Lovely 3 Bed home swap in Allauch, France
Our apartment takes up 3 levels of a late 18th century traditional Provencal house split into 2 dwellings. It is located in the centre of a charming village, Allauch (www.allauch.com - link below), on a hillside overlooking Marseilles.
The top floor of the apartment comprises the main bedroom, with a a queen size bed, small terrace and view of the bay of Marseilles, plus the 2nd bedroom with a bunk bed, and an office, with computer/broadband Internet/printer. The middle floor has a modern bathroom, separate toilet, and third bedroom with a single bed and pullout trundle bed underneath. On these two floors we have the original "tommette" red terracotta floor tiles. The ground floor comprises an open plan fully equipped kitchen in large dining room opening onto living room with piano and satellite TV/PS3/Wii/DVD. The original oak beams are visible on the ground floor. We also have a small walled garden with pergola, deck, fig tree, wisteria. We have 4 bikes.
Our neighbourhood is quiet and child-friendly, it's a real village atmosphere. Allauch has some good restaurants, for pizza, Middle Eastern cuisine, and traditional Proven?al cooking. We'll give you the addresses of our favourites, both in Allauch and elsewhere! There are also several bakeries, groceries and caf?s. The village is 8 miles from Marseilles city centre so cinemas, theatres, art galleries, etc. are all within easy reach.Two golf courses within 5 miles of the house. Horse-riding. Good walking and mountain-biking country on your doorstep. Beaches are 30 minutes drive from Allauch.
You will find plenty to interest you in the local area. For a start Marseille is well worth exploring, it's the oldest city in France founded in 600 B.C. and has plenty of character. It was the European Capital of Culture in 2013, and is enjoying a boom in popularity as a result. There are plenty of great beaches and its also a top location for scuba diving. There are several underwater wrecks to explore, and the marine environment is in good shape. Jacques Cousteau tested the first scuba system here in the 1950s.
The new MuCEM museum (European and Mediterranean civilisation) is well worth a visit both for the exhibitions and the modern architecture. http://www.mucem.org/en/home-page
Arles (1h15mins) is a beautiful city with many Roman remains, including an amphitheatre and open air theatre. There's also a very interesting museum with sarcophagii, etc. and a recently discovered bust of Caesar.
Arles is in the Camargue area, the delta of the Rh?ne river. The Camargue is famous for its pink flamingoes, and also for its fantastic light which attracts many artists and photographers. Van Gogh lived in Arles, and there is also the Arles Photography Festival from July to September
It's one of the world's largest international photography festivals. There are dozens of exhibitions by up and coming and established photographers. This web page gives you some more info about the Camargue http://www.midi-france.info/07020201_camargue.htm.
Aix-en-Provence (45 mins) is another beautiful historic city, birthplace of the writer Zola and the painter C?zanne who grew up there together. You can visit C?zanne's studio and family home. There is also a music festival in the summer http://www.festival-aix.com/en/operas_en
Cassis (1/2 hour) is a very scenic seaside town. You can get boat trips to the nearby Calanques (Mediterranean fjiords) with their spectactular cliffs attracting climbers from around Europe. The Calanques are at the heart of the recently created National Nature Park.
The Verdon Gorge (1h45) is well worth a visit. It's the largest canyon in Europe (though somewhat smaller than the Grand Canyon!) and the surrounding area is true Provence; plenty of lavender fields and picturesque villages. Personally it's my favourite bit of Provence.
We are big music-lovers and every year we go at least once to the international piano festival at La Roque d'Anth?ron (1 hour) . http://www.festival-piano.com/index.php?id=170. The festival takes place in several locations around the village, but our favourite is in the Ch?teau grounds, in a park with a hundred or so Sequoia trees. The atmosphere in the evening is magical, and the performers are top notch international artists, classical, jazz, contemporary music too.
A major theatre festival is held every year in Avignon (1 ? hours). http://www.festival-avignon.com/en/ Yet another beautiful historic town, with its famous bridge, Pope's Palace (it was the Pope"s place of residence for a hundred years or so) http://www.avignon-et-provence.com/avignon-tourism/avignon-history/avignon-papacy.htm#.Usk9Sn-9KSM
Further afield of course there is the Riviera. Monaco is 2 ? hours, Nice 2 hours, Cannes 1h45.
Type of home swap
- Home Exchange
- Non Simultaneous Exchange
- Weekend Exchange
Conditions of home exchange
- Pet Care Offered
- Children welcome