Enjoy the culture-nature linkages with slow food, wine-tasting, visits to historic villages of the Provence; theater, music and arts festivals; outdoor flee markets to chic antique shops; cycling, hiking, horseback riding & golf nearby or stay home to read, play boule or relax by the pool enjoying the magnificent view of the Luberon Hills and Mt. Ventoux, amidst vineyards, olive grove and cherry orchards. Ideal holiday rental for extended family or friends in reconstructed historic hamlet composed of main house & 2 annexes, with total of 5 bedrooms, 4 bath/shower rooms, 5 WC, 4 terraces for outdoor meals, accommodating 10 persons.
|Size||Sleeps up to 10, 5 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Cassis 104 km|
|Will consider||Long term lets (over 1 month)|
|Nearest Amenities||1.5 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Marseille 90 km, Nearest railway: Avignon TGV 48 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|Pool||Private outdoor pool (unheated)|
|General||TV, CD player, Telephone, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms, 2 En suites and 1 Shower rooms|
|Furniture||Double beds (2), Single beds (6), Cots (1), Dining seats for 10, Lounge seats for 10|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Private outdoor pool (unheated), Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ|
Les Gardiols, our ancient fortified hamlet, which we have reconstructed from a state of ruin, is in the commune of Bonnieux, located between the Grand (Big) Luberon and the Petit (Small) Luberon Hills (or Massif) within the protected area of the Natural Regional Park of the Luberon, in the spectacular countryside of vineyard and orchard landscape in the Provence of southern France. Bonnieux is one of the picturesque villages of the Luberon, along with others such as Gordes, Roussillon, Menerbe, Lacoste,Goult, Oppede, Saignon..etc in a region renown for its wine, "slow food", flee markets and antique shop, as well as for hiking, cycling, horseback-riding. While away from the crowd of the beach resorts, one hour by car takes you to the coastal town of Cassis for a dip in the sea or sailing in the Mediterranean. The city of Marseille, rich with cultural diversity and superb restaurants is also only an hour away by car from Bonnieux. With Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Arles, St Remy, Nimes and the Camargue also within 1 to 1.5 hours away, with their museums, festivals of theatre, music, plastic arts and photos as well as the ferias and corridas for the amateurs of bull-fighting, the Luberon region offers both calm and the discovery of nature and cultural tourism. While the temperature can reach 30 C° in the summer, the breeze cools the night for long outdoor dinners. The winter can be harsh but the changing colors of the sky makes the Luberon spectacular even in the midst of the winter. My favourite months in Les Gardiols are April to July, seeing the landscape change from white (cherry blossom) to yellow (genet), then to red of the poppy flowers, all framed by different shades of green of the oak, cyprus and olive trees, then from September to November as the vineyards turn from green to flame red before rust then brown.
Despite the real estate pressure notably for secondary homes but also to accommodate the new generation of the local inhabitants who rightfully refuse to abandon their region (who would leave such a fantastic region?!), the Luberon area around Bonnieux is well-preserved thanks to the protection provided as a Natural Regional Park of the Luberon, within which Bonnieux sits. The limestone hills and the various shades of green, the vineyards, the olive trees and the cherry & apple orchards under the changing colour of the sky makes this area beautiful in all seasons. Even in February when its still cold, the pink sky gives a joyful atmosphere. The villages and farms hugging the hills and valleys of the Luberon, display in their built heritage, the agricultural and socio-cultural history of the land, including testimonies of the religious conflict between the Catholics and the Protestants in the 15th-16th centuries. The numerous churches and temples in the villages nearby have become venues of music performances of all genres from classic to jazz, bringing a new dimension to cultural visits beyond the appreciation of architecture and the in-situ artwork.
The outdoor vegetable markets (also selling great local olives with different seasoning and fabulous local honey!) and the wine cellars attest to the continuing agricultural activities in the region despite the old farmhouses being sold-off more and more as secondary homes.
Many of the small villages which were once at risk of abandonment have been revived thanks to the relatively long tourism season, starting from March extending even to November, and the affluent residents from many countries of northern Europe who prolong their stay, giving business to cute little boutiques for hand-made pottery, original jewelry, clothes and art galleries, the Luberon area has become a lovely place to live and visit throughout the year. The quality of the restaurants, often owned and run by young chefs who learned their trade in the leading restaurants of France, is another joy. Even for those without the means to go to restaurants, picnic lunches with the local goat cheese while tasting the air in the beauty of the setting, really gives a sense of luxury. From our family hamlet, a 40-minute stroll or 10-minute bicycle ride takes one to the 3 BC Roman bridge of Pont Julien- a great picnic place near a stream (where the sound of the river fortunately drowns the noise of traffic from the national route!). The Cedar Forest and the little garden near the old church in Bonnieux also offer great picnic spots. The area is simply so charming and lovely that it pushes one to become an artist or a photographer. For young people, there isn't a great nightlife unless one goes to Avignon or Aix-en-Provence, but my kids tell me that hanging out in the bars in Apt with a bunch of friends can be fun. The French, may not be the friendliest people in the world, but in the Luberon, if one speaks French, even broken- French, its quiet easy to have a chat with the locals who prefer foreigners to Parisiens (!). What more can I say…I just love the place, and my house is really one of the most relaxing places I know (and I dare say, more spacious and beautifully decorated in soothing shades, than most houses I've visited in the Luberon, which are either too preciously decorated or badly decorated…). Les Gardiols is a Japanese "zen" haven in the Luberon Hills!