Whether you visit us in the summer to enjoy the coolness of the stone-walled farmhouse after a refreshing swim in the river, or in the colder months to sip from a glass of wine by the crackling fire (wood provided) after a refreshing walk or a bike ride, Maison de la rivière is a home away from home for all seasons.
Our three tastefully-decorated double-bedrooms sleep six people, but up to eight people can sleep in the cottage, thanks to the comfortable sofa-bed in the garden room. The two siting rooms and the spacious kitchen offer enough space for socialising and relaxation, especially if you are in a group with children. We are particularly proud of our garden room, which we recommend utilising as a reading and relaxation room. It comes equipped with a book library that we have carefully curated for a variety of moods and inspirations. We thought you wouldn’t mind a touch of indulgence after a day of ‘roughing it’ by the river, walking your soles away in the footsteps of Saint Jacques de Compostela or visiting charming villages; and that’s why we created a bathroom with a hint of luxury in mind. Enjoy a refreshing shower or take a long bath to unwind. It’s both practical and romantic (yes, the bathtub may fit two). A large terrace with a view to the river is just the perfect spot for a barbecue or an al fresco dinner, or for lounging with a book in your hands on a quiet afternoon.
We are surrounded by 10 acres of land (all part of the property) and we have our very own access to the river for you to swim or fish. We prefer swimming in the river, but if that’s not your thing, you also have the choice to use our large above-ground swimming pool.
In addition to our eight chickens whose eggs you are invited to collect and enjoy fresh every day, we also have five miniature goats who love escaping and eating bread and a resident Shetland pony who belongs to our neighbour and loves munching on our delicious grass. Occasionally you may spot our black fluffy cat who goes by the name Little Boy and you may get love and attention from our dog Filou, a béarnaise mountain dog cross.
We have some of the region’s finest walks and cycling routes on our doorstep, as well as a great village restaurant, Auberge Blondain, which is famed for its cheap, plentiful and delicious food. A larger selection of restaurants is also available in Sauveterre de Bearn, only a 5 minutes’ drive away, and the Atlantic Coast’s sandy beaches and beautiful seaside towns of Biarritz or Saint Jean de Luz make lovely day trips. And if you thought that being within a stone’s throw away from the Atlantic Ocean was cool, then guess what: we’re also only an hour and half drive away from the Pyrénées National Park: perfect for a day of trekking or skiing (depending what time of the year you’re staying with us). But for a truly unforgettable experience, hop on Le Petit Train d’Artouste (running between 19 May to 14 October), just outside of Laruns, for a 10km joyride through the Ossau Valley to take in the breath-taking scenery and marvel at the engineering dating back to 1920s.
No matter where you are in the Bearn des Gaves, you are never too far away from the famous pilgrimage route of Santiago de Compostela (in fact you can set foot on it, just ten minutes walk from us), but if walking isn’t your thing and you prefer a more social-approach to your holiday, let us tell you about the plentiful selection of charming villages surrounding us (some of them classed as Les Plux Beaux Villages de France) such as Sauveterre de Bearn, Navarrenx, Salies de Bearn or Saint Jean Pied de Port. During the summer months, a plethora of village events allows you to rub shoulders with the locals and challenge your stomach with delicious freshly-cooked food.
Or maybe you just want some quiet time. Maybe you envisaged your holiday in France as your time to recharge your batteries and reconnect with yourself. We have ten acres of land for your to roam around, if you want to keep it local. Furthermore, we invite you to take a refreshing swim in the river or to fish to your heart’s content from our very own secluded pebbled beach. Needless to say that Maison de la rivière is the perfect setting for whatever you want your holiday to be.