Provence villa rentals
How to ensure you make the best choice of Provence villa rental by Jamie Ivey
Congratulations. The hard work is done. You’ve already guaranteed yourself a wonderful holiday by deciding to rent a villa in Provence. There really is no place on earth quite like it. First there’s the wonderful light that has inspired artists for centuries, then there’s the seemingly endless list of picturesque villages and their markets. You may just want to sit by a pool and enjoy the beating music of the cicadas and sweeping views of the countryside but if you want to get out and about as well, Provence offers great cultural experiences particularly cities such as Avignon, Aix and Arles. Oenophiles can pass days or even weeks touring the local vineyards and searching out the best rose wine to watch the sunset with.
Hunting for the right villa should be an enjoyable experience. Take some time, immerse yourself in the different areas of Provence, read some restaurant reviews, look out for some neighbouring vineyards, discover the local villages and their market times. Search for local festivals and think about the rhythm of life in Provence at the time of year that you are going to rent.
Here’s a little guide to the different regions to get you started:
The Luberon – Peter Mayle’s home land, all perched villages and sweeping views.
The most popular and expensive villages include: Gordes, Goult, Roussillon, Bonnieux, Menerbes, Lacoste, and Lourmarin.
To get slightly more for your budget look in and around, Apt, Saignon, St Saturnin Les Apt, Cucuron, Ansouis, La Tour D’Aigues, Grambois.
Lovers of history may want to concentrate on the northern side of the Luberon which is better for access to Avignon and the Palais des Papes. Lovers of cafe society and shopping may want to look to the southern Luberon for their rental villa for ease of access to Aix en Provence.
Les Alpilles – Offers a stunning, almost lunar landscape. Luxurious properties are hidden away in total privacy between the jagged peaks. Favoured by some for their Provencal holiday for ease of access to Saint Remy de Provence.
The most popular and expensive villages for vacation rentals include: Saint Remy de Provence, Eygalieres, Les Baux de Provence and Maussane Les Alpilles
Look for slightly better value in Graveson, Fontvieille, and Mouries.
Mont Saint Victoire, beloved of Cezanne and fellow painters is the backdrop to a holiday rental in this area.
The price hot spot is Le Tholonet and around which not only offers spectacular views on Mont Saint Victoire but also easy access into Aix. For cheaper options close to Aix consider Rognes, St Cannat, and Eguilles.
Ideal for wine lovers. The countryside of the southern Rhone is full of sweeping panoramas of fields of vines.
In and around Chateauneuf du Pape makes an excellent base, but consider also on the other side of the Rhone, the village of Tavel.
This year’s hot pick for a vacation/holiday rental in Provence is the Luberon village of Lourmarin. There’s a weekly market on Friday and a farmers market on Tuesday evening. The village has over 15 cafes and restaurants, plus countless boutiques and art galleries. The views of the Luberon hills are stunning. Neighbouring villages such as Bonnieux and Cucuron are a delight and Aix en Provence is only half an hour away.