For this summer, The Villa Book recommends a Luberon village base in Provence, and a private organized wine tour – leave the car at home! Tuesday 25 March 2008 PDF Print Over the past couple of seasons the search has been on for authentic houses to rent in Provence villages. For every one of those who dream of holidaying in total isolation in a rural idyll, The Villa Book reports that there are an equal number of people who like to be at the hub of French village life, to be able to wander into the centre in the morning to purchase croissants for breakfast, to stroll down to the weekly market without having to arrive in the early hours in order to find a parking space, to have the occasional meal in a local restaurant without having to drive home. However, these same people are not content with a small village house with no outdoor space. They are looking for family homes with gardens and good-sized swimming pools. Not an easy combination, you might think. However, The Villa Book has recently taken on a number of properties which fill these requirements and more. Three such properties are in the charming medieval village of Cabrières d’Avignon in the north-west corner of the Luberon National Park. At first glance, the village is a sleepy place, a perfectly preserved cluster of honey-coloured houses and stone walls, with narrow winding streets, fountains, old washhouses and a 12th century castle. However, there are enough village amenities to keep most villa dwellers happy for everyday needs – a boulangerie, an excellent butcher, a grocery shop and a very good village restaurant, and a second good restaurant within 10 minutes walk. The immediate area offers walking trails, fields of lavender, vineyards, tennis, golf, horse riding and canoeing. The beautiful hilltop village of Gordes, and Isle sur la Sorgue, famous for its Sunday antique market, are both close by. The Roman cities of Arles, Avignon, Nîmes, St Rémy and Vaison la Romain are also within easy striking distance. There are daily markets, in numerous surrounding villages, and a summer season of music and opera festivals all easily to hand. First of The Villa Book’s new properties available to rent, and right at the centre of the village, next to the church, is the beautifully restored 18th century Priory. This sunny south facing property has a very attractive and spacious garden complete with an old well, stone table and garden statues against the backdrop of the 16th century church. There is a fenced swimming pool and several delightful outdoor dining areas. Large high ceilinged rooms with tasteful antique furniture, original tiled floors and authentic wooden beams give his house a very special atmosphere. With 6 bedrooms, the house accommodates 10 – 12 people comfortably and rents for £3535 a week in high season. Further up the hill, with wonderful countryside views over wooded hillsides and vineyards, The Villa Book is offering an exceptionally charming villa, Haut Village, set back from the small road, behind high stone walls. To the right of the large entrance courtyard is the garden, and a fabulous pool area, accessed up a few steps and surrounded by spacious furnished terraces. To the left is the house, furnished beautifully with comfort in mind, with soft sofas, white linen curtains and neutral fabrics and wall colours. One of the most attractive features of this lovely property is the large summer living room attached to the side of the house, which opens up to the garden and has a dining area and two large sofas, and an impressive open fireplace. This delightful villa sleeps 8 people and rents for £3955 in high season. Finally, back down the hill again and close to the post office, in a quiet location on the edge of the village is Village du Luberon, a stunning south-facing property with large garden, and magnificent views over the countryside to the Luberon mountain range. Within the garden is a swimming pool, a children’s play area with swings, and furnished terraces for relaxing outdoors. The interiors of the house are exquisite and very tastefully decorated and furnished in a modern Provençal style. This property has 7 bedrooms and accommodates up to 10 people and is £5470 in high season. Further west, in the Les Alpilles villages of Maussane and Paradou, The Villa Book has two long standing favourites, which rent out early every season, Maison de Maussane and Maison de Paradou. Both houses are centrally located with very large terraces and pools. Maison de Maussane sleeps 8 and rents for £4970 per week, while Maison de Paradou sleeps 6 and rents for £4340 in high season. With a local representative on the ground, The Villa Book can arrange chefs, babysitters, drivers, airport transfers and many more services. One such extra service, to enhance the enjoyment of the perfect Provence villa holiday, are the individual wine tours which can be arranged by The Villa Book throughout the region, a different area for each day of the week, Monday to Saturday. These require just two people minimum (6 people maximum) and guests will be collected from and taken back to their villa. For example, the Tuesday Luberon wine tour will visit wineries in and around Ménerbes, Lacoste, Bonnieux, Lourmarin, Pertuis and Pujet sur Durance. It lasts all day, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. with lunch at a restaurant in Cucuron. A similarly arranged wine tour in Les Alpilles on a Friday, visits St Rémy de Provence, Eygalières, Les Baux de Provence and Maussane. The tours are priced at 77 euros per person and are taken by an experienced Frenchman with long experience in the hotel, restaurant and wine industries. The Villa Book currently features over 70 beautiful Provence villas on their website, wwwthevillabook.com, every single one personally viewed by one of The Villa Book team. For further information about any of the villas, or the wine tours, please contact: Susie Marquis Email: Susie@thevillabook.com Tel: 0845 500 2000 or 07775 683069 www.thevillabook.com This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of The City Apartment Book Ltd in the following categories: Home & Garden, Food & Drink, Travel, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.