Mas de Saribou

Vesseaux, Ardeche, France Book from Book from £180 per night

Total tranquility at a contemporary eco-villa in the heart of the Ardèche (sleeps up to 8; self catering)
Nestled in a crease between the mountains of the southern Ardeche lies this 4-bedroomed modern eco-villa — the perfect hideaway for those looking to reconnect with nature. Each morning you awake to the sound of a freshwater spring trickling past your window, and to a glorious view of soaring mountain peaks, which glisten green, yellow or white depending on the season. It's a good way to start the day.

Though totally private, Mas de Saribou is tucked away in the rambling gardens of a 400-year-old farmhouse, where owners Annick and Michel live. Details of the villa's decor are a nod to the farm's history: handmade wooden bedheads were once the roofbeams of the old barn, and a pair of sinks are crafted from ancient chestnut wood. Annick and Michel still harvest chestnut groves, as well as figs and an orchard of apple trees; there's also an organic vegetable and herb garden, which you can plunder for your dinners. Spend your mornings chilling by the freshwater pool then tear yourselves away for adventures galore in the Ardèche; Annick is full of tips. Return home to the setting sun and the stunning open fireplace, best enjoyed with a glass of local wine.

Highs

  • You couldn't be better placed to explore the beautiful Ardèche region: hike, bike, kayak, canyon and wild swim
  • Ideal for a family or active-friends holiday. There are 4 double bedrooms (2 can be twinned) and 2 kitchens for self catering
  • Decor is French-antique meets modern-chic. We loved the details, from the central fireplace to the paintings collected by Annick’s family
  • The garden is magical: spend afternoons lazing in the hammock or trailing your feet in the mountain spring as you read
  • Fantastic value

Lows

  • A late check in (5pm), and rates don't include a compulsory final cleaning charge, which must be left in cash
  • You need a car to make the most of the region, and to reach restaurants/supermarkets
  • WiFi can be a little hit and miss, but you’re here to switch off
  • The 4 bedrooms share 2 bathrooms

Best time to go

The Ardèche is beautiful throughout the year, but summer sees hordes of holidaying families descend on the region. Our favourite time is early autumn as the garden is in bloom and full of fresh treats to cook with, plus the weather's still lovely. You can swim in the gorges and hike with little interruption, too. It’s also chestnut season, which the region is famous for: the annual chestnut festival is in October.

Our top tips

If you stay 7+ nights, Annick and Michel will treat you to a guided hike or local village tour. Both trips are wonderful as the owners are so passionate and knowledgeable about the region. The hike can be tailored to your ability and interests; we vanished between 2 bushes on a roadside, which led to a very pretty 2-hour walk through one of the Ardèche’s gorges, before ascending the side just in time for sunset.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Eco
Family
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Villa
  • 4 bedrooms
  • Self catering; restaurants a drive away
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

We loved the villa's contemporary architectural design, with clean lines and bright open spaces. There are 4 double bedrooms on the first floor, 2 of which can be twinned. Each thoughtfully weaves together Danish design pieces and traditional French charm, with splashes of colour, reclaimed wood and natural linens. All have big picture windows, and open onto a wraparound balcony that overlooks the garden, river and mountains. Two shared bathrooms feature gushing rainfall showers and L'Occitane toiletries.

On the ground floor, the expansive living-come-dining-come-library room makes you want to move in permanently. The bookcases creak with books, the kitchen is state-of-the-art and the dining room begs to be used for a dinner party. But the pièce de résistance is the stunning free-standing fireplace. No trip here is complete without an evening aperitif in front of a roaring fire, whatever the season.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • DVD player
  • Fireplace
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob or stove
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pool towels
  • Satellite TV
  • Swimming pool
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • Toiletries
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

In a region bursting with exceptional fresh produce, self catering is a joy. The indoor kitchen is fully equipped with everything you could possibly need (even 2 huge teapots), along with basic ingredients (salt, pepper, oil), coffee and a huge selection of teas. The open-plan dining room, which opens into the garden, boasts the biggest table we’ve ever seen.

You get an outdoor kitchen, too, which is smaller but very well equipped and ideal for prepping barbecues. An outdoor table with neon-bright chairs means you can have lazy summer evenings on the terrace.

As you'd expect, there are numerous regional markets (ask Annick for recommendations) and great restaurants 10-15 mins' drive away. There's a bakery and grocery store in the village, 5 mins' walk.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Toaster
  • Basic grocery provisions
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Chill in the garden: swing in the hammock, stroll among the roses, splash in the stream, and swim in the freshwater pool
  • Hike and bike through the Ardèche’s spectacular scenery: weave along gorges or scale mountains. Annick and Michel have plenty of trails to recommend, and can arrange bike hire
  • Spend a day kayaking along the Ardèche gorges, preferably under the Pont d’Arc, a striking natural stone bridge carved by the river. Or go canyoning and rock climbing
  • The region is home to beautiful, character-filled villages, nestled at the foot of steep limestone cliffs. Cobbled Labeaume is particularly charming
  • Day trip to the source of the Loire River, located at the top of Mont Gerbier de Jonc. The view from the top is stunning. On your way down, go wild swimming in the turquoise Lac d’Issarles
  • The region was at the heart of the religious wars, which means there are dozens of fortified hilltop towns. Be sure to visit Aubenas for its castle
  • Start the day Zen - Annick can arrange yoga in the garden. Or play tennis on the courts next door

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Canyoning
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Wine tasting
  • Yoga

Kids

This is a paradise for kids, who can run free in the extensive gardens. The area is ripe with outdoor activities, including kayaking, canyoning and wild swimming.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

There are 4 double bedrooms (2 of which can be twinned), and space for 2 baby cots or 1 baby cot and 1 mattress on the floor for a child (no extra charge).

Babysitting:

On request

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots and bedding
  • High chairs
  • Potty
  • Nightlight
  • Baby bath

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities on site:

  • Play area
  • Freshwater pool
  • Kids books and toys
  • Sheep and hens on property

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Farm animals
  • Playgrounds
  • Canoeing, caving & canyoning for over 8s
  • La Caverne du Pont d’Arc has prehistoric paintings dating to BC37,000
  • Ardelaine: the wool & sheep museum

Families Should Know:

The pool is alarmed and can be fenced on request but there's an open stream and pond so you'll need to keep an eye on tots.

Distances:

  • Airport: 2.5 hours' drive (Nimes)
  • Shops: 5 mins' walk
  • Hospital: 7km
Kid Friendly:

Location

Mas de Saribou is located in the village of Vesseaux in the southern Ardèche region of France.

By Air:
The closest airports are Nimes (161km), Lyon (178km), Montpellier (192km) and Marseilles (207km). Although Annick can arrange airport transfers, you’ll need a car to get around and make the most of the area; see our car rental recommendations.

By Train:
There’s a TGV station at Aix (191km / 2hrs), and you can hire a car from here too.

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Nimes 161.0 km
  • Lyon 178.0 km

Other:

  • Beach 175.0 km
  • Shops 1.0 km
  • Restaurant 1.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

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