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17th-18thCentury property : Stunning Location, 3 private pools, river,cascades

9 Reviews
Bedrooms 3
Half Baths2
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights

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Half Baths
Minimum Stay
3 - 7 nights


Salernes House Rental Photos and Description

Period 3 bed house for 6; 2 bed cottagefor 4 ;studio for 2/4 Three private pools

PLEASE ASK FOR OUR WEB ADDRESS FOR MORE PHOTOS & for details of 2 BED COTTAGE (private, heated pool) FOR 4 persons, STUDIO (private, heated pool) FOR 2 -4 persons

Featured as one of the "Top Ten Riverside Gîtes" in "A River Runs Through It: The Top Ten Riverside Gîtes For A Spot Of Wild Swimming":

Architect owner's beautifully restored 18th century Olive Mill faces full south across its own valley, with a river (several waterfalls & natural pools) & 30 acres of hills (ancient woodlands), wildflower, herbs, cherry, plum, fig & apricot trees as well as wild asparagus & truffles. The house, the cottage & the studio each has its own very private pool well away from the others, each in secluded grounds overlooking the valley (the Cottage & Studio pools are heated in spring & autumn). ALL OF THE POOLS NOW HAVE IRON SAFETY FENCES. The river is spectacular, with large, clear pools & a 10m high waterfall. Golf at 30min, horse riding in the village, fishing in the river, idyllic walks & cross-country cycling. The Domain is completely private, but within easy walking distance of the village. Equidistant from Nice & Aix-en-Provence, with St Tropez an easy drive south.

As well as the outstanding scenic splendours of Provence at your doorstep (waterfalls,wine domains,ancient buildings & still-preserved hill villages to visit in the immediate area), less than an hour away are the fabulous Mediterranean coast,sandy beaches,sailing to the islands for a lazy day trip, glamorous shops,cafés&restaurants.

Drive to three of the most famous cities in Provence - Aix en Provence, Nice & Marseille(wonderful shops, galleries & restaurants).

You have your own private pool & a series of spectacular waterfalls with large natural pools in the river.

Please note, though, that river access is not suitable for very young children and requres some agility.

If you fish, bring your rod, because the river has trout and other local fish.

Sillans la Cascade is a medieval hill village in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Aups(a medieval walled town)is the truffle centre of eastern France.

Other local villages: Salernes is famous for its beautiful ceramics: tiles (decorative& plain), kitchen ware(jugs,pots,cooking utensils), vases- visitors generally find them irresistible. There is also a wonderful local market in the village square.Tourtour has an international music festival,& two outstanding restaurants for special occasions.The views from this “perched” village extend as far as the Mediterranean to the south and the mountains near Aix en Provence to the west. Cotignac is a walker’s paradise,with fascinating cave dwellings & several medieval monasteries. Entrecasteux’s chateau has outstanding gardens & art exhibitions/concerts all year. La Roquebrussane is the home of Provençale cooking:you can join a cooking class & spend the morning prepare lunch. Collobrieres celebrates the annual wine festival by running wine through the village fountains. The village nestles in chestnut forests and visitors come from all over France for the sugared chestnuts, chestnut purée & chestnut honey.

Excursions and activities: To the north the Gorges de Verdun & the Lake Ste Croix are ideal locations for exploring outstanding natural sites (The village nestles in chestnut forests and visitors come from all over France for the sugared chestnuts, chestnut purée & chestnut honey.sail on the lake itself).

To the south is the Côte d’Azur : sandy beaches, colourful ports (Grimaud & St Tropez) and ideal sailing (especially the 3 islands around Hyères).

There are excellent antique and Provençal products shops in Hyères, Cotignac, Salernes etc .Easy day trips include Aix-en-Provence, Nice, Monte Carlo and San Remo (Italy).

The Golf Club Barbaroux (designed by Pete & PB Dye )is 30mins away, at Brignoles. Horse riding is available in the village (day treks can be organized).

More Details
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible

Member since: 1998
Speaks: english, french, italian
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
October 8, 2016
Call Owner

About owner

Visitors' Comments:

“Thank you so much for such a wonderful holiday home. If was much more than we ever expected to see – it exceeded our expectation in all the ways !

We loved the beautiful location, privacy, colourful little villages with markets, and of course the beautifully restored Tower House. It was so unique, had a rustic atmosphere but with modern conveniences. We found everything we needed – great selection of books, movies, description of activities and local attractions.

Fresh mint, rosemary, thyme and poppy flowers were a highlight for me personally.

We had a wonderful time!

We will come back one day and will bring our extended family with us. Next time we should spend two weeks at your place.”

Natalya, Switzerland, May 2011

“We had a really lovely time at the Tower House – thank you so much. The property is beautiful and wonderfully well equipped and it was great having so many toys for the children to play with.”

Debra, England, June 2011

“Thanks again for everything. It was a week of pure bliss to wake up to the wonderful smells and sounds emanating from your beautiful property. I’m still dreaming about the smells of lavender, sage, thyme and rosemary that wafted up from the plants on the Tower House grounds. I had to tear myself away from the roof deck and the glorious sound of the breeze rustling through the olive grove. It was a delight to explore the towns in the region and to experience a small town circus one night (my daughter’s favorite experience) in Sillans-la-Cascade. The people we met were wonderful, the food delicious, and your place was a little slice of heaven. Thank you, thank you for making your property available to us for a week – what a delight ! Your daughter Catherine was also incredibly kind to us.”

L . Oslo, July 2011

“Thanks for sharing your private paradise with us : everything was fantastic, beyond expectations! We will strongly recommend your property to our friends.

owner purchased this house in 1990

Why owner chose Haut-Var - Verdon

An authentic 17th18th century olive mill with medieval vestiges, in an important natural environment -which includes a listed waterfall. Protected by European legislation ("Natura2000"). Very private but not isolated. Wonderful views. Walk to the village for morning croissants and coffee. Morning swimming in the river with its multiple cascades, lunch under ancient mulberry and fig trees, siesta by private pool..

Easy drive to lake Ste Croix (boating, swimming, sailing) and to the coast.

What makes this house unique

In the heart of a European-protected natural site ('Natura2000') with private river, several waterfalls and low cascades, very private restored olive mill dating from the Middle Ages provides accommodation for as few as 2 persons and as many as 16 in three completely independent and private dwellings, each with its own private, unshared pool.

Outstanding views and wildlife including two protected, endangered species.

A part of our river and our small waterfall of 10metres have also been classified by the French government as protected sites.

The land is free of all chemicals and has never been farmed intensively. The olive grove is also completely organic.

Featured as one of the "Top Ten Riverside Gîtes" in "A River Runs Through It: The Top Ten Riverside Gîtes For A Spot Of Wild Swimming":

Guestbook comments from the owner

The vacation was one of the best ever, superb. Thank you very much.
Jun 2013
  • 1 of 10


based on 9 traveler reviews

17th-18thCentury property : Stunning Location, 3 private pools, river,cascades
average rating of 5.0 based on 19 reviews
Melbourne, Australia

It just doesn't get better than this

  • 5 of 5

We're experienced travellers, and we've become used to discounting the claims made (and photographs shown) for properties around the world.

We had to discard our cynicism as soon as we were welcomed to the Tower House. It was everything that was promised and more.

The property was genuinely enchanting and immaculately prepared for us. We particularly liked the roof terrace (a great place to have a barbecue and relax at dusk watching swifts swooping after insects), the private pool (complete with concealed fridge to keep your drinks cool), and the stroll through the olive grove down to the secluded river (complete with cascades, pools and, yes, a proper waterfall).

It's a great centre for touring, too, if you can bear to tear yourself away from the property itself and the charming nearby towns and villages (we particularly liked Tourtour). We went north to Moustiers and the Gorges du Verdon (outstanding natural beauty and grandeur) south for some glamour at St Tropez (a bit of a trek - it's really designed for people to turn up by yacht or helicopter!); west to Nice and Monte Carlo; and finally east to Aix-en Provence to catch the TGV to Paris for the next leg of our trip.

We were a mixed group: me (a mid-50s pommy expat living in Australia); my mother (aged 76 and sprightly enough to handle the stairs); my fourteen-year-old step-daughter; and my beautiful Australian wife (age withheld because I'm not entirely stupid). Not an automatic recipe for harmony or shared interests.

But we all adored touring Provence and in particular our base at the Tower House. Thanks to Catherine and Alexia for providing us with such a perfect place to stay.

  • Submitted: Jul 27, 2010
  • Stayed: Jun 2010
  • Source: HomeAway
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59 1

Beautiful property, stunning location

  • 5 of 5

We stayed at the Olive Mill in May half-term this year - our family of five in the Tower House plus two adult in-laws and niece in the Cottage. The website photos do not do justice to the interiors, which have been converted into ample living space whilst remaining sympathetic to the age of the buildings. The Tower House easily accommodated us, our two teenage daughters and older son. It was well equipped, stocked with all the essentials, yet had stacks of charm and simplicity.

The views around the property are stunning. Rolling meadows lap up to an olive grove. Behind the grove is a green gate which leads, down some rustic steps, to a bright blue lagoon and your private cascades. Cross the cascade, climb up a steep incline, walk for a few minutes along the tree line then follow the path down again and you come to your own 10m high waterfall. It was amazing to swim with the kids up to this, then walk behind and under it - and even dive through it. I am a forty-four year male and I felt like a Disney mermaid…looked more like Shrek, but hey…

The rest of the time, we followed the list of local markets in the welcome folder each morning and bought beautiful fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and cheese. It was a fantastic way to visit some stunning villages and the stallholders were very helpful given we had pretty limited French. The rest of the time we stayed around the grounds for lunch, then went out in the evening for dinner.

A truly relaxing holiday but in no way limiting. Exploring the cascades was a real thrill - like the rapids at Centerparcs but without the expense and stomach bugs. Without getting your ‘Aups’ up too high, the local villages were delightful, Cotignac in particular.

Some tips. We took wetsuits for the kids for the wild swimming and should have taken some beach shoes for when they went exploring through the cascades. A couple of the young ones also got splinters off the wooden deck of the cottage swimming pool so maybe bring some tweezers - although the local supermarket stocked them. The main waterfall is about ten minutes walk from the property (turn left after you come out of the gate and walk down the gravel track).

There wasn’t much going on in Sillans le Cascades, but Salerne just up the road has a delightful confectioners and three supermarkets nearby. Cotignac was really interesting with the troglodyte houses at the top end, and some lovely restaurants.

  • Submitted: Jun 9, 2015
  • Stayed: May 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for your kind comments and lovely descriptions. I like the image of eight mermaids swimming in our river. (The waterfall you swam under - and dived through - is a "listed" site, protected for its outstanding natural quality. Who better to appreciate it than a family of mermaids?) I am sorry the children found splinters - the wooden deck of the cottage pool was only recently sanded and repainted, so I think the culprit is the bountiful rosemary growing by the pool. When this is dry it looks and feels exactly like a splinter. Ouch! - but at least rosemary is an antiseptic, so have no worries about side-effects. Yes, it would be wise to bring old sandals or sneakers for the children. There is so much to explore, both on our property and on the other side of the river - climbing to the top of the (small) mountain is a great achievement and well within the capability of most children. The view from the mountain over our land is wonderful, and extends for miles and miles. Thank you again for this very interesting and comprehensive review, and we look forward to welcoming you back next year.
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14 0

Romantic and splendid location

  • 5 of 5

This was our 3rd visit to The Olive Mill, 2 times Studio, 1 time Tower House with family. We enjoyed each and every time!! The serenity, the wild life, the waterfall, the swimming pool, the house itself, it's great to be here and it's a short distance to all nice locations (Nice ca. 1 hour away) although the small villages near Sillans are more then worth visiting too (f.e. TourTour, Aups, Cotignac) but staying at the swimming pool with a nice glass of champagne with a blue sky and blazing sun above you is also more than perfect! The property is clean and is well provided for your holiday. We sure will come back!!

  • Submitted: Sep 23, 2012
  • Stayed: Sep 2012
  • Source: HomeAway
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51 0

"A week of pure bliss"

  • 5 of 5

Thanks again for everything. It was a week of pure bliss to wake up to the wonderful smells and sounds emanating from your beautiful property. I'm still dreaming about the smells of lavender, sage, thyme and rosemary that wafted up from the plants on the Tower House grounds. I had to tear myself away from the roof deck and the glorious sound of the breeze rustling through the olive grove. It was a delight to explore the towns in the region and to experience a small town circus one night (my daughter's favorite experience) in Sillans-la-Cascade. The people we met were wonderful, the food delicious, and your place was a little slice of heaven. Thank you, thank you for making your property available to us for a week - what a delight! Your daughter Catherine was also incredibly kind to us.

M. L .

Oslo July 2011

  • Submitted: Aug 3, 2011
  • Stayed: Jul 2011
  • Source: HomeAway
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48 1

Our best holiday ever!

  • 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time at Les Baumes and think about it every day still - what a special place. We found a tortoise and the morelles at the same time - would you believe it.

The iris on the rocks were just stunning - I couldn't work out if they were wild or whether you had planted them originally. We could see the eryngiums and poppies starting to grow and wished we could just come back in time to see them all in flower. The asparagus was fabulous and I am missing the herbs now we are home.

With regard to the house, I can't think of anything else that we needed - it was very well stocked. (The children adored Catherine's books.)

Very much looking forward to a return visit - we all agreed it was our best holiday ever!

  • Submitted: May 7, 2010
  • Stayed: Mar 2010
  • Source: HomeAway
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50 1
Melbourne, Australia

A memorable week.

  • 5 of 5

We had a wonderful week in The Tower House. Thank you for sharing it with us.

We enjoyed the library of books available, including the children's books, the grounds and found everything we needed in the house.

Thank you again for a memorable week.

  • Submitted: Nov 5, 2009
  • Stayed: Oct 2009
  • Source: HomeAway
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47 1


Nearest Airport
100 Kilometres
Nearest Barpub
1 Kilometres
Sillans la Cascade
Nearest Ferry
80 Kilometres
Toulon (for Corsica)
Nearest Train
30 Kilometres
Draguignan/Les Arcs or Aix ,
Nearest Motorway
20 Kilometres
Le Luc or Brignoles
Nearest Restaurant
1 Kilometres
Sillans la Cascade
Nearest Beach
64 Kilometres
St Raphael
Car: recommended

The Olive Mill is in the heart of Provence, inland from St Tropez on the Cote d'Azur(beaches) & accessible from Nice & Marseille airports(just over 1 hour to each).1 hour to TGV railway station at Aix en Provence or Marseille(each 3 hours from Paris).It is an easy walk to the village & 5-10 minutes’ drive to Aups, Cotignac & Salernes.Nearby are Tourtour,famous for its antiques,restaurants&music festival,Cotignac(a walker's paradise with fascinating cave dwellings & several medieval monasteries), Entrecasteaux(out standing formal gardens & towering castle),La Roquebrussane(home of Provencal cooking:please ask to book a class ).To the north are the Gorges(grand canyon)de Verdon & the Lake Ste Croix.The Grand Canyon is spectacular - created over thousands of years, it is unique in Europe.Michelin starred restaurants are at Tourtour,Lorgues,Moustiers,Callas & Grimaud.Walk to our excellent village restaurants.

A prehistoric cave is also to be found on our own property: please ask to visit,

Other Activities: canooing,water skiing at nearby lake, fishing,swimming in our river,mountaineering at Gorges Verdon


Rates & Availability

Salernes House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Autumn colours
Sep 23 2016 - Oct 31 2016
7 night minimum stay
Apr 1 2017 - May 25 2017
3 night minimum stay
early Summer
May 26 2017 - Jun 8 2017
3 night minimum stay
Early Summer
Jun 9 2017 - Jun 15 2017
3 night minimum stay
Jun 16 2017 - Jun 29 2017
3 night minimum stay
High Summer
Jun 30 2017 - Jul 13 2017
7 night minimum stay
Peak season
Jul 14 2017 - Aug 31 2017
7 night minimum stay
Late summer
Sep 1 2017 - Sep 14 2017
3 night minimum stay
Fig season
Sep 15 2017 - Sep 28 2017
3 night minimum stay
Olive harvest
Sep 29 2017 - Oct 31 2017
3 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Fees No additional mandatory fees
Refundable damage deposit $730

Please ask for our web address for more photos.

We prefer a Friday arrival: travelling is easier for our visitors, queues at airports are shorter, shopping for the weekend is easier AND fares are much cheaper.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
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Available stay (no arrival)


Salernes House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Optional
Location Type:
  • Near The Ocean
  • Rural
  • Village
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Activities Guide
  • Baby Gate
  • Basic Soaps
  • Free Local Calls
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Laundry Soap
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street
  • Sunbed
  • Telephone
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Blender
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Grill
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • 2 Half Baths
  • Bathroom - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Bathroom - toilet
    Bathroom - toilet
    Bathroom - toilet , shower
  • Main bathroom has bath, antique walnut furniture (modern basin and fittings), & WC. There is another WC on this floor. Second shower room with wc is ensuite to the the secnd double bedroom. Magnificent roof terrace paved with white natural stone, with splendid views east, south and west across valleys and hills. Furnished (teak table, chairs, benches), with external lighting for outdoor meals. Weber barbecue, second sink. Washing machine, ironing board & iron, hair dryer.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Bedroom - 1 queen , 1 baby crib , 1m 60 wide
    Bedroom - 1 double , 1 baby crib , 1 m 40 wide
    Bedroom - 2 twin/ single , 80cm wide each
  • First Floor: double bedroom (en suite shower room, WC) with exposed beams. Good quality double bed, lovely antique furniture, sunny garden views south- east. Second Floor : double bedroom (king size bed) with extensive views south & west over our valley & the surrounding hills. Beautiful walnut & cherry antique furniture and original Provençale floor tiles. Small third bedroom (2 single beds) with views south and east through trees (mulberry & fig, as well as ash & pine), across our valley towards the river. A cot can be put in the large Entrance Hall (WC & basin at this level), curtained for privacy. PLEASE ASK FOR OUR WEB SITE FOR MORE PHOTOS.
  • Audio Tape Player
  • Books
  • Books for Adults
  • Books for Kids
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Games for Kids
  • Music Library
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Television
  • Toys
  • VCR
  • Video Library
  • Beach Towels
  • Boat ...
  • Child's Swing
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Furniture
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Outdoor Grill Gas
  • Porch / Veranda ...
  • Tennis ...
  • Tennis Court
  • Terrace
  • 8 garden chairs
  • 8 beach chairs
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Private Pool ...
  • autumn foliage
  • botanical garden
  • caves
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • forests
  • library
  • museums
  • playground
  • pond
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • waterfalls
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • jet skiing
  • mountain biking
  • mountaineering
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
Also available: Cottage for 4 with own private pool and Studio for 2 with own private pool (total including the Tower House pool: 3 pools). Please enquire (see photos on PHOTOS section here). WEB ACCESS: WIFI BROADBAND (bring your own computer). POOL SECURITY: IRON FENCE & GATE. PARENTS SHOULD NEVER LEAVE YOUNG CHILDREN UNSUPERVISED.

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