Villa d'Olea

Provence, France

  • 10
  • 5
  • 5
  • Beautifully restored house set in 20 acres
  • Far reaching views
  • Large private heated swimming pool
  • Gordes 6km away, in the heart of Luberon

If you’re looking for style and character in a classic Provençal setting, may we suggest Villa d’Olea? The house sits in a private estate just south of Gordes, one of the finest of the many hilltop villages that dominate the stunning Luberon landscape. The ‘rustic-chic’ interiors echo the villa’s humbler origins as a sheepfold, but in its current form with five bedrooms spread over the main house, pool house and guest cottage, Villa d’Olea can accommodate just about anyone’s flock in great comfort.

Stone-built and terracotta-roofed, the villa has a rambling, farmhouse feel which soothes you instantly into holiday mood. Chunky slab floors and original beamed ceilings create an authentic Provençal feel, offset by bright contemporary artwork and statement picture windows to frame the breathtaking views. Yet for all its designer touches, this is a wonderfully relaxing holiday home, crying out for the company of family and friends to enjoy long sunny days and magical starlit evenings with nothing but the rhythmic chirping of crickets to break the spell. The grounds are huge: 20 acres of landscaped gardens filled with lavender beds, cypresses and over a hundred olive trees. You can pull up a chair in the shade of one of these venerable trees, or stretch out by the 15m pool. There’s ample dining and entertaining space by the pool too, with the option of a cook service on request.

The property is located in a wonderful area for exploring the very south of Provence close to the Camargue, near Les Baux and Les Alpilles. Arles and Avignon are also nearby.

The local area

The house is very well located within 10-20 minutes’ drive of the most celebrated Provençal towns, including Gordes, Lacoste, Ménerbes and Roussillon, famous for its magnificent red cliffs. Walkers and cyclists have a great choice of routes, ranging from short hikes to the 236km Luberon bike trail. And if the children ever get tired of that lovely large swimming pool, treat them to a thrilling day at the Accrobranches forest park at nearby Lagnes.

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.


Accommodation

Layout

  • 5 bedroom house (sleeps 10)
  • Changeover day – Saturday

Ground floor (main house)

  • Open-plan living/dining room/kitchen area with oven, hob, coffee maker, kettle, fridge, freezer and dishwasher
  • Twin/double bedroom with corner sink and antique bath
  • Triple bedroom (single beds or single and double) with en-suite shower room
  • WC

First floor suite

  • Double bedroom
  • Bathroom with shower
  • WC
  • Small library with single bed

Pool house

  • Well-equipped summer kitchen
  • Twin/double bedroom leads to pool terrace
  • Shower room with WC

Guest cottage

  • Living room
  • Kitchen
  • Twin/double bedroom
  • Bathroom with WC

General

  • Complimentary wifi
  • Simpson Travel telephone representative
  • Washing machine and dryer
  • Cot (linen supplied on request) and highchair
  • Full service telephone
  • Satellite/cable television, DVD and CD players, iPod docking station
  • Heating included
  • Open fireplace
  • Wood burning stove
  • Air-conditioning (Guest house only)
  • Plancha and barbecue
  • French grand piano
  • Table tennis
  • Boules court
  • Private swimming pool 15m x 6m (depth 1.1m – 2.5m), electric security cover, corner steps, surface-and-underwater music system, pool can be heated to 27°C weather permitting (€210 per week), open May to end September

Wifi

  • All properties with wifi are able to support basic functionality such as web browsing and checking emails*

* We aim to offer an uninterrupted service but sometimes due to factors beyond our control reliability can be affected

Services

  • Bed linen, bath and pool towels are provided
  • Weekly linen change for bookings of one week or more
  • Cleaning 5 hours per week (Tuesday and Thursdays)
  • Additional cleaning €20 per hour (2 hour minimum)
  • Cook service available on request
  • All services payable locally
  • Prices quoted are subject to change

Access times

  • Check-in time – 4.00-7.00pm
  • Check-out time – 10.00am

Getting there 

  • Airports

    Avignon 27km
    Marseille 73km
    Nîmes 90km
    Montpellier 104km
  • TGV stations

    Avignon 36km
    Orange 57km
    Miramas 58km
    Aix-en-Provence 77km
    Nîmes 79km
    Arles 86km

Location

Key Information

  • Restaurant (les Imberts) 6min drive
  • Shops (Coustellet) 10min drive
  • Gordes 12min drive
  • Roussillon 20min drive
  • Marseille airport 1hr drive

Villages

  • 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
  • Goult (7km)
  • Roussillon (12km)
  • L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (16km) – nearest supermarket

Towns

  • Cavaillon (14km)
  • Apt (21km)
  • Avignon (42km)
  • Aix-en-Provence (65km)

Market Days

    • Coustellet – Sundays – farmer's market and some brocantes; it is very popular and gets busy so aim to get there quite early
    • Isle-sur-la-Sorgue – Sundays – famous antique and food market (be prepared for big crowds in the summer)
    • Goult, Cavaillon, Cadenet – Mondays
    • Gordes, Fontaines-de -Vaucluse – Tuesdays
    • Rousillon, St. Rémy – Wednesdays
    • Oppède-le-Vieux, Maussane, Robion – Thursdays
    • Bonnieux, Eygalières, Lourmarin – Fridays
    • Uzes, Oppède, St. Rémy, Apt – Saturdays

Recommended Restaurants

    • 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, Joucas (10km) – situated in a beautiful setting in an elegant hotel on the road to Murs beyond Gordes; the menu is traditional French, quite fancy and expensive but worth the treat
    • La Bastide de Gordes, Gordes (5km) – the 4-star hotel built in what was once the old     Gordes ramparts has a gourmet restaurant (beautiful terrace with panoramic views) 
    • La Bastide de Marie, Route de Bonnieux, Menerbes (7km) 
    • Les Bories, Gordes (5km) – elegant hotel with fine restaurant (on the road to Sénanque)
    • Ferme de la Huppe, Les Pourquiers (7km) on the D156 between Gordes and Goult – reputable restaurant in a charming farmhouse
    • Le Mas Tourteron 5min drive 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 on the D2 (4km)
    • Le Clos de Gustave, Gordes (5km)
    • Le Fournil, Bonnieux (16km) – charming restaurant with terrace, 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 a delicatessan) – only open for lunch
    • Restaurant de l'Horloge, Cucuron – excellent value 

These restaurants have been recommended by our owners and this list is updated as often as possible. Ownership and quality may have changed since the last update.

Places to See

    • The Luberon Valley is known for its beautiful hilltop villages, its natural park and  vineyards, it also hosts some of the great music and theatre festivals of France
    • Gordes is listed as 'one of the most beautiful villages of France', arriving 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 is busier on Tuesday mornings due to the market
    • 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 sell some of their home produce.; there are several footpaths from the abbey into the hills
    • Bories Village is situated outside Gordes off the D2, it gets very busy in the summer months so it is wise to arrive early; the ancient dwellings known as 'bories' are dry stone buildings made from 'lauzes' (limestone slabs) and date back to 2000BC
    • The Moulins de Bouillons Museum (closed Tuesdays) – olive presses dating back to the 16th-century; situated near the house on the road to St Pantaléon; some local olive oil is still made there
    • The Lavender Museum is based in Coustellet on the D2; presentation of distillation processes used to make essential oils (16th-century to present day)
    • Roussillon is considered one of the most impressive villages in France; situated in the heart of one of the biggest ochre deposits in the world; famous for its magnificent red cliffs and ochre quarries
    • Goult is a peaceful village with some half-dozen restaurants and a few shops; has resisted the temptation of village sprawl and souvenir shops; ranks among the Luberon's most delightful villages
    • Oppède-le-Vieux – leave your car in the car park and walk up the terraced gardens to the old village; the old village remains quite unspoilt
    • Ménerbes is built at the top of a hill at the foot of the Luberon, visible due south from the terrace at the house
    • Corkscrew Museum displays historical, technical and artistic aspects of the corkscrew from the 17th-century to present day 
    • Lacoste is another beautiful hilltop village, fun to explore on foot, situated in the grounds of ruins of the Marquis de Sade’s castle (recently bought by Pierre Cardin), open for concerts during the Cardin festival in July
    • Bonnieux is one more beautiful hilltop village with two churches; walk up the stairs opposite the Fournil restaurant to the top of the hill for a dramatic 360 degree view
    • Fontaines-de-Vaucluse is the source of the Sorgue river and runs underground in the closed valley above the town
    • Isle-sur-la-Sorgue's main street is lined with watermill wheels and is the antique centre of the area (Thursday and Sunday)
    • Many other beautiful villages on the south side of the Luberon (Ansouis, Lourmarin, Pertuis, Cucuron) and in the Grand Luberon (Forcalquier, Mane, Montfuron, Viens) or in the nearby Alpilles (St-Rémy, Les Baux, Eygalières)
    • Activities for children nearby – the Haribo factory, a crocodile farm, a bamboo forest, grottoes, a giant maze, and a treetop adventure course

Local Events

    • Fête de la Musique – 21 June
    • Musicales du Luberon, 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

Regional Food and Wine

Food

  • 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)
  • Truffles
  • Fruits confits

Wine

  • The Côtes du Luberon appellation covers 3,500 hectares, situated between Cavaillon and Apt, 36 districts sharing the vineyards, 80% of the wine producing land is grouped into co-operative wineries ('caves co-operatives'), comprises 70% reds, 15-20 % 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

Wine events

  • 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
  • Côtes du Ventoux, Côtes de Provence and Côteaux d’Aix
  • Many good local wines on sale at local markets (in particular at the marché paysan of Coustellet)

Beaches

    • Marseille, sandy, shingle, rocky (90km)
    • Carry-le-Rouet, pebble, rocky (90km)  
    • Sausset, sandy, shingle, rocky (94km) 
    • La Couronne, sandy (98km)

Activities

    • Tennis courts at Cabrières Tennis Club (5km)
    • Bike hire at Coustellet (5.5km) 
    • Horse riding at Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (16km), Lauris (16km)
    • 9 and 18-hole golf courses at Saumane-de-Vaucluse (17km) 
    • Leisure lake for swimming and sailing at Apt (21km)
    • Truffle hunting in Cadenet (30km)
    • Skiing at Mont-Serein (65km)
    • Walks – many nature trails and heritage walks in the area; the most important routes are GR4, 6, 9, 92 and 97; there is a book on walks and various maps in the house
    • Canoe-Kayak on the Sorgue river; there is a trip from Fontaines-de-Vaucluse to Isle-sur-la-Sorgue 
    • Cycling – there is a complete circuit of the Luberon (236km) and designed to take in some of the best sights along the way
    • Accrobranches at Lagnes/Fontaines-de-Vaucluse – obstacle courses for children between the pine trees using cable walkways, rope bridges, beams, swings, and zip lines

Flights

Although this property is booked on an accommodation-only basis, we can arrange your flights for an extra charge of £25 per person, plus the cost of the flights themselves.

Below are the flight options available, including the most convenient airports in France to help you reach your destination as quickly and easily as possible.

Avignon 27km/25min drive

Departure airport Airline Flight days Seasonality
Southampton Flybe Sat/Sun 27 May - 2 Sep (Sat)
28 May - 24 Sep (Sun)
Birmingham Flybe Saturday 27 May - 2 Sep

Nîmes 90km/1hr 10min drive

Departure airport Airline Flight days Seasonality
London Luton Ryanair Saturday All season

 

Marseille 73km/50min drive

Departure airport Airline Flight days Seasonality
London Heathrow British Airways Sat/Sun All season
London Stansted Ryanair Sat/Sun All season
London Gatwick easyJet Sat/Sun All season
London Luton easyJet Sunday All season
Bristol easyJet Saturday 22 Apr - 30 Sep
Manchester easyJet Saturday All season

Montpellier 104km/1hr 35min drive

Departure airport Airline Flight days Seasonality
London Heathrow British Airways Saturday 6 May - 30 Sep
London Gatwick easyJet Sat/Sun All season
London Luton easyJet Saturday 29 Apr - 23 Sep
Leeds Bradford Ryanair Saturday All season

 

Our choice of French properties is diverse, ranging from simple charm to genuine luxury and style. Much of our portfolio is privately owned, and price alone is therefore not a universal guide. We contract all our accommodation in person, and each property has its individual appeal.

To help you make the right choice based on your own priorities, we have devised a simple grading guide to be considered in conjunction with each individual property description, awarding up to a maximum of five stars for the below categories.

Grading Help

Property Grading Key:

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    Excellent

  • 4/5

    Very good

  • 3/5

    Good

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    5/5

    Position, view, serenity, privacy

  • Comfort

    5/5

    Space, style, overall furnishings

  • Facilities*

    5/5

    Property enhancements

  • Amenities*

    4/5

    Proximity to beach, restaurant and shops

* For further clarification on Facilities and Amenities, please view the 'Details' tab for each property or speak to one of our experienced sales consultants.

There’s no better way to while away leisurely holiday hours than by visiting the boutiques, chic cafés and flower markets of elegant Aix-en-Provence or wandering the cobbled streets of the beautiful hilltop village of Gordes. And in Provence the past is ever-present in Tarascon’s Medieval, Romanesque and Gothic influences and the Roman amphitheatre in Arles.

Introduce fragrant fields of lavender, rolling hills and the red salt lagoons of the nearby Camargue National Park and before you lies a holiday destination to rival any other, complemented by our selection of handpicked luxury villas to help you make the most of your luxury holiday in Provence.

Read more on our Provence region page

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