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….