Ref: PR140, Vaucluse, Provence, France, £3655 to £7848 pw
Villa d'Olea is a beautifully-restored old sheepfold, recently converted into an exquisite holiday property offering comfortable and stylish accommodation for up to twelve. It is set in sumptuous private grounds full of lavender and over a hundred olive trees, just below the quintessentially provençal hilltop village of Gordes in the heart of the Luberon.
Main House Open plan living/dining room/kitchen, library bedroom with 1 twin/double bedroom, 1 double bedroom with en suite shower room, 1 twin/double bedroom with bathtub and corner sink, 1 bedroom with 3 single beds (or 1 double bed and 1 single bed) with en suite shower room, 2 separate wcs
Guest House Living room, kitchen, 1 bathroom with wc, 1 twin/double bedroom
Pool House Summer kitchen, 1 twin/double bedroom, 1 shower room with wc
Washing machine, dishwasher, dryer, cot (linen supplied on request), highchair, full service telephone, average mobile reception, WiFi, satellite/cable television, DVD player, CD player, iPod dock, heating included, open fireplace, air conditioning (Guest House), plancha, wood barbecue (great care must be taken in the summer), table tennis, pétanque, piano
Bed linen, bathroom towels and pool towels are provided, as well as a weekly change for bookings of more than one week. Five hours of cleaning per week (on Tuesdays and Thursdays) are included, and extra cleaning is available at a cost of 20 € per hour, minimum 2 hours. Cooking services may be available on request. All services are payable locally.
Prices quoted are subject to change.
Villa d'Olea enjoys a beautiful setting just a few kilometres south of Gordes, with twenty acres of lovely landscaped provençal gardens adorned with over a hundred olive trees, and with fragrant lavender beds basking in the sun, cypress trees, and of course the ever-present song of the cicadas. There are wonderful views from the grounds over the Luberon Mountains and the Alpilles.
An entrance drive leads through a coded/alarmed security gate up to the main house, with parking for 5 or 6 cars. The picturesque drystone walls of this restored traditional provençal sheepfold are topped with warm russet ceramic tile roofs, with massive 16th century Spanish oak doors opening in to the living areas. The garden offers peaceful shady groves hung with hammocks, with rustic outdoor furniture scattered about under the trees. A vegetable garden for clients' use offers tomatoes, melons, and other delectable produce, and there is a pétanque pitch, a quaint chapel built into a small hillside, and at the far end a small hut which contains a double bed.
Spacious terraces give off the main house and onto the pool area, and are furnished with fine quality wicker outdoor dining suites and settees. Flowerbeds set with elegant decorative statues and ceramics add to the elegant atmosphere. The large (15x6m) infinity-edge swimming pool is set in a broad teak sunbathing deck with parasols and loungers, including a double sun lounger; it has corner steps, an electric security cover, and features a surface-and-underwater music system. The pool is heated by hidden solar cells to a minimum of 27° at a cost of 210€ per week (from May until the end of September). The adjacent pool house has an open terrace with dining seating for 12; it has a well-equipped summer kitchen with a plancha and a barbecue (not usable in summer). The pool house houses the ambient music system, and also has a double bedroom with a shower room. There is also table tennis for clients' use, and an antique well.
The Main House features a stylish and roomy open-plan living/dining room/kitchen on the ground floor. Throughout there are lovely stone slab floors and original beamed ceilings, with a wonderful authentic provençal feel. The fully-equipped kitchen area is nicely decorated and equipped with all modern appliances, as well as a wood-burning stove. It gives onto the dining room, which unusually comes equipped with a nice French grand piano. Stairs lead up to the spacious living room, which has an open fireplace, television and other entertainment equipment, and is lined with bookshelves - the previous owner was a noted French author. There are two bedrooms on the ground floor of the Main House: a twin or double bedroom with a corner sink and a quaint antique bathtub, and a bedroom with three single beds (or a single and a double) with its own shower room.
On the first floor are two additional bedrooms, one with an en suite shower room, and a library room used as a twin or double bedroom, with of course lots of bookshelves. There is a separate wc on each floor.
The pool house has a twin or double bedroom, a summer kitchen, and a shower room with a wc, and just beyond is the "Guest House", a fully self-contained accommodation with a cool terracotta brick floor and old beams from the sheepfold, and including a twin or double bedroom giving onto a full kitchen, a bathroom with a wc, and a comfortable living room with lovely picture windows overlooking the lavender beds and the gardens.
Changeover day: Saturday
Electric security cover
Can be heated
May to end-Sept
Tennis Club de Pernes: Pernes-les-Fontaines 24km
Plage de Port de Bouc 84km (pebble)
Carry 90km (pebble/rocky)
Sausset 94km (sandy/shingle/rocky)
La Couronne 97km (sandy)
18 hole 17km
Provence Golf Country Club: Saumane 17km
The Luberon Mountains in central Provence are an area of charming hilltop villages, especially along the verdant northern slopes overlooking colourful plains of olive groves, cherry orchards, and pastureland. Roussillon, built in the local ochre stone, commands views as far as Mont Ventoux. Ménerbes has a colourful history and was home to Picasso and de Stael. Gordes is an exceptional village arranged in tiers around the Renaissance château at its summit. The dramatic site occupied by Oppède-le-Vieux lay abandoned for years; the village has come back to life but still retains a haunting sense of vanished past.
Coustellet (5.5km): Basic shops and services. Good bakery, best deli in the area and a supermarket
Cabrières-d’Avignon (5km): Groceries
Gordes (5km): Restaurants, cafés and a grocery store
Ménerbes (7km): Bakery, various small shops, restaurants and cafés.
The nearest supermarket is at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (16km)
Sunday: Coustellet: farmer's market and some brocantes. It is very popular and gets busy so you should try to get there quite early.
Isle-sur-la-Sorgue: famous antique market as well as food market (be prepared for big crowds in the summer)
Monday: Goult, Cavaillon, Cadenet
Tuesday: Gordes, Fontaines-de -Vaucluse
Wednesday: Rousillon, St. Rémy
Thursday: Oppède -le-Vieux, Maussane, Robion
Friday: Bonnieux, Eygalières, Lourmarin
Saturday: Uzes, Oppède, St. Rémy, Apt
Coustellet (5.5km): Babouchka, Gavin
Ménerbes (7km): La Veranda, La Galounet, Délices de Charlotte
Maubec (9km): La Bergerie
Goult (7km): Le Tonneau, La Terrasse, Café de la Poste, La Bartavelle
Bonnieux (16km): Le Fournil
Some suggestions in approximate descending order of price:
Le Mas des Herbes Blanches: Situated in a beautiful setting of an elegant hotel in Joucas (10km), on the road to Murs beyond Gordes. The menu is traditional French and quite fancy and expensive but worth the treat.
La Bastide de Gordes: Gordes (5km). The 4-star hotel constructed in what was once the old ramparts of Gordes has a gourmet restaurant (beautiful terrace with panoramic views)
La Bastide de Marie: Route de Bonnieux, Menerbes (7km)
Les Bories: Elegant hotel with fine restaurant in Gordes (5km) on the road to Sénanque.
Ferme de la Huppe: Reputed restaurant in a charming farmhouse in les Pourquiers (7km) on the D156 between Gordes and Goult.
Le Mas Tourteron: 5 mins in car from house. Chemin de Sainte blaise, Les Imberts, (sign-posted on the D2 in Les Imberts). The walled terrace is charming and the food (Elisabeth Bourgeois) excellent.
Le Mas de la Senancole: Les Imberts (4km) on the D2.
Le Clos de Gustave: Gordes (5km).
Le Fournil: Charming restaurant with terrace in Bonnieux (16km). Particularly nice for lunch.
Le Café de la Poste: Goult (7km) on the village square.
Le Vieux Bistrot: Cabrières.
La Terrasse: Goult
Café César: Bonnieux
Maison Gouin: Coustellet (also traiteur) is only opened for lunch.
Restaurant de l'Horloge: Cucuron, excellent value.
These restaurants have been recommended by our owners and this list is updated by us as often as possible. Their ownership and quality may have changed since the list was last updated.
The Luberon Valley is known for its beautiful hilltop villages, its natural park and its vineyards. It also hosts some of the great music and theatre festivals of France.
Gordes: Gordes has been listed as "one of the most beautiful villages of France".
Arriving in Gordes on the D2 is spectacular. It is best to park in the car park (turn left at the roundabout in the village centre, the car park is on your left). Gordes will be busier on a Tuesday morning as it is market day.
Abbaye de Sénanque: The abbey is one of the most beautiful and most photographed monuments of Provence, particularly during the lavender season (end June, July). The monks have been living there since the 12th century and they sell some of their home produce. There are several footpaths from the abbey into the hills.
The Bories village: is also situated outside Gordes off the D2. It gets very busy in the summer months so it is wise to get there early. The ancient dwellings known as bories are dry stone buildings made from lauzes (limestone slabs) and date from 2,000 BC.
The Moulins de Bouillons Museum: (olive presses dating back to the 16th century) is situated near the house on the road to St Pantaléon. Some local olive oil is still made there. Closed on Tuesdays.
The Lavender Museum: based in Coustellet on the D2. Presentation of distillation processes which were used to make essential oils (16th century to present time).
Roussillon: It is considered one of the most impressive villages in France.
Situated in the heart of one of the biggest ochre deposits in the world, Roussillon is famous for its magnificent red cliffs and ochre quarries.
Goult: is a peaceful little village with some half-dozen restaurants and a few shops. Goult has resisted the temptations of village sprawl and souvenir shops, and in our view ranks among the Luberon's most delightful villages.
Oppède-le-Vieux: you have to leave your car in the car park and walk up the terraced gardens to the old village. The old village remains quite unspoilt.
Ménerbes: built at the top of a hill at the foot of the Luberon Mountain. You can see it, due south, from the terrace of the house.
The Corkscrew Museum: It displays historical, technical and artistic aspects of the corkscrew from the 17th century to the present time.
Lacoste: another beautiful hilltop village, fun to explore by foot. It is the ground of the ruins of the Marquis de Sade’s castle (recently bought by Pierre Cardin), opened for concerts during the Cardin festival in July.
Bonnieux: one more beautiful hilltop village with two churches. You can walk up the stairs opposite the Fournil restaurant to the top of the hill for a dramatic 360 degrees view.
Fontaine-de -Vaucluse: The source of the Sorgue River begins underground in the closed valley above the town.
Isle-sur-la-Sorgue: It main street is lined with watermills wheels and it is the antique centre of the area (Thursday and Sunday)
There are many other beautiful villages on the South side of the Luberon mountain (Ansouis, Lourmarin, Pertuis, Cucuron), in the Grand Luberon (Forcalquier, Mane, Montfuron, Viens), or in the nearby Alpilles (St-Rémy, Les Baux, Eygalières)
There are great activities for children nearby: visit the Haribo factory, a crocodile farm, a bamboo forest, grottoes, a giant maze, and a treetop adventure course (further details at the house).
Musicales du Luberon (in Ménerbes) - music festival in July
Festival d’Aix-en-Provence – opera festival in July
Chorégies d’Orange in the Orange Roman theatre – opera festival in August
Festival de Lacoste created by Pierre Cardin – musical festival in July
Festival d’Avignon – theatre and dance festival in July
Les Suds d’Arles – music festival in July
Festival de la Roque d'Anthéron – piano festival in July and August
Festival de Lourmarin – music festival all summer
Festival Jazz de Luberon – jazz festival in May
Aioli (garlic mayonnaise to accompany fish and vegetables)
Pissaladière (onion tart)
Pistou soup (vegetable with basil, garlic, tomato)
Bouillabaisse (fish stew)
Ratatouille (peppers, courgettes, onions, aubergines, tomatoes)
Fish soup with rouille (special mayonnaise)
Anchoiade (anchovy and garlic paste)
Tapenade (crushed olives with capers, anchovies)
The Côtes du Luberon appellation covers 3500 hectares. It is situated between Cavaillon and Apt, with 36 districts sharing the vineyards. Eighty per cent of the wine producing land is grouped into co-operative wineries (caves co-operatives). Comprising 70% reds, 15 % to 20 % rosés or whites depending on the year, the Côtes du Luberon wine is appreciated for its delicate bouquet. The reds are well-balanced and flexible, the rosés fresh and nervous, while the whites are fresh and well-rounded. It is generally better to drink the Côtes du Luberon wines when they are young.
Mid-November: La Gouleyade: "Fête du vin bourru" (First wine of the year). Village parades, wine-tasting.
End of June: Festivals at the châteaux around the Luberon.
Also discover the Côtes du Ventoux, Côtes de Provence and Côteaux d’Aix. There are many good local wines on sale at local markets (in particular at the marché paysan of Coustellet).
Plage de Port de bouc, pebble (84km)
Marseille, sandy, shingle, rocky (90km)
Carry, pebble, rocky (90km)
Sausset, sandy, shingle, rocky (94km)
La Couronne, sandy (98km)
Tennis courts: Cabrières tennis club - please enquire.
Horse riding: Haras de Lagnes: Lagnes (9km) Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (16km)
Bike hire: Coustellet (5.5km)
Golf: 9 and 18 hole golf courses: Saumane-de-Vaucluse (17km)
Leisure lake: for swimming and sailing: Apt (21km)
Skiing: Mont-Serein (65km)
Walks: There are many nature trails and heritage walks in the area in the area. The most important routes are GR4, 6, 9, 92 and 97.
Canoe-Kayak: you can Kayak on the Sorgue River. There is a trip from Fontaines de Vaucluse to Ile-sur-la-Sorgue
Cycling: There is a complete circuit of the Luberon that is 236km long and is designed to take in some of the best sights on the way.
Accrobranches: Obstacle courses for children set out in the air between the pine trees, using cable walkways, rope bridges, beams, swings, and best of all, zip lines. Lagnes/Fontaine de Vaucluse.
Flight info >>
Le Havre 908km
Channel crossing info >>
Eurostar & TGV info >>
This property has not been rented before. We are confident that many good client comments will be available at the end of its first season.
This gorgeous provençal villa is a recent discovery, and what a find! Set in a lovely private estate with a good hundred or so olive trees, it is comfortable and beautifully decorated inside and out.