Picture a rural idyll. A river running through a garden. The sound of a waterfall. Lying in the sun. Taking a dip to cool off in the beautiful clear water. Or maybe gently rowing along the river while reading a book, eating cheese, drinking wine. A bucolic dream? Here’s how to make it a reality…
10 Riverside Balcony Gîte, River Orbieu, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
On the riverbank in the lovely village of Lagrasse, three gîtes have been carved out of a former Medieval mansion. Originally the mansion was in fact two separate houses divided by a cobbled lane. In the 19th century, the two were combined and the cobbled lane was replaced by a grand stairwell and hallway with a vast glass skylight. This now forms a common entrance for the three gîtes, replete with a table tennis room.
In our opinion The Balcony Gîte is the nicest of the three; it has French windows opening onto the Balcony, which overlooks the river and the hillside opposite with its limestone crags, wild lavender and thyme. Up stream is the abbey dating back to Charlemagne and downstream, just a stones throw from the house lies an 11th century bridge.
Lagrasse is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. The village has everything you neeed for the perfect French holiday. Bring home a picnic from the Deli and Patisserie with something to drink from one of the many “caves” that sell their own wine. Or dine out in any of the six good restaurants or the pizzeria.
Sleeps 5. Prices range from €560 to €110 per week depending upon the season. Available on Booking.com.