These two famous French novels by Marcel Pagnol have elegantly encapsulated French rural life in the same hilltop medieval villages, which are scattered delicately through the arboreal greenery that drapes the sunbathed slopes. With its dry Mediterranean climate and 300 sunny days a year, Provence will gladly greet you with warm weather and the scents of summer lavender infused in the air. Renowned for its wine, you will not find yourself short of nearby vineyards proudly proffering drop in degustation. Take a scenic drive through the hills and stop for lunch in one of the villages nearby before passing a local vineyard on your way home. Indeed, if you don’t feel like driving, lounge by the swimming pool in the day then stroll down to Claviers for dinner at L’Oliviers, a traditional French restaurant, or enjoy a pizza in the square. Claviers also has a post office, playground, boulangerie, grocery store, bar and tourist office as well as a beautiful 1000 year old church!
Villa Charmante itself has a striking, modern layout. When you open the front door, you will stunned by the spacious, open plan interior of the villa. The entire living area unravels elegantly before your eyes and is spread over two floors. The whole villa is tiled, providing a cool, airy interior that perfectly contrasts the long summer days to be experienced outdoors. With amazing acoustics, you can relax in the evenings with music and a chilled glass of wine. The kitchen is situated on the same level as the dining area, pool and barbeque area, so you can easily walk outside and prepare dinner while keeping the rest of the family company by the pool. The dining area and spacious lounge are split level with a half flight of stairs leading from the dining area up to the lounge. The large living area has two sections, as there is a comfortable snug to the side. The snug can be curtained off to form a third bedroom with a double sofa bed that pulls out. There is also a fireplace in the snug and supply of wood for a chilly evening in early spring or late autumn.
The master bedroom with ensuite bathroom is accessed from the lounge area and has French doors which lead to a terrace and an outside seating area, which looks out onto Claviers village and the surrounding hills. The triple bedroom enjoys equally beautiful views, from the same aspect, yet from the floor above. This bedroom has an adjacent bathroom too, with a shower cubicle, basin and toilet. There is also a cloakroom toilet with basin next to the lounge. All windows have wooden shutters, which can be kept closed at night or during the day, if you venture out and about, so that the villa stays cool for when you come home.
Claviers village is a scenic 45 minute drive from the closest beach on the Cote d’Azur so there is easy access to the famous French Riviera with its celebrated beaches and towns, including Cannes, St Tropez, Frejus, St Maxime, Nice and Monaco (to name just a few!), you can enjoy bathing in the warm waters of the Mediterranean and even head to a different beach each day should you choose to do so. While you are there, browse the fine array of boutique shops that congregate along the cobbled streets of these iconic coastal towns and soak up their history, which can date back to Roman times!
Not only near such fabulous sandy beaches, we are also surrounded by infinite other geographical and architectural wonders. Have a look in our Provence Gallery (LINK) to see photos of some of the spectacular sights to be seen around here. For example, take a trip to Lac du Croix and swim or kayak all the way up the Gorges du Verdon to where the water is an enchanting emerald green. The Gorges du Verdon have been labelled ‘France’s Grand Canyon’, so don’t miss out on this mind-blowing masterpiece carved out by Mother Nature.
Indeed, you will be equally impressed by the architecture of the area, which dates back to Roman and medieval times. Please see our ‘Things to See and Do’ page or take a look at the Villa House Book when you arrive for endless information on these and many other interesting attractions. In the meantime, to whet your appetite, here is a brief overview of one of our favourite sites, the Pont du Gard Roman Aqueduct. This formidable feature of the Roman world is the highest of all Roman aqueducts, reaching 48.8m high. It spans 275m across the width of the Gordon River and was part of the 50km system built to carry water from a spring at Uzes to the former colony of Nemausus, now the town of Nimes. Such a magnificent architectural feat would be hard for our modern world to surmount - over its entire length, the aqueduct descends by only 17m, with a gradient of 1 in 3000, the epitome of Roman precision! Each day, it would have been used to carry an estimated 200,000m³ of water to the citizens of Nimes. It is a World Heritage Site and definitely worth a visit, make sure you allow time to digest the facts!
|Address: Les Clots, 83830 Claviers, France|
|Zip/Postal Code: 83830|
|Latitude/Longitude: 43.6035619 / 6.568557999999939|
Many of the budget airlines now fly to Provence. Nice is a major international airport but very simple to get in and out of. It is a pleasant 1 hour drive from the villa. Marseilles Airport is 1½ hours. From Calais or Caen allow a 10 hour drive.
Historic Claviers has a bakery, grocers, post office, restaurants, bar, boules court and market day. Sister villages of Callas and Bargemon (recently voted one of the prettiest villages in France) have more shops, restaurants, cafes, bank, market days etc
The larger towns of Le Muy and Draguignan both 20 minutes away have supermarkets, traditional market days and all other facilities.
The area is popular for rambling with many paths through pine forests and olive groves. Our favourite is the 1 ½ mile walk from the villa to the Chapel of St Anne high on the hill above for magnificent views of Claviers, Callas, Bargemon and the surrounding countryside.
There are excellent local vineyards for wine tasting and essential supplies! Our favourite Chateau d'Esclans produces some of the best rose you can buy and is one of quite a number of vineyards just 20 minutes away en-route to Le Muy where you can spend a pleasant afternoon wine tasting. Another of these vineyards, Domaine de la Maurette boasts a superb restaurant serving delicious freshly prepared provençal food where you can choose to dine inside or out.
France's Grand Canyon, the Gorges du Verdon is ½ hour's drive. It's nearly half a mile deep and plenty of view points make for a fabulous afternoon out.
Lac St Cassien for all watersports is only 25 minutes drive away. The larger Lac St Croix (also good for watersports) is 45 minutes away at the mouth of the Gorges du Verdon.