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Cozy Romantic Hideaway with River View In Medieval Village

Bedrooms 2
Space 430 sq ft
Property type apartment
Minimum Stay 1 - 4 nights


About the property

Medieval stone house in quaint village of Sauve overlooking the Vidourle River

La mason des Hirondelles, the swallows nest, is a petit medieval stone house in an ancient four story chateau rising majestically out of the limestone riverbank in the thousand year old village of Sauve, France. West of Avignon, Sauve is situated in the Gard region thirty minutes from the Mediterranean sea and an hour from Nîmes and Montpellier. Perched on a hillside in the foothills of the Cevennes, two charming levels face east to the breath-taking views some fifty feet above the Vidourle River burgeoning with fish, ducks, geese and heron and supporting a vast population of swallows which fly above in beautiful blue skys. A steeper narrow ruelle (Chemin de la Source)descends to the burdandy arched front door and continues down to the Source and the Vidourle river. (Note this is a steeper grade and there are some stairs at the top and the bottom of the Chemin de la Source. If mobility is an personal issure this may not be the best location. ) Up the little paved Chemin de la Source the charming gourmet epicerie, Chez Fouzia is conveniently situated as well as artisan shops & studios lining la Rue de Pont Vieux. A five minute walk up through the village leads one to the La Mer des Roches, a wilderness area full of pristine beauty and solitude and a vast network of hiking trails. Do take a map from the Office of Tourism,

plenty of water and good sturdy shoes!

The top floor has a polished beeswax finished arched ceiling comprising the kitchen, dining and sitting area, a cozy bedroom with a single bed, and a bathroom with shower, sink, toilet, and washing machine accessable by entering the small bedroom. The ceiling height is lower than normal (under 6' is fine). Below, down twelve solid stone stairs, the magical curtained sleeping chamber with its queen sized bed can be found. This opens on to a spacious salon including the original fireplace, a comfortable sofa and a grand window through which the morning sun shines in spring and summer. With respect to its historical architectural origins, this gîte was sensitively restored to preserve the original terre cuite tile floors, wood beams, carved stone stairs and sink along with the vintage fireplace (which is strictly decorative in this century). This is a dream come true for romantics. Come fall back in time….

More Details

Property Manager
Alison Johnston Lohrey
Member since: 2014
Speaks English, French
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
19 August, 2018

About Alison Johnston Lohrey

I have been an artist, a painter for over 30 years and lived in France in 2007 where I fell in love with this village. With the help of french friends I renovated this stone niche into a lovely petite maison which serves as a retreat, a source of inspiration and part-time home for a displaced franco-phile.

Alison Johnston Lohrey purchased this apartment in 2008

Why Alison Johnston Lohrey chose Sauve

Fell in love with the view! Watching the sunrises and sunsets and listening to all the birds and the great sky. The space is cozy and comfortable and charming. You are private yet just in the midst of the vibrant village life, a walking village where you get to know your neighbors. I love it.

What makes this apartment unique

Two doorways away is Chez Fouzia, a fabulous gourmet épicérie where one can find everything from fresh goat cheese to the best strawberries in France, les gariguettes. Everything you need from local wines to great olives, produce and staples as well. Each morning pastries and breads arrive from the local bakeries. On Saturday mornings head to the Sauve's own marché next to le Café du Jardin where you can enjoy un café créme after stocking up on freshest local produce.


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday apartment in Sauve in Gard

Property Type:
  • apartment
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 430 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 16:00
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00
  • Max. occupancy: 3
  • Max. adults: 3
  • Min. age of primary renter: 21
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only
Location Type:
  • city centre ...
  • Mountain View ...
  • rural ...
  • village ...
  • Water View ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 3
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Large Double Bed , This is a queen size bed in the downstairs curtained bedroom
    Bedroom 2 - 1 Single Bed , A small single bed in a separate curtained room upstairs.
  • Books
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • arboretum
  • autumn foliage
  • botanical garden
  • caves
  • churches
  • festivals
  • forests
  • library
  • live theatre
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • waterfalls
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antique hunting
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horse riding
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • caving
  • swimming


Excellent! 4.5/5 -
(10 traveller reviews)

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Cozy Romantic Hideaway with River View In Medieval Village
average rating of 4.5 based on 10 reviews

Perfect retreat in a picturesque setting!

  • 5 of 5

My daughter and I spent an amazing long weekend at Alison’s place. Both the apartment, and the village were exactly what we needed after a hectic week of touring Paris. Originally we intended to use the Sauve apartment as a central point for touring Southern France, but once we arrived, it became apparent that we didn’t need to leave. The apartment was lovely and comfortable, the views were extraordinary, the village welcoming, and the dining options phenomenal—La Tour de Mole is a must! Get your coffee from Fouzia, the owner of the Epicerie downstairs—walk across the river for the freshest of delectable pastries from the Boulangerie, and spend relaxing evenings having cocktails in the public square just outside your door... highly recommend!!

  • Review Submitted: 10-Aug-2018
  • Date of Stay: July 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Katherine, I am so happy you had fantastic time in Sauve and that you found “la maison des hirondelles” a truly magical place. The memories will linger until you return again, which you must! À bientôt! Kindly, Alison
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Quaint, atmospheric, but impractical. We do not recommend this gîte.

  • 1 of 5

Very difficult outside access for anyone with reduced mobility due to irregular stairs, a steep slope (no hand rail either), while inside, the actual steep stone stairs were a risk as well. Adequately furnished but too much was actually housing the owner's belongings. Overall effect was rather cramped. Negotiating the stairs at night to use the toilet meant my wife had to sleep in the single bed outside the bathroom! No ventilation in the bathroom/ toilet led to condensation which was made worse whenever it rained as the wall next to the window became very damp; instructions during and after rain, were left for us to remove soft furnishings, (cushions etc.,) away from that window. There was no timer or thermostat for the hot water which was absolutely scalding; particularly with metal taps that turned the opposite way around! Immersion heater and washing machine shared the same plug and we queried the loose wire from the plug of the heater but were told that this was 'normal'. We did not notice the absence of television set or micro wave oven on the site details, but both items were sorely missed. The hand written book of 'do's and dont's' was detailed but failed to give information about doctors, chemists, nearest hospital etc... Tourist information that was left out was stale, going back two or three years. On the plus side the lady who met us was very helpful, made up the spare bed willingly and returned to fix the temperamental WiFi. The owner with whom we raised our initial problems offered to give us our money back and help find somewhere else, but having put in so much effort, we decided to stay especially as the first three days were taken up with a wedding nearby, (our main reason for renting the gite). In the absence of a visitor's book it would be difficult to verify that we were the proverbial 'exception' in raising the problems listed above. The beds were comfortable but difficult to make due to poor access. The two floors were clean but cluttered and we had to keep our empty bags and boxes, in the car. Great views from both windows over the river and its wildlife - especially in the morning - but we missed not having curtains at night due to the well lit car park below. The site may give marks of 5 out of 5 which seems incredible. We certainly cannot recommend this place which we do not believe meets with minimum standards and is anything but... 'romantic'... Have HomeAway/Abritel actually vetted it???

  • Review Submitted: 24-May-2017
  • Date of Stay: May 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: When I go traveling, I look for an accommodation which exemplifies the authentic beauty and quaintness of the place in which it is located, and allows me to imagine the history of that culture. If I am going to attend a wedding I look for a hotel with a big bathroom and plenty of square footage to prepare for that important event. I also study VERY CLOSELY the photographs supplied and understand completely the floor plan before I rent a place. I ask questions of the hosts in advance if I have a special need. Everything about my rental is made clear on its HomeAway listing from the square footage, the stone stairs with railings, the entryway, the diminutive bathroom, the bedroom just off the bathroom, the bedroom curtains for shutting out light, and the absence of a television and a microwave. I planned the renovation of this 900 year old stone apartment and it is a lot like living on a schooner in the upper level. Everything has its place, just not an immense one. If large is essential, I rent large. If I want all the amenities I choose a place with lots of bells and whistles. As a seasoned traveler I know that if I do not ask the questions before booking a private residence my assumptions become resentments when I arrive to find my expectations dashed. Knowing my own personal requirements and limitations is my responsibility as the guest, not of the owner of the rental. The wording about mobility impairment being a challenge has been addressed in my listing. The hot water heater will be looked into. I am currently working on a plan to renovate the exterior facade with approval and assistance from the village, a complicated procedure in a designated historic village. Again as previously stated in several emails, I am very sorry you did not have a pleasant experience. Bon chance la prochaine fois.
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0 0

river pageant under our window

  • 5 of 5

Great little nook, just steps below the sunny open square, just overlooking the Vidourle with its constant pageant of colors, forms, sounds, the warm glow of emerging spring, the hearty roar of the resurgent waters after a rain, the children's voices from the playground, the paddling mother mallard with her nine new downy ducklings... and Helene the hostess was very helpful with our questions. Merci for your part in our delightful stay in Sauve!

  • Review Submitted: 17-Apr-2017
  • Date of Stay: March 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: IRichard And Elaine, It is wonderful to know that you were able to share in the magic of spring in Sauve! Your impressions are so very accurate! The view from my window truly is a constant source of inspiration anytime of the year.
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Cape Town

An incredibly beautiful place to visit ❤️

  • 5 of 5

I had the most wonderful stay in the charming and very quaint "Appartement des Hirondelles". It's situation is perfect overlooking the Vidourle river with lots of bird activity and just loved the swallows. It's also very close to the village convenient to the shops and restaurants .

Had wonderful walks every day on the "Mer des Rochers" Sea of Rocks and an interesting visit to Chateau de Rocquevaire . I highly recommend Sauve and the Appartment as a place to include on one's bucket list! Thank you Alison for everything.

  • Review Submitted: 23-Sep-2016
  • Date of Stay: September 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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0 0

Quaint and Cozy Apartment

  • 5 of 5

We had a lovely time in this small, quaint and cozy apartment that looks over the Vidourle river in Sauve, France. The apartment is tastefully decorated and clean. It was also supplied with everything we needed, so that all we had to do was buy our food. The owner and manager were very helpful making our stay that much nicer. We would stay there again!

  • Review Submitted: 11-Sep-2015
  • Date of Stay: August 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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0 0

charming, artistic abode in medieval village

  • 5 of 5

If you want to feel like you are living in a storybook set back in time, this sweet, charming spot will do it! Alison's Swallow's Nest is tucked into the stone village cliff with a view of the river. The apartment is filled with lovely touches -- vintage and modern furniture, arched ceilings, a well-stocked kitchen, quality bedding and original art. Much care has gone into making this storybook spot a sweet "nest" to land while in the area! Sauve is an historic medieval village that is in the middle of a two year facelift. There are over twenty different nationalities living in town (although many folks are only in town part of the year.) The view you see as you cross one of the two ancient bridges to the stairs up to the village doesn't do this very welcoming, magical place, justice. Definitely stroll the tiny meandering cobblestone streets -- you will find treasures! PS The restaurant Mole is fabulous.

  • Review Submitted: 17-Sep-2014
  • Date of Stay: August 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: So happy you enjoyed your stay Karen! It is a storybook setting and I never tire of gazing out of the window seat at the river below and the sky and swallows above...The two year facelift has brought Sauve beautiful new brightly paved stone streets, passageways and places! I can hardly wait to return myself and reconnect with the culturally vibrant community! I hope you can return soon~
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2 0


Nearest Airport
57 Kilometres
Nearest Barpub
0.05 Kilometres
Café du Jardin
Nearest Golf
47 Kilometres
Golf Club d'Uzés
Nearest Train
40 Kilometres
Nearest Restaurant
0.05 Kilometres
La Tour de Mole, Sauve
Nearest Ski
65 Kilometres
Mont Aiguoal
Nearest Beach
60 Kilometres
Car: recommended

Sauve is a wonderful village to explore by foot, a dense medieval village built on a hill overlooking the Vidourle River backed by La Mer des Roches, the the 'sea of rocks' great for exploring with sturdy shoes, a day-pack, lunch and plenty water. For a longer 13 km hike one can walk from Sauve to Corconne, another nearby village with an ancient stone church high on a cliff which marks the end of the days hike. Enjoy a meal at a local restaurant called Sous le Chêne, 'Under the Oak' in the town below with its lovely olive groves. Check the local bus schedule to find one passing by to take you back to Sauve via Quissac. **see note below

Sauve is filled with many quaint art studios and galleries, a gourmet épicerie called Chez Fouzia, several fine restaurants including le Tour du Mole and le Trouquet Toque, yoga classses, concerts, a Flea Market May1st, a Fête du Violon in June, a Music Festival in July, weekly Saturday markets, and 1st Sundays Art events and festivals throughout the year.

Horseback riding is available nearby at l'Asinerie des Garrigues, and l'Ecurie de Liouc and often in the summer horses can be seen parading into the river below to cool off with their riders.

A beautiful path connects Sauve to Quissac and meanders next to the Vidourle River where nature lovers may see blue heron, white egrets, beaver, muskrat, plentiful fish, as well as many song birds, butterflys and dragonflys.

For the avid cyclist the small roads of the region up into the Cevennes are unsurpassable. For a child safe 5 km bike route try la Voie Verte or 'the green way' an old train track now paved for bicyling, walking, running and rollerblading between Sauve and Quissac.

Perhaps the most stunning attraction in Sauve is the Source, where the Vidourle River after traveling 10km 'sous terrran' or underground through the limestone, from St. Hippolyte du Forte to Sauve, suddenly re-emerges at the foot of the village gushing up from deep in the ground into the river. At times of high rainfall the sound is deafening and the energy astounding.

Nearby Anduze is a great Sunday destination where a year round flea market is a great reason to browse for antiques and treasures. The town is famous for its rich glazed plant pots and ceramics. Enjoy déjeuner in one of the several outside cafés. Choose one facing south in the fall and winter!

Near Anduze is an intriguing Botanical Garden known as the Bambouseraie can be seen, with every specie of bamboo.

Uzés, once a small Gallo-Roman villageand dating from the first century BC, is now a gorgeous city of 8500 45 minute drive east of Sauve where the most beautiful market is set up twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays inside the city in a car free zone surrounded by richly appointed limestone dwellings. Uzés was the source of the water which the Romans ingeniously transported 22 km to Nimes via an aquaduct and the famous Pont du Gard one of the wonders of France, several kilometers away.

**Note that if personal mobility is a concern Sauve may not be the best choice as the road surfaces are uneven in many places and the small paved paths are often steeper or with stairs.


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday apartment in Sauve, Gard

Rental Basis:
per property
Manager accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
Period 3
1 Jul 2018 - 29 Sep 2018
4 night minimum stay
for 4 nights
Period 4
30 Sep 2018 - 31 Dec 2018
4 night minimum stay
for 4 nights
period 5
1 Jan 2019 - 31 Mar 2019
4 night minimum stay
for 4 nights
Period 1
1 Apr 2019 - 30 Jun 2019
4 night minimum stay
for 4 nights

Additional pricing information

Refundable Damage Deposit £269.18

I offer a 10% discount on the full amount on stays three weeks or longer. Rates can be negotiated during the low season for longer term rentals. The rate includes utilities, sheets, towels, the final cleaning. Check-in 4:00 pm, check-out 11:00 am

Manager's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.
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