Le Vieux Mas is a 200 year old sympathetically modernised farmhouse in the lovely Cévennes National Park.
Combining character and comfort, it has exposed chestnut beams, a wood-burning stove, and country and antique furniture. Yet it also has a fully-equipped modern kitchen (including dishwasher and microwave), comfortable modern beds, satellite TV, internet and wi fi.
There is plenty of space, with larger than average rooms throughout. With two large double bedrooms, one standard double and one twin, the house is organised in such a way that couples on their own, families and groups of friends can all immediately feel comfortable and at home. It can readily accommodate more than 6 people, depending on the nature of the group. Two terraces have wonderful views.
The Cévennes, is a beautiful but still little known part of southern France. Lying west of Provence and north of the Mediterranean, it is a land of chestnut groves, clear streams, mountain ridges and valleys nestling between the Massif Central and the Mediterranean garrigues. The local rivers provide wonderful swimming but the Mediterranean beaches are just an hour and a half away. The area has an extraordinary history, recounted by Robert Louis Stevenson in his 'Travels with a donkey in the Cévennes', and there are fascinating villages, fine walks and lovely countryside all around. Pont du Gard, Avignon and the Roman towns of the plain are all within an easy drive. Much more on my website, link at the very bottom of this page.
Le Vieux Mas is our home in France and visitors will find everything they need there. Well furnished, it has a choice mix of fine antique and comfortable modern furniture. Well equipped, it has everything needed for simple and more elaborate cooking, and for both barbecues and more elegant dining. The upper terrace offers sunny breakfast eating and shaded evening meals, with the most wonderful views. A larger lower terrace has teak furniture, well-suited to barbecues and larger gatherings. There is a mass of well-presented information at the house, maps, guides and our own extensive notes to help visitors to the area enjoy it as we do. For all our visitors, our aim is that it should immediately feel welcoming and to be a home from home, as it is for us.
The house is in a tiny rural hamlet, of fewer than half a dozen houses. It is set on a hillside in about an acre of garden and meadow. It is at the end of a tiny lane, so there is no passing traffic and no artificial light at night, and it is almost totally quiet. The garden and meadows are full of birdsong and provide a tranquil retreat.
Le Vieux Mas is about 10 minutes up a winding road from Le Collet de Dèze, a village on the N106 half way between Alès and Florac. Collet de Dèze is a busy village, with a post office, a couple of bars and restaurants, a baker, a small supermarket and other shops. Alès (about 40 minutes away) has banks, hyper-markets and all the facilities of a busy town.
The Cévennes is an area of great natural beauty lying about fifty miles north of the Mediterranean. Le Vieux Mas is in the heart of the historic 'Cévennes des Cévennes' of the Camisards, with its beautiful chestnut-wooded ridges and valleys, delightful clear rivers, and attractive old farmsteads and villages built from the local stone. The wider local area has a great variety of natural landscape: from the wild flower covered high 'causses', cut by deep valleys and gorges, to the vineyard-covered garrigue; from the bare granite of Mount Lozère to the soft limestone of the southern Cévennes. The area is ideal for a rural holiday, with unspoilt towns and villages and a wide range of outdoor activities available. The Cévennes can be at its best in spring; it is well known for its profusion of rare and beautiful wild flowers. Summer is long and sunny, and the area is particularly attractive in the autumn, when the chestnut trees start to colour, and the light is clear and strong.
The area is popular for outdoor activities such as walking, cycling, horse-riding and canoeing, for which equipment can easily be hired. There are also caves and prehistoric sites to explore. There are many fine walks, rivers and lakes for swimming and a variety of restaurants, many with very reasonable prices. The area has an extraordinary history, and there are excellent local museums. For a contrast, it is also close to some of France's most interesting and historic sites and towns, and the coast: Pont du Gard, Arles, Avignon, Nîmes, Montpellier, the Mediterranean beaches and the Camargue are all less than 2 hours drive away.