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- This organic farmhouse stay in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France makes for a very relaxing, alternative getaway near Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, a popular tourist town famous for its magnificent gorges and Pont d’Arc. THE ACCOMMODATION: They have a range of B&B rooms and suites to sleep up to three people per room in their traditional French farmhouse. The rooms, and the farmhouse generally are beautifully renovated, with exposed stone walls, arched roofs and well chosen furniture giving a romantically rustic feel to the property. You’ll find the rooms spacious and comfortable, especially the suite which has its own lounge area, and they all come with private bathroom and shower. There’s a nice lounge at the farmhouse too with plenty of comfortable seating and a LCD TV and DVD player. Outside there is plenty of space in the gardens which has an outdoor swimming pool with seats and sun loungers. You’ll be treated to a very fine, fully organic, breakfast every morning in the sociable dining room, and if they want, guests are welcome to use the shared kitchen to cook for themselves throughout the rest of the day. THE FARM: The farm’s main business is in the production of almonds but they also have some other fruit and vegetable groves as well as some sheep. Bruno, the owner, is passionate about organic farming and is always happy to take guests on informal farm tours. THE LOCATION: The farm stay is just outside Vallon-Pont-D’Arc which is a well known destination for the beautiful caves and gorges of Ardèche (Gorges de l’Ardèche), especially the Pont-D’Arc, an iconic 30 meter tall archway. One good way to absorb the grandeur of the gorges is to go on a canoe trip from Vallon Pont d’Arc, which can easily be arranged from the farmstay. The area around Gorges de l’Ardèche is also a national park and is full of wild scenery, forests, rivers and much wildlife. And slightly farther afield, about half an hour by car, you’ll find two other vast parks Monts d’Ardèche and Parc national des Cévennes, offering equally spectacular scenery and a great array of animal and plant life. Very nearby too is the famous Chauvet Cave, inside of which are Palaeolithic cave READ MORE
- Very near Vichy in the rich green farming countryside of Auvergne, France, this peaceful farmhouse has spacious, nicely decorated double rooms with private bathroom, WiFi and continental breakfast each morning. The friendly hosts are good cooks and you can arrange for them to cook you evening meals too, using the best local produce including many vegetables grown in their own gardens. Le Manoir de Presle gets great reviews for many things but especially for the hospitality of the hosts, and the peaceful, relaxing nature of the property. It’s a great place to rewind, and to recharge, and the surrounding area is fantastic for cycling and hiking, with the lovely Boire des Carres Nature Reserve just over 20km away. WHAT OTHER GUESTS SAY: “Absolutely fantastic! Great hosts, location and accommodation. We felt at home immediately and our two day stay felt as though we’d been there longer….” “The views are amazing and the area is extremely quiet so that it is possible to relax….” >> CLICK HERE TO READ MORE REVIEWS & TO BOOK YOUR STAY AT LE MANOIR DE PRESLE: READ MORE
- Near to St. Etienne and among the high plains of Haute-Loire, Auvergne France, this unusual farmstay has very cute self-catering accommodation for up to four people in wooden caravans, surrounded by vegetable gardens and a small working farm. THE ACCOMMODATION: The caravans are more comfortable than you might imagine and they come with a kitchen, a dining area and each has their own private bathroom and shower. You can also order meals from the farmhouse; The owners are excellent cooks and and have a range of local specialities that you can try, and if you want to cook some yourself they can even offer free cooking lessons! THE FARM: The small farm has a number of dairy cows and ducks and grows potatoes and a number of other vegetables. There is also a playground on the farm and games for kids to play. And they will also entertain themselves by meeting some of the animals. THE LOCATION: Chomelix is in the Haute-Loire, Auvergne department (now amalgamated to form Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes), high on the Massif Central, traditionally thought of as France’s most isolated and poor region. Much of the area is around 1,000 meters above sea level and it can get snowbound frequently in winter. Still though it can be a truly gorgeous place for nature lovers; with wild and mysterious stretches full of dark forests and rocky hills. Chomelix itself is a slight step away from much of the barrenness of the Massif Central, and is a nice, unassuming little village, surrounded by farmland and forested hills, and has a gentle, relaxed pace of life. It sits at the edge of the Livradois-Forez National Park though and so you’ll find plenty of hiking in wild scenery, and it’s also not far from the spectacular Volcans d’Auvergne Park. The village itself wouldn’t be much visited by tourists but others in the area are: The main regional town Le Puy-en-Velay is a spectacular sight with its theatrical conical hills, and about 30 km away from the farmstay. Allegre, nearer still at about 10 km away is a pretty town with much history and has a nice position on the slopes of the Baury Volcano. READ MORE