Featured in The Sunday Times' 50 Sensational Villas, the house is right in the middle of one of the most famous villages in Provence - Roussillon. Famed for its ochre cliffs and soil, it provides one of the most stunning backdrops to any rental house. While the house is only yards from cafes and restaurants, it offers total privacy and is beautifully quiet inside the house. There is easy parking in the village and in walking distance.
The light on the village is stunning all year round with crisp blue skies and a low-winter sun bringing the ochre colour out in winter to hot sun and a bustling village in summer. Perhaps the two best times of year are spring and autumn.
In spring, Roussillon comes to life with the restaurants and cafes opening onto the pavements and terraces and the Thursday market returning to full force. The weather can be beautiful and the village lovely out of high season.
In autumn the colours are spectacular as the vineyards start to turn to gold and the temperatures still hitting 70 degrees in October.
The house is located just 50m from the market square, a third of a way up into the village on a side street.
The living room opens onto a large terrace ideal for outdoor meals (table for 8) which leads up to a smaller upper terrace (table for 6) which commands beautiful panoramic views across the ochre hills. The swimming pool is a little lower down overlooking the lower terrace; it has a ledge on one side approximately 1.5m from the edge and underwater lighting. It is heated up to 24°C free of charge, weather permitting. There is space for loungers on two sides of the pool - there are 4 sun loungers in total.
The attractive front door opens into the spacious and very attractively furnished living room which in turn opens onto a large terrace to one side and a large dining room/kitchen to the other, also with a terrace. The interior is very personalised with antiques, artwork and has a lovely warm atmosphere. Upstairs are a large double bedroom (150cm bed - overlooking the terrace and pool) with an en suite bathroom with a wc (wonderful views from the bath), two twin bedrooms (the larger one (90cm beds) looks over the street and smaller one (75cm beds) has views of the countryside), a shower room and a separate wc.
The house is also a wonderful place to stay in winter: log fires, beautiful walks in the winter sunshine, few tourists and is very quiet and peaceful. A fabulous Christmas vacation idea!
The three terraces offer a mixture of direct sun and partial shade and there are tables and chairs for outside eating on all three.
The village has several cafes and restaurants ranging from simple meals to some very good cooking indeed. Russell Crowe in fact had a party in one of them, Le Simonde, while filming 'A Good Year' a few years ago. Nearly all the restaurants have lovely views. There is a market in the village on Thursday mornings which has all the Provencal goodies you would expect!
The village also has a good supermarket, Casino, which has pretty much everything one might need. There is also a butcher and a lovely bakery.
Beyond the village there is the local town of Apt which has a fabulous market on Saturday mornings and there is a farmers' market in Coustellet on Sunday mornings. Other local villages worth visiting include Gordes, Bonnieux, Lacoste, Lourmarin and Menerbes. Further away to the east is Avignon, well worth a day trip and only 40 minutes away. To the north there is the mighty Mont Ventoux - one of the highest mountains in Provence, viewable from the village. The drive through Haut-Provence to get there is spectacular. To the south there is the Grand Luberon - well worth a day trip. Aix-en-Provence is the other side of the Luberon and should not be missed.