This property is hidden in the hilly backroads near Salernes, and has been luxuriously restored to accommodate comfortably 13 people in 7 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. The gated, large immaculate garden, various outhouses and stream nearby will enable you to escape for a few hours even from your own family, and the children to get away to do their own thing. Don't forget to hire or bring your own car!
The building (ground floor + 2 upper stories) has been renovated to preserve the charm of a French provincial manor house, but making full use of modern materials and design features. Swimming pool, sauna, lift, summer lodge, and outdoor cooking and eating facilities contribute to provide a high level of comfort and elegance. The property suits old and young: a lift provides wheelchair access to most of the facilities.
Ground floor: Entrance hall, WC and elevator entrance; living room and modern kitchen opening into a spacious dining area.
First floor: 3 double bedrooms, of which 2 are with ensuite bathrooms; 1 single bedroom and a separate bathroom. A large balcony overlooks the surrounding gardens and pool. Elevator for disabled access from the ground floor.
Second floor: 3 more double bedrooms, including large master bedroom; small bathroom;
sauna and shower room.
Cellar: Converted into a wine cellar with all the attendant charm.
Swimming pool: The large private pool is protected by an alarm, and is not heated.
Garden and other outside facilities: The 0.6 ha gardens are beautifully landscaped with a fountain, cypresses, olive, pomegranate, fig and wallnut trees. A large tiled veranda provides the perfect setting for daytime and evening outdoor dining, while offering lovely views of the garden. A summer lodge adjacent to the swimming pool includes a shower, BBQ, clay pizza oven and WC. Unlimited parking is available along the drive and in front of the house. The whole property is protected by fencing and an electronically controlled gate.
Television: Satellite reception with English channels available.
Internet/telephone: A fixed telephone line is not available, so use the Wifi internet connection free-of-charge to connect up to friends, family and business. You might also find it convenient to buy a local SIM card at a tourist tariff in the village.
Baby facilities: Please inquire.
Washing facilitiesWashing machine, and drying equipment available.
Air conditioning: None. Not generally needed in this cooler hilly climate. However fans are available in all rooms, and windows are shuttered.
Supplementary services: None.
Disabled-friendliness: The gound and first floors are wheelchair-accessible, providing access to three bedrooms and associated bathrooms, as well as to all communal facilities (except sauna). You are strongly advised to contact us over this before booking..
Environmental features: None
Damage deposit: € 500 cash in Euros on arrival, refundable less the replacement cost of any breakages.
Bed & bathroom linen: weekly change included in rental cost. Pool towels also provided.
Gas, electricity & water: included in rental cost.
Cleaning: included in rental cost.
Holiday tax: included in rental cost.
Change-over day: Normally on Saturdays, but contact us to find out if another day is possible. Arrival 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. or by special arrangement. Depart before 11 a.m.
Pets: No pets allowed.
Smoking: This is a no-smoking property.
HOW TO GET THERE
By Car: The roads and autoroutes in France are a pleasure, so driving can sometimes make a good alternative to flying – at least you’ll already have your car with you! From the UK you have the choice of using the ferries or the Eurotunnel for your crossing. Once in the South of France, this property can be easily accessed via the A7 and A8 autoroutes: exit at St. Maximin. If you're still fresh after crossing the country from top to bottom, then add another hour by cutting across from Cavaillon to Manosque and wind your way up between the Monts de Vaucluse and the Luberon, then through the woodlands to Salernes.
By Air: Toulon is the closest international airport (90km, 1h15m), but Nice (104 km, 1h32m) has more flights and connections, and Marseille Provence (115km, 1h45m) offers additional alternatives.
By Train: Eurostar runs from London to Paris city centres and then the high speed TGV service runs from Paris to Nice. The nearest TGV station to this property is Draguignan - Les Arcs.
• Full directions will be sent to you once you have made a booking.
About the local area
LOCAL AREA INFORMATION
Once you leave the pearly gates of this manor, find yourself on the borders of two well-known regional parks (Park naturel régional du Verdon, and Park naturel régional des Préalpes d'Azur). You will be in the middle of hilly, wooded countryside at 300m above sea level, but climbing steeply to over 1000 m at la Grande Nouguière within 14 km of your new home. Even if you have to leave a clear berth to the military camp (they also seem to know the best places to play and rest!), there are just unlimited areas to walk, cycle and ride horses. The most dramatic attraction will certainly be the Verdon Canyon , 33 km away, and its tributary Artuby, forming a large arc 20 km to North of the Bastide: this is Europe's answer to the Grand Canyon of Arizona. A range of water sports is available, including white-water rafting. Stay cooler here and safely away from the frenetic hustle of the coastal strip of St. Tropez and Co. to the South, but if you must join in then drop down to the sea in 65 minutes by car.
If you are not overwhelmed by the need to conquer the topography of the area, then feast your eyes on the markets of the three surrounding medieval villages of Villecroze, Tourtour and Salernes. Or feast your stomachs on the many restaurants....or your delicate palates and olefactory senses on the wines directly from the vineyards of the area, or on the locally grown olives. Slightly further afield, without an inordinater risk of getting lost, are the beautiful local small towns of Lorgues, Entrecasteaux and Carcès with its artificial lake nearby.
Our wisest guests come with few preconceptions: they drift happily and ad-hoc from one activity to another, absorbing sport, culture, history and high-life as they come, and then combining them to a wonderfully stress-free holiday.
Local shops, bakers, restaurants, butchers and supermarkets are located in both Salernes, less than 5 minutes’ drive away or a brisk 15-minute walk, and Villecroze further afield. If you get more serious about shopping, then drive to Aups (8 km), Draguignan (21 km), St. Maximin (48 km) or to the Mecca of St. Tropez (65 km). You may not get as far as the last one because of the many attractive sites along the way...
Local markets in Villecroze, Tourtour and Salernes will provide all you would like to dream of for tasty nibbles, solid food, heavy drinking, and more. Provençal markets are well known for their tapenades and brandade: if you don't know how to interpret these terms then just book this holiday and try them out at first hand.
Sporting activities are abundant: hire bikes, donkeys and horses in more or less each of the three surrounding villages. Or work out in the gym at Salernes. Play golf at the small course at Salernes nearby, or select one of 6 other golf courses within 47 km of your holiday home (including that of St. Tropez). Hire a dinghy on the gorgeous artificial lake of Ste. Croix, or kayak along the Verdon River hundreds of metres below the vertical cliffs propping up the rest of the world.
Beaches will not be your first port of call on this holiday, but they are accessible from the Manor: as you will see from the map, the Med coast forms a gentle arc equidistant from Villecroze, from Fréjus via St. Tropez to Hyères. As the crow flies, the many sandy beaches for which the Côte d'Azur is famous lie between 45 and 65 km away, so allow a good hour by car.
Ski resorts within the French Alps are within reach. The closest serious station is Gréolières, so get up early and take a two-hour drive for a day or two's breakaway.
Getting around requires a car, unless you are devoted to your bike or horse, or like using public transport for the sake of it. Buses to the three villages will be rare, so take a taxi to Draguignan and then a train or bus to the rest of the world from there.
Sightseeing knows no bounds: Start by hyperventilating around the serpentines of the Verdon Canyon, take the magic waters to heal your gout at St. Barthélemy springs at the foot of the cliff above the Braque, and order a guided tour around the local caves. Visit the artificial lake of Carcès 15 km to the South, smell the horse stables around Hyères, "do" the Côte d'Azur from the Calanques of Marseille and Cassis along the windy, tricky roads that lead to Fréjus via the Bay of Tropez. Plan your own house purchase in a bar in each of the pretty coastal villages on the way, then let us rent it out for you!
Other entertainment includes shopping, the nightlife of the Bay of Tropez, boat trips, cinemas, wine tasting, dining out in village squares, boat trips out to the islands or just talking to the locals. Bring your phrase book!