Large luxury self-catering rental with private pool, gas BBQ, Wifi, Apple TV box, large garden, fireplace and wonderful views!
Villa Emmanuelle is located in Banon between the Luberon and Verdon national parks with fantastic views over the beautiful Provence countryside. The area is a hiker's paradise with many trails.
Tastefully decorated in Provence character, with real fireplace, very large garden, large outdoor terrace areas and a private well maintained pool. Cathedral Ceilings with beautiful timber beams and a mezzanine looking over a very large living and dining area.
The villa has a covered terrace with a large second storey balcony. All mod cons with wireless high speed internet, hi-fi, quality flat screen TV and DVD with a large collection of DVDs and now Apple TV! Quality outdoor furniture provided and barbecue facilities. Two mountains bikes available for riding along the fields of lavender, wheat and flowers. Kids games incl. swings and bikes. Baby equipment incl. 2 cots, 2 high chairs, stairs gate, etc.
The Area: Banon is located in one of the most traditional areas of Provence. The town is located in the lower Alps set in a beautiful valley predominantly used to grow lavender and wheat fields. A town of only one thousand it nevertheless acts as a central hub for many little mountain villages and hamlets that all lie a short drive away and provide for many wonderful visits. The village has the second biggest bookstore in France and a great gastronomic restaurant Panturle and three other restaurants as well as a wine bar. It is also famous for its goat cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves.
Our villa is located along the same hill as the village and is less than one kilometre from its central plaza. Here you will find a full range of services including banks, post office, bakeries, cafes, butcher, small supermarket, news agency, video/DVD store, tourist information, restaurants and bars. Nearby the medieval town of Foucalquier with its beautiful narrow streets, Simiane a world heritage listed village, the very traditional Montsalier (where I was born pop. 63) with the three windmills on the climb to its ancient location. There are dozens of villages that will enthral with their deep history and beauty.
(Latitude, Longitude: 44.038032, 5.627859)
A serious Grande Randonnée, the GRP Tour de la Montagne de Lure, passes through Banon. A full loop (Banon, Sommet de Larran, Station de la Lure, Saint Etienne, Forcalquier, Limans, Banon) is over 60 km. A shorter loop (Banon, Sommet de Larran, Col de St Vincent, Saumane, Lardiers, west of Limans, Banon) is about 40 km.
dot West out of town, this trail then turns north and goes to the Sommet de Larran (1431 m), 15 km, turns east along the ridge and then loops south again.
There are also a lot of shorter hiking trails accessible directly from Banon, especially through the forested hills that run north. Following the GRP trail east across the valley, about 2 km, takes you into the hills of Les Chastellas and Les Mures where there are many little trails.
The Seasons: Spring - This is when the colours of nature quite literally burst into blossom. This is the time and place for artists to be painting and drawing. The temperature is moderate and the light is incredible (just ask Van Gough!).
Summer - This is the busiest season for the area and it seems that people are all out and about the whole time. The weather is wonderful being in the lower Alps and rarely gets very hot (above 35C) though still perfect for a dip in the pool.
Autumn - This is my favourite season. You get a wonderful lingering warmth in the area and the colours of the area become breathtaking as leaf season begins - the colours that vary between a deep earth red, fluorescent yellow and deep green provide a soul building pallet. Mid Oct/Nov is best for leaf season.
Winter - Time to cosy up to the fireplace. While Banon lies below the snowline nonetheless there will be a number of blanket white days that turn the area into a Christmas wonderland
Markets and Festivals: The markets in the area are just wonderful. Almost everyday there will be some market with specialist ones by little villages, such as antique fares, springing up all the time. Banon has a market in its town square on Tuesdays where you can find many of the local cheeses, olives, sausages, fruits and vegetables as well as a large variety of non food items. A short drive away two large markets occur on Monday at Forcalquier and Saturdays at Apt. These markets are immense and the variety, colours and many traditional Provençal products will keep you busy all day. Additionally there are quite a number of small local village markets . Festivals in the area almost happen every other day of the week. From the Cheese Festival of Banon in late May to the Melon Festival in Cavaillon, you will find festivals along almost every theme from antiques, artisan, apricots, farm equipment, the fire festival as well as many that simply celebrate the village. On arrival you will find a full guide.
Some reviews from our guestbook:
Rob and Hannah from England, summer 2013: "We have had an absolutely wonderful two weeks, relaxing by the pool or dining around the beautiful countryside to the amazing hilltop villages. Thank you so much to Gaby, Michele, Christine and family for making it such an incredible break! Banon is such a lovely village - everyone is so friendly and the great food at Table de Panturle and wines next door will be very sorely missed! Two weeks have passed in the blink of an eye, but I know we will be back soon! Thank you!"
Peter and Hannah (Date of Stay: 11 August 2012):
"Thank you for our lovely week spent in your peaceful villa. The children had a wonderful time playing in the pool. There was plenty of time for us adults to relax!! Great day trips to Gordes, Forcalquier and beautiful landscapes of Rustrel. The village of Banon is lovely, great lunches in the little square where is held a lovely market on Tuesday mornings, friendly atmosphere and a great cheese shop with helpful owners and finally a big thank you to Christine, your jam was yummy!!! Regards"
Matthew and Diane from South Australia (date of stay 2012): "Thank you so much for our stay. We have enjoyed Haute Provence and all it has to offer. The villa was set up beautifully and very comfortable with all our needs. Thank you Gaby for the sparkling pool. In the perfect temperature for us to use after a hot day . Please thank Christine also for her help and hospitality. We enjoyed our visit to the "fromagerie", the old Banon and the surroundings.The magnificent view of lavender and vineyards and villages so typical of Provence, a true delight! It will remain in our hearts forever. XXXXX"