You can't beat this location - in the heart of the Luberon, 3km from Menerbes, in the middle of all the fabled hill-top villages like Gordes, Roussillon, Goult, Lourmarin and Bonnieux - each of them officially one of the most beautiful Villages in France. Close your eyes and think of Provence and this is where you'll find yourself. Blessed with lovely views of Menerbes and the Luberon mountain, 'Belvoir' is spacious and beautifully furnished as the owners live here in winter (no hand-me-down beds!) sleeps 10 but can entertain dozens. Big garden (1 ha) with fruit trees and a vineyard, bordered by woods, with chlorine-free pool (11m x 5m) and choice of al fresco eating spots. Pick your own fruit and vegetables from the garden between Provencal meals. Outdoor 'kitchen' and fridge too because in Provence you only want to go indoors when it is bedtime! The upstairs, including 4 of the bedrooms, is air conditioned.
In July, pick up as much as you want wonderful cherries from the tree.
Things to do: Here are some of the many things you can do using the house as your base:
Go to the local peasants markets and rediscover what food used to taste like: there is one for every day of the week in a different village.
Long, lazy lunches (and dinners) outside.
Lose the extra calories by cycling round the famous hilltop villages: Gordes, Bonnieux, Menerbes, Lacoste, Roussillon, Lourmarin, Oppede-le-vieux, etc.
Antiques and bric-a-brac hunting at Isle-sur-Sorgue – France’s antiques capital.
Choose from an endless number of walks in the 120,000 ha Luberon Natural Park.
Explore Fontaine de Vaucluse - the extraordinary source of the crystal-clear Sorgue river (or ride a canoe down it).
Discover where all the ochre-coloured buildings come from - the ochre quarries at picturesque Roussillon and Bruoux.
Visit the Marquis de Sade's castle at neighbouring Lacoste.
Bump into Princess Caroline at chi-chi St Remy.
In July, wander through the lavender fields
More things to do: Picnic in the cedar forests outside lovely Bonnieux.
Visit the spectacular hill-top fortress at Les Baux de Provence.
Walk in the footsteps (and wheel tracks) of the Romans at the impressive remains of Glanum.
Drive to the top of Mont Ventoux (cycle if you're mad) and let the Alps and the Med take your breath away.
Marseille, 1 hour away, is France's most exciting city, and home to the world's best bouillabaisse.
Avignon, half an hour away, is a fascinating medieval city small enough to walk round in a day.
Go wine-tasting at the local vineyards or venture just beyond Avignon for some great Rhone wines – Chateauneuf du Pape, Cote Rotie, Cornas.
Day trips to Monte Carlo, Cannes, the Camargue, Arles, Aix, Orange, Gorges du Verdon, Rhone wine trail, even Spain if you leave early.
Cultural delights too...: Did you know that in the summer the Luberon is a cultural hot-bed? There are music, arts and theatre festivals all around. The famous Avignon Festival is in July, as is the Opera Festival in Orange. While in La Roque d’Antheron the piano festival attracts some of the world’s greatest pianists. Aix-en-Provence has operas and concerts throughout the summer, and there is always something going on in a nearby town or village.
'Belvoir' is at the very the heart of the 'Golden Triangle' of the Luberon, formed by the picture-postcard, medieval hilltop villages of Gordes, Bonnieux, Lourmarin, Lacoste, Menerbes, Oppede-le-Vieux, and Roussillon. These rise up majestically from the valley of vineyards and fruit orchards below, and everything is overlooked by the Luberon mountain itself, a beautifully preserved natural park. As Peter Mayle discovered when he wrote A Year in Provence here, in the Luberon life simply looks and tastes better than at home: whether it's the extraordinary natural produce at the daily markets, the clarity of the light, the scenery and history, or the charm of the Provencal people. 'Belvoir' is an hour from Marseille and Nimes International Airports, 45 minutes from Avignon train station. Within an hour's drive are Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Arles, St Remy, Orange, the Rhone wine trail. The French Riviera is 2 hours away, Italy and the Alps 2.5 hours.
Other Activities: Hot air ballooning, microlighting
Golf: Golf in Saumane at 15km
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