It has outstanding views which extend for miles.
Kitchen herbs (rosemary, thyme, fennel, and mint) grow abundantly and there are mature fig trees for shade and fruit. Wild asparagus is plentiful in spring.
The studio has its own access road.
Things to do
Some suggestions among many
* Explore the hills and valley of our property - the olive grove, the herbs and wild flowers, the river, the waterfalls.
* Go fishing, paddling, swimming in the river
* Try to find gold in our river - it won't make you a fortune but it's fun to find a grain or two (we did)!
* Choose from an endless number of walks in the unspoiled countryside all around, starting from your doorstep.
* Go to the local markets and rediscover what food used to taste like.
* Long, lazy lunches (and dinners) outside: by the pool or on your private terrace overlooking our valley.
* Take a canoe ride in the heart of Provence,following the Argens river for 7km Seehttp://www.kiatoo.fr/canoe.htm
* Lose the extra calories by cycling from hilltop village to hilltop village.
* Antique and bric-a-brac hunting at Salernes, Cotignac, Tourtour.
* Explore Gorges de Verdon - the extraordinary grand canyon (or ride a canoe down it).
* Visit the castle at Entrecasteaux
* Bump into Princess Caroline at chi-chi St Tropez.
* Learn to paint sunflowers.
* Picnic in the chestnut forests outside lovely Collobrières.
* Drive to the top of Tourtour (cycle if you're mad) and let the Var and the Med take your breath away.
* Marseille, 1 hour away, is France's most exciting city, and home to the world's best bouillabaisse.
* Avignon, 2 hours away, is a fine city still showing its medieval charm with the Pope's Palace.
* Go wine-tasting at the local vineyards .
* Day trips to Monte Carlo, Nice, Cannes, Aix, Hyères (the islands), even Italy.
* Just read..... and read....... and read.