By a miracle this part of the coast has escaped urban development and still feels like 'la campagne'. The intense light and colour that drew Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso and Van Gogh still cast a spell. A deep blue sky, warm sun and a landscaped garden full of mediterranean flora: palms, olives, lavender, rosemary, peach, orange, lemon, honeysuckle and jasmine surround the villa and private gated pool. A path without traffic leads in about 400m - a 10 to 15 minute walk - to a sandy cove where mica in the white sand looks like diamonds dancing in the water.
The small village of Canadel is on the sea side of the Corniche des Maures, a 26km coastal road stretching from Lavandou to La Croix-Valmer, with breathtaking sea views. On the land side rises the Massif des Maures. A road 5 minutes from the villa leads to the Col and the ridge path, superb for walking, cycling and picnics with vast blue vistas below.
We designed the villa to have as little division between house and garden as possible and to have privacy and space for different ages and activities, one of which must be reliable WiFi. Outside the bedroom wing is the cactus garden with swings, a tree house, badminton, table tennis and boules play areas. Two bedrooms have french doors opening onto a central terrace with a pepper tree, family dining table and chaise lounges facing the sea . . . still leaving space for yoga!
The living/dining room wing leads to a covered terrace with oak table, stone barbecue, summer kitchen and a gate to enclosed private pool (open mid-May to mid-October or by special request). Up the steps is our 'cocktail terrace' - a quiet hideaway with eagles nest view of the sea and islands.
All bedrooms are screened and have ceiling fans, bedside reading lights and wardrobes. Two beds are 160cms; one has adjustable backrest. Two bedrooms are ensuite, another has adjacent bathroom with tub with sea view: overlook the Mediterranean as you soak, with slate sill for chilled white wine. A fourth double bedroom (140 cm) looks onto our garden and has an adjacent shower room. A children's room has built-in bunks (80cm x 150 cm) and 2 single beds (80 cm x 190 cm).
The kitchen is state of the art, again with stunning sea views as it looks out to the Mediterranean.
This villa is our holiday home rather than a commercial rental property and therefore equipped with books, games, paintings, art materials, plants, CD's, DVD's, satellite TV, comfortable classic furniture, low voltage lighting on dimmers, telephone, fax, internet connection, alarm linked to central station and a caretaker couple from the next village who are available for mid-stay cleaning and babysitting on request.
Gentle steps lead up to the first floor which has all the living and terrace accommodation on one level without steps: a boon for the less mobile. The ground floor has a separate studio which can sleep up to 4, with independent kitchen, shower and WC. It is available at a small supplementary rent for over-spill.
We believe the villa has all the ingredients needed to make a memorable holiday and you will find it a fantastic place to be!
Keywords: sea side , beach house, villa with pool
We are an academic couple living in London. We came here for 4 main reasons.
The word ' holiday' and 'Mediterranean ' are a good fit when London is a shade of pewter. Second we hoped the family would hear and speak another language through play, not just text books. Third, we liked, the wine, the food, the markets and wanted to try our hand at Elizabeth David's style. . Finally, The ability to invite guests to stay would be enormous fun.
For over 20 years we had a house in the Herault, but when our 5 children produced their own, being a 40 minute drive from the Sea was a drawback . We concluded that the only way to have a relaxed holiday was to be independent of cars.
We needed a safe sandy beach, accessible with a push chair If it were traffic free so older children could come and go, that would be a huge boon.
When we finally found this house, we spent 2 years designing and converting it to be a place where three generations could mix or go on independent paths.
Location, location. Being within walking distance of a two knife and fork Michelin restaurant, as well as 4 piazza informal ones, gives everyone scope. A short walk in either direction brings us to two splendid sandy beaches while even closer are stairs down to the rocks where you can swim and snorkle.
Five minutes by car is Rayol village with doctor, post office, pharmacy, marvellous butcher, baker, photographer, beauty salon, newspapers.,small supermarket and weekly market.
The energetic bike everywhere: along the dedicated cycle path to Le Lavandou, up the winding route to the Col for picnics or to the tennis courts at Cavalière.
Perhaps the most memorable part of our holidays are dinners under the pepper tree: candle lit banter stories or serious discussion mixed with lots of cheese, wine and a bit of guitar.