|Maison La Clairette||Self Catering||Saturday||3||7||2|
Very well furnished and equipped 4* French Tourist Board Rated Chalet, located in Haute Provence within the Vercours National Park and set in 2 acres of Land, with stunning mountain views,
Idyllic location, close to village and restaurants. Sleeps 7 (3 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms).
Spring, Summer, Winter or Autumn, there are always things to see and do. Ideal for families, couples, energetic children, and anyone who enjoys the great outdoors!
With over 300 days of sunshine a year, usually long hot days in the summer and skiing only a 5 minute drive away in the winter, you really can have the best of both worlds.
The village is a 2 minute drive or 10/15 minute (flat) walk from the house. There is a general store, butcher, bakery, 2 hotels/restaurants/bars and a local produce store. Generally you can get all you need in the village, however, there are 2 good supermarkets in Veynes (Super U and Dia) which is only a 20 minute drive.
There are several good restaurants in the village, but, Les Pervenches is only a 5 minute walk from the chalet and Nadine and Gilbert serve wonderful home cooked food, in a traditional French setting. If you have a moment, look on Trip Advisor at the reviews.
All the rooms are well heated with electric radiators and of course the wood burning fire in the lounge. The house is fully approved by the French Tourist Board and has a 4 star rating.
Bed linen, towels, electricity, wi-fi and wood for the fire are all included. There is a telephone for emergency use only.
The main living area is on the first floor which can be accessed either externally via steps (see photos) or internally from the 3rd bedroom also via some steps. Given the mezzanine floor and steps, we would suggest that the accommodation is not really baby or toddler friendly. Although having said that, we have had several guests and young children who have managed just fine. Utility room washing machine, tumble dryer, ironing board, vacuum cleaner.
Bed linen and towels are included. The house is very easy to keep clean, however, a cleaning service is available by arrangement.
The conservatory is great in the Spring, Summer and Autumn as the doors all slide open to allow uninterrupted views of the surrounding scenery and provide access to a cooling breeze. It gets a bit chilly in the winter, but doubles up as a really useful storage area for ski's and snowboards etc.
Underneath the lounge is a separate games room with a table tennis table, tennis and badminton rackets, boule, an archery set and a selection of games and toys.
Very well equipped open plan kitchen (see photos) with cooker, hob, grill, microwave, coffee-machine, slow cooker, electric mixer, fridge/freezer and enough plates, glasses, assorted serving bowls etc to open a restaurant..! Generally, everything that you would ever need if you want to take advantage of the local produce and cook.
The dining table on the mezzanine floor seats 8 (although we have squeezed 9 in) In the summer though, the conservatory with its large sliding doors, is the place to eat.
There are 2 bbqs to cater from a feast to a more modest meal for 2...!
The lounge area has leather settees and a fantastic log burning fire for the winter. Wi-fi French/English Freesat tv. Flat screen tv with a very effective surround sound system for both the tv and music. Dvd, cd and MP3 player, telephone. There is a selection of dvd films, an extensive cd music collection and a bookcase full of holiday reads.
Notes on bedrooms:
Bedroom 1, king size double bed.
Bedroom 2, 2 single beds and a captain's bed sleeps 1/2.
The captain's bed in bedroom 2 is a double mattress and will sleep 1 or 2 depending on size/age e.g. we have had 2
smaller 12 year olds or an adult and a child share, but not at the same time! If you need any advice on suitability, just ask. This is a good sized room and there is plenty of space for an additional inflatable bed on the floor if needed (can be supplied).
Bedroom 3, double bed and en suite bathroom.
En suite bathroom to bedroom 3 with wc, large shower cubicle and basin.
Large main bathroom with wc, separate shower cubicle, basin and a proper full size "soaking/relaxing" bath.
All the rooms are well heated with electric radiators and of course the wood burning fire in the lounge.
Wi-fi French/English Freesat tv. Flat screen tv with a very effective surround sound system for both the tv and music. Dvd, cd and MP3 player, telephone. There is a selection of dvd films, an extensive cd music collection and a bookcase full of holiday reads.
The chalet is set in 2 acres of land, mostly grass, so there is plenty of space for outside games, football etc. There are 6 sunloungers and a selection of games, boules, tennis rackets, archery set (child safe) etc.
There are 2 bbqs to cater from a feast to a more modest meal for 2...!
With 2 acres of land, parking isn't a problem.....
The main living area is on the first floor which can be accessed either externally via steps (see photos) or internally from the 3rd bedroom also via some steps. Given the mezzanine floor and steps, we would suggest that the accommodation is not really baby or toddler friendly. Although having said that, we have had several guests with young children and babies who have managed just fine. Stairgates, high chair, travelcot available on request. Wheelchair access is very limited.
The village has a Tourist Information centre.
Sarah and I live in Warwickshire with our rescue Greyhound and two daughters. We originally wanted to buy somewhere in Provence, but soon realised that it was a little out of our price range. By sheer luck we came across the PACA (Provence, Alpes, Cote d'azure) region. Skiing on our doorstep in the winter and usually long hot summers, it's the best of both worlds and we have never regretted our decision. The area is relatively undiscovered, typically French and not over commercialised.
|Year property purchased||2003|
|Why this location?||Stunning mountain views, Winter & Summer activities, located in the Vercours National Park. Walking distance to village shops, restaurants etc. Spring, Summer, Winter or Autumn, there are always things to see and do. Ideal for families, couples, energetic children, and anyone who enjoys the great outdoors! With over 300 days of sunshine a year, usually long hot days in the summer and skiing only a 5 minute drive away in the winter, you really can have the best of both worlds.The village is a 2 minute drive or 10/15 minute (flat) walk from the house. There is a general store, butcher, bakery, 2 hotels/restaurants/bars and a local produce store. Generally you can get all you need in the village, however,
there are 2 good supermarkets in Veynes (Super U and Dia) which is only a 20 minute drive.
There are several good restaurants in the village, but, Les Pervenches is only a 5 minute walk from the chalet and Nadine and Gilbert serve wonderful traditional home cooked food.
|Unique benefits of property||4* French Tourist Board Rating, Very well presented, furnished and equipped 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home set in 2 acres of garden. Over 30 very complimentary reviews from previous guests, some of whom have visited several times.The sheer variety of things to do: Walking – Cycling – Mountain Biking – Swimming – Skiing – Fishing – Tennis – Snow Boarding – Rock Climbing – Sailing – Windsurfing – Water Skiing – Canoeing – Shopping – Table Tennis – Not Doing Much – Accro Buesch – Downhill Scootering – Hot Air Ballooning – Flying – Glindin – Markets – Horse Riding and a whole lot more. Village market (twice a week in the summer) Louise who looks after the chalet for us speaks fluent French and English and lives in the village. She is always on hand and is a wealth of knowledge should you have any questions, or just need some help..! Well behaved dogs are welcome (small charge applies). For those that want to take to the slopes, there are several ski areas within a 5 - 60 minute drive.|
Home cooked food in a welcoming local restaurant, less than 5 minutes walk from the chalet. €17.00 per head for a 4 course meal and good wine at €4 - €5 for a carafe..! It is tucked away a little, so a bit of a secret and the last part of the short walk is uphill, but it's all downhill on the way back. We have been visiting for the past 15 years and the food that Gilbert and Nadine always produce is simply fantastic. If you visit Lus, you should put Les Pervenches on your 'To Do' list. Take a look at the reviews on Trip Advisor.
Le pin d'Epices is located in the centre of the village and run by husband and wife team David and Marie. Always a very warm welcome from Marie (David is usually in the kitchen) who speaks good English, sadly, better than my French...! Absolutely stunning food and an absolute must if you decide to visit. No more than a 20 minute walk from the chalet and all I would say is, take a look at the Trip Advisor reviews.....
There are miles and miles of marked walks which you can access straight from the chalet or further afield by car or bike. With gentle inclines, you can walk through forest trails, along river beds or, slightly steeper, to the top of the Chamousset or the lake on top of the mountain and just about anywhere else that you might want to go. Maps are available from the village tourist office and quite a few have now been translated into English.
Whether mountain biking or road cycling, you will be spoilt for choice. As you might expect in France it is a popular pastime and there are many tracks and routes with comprehensive directions/signs that you can join from outside the chalet. Jerome Payot runs a cycling business in Lus La Croix Haute, where you can rent bikes as well as taking advantage of guided tours to suit all ability levels.
The village open air swimming pool (10 minute walk from the chalet – open from mid June – end August dates vary from year to year) very clean, large and heated to around 25 degrees the last time we were there. It closes for lunch and on Mondays (typically French) so you only pay for a morning or afternoon session. Afternoons are our favourite, as we never seem to be up in time to make the most of the morning times…If you are a little more adventurous, there is a plunge pool 5 minutes walk from the chalet (on the road to La Jarjatte) fed by fresh mountain spring water, very refreshing…!
There is also a large lake in Veynes (Plan D’eau) which we like. You can swim, hire pedallos, generally relax, have a picnic and the swimming area is patrolled by lifeguards in July and August. There is plenty of space and trees to provide shade if you need it. Best of all, it is completely free.
A little further away in Serres, about a 40 minute drive there is a huge reservoir and part of it has been cordoned off to form a large swimming area.
Once again there is plenty of space for picnics etc. although not as much shade, so, best to take a sun shade/parasol. There is a restaurant and from memory the entrance fee was not overly expensive.
Lac du Monteynard is a huge reservoir and is home to any number of watersports including windsurfing, kite surfing and sailing.
You can rent windsurfers and sailing boats and take a boat trip around the lake. Lac du Monteynard is close to Monestier-de-Clermont which is a 45 minute drive from the Chalet back towards Grenoble on the N75. There are walking and cycling trails around the lake together with 2 spectacular pedestrian bridges that span the water allowing unrestricted access.
If you get a chance, take a look at the dam and hydro electric station itself from the viewing platform, it is an impressive piece of construction work..!
Horse riding is available in the village during July and August and at other times by request. Not something we have ever done as horses don’t have any brakes, so, full details from the tourist office.
There is canoeing on the river at Saillans. We have done this several times and it is good fun. You can choose from a two hour gentle meander up to a day trip. The organisers take you from the centre for the two hour (approx) route with the longer trips starting from the centre. The organisers then collect you and bring you back. They provide water tight containers, so you can take a picnic and stop off on the way, have a swim and paddle back to the centre (2 hour trip) as fast or as slow as you like. The water is not deep in the summer and it is well organised. You need to book in advance, but Louise will help with this if needed.
It takes about 80 minutes to drive to Saillans which is just on from Die (very good market and worth going). The route from Lus takes you over the Col de Grimond which has some spectacular views. A little bit further away, but a really good day out.
You can fly fish on the river Buech which you can walk to from the end of the garden (5 minutes).
There is a tennis court in the village which you book at the Marie in the village unless it’s closed, in which case you book via the Tourist Office, (seems the wrong way round to us, but it is very quaint). There are four rackets and tennis balls at the chalet.
Via Ferrata – rock climbing, but for some of the time, fastened to permanently fixed steel cables. There are lots of local (within 5 minutes of the village) rock climbing areas and they can be accessed independently or via the local village guide Yannick who also runs Accro Buech at La Jarjatte. You can rent climbing equipment from Camping La Condamine which is the campsite on the road out of the village (if you were going north to Grenoble) where it meets the N75.
The downhill scooters and bikes use the drag lifts at La Jarjatte (5 minutes from the chalet by car) to pull you uphill, then gravity brings you down. There are also duo scooters available so that young children can be accompanied by an adult. Open during July and August from 13.00 – 18.00 (except Saturdays).
Accro Buech is also at La Jarjatte (5 minute drive) and is described as a ‘playground in the trees’. Basically this is an assault course on wires that are strung between the trees in the forest about 50 ft up…! You are permanently attached via a harness and 2 safety ropes and the best part are the zip wires that get you back down…!
If retail therapy is needed then head to Gap which is about a 50 minute drive. Just drive through Veynes and keep going. Sarah, Lucy and Emma have spent many hours here wondering around the shops (most of which are independently owned). I tend to find that a coffee or two and a good book works for me…There is also a large Decathlon (sports equipment/clothes etc) which I am sure we must have bought shares in by now. Several large supermarkets and all sorts of other shops, garages, builders merchants etc etc. completes the line up. There is also an ice skating rink which is good fun and the weekly market is well worth a visit.
The ski area of La Jarjatte is literally a 5 minute drive from the chalet…it is only small with 6 button (drag) lifts, however, it is absolutely ideal for beginners or intermediate skiers. It is very much a family friendly ski area and is very well run, with a restaurant, ski hire, ski school and a good nursery area. We have quite a few guests who have been several years running as they enjoy it so much. Because it is so close, we will often go back to the chalet for lunch and it also means that if anyone is tired and had enough for the day, it’s not a problem to drop them back at the chalet. The problem with this though is that not everyone makes it out again after lunch….some prefer to throw another log on the fire and just chill out with a book… Sarah my wife is a little prone to this approach…!
There is no need to book ski passes in advance for La Jarjatte. You can buy a day, morning or afternoon session. The really good thing is that if you buy a day pass, and then finish early, you take your pass to the kisok and they will credit you (in time) for any unused time. I have never come across this before anywhere, but it is a really good idea and makes the passes even better value. Lets face it, at about €11 per day for an adult, they are not expensive. If you did want to buy a weekly pass, you will need photos.
If you need to rent any ski’s/boards, the local hire shop (converted farmers barn, but don’t be put off as it may be small, but they are very professional) at La Jarjatte is really good. Book equipment in advance to be sure if high season i.e. French school holidays. If you need any help with this, let us know and Louise will book for you. The same goes for lessons at La Jarjatte.
If for any reason the snow isn’t great, or you want to go to a larger ski area, Superdevoluy/Joue da Loup is a huge and impressive resort and only 45 minutes drive away via Veynes.
Super Devoluy and La Joue du Loup are 2 separate resorts, joined together by the same ski area and lifts. Don’t bother to drive to Super Devoluy, but park at Joue du Loup as there is plenty of free car parking and you can ski both areas. The variety of skiing is impressive, with all the usual snowboard parks etc. Needless to say the ski pass prices reflect this, but, we went again last Christmas and it just gets better and better. They are putting a lot of money into the resort and facilities. Even if the snow is great at La Jarjatte, I would recommend a visit to Devoluy and it will only take 45 minutes to drive there from the chalet.
As if that wasn’t enough, there are also several other ski areas, all within a 75 minute drive. We went to Laye (60 minute drive) for the first time last year and enjoyed it so much we went back again. Ancelle (75 minute drive) is also really worthwhile a visit – You Tube clip below.
Louise who looks after the chalet for us (lives in the village) knows all the ski areas well and will be happy to advise, give directions, confirm snow conditions etc.
We spent three weeks at Maison La Clairette in September with two other couples and cannot recommend it highly enough.
The house is situated on the outskirts of a small village, which is surrounded by mountains. It has all the necessary shops and a few lovely restaurants within walking distance.
The accommodation is very spacious and immaculate, with fantastic views from every window. The kitchen is very well equipped and we ate at the dining table in the conservatory most days. We were lucky to have lovely sunny weather a lot of the time.
We love the outdoors so enjoyed many walks, one in the village, through woods to a waterfall and another up one of the mountains visible from the conservatory.
We drove up to a nearby damn and reservoir (cant remember name). Sailing boats and lovely walks, very picturesque.
Local markets are always worth a visit too in the nearby villages and towns.
We tried two of the village restaurants and would recommend both, but you might need to book.They are both very friendly and offer local wine, which was excellent and cheap!
Pin D'epices is situated in the little village square and the lunch menu du jour was stunning. The other, Les Pervenches, is a 5 minute walk from the house and is very quirky, run by a French couple in a vaulted room. Again the food was amazing and great value with a set menu each day.
We will definitely return and may do so when there is a chance of snow to try out the village ski runs.
A memorable holiday!