What makes Villa des Cigales a great holiday rental
Good quality villas with pools are notoriously hard to come by in Cap Ferret, and Villa des Cigales is a very welcome addition to our portfolio. The garden and terraces provide lots of outside space, there's a good-sized pool and a fresh, modern, summery interior. The market is a short walk away, local beach, restaurants and oyster-farming villages a bit further, Atlantic beaches a short bike ride. If all this sounds lovely, it's because it really is!
It is ideally suited to 1 extended family or two families with children wanting somewhere that is convenient for exploring this lovely corner of France, but also comfortable & spacious enough to spend time in on days you don’t want to move far.
Anything to watch out for?
Why Cap Ferret?
We’ve not met anyone yet who has been to Cap Ferret and not come home a complete convert, but it’s worth noting that it is an area of natural, unspoilt beauty – in spite of its reputation as a upmarket destination it is not conventionally luxurious in the same way as Cap Ferrat (on the Med, often confused with Cap Ferret), but has a laid-back ‘beach-chic’ style of its own. It also means that apart from beaches, surfing, sailing, exploring by bike and eating out, there isn’t much to do. But what else do you need?!
Stylishly-furnished, summery villa with garden, terrace & pool in sought-after Cap Ferret
Maison des Cigales is a classic 'maison landaise' typical of Cap Ferret, a single storey villa with a broad sloping roof with timber features, characterful brown shutters and large hardwood entrance door.
The house stands in a good-sized plot (700m2) set back from the road. Mature trees at the front provide plenty of shade on hot days. There is off-road parking for two cars.
The house is about 35 years old with many original features: tiled floors throughout, living-room fireplace, built-in external fireplace/barbecue. There are tall French doors opening to the rear garden, deck & pool area. The current owners have recently brought the furnishings and décor up-to-date whilst retaining its French character to create a lovely, relaxing holiday home in keeping with Cap Ferret's stylish, relaxed environment.
They stay themselves as much as possible so it is equipped very much as a home, including a selection of indoor and outdoor toys.
The entrance leads into an L-shaped hallway serving the kitchen, living/dining room, bedrooms & bathrooms.
The separate kitchen isn't large but is well-equipped, including oven, hob, microwave, refrigerator, washing machine, dishwasher, kettle & coffee-maker. There are tall windows opening over the front garden, plus a breakfast table seating 4.
The living/dining room is a good-sized, sunny room with two sets of French doors. Two sofas provide a comfortable reading/drinks area around the fireplace (seating 4-6). This area sits behind a large modern dining table which seats 8 comfortably.
There are four bedrooms of approximately equal size (20m2 approx.), all pleasantly furnished.
Three are double bedrooms (160 x 200 cm beds), each equipped with wardrobe, drawers and shelves. All of these rooms overlook the rear garden & pool.
The fourth bedroom is a twin (2 x 90 cm beds) with shelved wardrobe and overlooks the front garden.
The family bathroom includes bath, shower, basin & toilet. A second shower room is located at the end of the corridor; there is also a separate second WC.
The good-sized & varied outside space at Villa des Cigales is a very appealing feature of this property. It is a typical Cap Ferret garden, with a very 'natural' feel and includes several pine trees.
French doors on two sides of the living room open onto the attractive rear terrace which runs around the rear of the house. The terrace is covered on one side to provide a lovely salon d'été (summer sitting room) around a large barbecue/external fireplace - perfect for cooking & relaxing at night once the heat has gone out of the sun.
The other part of the terrace overlooks the rear garden & pool, and makes a great spot to read or sunbathe. Steps run down to the pool & deck area, which includes an outdoor shower cubicle. The pool can be shut off from the rest of the garden by a gate at the top of the steps from the terrace, and 1m20 fences with gates at the side of the house and in the garden. The salt water pool measures 9m x 4m, with a maximum depth of 1.5m. It is unheated, protected by a cover and is open from late-May until October.
The rest of the garden is mature, with enough space and tall enough shrubs for a game of hide-and-seek! There is also a trampoline in the back garden. A 1m80 fence surrounds the plot, but because the grounds slope down in the far corner behind the pool a neighbouring property partially overlooks the garden (but bamboo provides some screening). However it is from part of the neighbour's plot that is rarely used, and the owners are seldom there.
In all, Villa des Cigales is a lovely, family holiday home in a calm, convenient location.
3 double bedrooms and 1 twin room
1 bathroom with WC, bath & shower attachment, 1 shower room
Heated 9m x 4m, salt water pool, up to 1.5m deep, protected by a cover. There is also a fence and gate. Unheated. Open late-May to October.
The house is also equipped with a trampoline (with surrounding net.) On arrival you will be asked to sign a declaration of responsibility for using the swimming pool and trampoline.
No smoking. Pets considered.
Villa des Cigales is located in Piraillan, one of several small Cap Ferret towns and located about half-way down this lovely sandy peninsula. (Piraillan's oyster-farming quarter is one of France's heritage villages.) The villa is on a pine-tree lined avenue, a short walk from Piraillan market (July and August only) and about 150m from the main road connecting Cap Ferret's villages.
Nearest village / town: Piraillan
Nearest beach: Piraillan (600m)
Boulangerie: Market (100m) or Le Canon (800m)
Restaurant: La Pleine Mer, 300m
Market: Piraillan (July & August only) 100m!
Visit local market and oyster-farming villages. Explore Cap Ferret's wonderful forest cycle trails (pick up 500m from the house). Hang out in chic Cap Ferret village. Boat trips around the Bassin and to Dune de Pilat. Le Petit Train trip across the peninsula is a delight. Take ferry to the 'mainland': Arcachon and le Moulleau. Visit Médoc wine region (Margaux, Lafite, etc), revitalised Bordeaux, historic St Emilion.
Activities: surfing a must (schools at le Truc Vert and l'Horizon beaches), cycling, watersports, fishing too.
• Climb the Dune de Pilat (esp. by water taxi)
• Ride a tram through central Bordeaux
• Tour the Médoc vineyards and wine-tasting
• Walk around St Emilion (UNESCO world heritage site)
Cap Ferret is a beautiful sandy strip bordered by beautiful Atlantic beaches & dunes on one side, the gentle Bay shore on the other, and the scent of pine forest in between. It has a stylish, laid-back ambience and an unspoilt, natural environment which give it an 'island' feel - what could be better for a holiday.
Piraillan is one of the small towns along the Cap Ferret peninsula, and is renowned for oyster-farming quarter: alleys of characterful, brightly-painted huts which line the Arcachon basin's shore. Careful raising of these exquisite delicacies has continued for over 150 years. Can oysters ever have tested better than here, at the edge of the waters where they grew? A stroll, stopping for a degustation, is a must!
Just 100m from the villa is Piraillan's extensive covered food market (open July & August) - with a bit of planning you need never shop in a supermarket while you're here.
To the south Piraillan merges into Le Canon which offers local shops, tabac, its own oyster-farming quarter, local Bay-side beach and two good local restaurants. 'Le Truc Vert' is the nearest Atlantic Beach, about 3 kms away and easily cyclable along the quiet avenues which then join up with one of the peninsula's fantastic forest cycle-ways on the west.
6 kms to the south, Cap Ferret village is the chic-est spot on the the Presqu'Ile. Smart boutiques, cafes and restaurants in a low-rise, laid-back setting - the ambience is casual, relaxed but appreciative of good living. A couple of 'bonnes adresses': it's worth stopping for a drink the stylish Tchanqué bar of the Hôtel Maison du Bassin (so named after the famous houses on stilts close to the Ile aux Oiseaux) - the address for an 'apéro'; and Fredelian, a salon de thé renowned for its patisseries, especially the local favourite (and ours), canelés.
From the village you can take a ferry over to Arcachon or Le Moulleau, but you'll probably miss your 'desert island' home quite quickly! Or try a boat tour spotting the oyster beds and bird life of the bassin d'Arcachon.
There's also a charming 'petit train' that runs from the jetty on the bassin side over to the fantastic Atlantic beach "l'Horizon" on the other side of the pensinsula; the trip takes 10-15 minutes and, especially if you have children, is a delight!
Heading on down to the Pointe is a must, stopping to climb to the top of the famous Cap Ferret lighthouse on the way - the views across the bassin to the sandy wild-life reserve of the Banc d'Arguin and over to the Dune de Pyla (Europe's highest sand dune) are breathtaking.
The famous '44 Hectares' of the Cap Ferret peninsula are situated south of the lighthouse. This is an area of villas built in the earlier part of the century set amongst the pine trees all served by unmade roads, owned by several French stars, Bordeaux vineyard owners and generations of Cap Ferret inhabitants of more modest means. It's probably the most natural, exclusive yet unpretentious housing estate in France and is worth exploring by bicycle. It is also home to the island's most famous restaurant, Chez Hortense - laid back (what else could it be here?) and popular with France's VIPs.
If you feel the urge to leave the Cap - and many don't while they are here - the famous appelations of Pauillac and Margaux north in the médoc rouge are not far away. There are many vineyards where you can visit and taste some of the famous wines. Two very approachable châteaux are the under-rated (and relatively inexpensive) Château Maucaillou, a medium-sized, family-run estate in Moulis-en-Médoc; there is an interesting museum exhibiting some of the history of wine-making. Or for a very special visit, Château Giscours in the Margaux region organises tastings of various vintages of its grand crus classés.
Around the other side of the basin is Arcachon, a popular French resort; a part of the town known as the Ville d'Hiver (winter town) is well worth strolling to see the quirky architecture of its many 19th century villas.
South of Arcachon is the famous Dune du Pyla, the largest sand dune in Europe, standing at over 100 metres. A journey to the summit (try it without the staircase provided!) is a must; sunrise and sunset are the best times.
If you're feeling beached out, Bordeaux is about an hour away and is a good option for a day-trip, whether it’s boutique shopping, sight-seeing or culture. Medieval gems of the Gironde east of Bordeaux are also wonderful days out; St Emilion, with its 11th century basilica, is the best known but can be busy - get there early!View More Cap Ferret Rentals
Service: Answered questions quickly and efficiently. Very helpful
Product: Good location, quiet and walking distance to food shops and restaurants. Not too far from great beaches. Great pool although a little overgrown around garden. Furniture good, plenty of space but decor and kitchen very outdated for the money.
Product Comment: Thanks very much for your feedback. We're at the end of another very long season at Villa des Cigales and I can understand that the gardens will now need more time than can be given on changeover day. Equally we are speaking to the owner also re some interior improvements in time for next season.
Service: Excellent service, would certainly book via Alternative Aquitaine again
Product: Nice house, good location, great pool
Product Comment: It's one of our most popular villas.
Service: Efficient, friendly staff. Gave confidence in product - important as this was our first experience of them. Good email confirmation of each step of the booking and payment process.
Product: Good: great pool, convenient and peaceful location, covered decking area for outdoor eating, homely feel, bathroom, process of arranging entry, cycle hire, restaurants and food shops within walking distance. Less good: kitchen not clean, dishes in dishwasher when we arrived, faulty kettle, little padding for hard wooden sunloungers, some towels had been stored damp and smelled. Cost and process of arranging exit clean (which we didn't take) wasn't smoothe. A second set of front door keys would have been useful.
Product Comment: Good feedback thank you - on the whole. Our focus, naturally, is on the 'less good' items! Please accept our apologies re kitchen cleanliness. All of these things are easily rectified and we will speak to the cleaning company & owner.
Service: Good comms throughout and answered questions promptly
Product: House met all our needs as two families and when hosting a reunion with longstanding friends
Service: We have been away with Alternative Aquitaine before, and will certainly do so again! Their selection of properties is fantastic, and they couldn’t have been more helpful when booking my holiday. The booking process is friendly and efficient, and the information sent to us before our holiday really helped us to make the most of our time away. Thank you AA!
Product: What a find! From the moment we arrived at Villa des Cigales we felt completely relaxed and at home. The villa was clean, well-provisioned and perfectly designed for two families holidaying together, with plenty of room for us all. The location couldn’t have been better – a beautiful cycle ride (or run a couple of times!) to the beach; walk to the bay with its own beach and oyster beds; fantastic market right on the doorstep (selling everything from delicious local produce to quality jewellery and clothes). Our teenagers had plenty to do to keep them occupied, and the chic centre of Cap Ferret was only a short bike ride away. A huge thank you to the owners - we’ll definitely be coming back!
Service Comment: Cap Ferret is one of those very special places that captures your heart and it sounds like you made lots of happy holiday memories there, we couldn't be happier to hear how much you enjoyed your stay. Villa des Cigales is always very popular, we'll pass on your message to the owner who will be delighted to hear your comments. What have you got in mind for next summer?! Bethan
Service: Quick and efficient booking, payment and replies to enquiries. Would recommend.
Service Comment: Thank you for replying to the feefo survey. Glad that you enjoyed your September break in Cap Ferret. Justin
Service: Outstanding personal service very caring and efficient
Product: Beautiful property that mixes tradition and modern
Service Comment: Thanks for your feedback - we love the style of Cigales too! Bethan
Product: Localisation & villa très agréables. Piscine & terrasse sous les pins sont un plus. Quelques petites améliorations à apporter à l'entretien du matériel (de jardin, sommiers, vaisselle...)
Service Comment: Bonjour, je vous remercie de votre appréciation. Justin
Service: looked after us well
Service Comment: So pleased - merci beaucoup :) Alex
Service: Alternative Aquitained were good, they told you when you would receive invoice and make payments and kept to these parameters. The map and pack information was very useful.
Product: The property in itself is very nice, in a nice area and situated in a quiet road, the pool is very nice. However, it was quite dirty on arrival and we ended up cleaning all the bathrooms, kitchen, BBQ, oven and cupboards ourselves. The dishwasher was blocked as the filter was very dirty, and the toothbrush holder had probably never been cleaned.
Service Comment: Many thanks for your feedback - we're delighted you enjoyed the house and area! But really sorry to hear you began your stay cleaning, not at all how we want clients to start their holiday. (If you'd said we would have got the housekeeping team back straightaway.) The previous guests were there 3 weeks and may be a factor - we've been in touch with the owner about this so it doesn't happen again. Thank you again for alerting us. Alex
Service: Service was good although I had to ring a week before to ask for villa details to be sent. Think staff should also have a more detailed knowledge of services from Bordeaux airport. Part of our party were students flying into Bordeaux airport which differed from our arrival time but staff were unable to tell me about public buses - apparently nobody has ever asked because everyone hires a car!
Product: The villa was lovely - a real,home from home. We had an amazing holiday and will definitely be back.
Service Comment: Glad you liked the villa & Cap Ferret. We'll get 'on the case' re public transport! Justin
Service: It was straightforward to deal with AA
Product: Villa was as described - good communal and outside space
Service: Couldn't fault it!
Product: We had an issue with the cleanliness of the villa on arrival, but this was dealt with quickly and efficiently by the owners.
stylish villa with gorgeous view of Arcachon Bay
tasteful Cap Ferret villa a short walk from beaches and shops