|Minimum Stay||5 nights|
Fully renovated 16th century traditional stone village house on 4 floors with great extended views in a quiet village that has no through road situated in the Parc Naturel Regional des Baronnies with on average 300 days of sunshine annually.
Accomodation for up to 8 adults, 3 children and 2 babies.
Approximately 160 sq metres (1600 sq ft) with wifi internet throughout, antique furniture, all mod cons; dishwasher, washing machine, fridge, freezer, microwave, toaster, gas cooking rings, electric oven, kettle, coffee machine, centrifuge, Aga, Hi-fi system with bluetooth connection, television both with French TV by internet, BBC and ITV channels and German channels by satellite, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, DVD, iron, hairdryer, towels, bed linen and first aid cabinet for simple problems.
The kitchen is large with a table that seats 10 and also a bar that seats an additional 4 on bar stools.
1 ensuite double bedroom with bathroom, jacuzzi bath, shower and toilet. 1 double bedroom 1 large shower room with toilet and 1 separate small toilet, one large attic bedroom with low ceiling that sleeps 2 adults and up to 3 children.
There is also a separate small, windowless playroom filled with toys that can be converted into an adult double bedroom.
Grass terrace with barbeque, a large table that seats 12, 2 hammocks, parasol and a fig tree for some shade and fresh figs at breakfast in late August/ September.
The terrace table also has a outdoor gas heater that is ideal for outside dinners in spring and autumn. It is not needed in summer.
The village has only 80 residents in summer and 40 in winter, with a 12th century church and a good restaurant/ bar, as well as 2 playgrounds, one for very young children and one for children above 6.
The village is already protected by the Batiment de France and is part of a new regional park: Parce des Baronnies.
Children welcome, pets are not though, nor are smokers: sorry.
The surrounding area is best for outdoor activity, with both a swimming pool and two lakes nearby for water sports, gorges, as well as mountain walks, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, horse riding, donkey rides and tennis.
For the more adventurous hang gliding (the 2009 World Hang Gliding Championships were held on the mountain in front of the house), paragliding, parachuting, microlighting and gliding are all available locally. The World Record distance and height champion ( he recently glided over Everest) lives in a town just 12 kms ( 8 miles away) where he has his own aerodrome and is based there for most of the year.
In winter there are several ski resorts within 45 minutes drive. For golf we are not ideally placed with only two golf courses both about 60kms (40 miles) away.
Culturally there is a rich history to be delved into, particularly during the period when the Pope was based in Avignon and the main trade route between Spain and Italy passed through. The village was originally based around the 12th century church with a convent both of which are still standing although the convent has been converted into homes today. Roman remains have been found dating back to the 2nd century but the full history of this time is not fully clear.
In the summer months there is always a very active cultural scene with music, arts and theatre. In the village church, which has wonderful acoustics, there are always 3 or 4 events each summer. Outside of summer things are much quieter but there is a large community of artists, sculptures and potters all who live in the area attracted by the quality of light.
Each Thursday morning in Laragne 8 kms away (5 miles) there is one of the main Provencal markets that goes on all year round and is a wonderful display of all the locally grown food produce, as well as the finest cheeses and meats from Italy and fresh fish from Marseille.
Laragne also has a full selection of shops with 2 supermarkets, 3 petrol stations, 6 bakers, a bookshop, several bars, many restaurants, a train station etc.
The vineyards of southern Cote du Rhone such as Gigondas, Vacqueyras and Chateauneuf de Pape are about a 75 minute drive away, As is the famous truffle market of Richerenches that must be visited if you are around on a Saturday morning between November to March. But if not, in season our local butchers also sells his own truffles, as available in the shop.
The basic staples can all be bought in the adjoining village which has two bakers, an excellent butchers and a well stocked small grocers; which are just a 1.5 km (1 mile) walk away following a walk through a wooded area and following a small stream: although for the less courageous there is a height climb on the way back of 150 metres (450 ft) needed. Maybe you can get your partner to drive down and bring you back.
The village itself is charming with a small group of friendly year round residents, an auberge with a good quality at reasonable prices and a small holiday village open in summer that has a children's playground, basketball/ volleyball pitch and an outdoor table tennis table that you can use all year round, They also have a small swimming pool but this is only available to the holiday village guests.
There is even an offically approved landing area for hang gliders and paragliders, that microlights with large wheels could also land on.
A goat cheese farm just outside of the village organises educational tours of their farm and also rents out donkeys that are a huge success with young children.
Once a year on September 9th each year there is a Turkey Fair, that is one of the oldest markets in France dating back to the 12th century where everything is available to buy including turkeys for fattening up for Christmas. The streets are filled with people, there is a huge communal luncheon seating around 400 people under a marquee and in the auberge. After which the streets are filled with boules competitions.
I would suggest, but clearly I am biased, that the location has something for all, except people wanting nightlife, shopping and sophisticated living, The area is mostly rustique, with a traditional community of small farms with organic products that is not sophisticated. English is not extensively spoken outside of the tourist spots and even then the menus are often only in French, the nearest night club is 50 kms (35miles) away.
This is the countryside of the French writers Giono and Pagnol. More recently A year in Provence written by Peter Mayle is appropriate for where we are. Mayle was originally writing about the Luberon which is 80 kms (50 miles) further south, however since he published in 1989 the Luberon has fast become much more an international destination with English spoken everywhere and a lot less French country folk actually resident in the charming villages as they can no longer afford the house prices.
We have wonderful weather mostly dry, lots of sunshine annually, summers hot but evenings cooler, and winters cold but still mostly dry. Mostly clear skies with wonderful starry nights: which probably inspired one of our occasional neighbours who was brought up in the village and later gained international recognition as an astronomer linked to CERN and a Nasa award.
In the holiday periods the village is generally animated, especially with children up to the age of 14, but outside of this it is generally very quiet.
If you are thinking of visiting with adolescents older than 14 they may well be bored by the lack of buzz unless they are actively interested in one of the outdoor pursuits noted or genuinely enjoy natural surroundings.
Also because the house is on 4 floors it won't suit anyone averse to stairs.
If you are still tempted but want buzz as well as our village a few day trips I would suggest are to Aix en Provence a beautiful Roman market town which is 75 minutes, Moustiers Ste Marie which is at the start of the gorges of Verdon also 75 minutes drive away, Cassis which is similiar to St Tropez but much less known internationally with a lovely coast of callanques (French fjords) which is closer to 2 hours drive and Avignon also 2 hours drive, a walled city on the Rhone which has an annual festival similiar to Edinburgh's with both a fringe (off) and festival (on). Also every year the Tour de France invariably passes somewhere nearby at least for one day if not more, as many of the famous cols are in the region.
We are a 1 hour 45 minute drive from Marseille airport, a 1 hour 30 minute drive from Aix en Provence TGV station or you can connect via a regional train directly to either Veynes Devoluy which is a 25 minute drive or Laragne-Monteglin which is 5 minutes, all depending on where you are coming from.
Originally a city dweller based in Paris, working in Finance IT, travelling the world, who became totally taken in by the charm of this village and region, such that I moved my young family here and structured my work differently to allow living here full time and not just as the second home that it was originally intended to be.
Property Manager/Owner purchased this house in 2004
Beautiful, historic and calm village, with a magnificent stone house with wonderful views, charming neighbours and 300 days of sunshine annually.
Nothing unique. Just a lot of good things.
Nevertheless this is the sunniest region and the least densely populated department of France.
With one of the world's most renowned hang-glider sites, Chabre, in front of the house,
I highly recommend staying at David's place. David's family are one of the most welcoming people I know and their house is stunning. The place is exactly as described. The rooms are cozy, everything was clean, no bad surprise. We loved the way the house was decorated, you can easily say these people love life, food and art! There are tons of things to do in the area: i loved being able to go for a run around the 'plateau', going to the farmers markets, or simply chill in the village... It's a perfect place for a authentic French holiday. I would recommend it to anyone, and i would go back if i could!
Charming house and hosts. Beautiful hilltop setting with fantasic views. Traditional old stone house well restored was warm and comfortable with modern bathrooms and a good kitchen. We went skiing in Superdevulay - approx 45 minute drive from there. The village is small but friendly, with a few bars, grocery, butcher and baker. Good walks nearby. I recommend it highly and I will be back!
Wonderful location with spectacular views. Very friendly and welcoming local community. A real treat if you are looking to experience the real France. Plenty of outdoor stuff to do including skiing within an easy drive. Good local shops and markets. Very accessible.
Sports nearby also include canoeing, rock climbing and cycling along routes followed by the Tour de France.
I didn't tick live theatre, as this is only in summer when there are invariably passing troups, as there are claissical concerts and circuses
|Cleaning if left untidy||£87|
Rates are subject to change until booking is confirmed
* Approximate monthly price. Actual pricing will depend on the days of the month you stay.