Following the recent addition of the villa MON2001 Grand villa avec piscine intérieure et exterieure which is near Montélimar to the Villas Worldwide / Villas du Monde range in Provence the number of extra big properties in the whole portfolio rose to 170.
The majority are in France (though Spain, Portugal and Italy have some too) as it is a country with a unique heritage which includes many chateaus which due to the cost of maintaining them have often been converted for holiday use. There are also many big country properties which have been transformed for the same reason, such as converted water mills, wine domains and in the case of the MON2001 property its original role was the production of silk.
I know France very well and was aware of Montélimar for its nougat which is absolutely delicious. Apparently, the nougat industry boomed almost directly as a result of tourism combined with the ingenious use of local natural assets in particular almonds, pistachio and honey, plus eggs. Parisians heading in large numbers to the southern beaches of the Mediterranean would frequently pause for a rest in the Drome and the locals took advantage of a captured market to sell them their special version of light, sweet, tasty nougat, it became the nougat capital of France Even earlier "tourists" Louis, Duke of Bourgogne and Charles, Duke of Berry were given some when making their way back from Spain on horseback and it's reputation apparently grew from there.
As I learned recently the south of France also once had a silk industry which eventually collapsed due to foreign competition. The two holiday properties I visited to inspect for Villas Worldwide recently in Provence were both once active producers, the aforementioned MON2001in the Drone and the ALE1601 Cévenoles by the foothills of the Cévennes mountains in the Gard close to Saint Hippolyte du Fort where visitors can learn more at the Musée de la soie.
They used to process the silk produced by silkworms which nested in trees around the properties. The large rooms adapt very nicely for holiday accommodation and I have to say the MON2001 is one of the finest holiday homes I have ever come across and the number I have visited over the years is up in the thousands.
The villa MON2001 Grand villa avec piscine intérieure et exterieure sleeps up to 20 in luxurious comfort, there are 9 bedrooms and 10 bath/shower rooms. Prices range from 9410 € to 12600 € per week. It has an ingenious indoor/outdoor pool which can be closed or left open which is heated constantly to 29° as well as a hot tub. Set in large grounds with an ornamental pond and a shallow stream (with trout - I saw one being caught whilst I was there) the house has numerous extras including a sauna and wellness room along with a unique "salt wall room" which has halotherapy properties (a half hour session is said to offer the same benefits as a weekend by the sea).
There is also a huge room which can be adapted for conference use with big screen projector, there are even 20 yoga mats. Extras such as cook, driver, cleaner even a hairdresser can be arranged.
Travel to Montélimar
There is a TGV fast train service from Paris to Montélimar which takes just under 3 hours.
There are direct flights to nearby Marseille, Montpellier and Nimes airports (flights with Ryanair, Easyjet).
Or you can drive and it is motorway nearly all the way on the "Autoroute du Soleil" (A6/A7).
See the Villas Worldwide / Villas du Monde full range of large villas on the website, high season prices start at 2170 € per week for a 5 bedroom villa which sleeps 13. Early booking for 2018 is advisable, please ask for availability and prices.