|Harbour Retreat||Self Catering||Saturday||1||2||1|
Try a new twist on French rental, a bolt hole for 2 with the personal touch and only 3 minutes walk from a pretty port, largely undiscovered to the holidaymaker! This region has a sunshine record only beaten by the mediterranean. Easy access to and from ferry ports and airports.
With its back to the nature reserve and beautiful views of the white cliffs, 'Harbour Retreat' is 200 yds from the harbour, with its restaurants and bars all with terraces overlooking the marina Only a 15 minute drive to beaches with fine powdery white sand. Fast wi-fi broadband throughout.
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Renting this modern, clean, privately owned, open plan property for 2 people you have the best of both worlds. The quality, ease and convenience of a modern designed interior, with a slight boutique hotel-like feel, but right in the heart of this glorious undiscovered part of the Gironde Estuary. (Perhaps the best kept secret in France). There is a baker, butcher, general food store, and post office. In summer, quaint little cabins line the harbour which sell hot cooked chickens, wine, freshly caught seafood and delicious crepes (pancakes).
The wine regions of Medoc - ( a short crossing from Royan) and grand wines of the many Chateaux around Bordeaux are all within easy reach of the villa. The distilleries around Cognac are an easy drive and provide a fabulous day out. We are surrounded by vineyards that make the local aperitif, `Pineau de Charente'.
The immediate area around the property has many signed hiking and walking routes, there are also 2 bicycles provided, so you can really take advantage of the miles of level tracks that are a feature of this part of the estuary.
You are only a 15 minute drive to the nearest beach, with mile-long fine white sand at St Georges de Didonne, easy parking right by the beach. In summer you can hire a jet ski, sunbathe in style or watch the wind surfers and sailing dinghies, buzzing around the bay. This beach never gets over crowded, even in the height of the season. There are several golf courses in the area, and the village of Talmont sur Gironde with its narrow streets lined with hollyhocks, set on a promontary that overlooks the estuary will captivate you with its old world charm.
For up market shopping, and a bit of sophisticated nightlife, theres the glamorous town of Royan, where you could join the smartly dressed locals as they wander along the floodlit seafront, or sample its first class restaurants, with terraces directly on the beach and A la carte menus to die for! Eat. Sleep. Relax and refresh. Harbour Retreat is equally suitable for people requiring level access and accommodation all on one floor.
Contemporary kitchen, very well equipped. Long picture window. Brand new kitchen. Fridge, microwave, full size cooker and hob. Dolce Gusto coffee-machine. Blender. Washing machine. Tea towels, essentials.
Huge open plan sitting room/dining room. Modern corner suite seating, glass table and chairs. Feature bi-ethanol fireplace. Office space, desk and fast wi-fi broadband. Large flat screen tv with UK channels, dvd. Paperback books. Tourist information. Original artworks.
Double bed, quality bedding. Fitted sliding wardrobes. Overhead fan for those balmy nights.
Brand new en suite. Walk-in Italian power jet shower. Toilet. Hand wash unit with storage. Bath robes, towels, quality shower gel.
Feature ethanol fireplace
(See the extensive programme of events throughout the year at the port of Mortagne sur Gironde, in the owners recommendation section.)
The climate in this area is good with the proximity of the estuary, eating outside is the norm. Jet skis, and a full range of watersports are available nearby. Fishing in the port or fishing trips locally. There are lots of signed walks immediately outside your front door, the area lends itself to cycling, being largely flat land. (2 bicycles provided) The sunsets over the estuary can be magnificent from the look out point over the Gironde River.
Behind the property is a private raised lit patio area. Barbecue, table and chairs. Loungers for sun bathing. Watch the sun go down behind the white cliffs towards the Gironde Estuary with a glass of wine after a day in the sun.
Secure parking to the front of the property, behind electric gates. Own key fob provided.
Suitable for singles, or couples of any age who want a really authentic holiday experience. Honeymoon, anniversarys, celebrations, or just a chill out holiday. Relax and recharge your batteries. Do as little or as much as you like.
Equally suitable for people with reduced mobility, needing level accommodation.
A 'Brunch pack' can be provided, handy when you arrive late in the evening. There is a cabin on the port open for baguettes (bread) in the morning. (3 minute walk)
Bakery, butcher, and general food shop all at the top of the hill.
We aim to please. If you have any special requests we would be more than happy to oblige. ie. For special occasions we can source spectacular gateau (Cake) or help source wine etc, as we speak fluent french.
|Year property purchased||2013|
|Why this location?||The pictures speak for themselves. This part of the Gironde estuary has it all. As mentioned, largely as yet undiscovered by the holidaymaker, so Mortagne sur Gironde can be quiet even in mid summer, a beer on the port with a plate of oysters in the cabin next to the lock is my favourite way of spending a Sunday afternoon, easy access to my mooring for the boat, and a lovely climate, not even in winter does it get that cold. Need I say more!|
|Unique benefits of property||Number one has to be the proximity to this glorious harbour. (A 3 minute walk) The other unique point of this newly converted property is that we are definitely not a Gite. The accommodation is more of modern boutique hotel standard, we havent used the term 'luxury' as this is too loosely banded about, and means nothing. Design, quality fittings, cleanliness, attention to detail and most importantly, customer satisfaction, are our watch words. Happy holidays.|
On most Sundays in the summer, all you have to do is take a stroll to the port, pull up a chair in one of the outdoor bars or restaurants and sit back and watch. There is always something to see, be it a vintage car rally, a book fair, live music, a brocante, an antique fair, a boat being launched, a fisherman unloading his catch, or the lock opening to allow one of the yachts to enter the marina, you have it all on your doorstep.
This area isn`t called 'Le Cote de Beaute' (The Beautiful Coast) for nothing! There are miles of fine white sandy beaches, backed with pine forests and magnificent white cliffs, tiny little sheltered coves, some only accessible after a walk through the woods, so never over crowded, but other beaches comprising great swathes of sand and sea over a mile long with parking right up to the edge of the beach, easily accessible to all.
This beautiful chateaux is at St dizant du Gua, barely 10 minute drive from the villa. Visiting the amazing blue lakes in the grounds is a must, and dont forget to buy a few bottles of the local wine while youre there.
Officially classed as one of the prettiest villages in France. For several months of the year the hollyhocks make this charming place a riot of colour, with its tiny narrow streets and quaint little shops and cafes. The village is pedestrianised, but bicycles are allowed, its ancient church dominating a promontorary on the very edge of the Gironde estuary, a must see at any time of the year.
Unbelieveably beautiful views from this boat trip that takes you from a start point at Royan or Meschers, (15 minute drive). You can visit the lighthouse for a very reasonable price as well if you wish. Brilliant blue seas and huge stretches of white sand.
A beautiful and world renowned town, famous for its brandy. Visit the Remy Martin distillery with its little train that takes you round the grounds and shows you the whole process of making Cognac with a little tipple at the end!
June - Bric a brac market and boat clearance market at the port, food and festivities around the marina.
July - The famous Salon and exhibition of the organic wine growers of the Gironde Estuary. (6th year)
Market and antiques sale (Brocante) at the fishermans quay. Food and drink available.
Annual village fete all weekend finishing with one of the best FIREWORKS displays for miles!
Sardine evening! Popular 3 course meal open to all.
Art exhibition at the Temple centre. (La Barbouille) (Different artists ,exhibit most weekends throughout the summer)
Amazing Musical FIREWORKS display
Dinner and Dance at the Port
Dinner to celebrate the opening of the soap box derby!
Soap box Derby (Home made Carts racing through the streets of Mortagne, such fun for young and old.
August - Concert in the Romanesque church (annual festival) The famous music and lights.
Exhibition in the amazing `Bioshphere` on the quay, to celebrate the world of the Estuary marshland and migrating birds.
The 5th regional book festival at the port
Bric a brac and antique fayre on the port
One of the largest natural reserves on the west coast of France. Migrating birds stop over to nest. The reserve is home to many protected species, including rare orchids and sturgeon.
Belvedere is the name given to the magnificent raised look-out point over the Gironde Estuary in Mortagne sur Gironde, it can be reached from the villa, signposted from the boat yard, approx 20 minute walk through the reserve, you will be rewarded with a view second to none, the estuary is about 6 miles wide at this point and if you wait long enough on high tide you will see the fishing boats coming in to unload their catch.
In our view the best restaurant in France... and we've tried a few. Run by American/English partnership, service is impeccable, food out of this world with a view of the sea to die for. A must try!
Almost directly behind the property is a huge Storks nest, home in the spring and summer to these fabulous almost prehistoric like large White Storks, who make their way from Africa and stop off to breed in the nature reserve, world famous for its huge variety of species. Quite often you can watch the adult birds bringing back food for their young, flying right over the roof of the house. We have also seen a breeding pair of Hoopoe in the garden.
Troglodyte caves hewn from the limestone rocks that line the estuary of the Gironde. Used years ago to hide contraband, or even to live in, now can provide a really interesting place to visit, especially as the sea comes to the bottom of the cliffs.
White sandy beach, over a kilometre long with several watersports companies. One of which is called 100%JetSki and it certainly is, you can fly board, wake board, and they have an initiation course for 25 euros on a Jet ski.
Our favourite way to spend a summer evening. Having a drink in the outside bar at the port, friendly owners Cyril and Virginie and a bite to eat from their ever changing menu. (5 minutes walk).
Just arrived home after a superb two-week break. Harbour Retreat is the perfect place to unwind. A comfortable, well-appointed double-bed property, with garden and wet room.
Mortagne-sur-Gironde is a sleepy (in June) village set on two levels. Harbour Retreat, "as it says on the can" is on the lower level, set around a small but colourful leisure port, (2 minutes walk from Harbour Retreat), with restaurants on one side of the harbour and a variety of food and drink available in the cabannes opposite as well. Local supermarkets in Gemozac, Meschers, Cozes and other local small towns. Royan offers more varied shopping. Numerous places to visit within 30 miles, and, only slightly further afield Bourdeaux, Ile d'Oleron and Ile de Re. Talmont-sur-Gironde is a very pretty village on the banks of the Gironde with lots of artisan shops and restaurants.
Finally, no review of the Harbour Retreat would be complete without mentioning the fantastic hospitality of Paul and Caroline Childs.
We had a fantastic time at Harbour Retreat, 2 weeks flew by. Accommodation was brilliant as was the setting. Our hosts Paul and Caroline made us feel almost part of the family, not only with themselves but also with other residents in the town.Would like to think we're able to return in the not too distant future.
Our hosts were very friendly and helpful . Clean and comfortable accommodation with outdoor seating area .The harbour and village picturesque with restaurants and shops.Ideal place for walking or biking, also many places to visit with only a short drive .
We had a great two weeks in Harbour Retreat. Everything is exactly as described, Paul and Caroline are wonderful and very thoughtful hosts.
The villa is well situated to explore the area, the village is lovely, the brocante is well worth a visit!
The walks along the river and all the little villages are lovely, we especially liked Port Maubert and St Georges de Didonne.
I would certainly recommend the property to anyone.
Thank you, Paul and Caroline