In the midst of wild fields and an old vineyard and with panoramic views of the Luberon hills it had been uninhabited for thirty years. We lost our hearts.
We restored the house with the help of a renowned architect, who brilliantly preserved all its charm whilst giving it a contemporary twist.
Surrounded by its own land and approached by a two-kilometre track it is wonderfully quiet – perfect for those who wish to escape from the stresses and strains of everyday life. The house nestles at the foot of a small colline betwixt an olive grove and lavender field and has ever-changing views of the hills and the village perché, Viens.
It’s a house for all seasons.
Light and spacious, it has three double bedrooms with their own bathrooms and an additional small twin bedroom.
Two of the bedrooms are at the west end of the house with the other two at the east, making the house ideal for two families. In between the bedrooms are two large interconnecting living rooms, one with a baby grand piano, leading down to a well-equipped kitchen and dining room. The kitchen opens onto a terrace and an enclosed cobbled courtyard and through the courtyard gate is a 15m swimming pool surrounded by olive trees and holm oaks. There are open fires in both the salon and kitchen and central heating, making the house cosy for winter visits.
Three covered terraces around the house are perfect for eating and relaxing: the pountin looking west over the lavender field, particularly wonderful in the evening light; the upper terrace with access from both the petit salon and one of the master bedrooms has panoramic views of Viens and the Luberon hills; and the courtyard terrace off the kitchen, again with lovely views over the courtyard wall.
It is surrounded by completely unspoilt countryside with panoramic views of much of the length of the Luberon hills. There are countless beautiful walks to be had catering for everyone – plenty of easy tracks through to adventure in the nearby gorge. The Gorge d’Oppedette just a 1/2km walk from the house offers dramatic scenery and adventure.
Within the olive grove is the 15m x 5m swimming pool. For those who enjoy their sport with a glass of rosé or Pernod in their hand, there is a boules court.
Being far from sources of light pollution, the night sky is a spectacle of shooting stars and the Milky Way. Nightingales, Hoopoes, Golden Oriels, Bee-eaters and the Pierre Blanche eagle are among the birds that welcome one, night and day, with a resident Scops owl in the courtyard.
There are plenty of good places to eat out and endless opportunities for day trips to places of historical and cultural interest.
Our neighbours at the top of the track, Les Davids, have planted many hectares of new vineyards and plan to open a winery in summer 2021 selling home-grown vegetables, peaches and cherries as well as bread and of course their wine.
The nearest villages are Viens and Simiane-la-Rotonde (both within 15 minutes). Banon, a charming time-warp of a market town with a good butcher, renowned bookshop and supermarket is within 20 minutes. Its Creche de Noel at Christmas is stunning. Apt, twenty minutes in the other direction, has a wonderful Saturday market and pottery. Most of the local villages have weekly markets and brocantes or musical events throughout the summer. Another local attraction are the crimson ochre cliffs of the Colorado Provençal at Rustrel.
Within an hour of the house are l’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue with its weekly antique market and Chateau La Coste and its landscaped sculpture park. At Bonnieux you can hire electric bicycles to visit neighbouring Lacoste and Menerbes, travelling along little lanes through the vineyards and cherry orchards. Avignon and Aix-en-Provence, both 70km away, offer an abundance of cultural life and annual festivals.
The nearest airports are Avignon (61km) and Marseilles (85km) and Nimes (115km). The nearest TGV stations are Avignon (70km) and Aix-en-Provence (64km). The Avignon Sud exit to the Autoroute du Soleil is 57km away and about a nine-hour drive from Calais.
The weekly rent in the low season is €2,000, rising to €4,500 in the high season.
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