What makes Chateau de Sillegue a great holiday rental
Lovingly restored château retaining its traditional features - exposed stonework, large open fireplaces, French antique furniture and all modern coveniences. There is a heated pool, large gardens with access down to the edge of the river Saison. Lots of history, grand salons and a sweeping staircase all combined in this lovely family home. Additional services such as catering and extra housekeeping are available to ensure your holiday is truly relaxing! With so much in one spot, there is almost no need to leave the grounds of this lovely place.
Large groups looking for a 'real' taste of france. The château is ideally located for day trips to Spain, the mountains (hiking, rafting, cycling) and the beaches of the Atlantic coast. There are also lots of bastide villages and market towns within a couple of kilometres.
Anything to watch out for?
There are several outbuildings that children will love to explore but which remain unrenovated and the gate giving access to the river needs to be closed to ensure the safety of younger children. Small amount of road noise, but only local traffic.
Sauveterre is only a small town but has an air of history plus some interesting architecture, and lovely views over the Gave d'Oloron. Nearby Salies is a very pretty spa town. There are several other medieval market towns nearby which are a pleasure to explore. In the Pyreness there's excellent walking, mountain biking, including rafting in the Pyrenees, and it's an easy day-trip to the coast, and over to Spain.
Château de Sillegue is a beautiful, traditional French-style country château with large arched patio doors opening to the outdoors from every downstairs room, slate roof and pale blue shutters. The house is full of traditional French furniture and provides plenty of space for large gatherings or to allow guests to find a quiet spot for reading and relaxing.
The huge front door enters into a large, black and white tiled hallway, with curved wooden staircase leading to the first floor. Off to the left is an enormous double reception room, with impressive dining room with table for 12 people, which can be opened up into the large sitting room with massive stone fireplace. The living room opens out to the pool area.
To the right of the hallway, is a second sitting room, ideal for teenagers and children, equipped with TV, wii, DVD and games. The second large room to the right is a lovely farmhouse style kitchen with double aga, gas hob and all the usual electric appliances (kettle, toaster, coffee machine, dishwasher, American-style fridge and freezer etc).
Between the sitting room and the kitchen is a downstairs cloakroom with WC and washbasin.
Accessed via the beautiful wooden staircase with wrought iron railings, the bedrooms on the first floor all lead off the central, round landing. The master double (180) is huge, with plenty of wardrobe space, wooden floors and ensuite bathroom with bath, and overhead shower, double sinks and WC. This ensuite is shared with the second double bedroom with each bedroom having direct access from the bedroom to the bathroom (Jack and Jill bathroom).
The second double bedroom (160) also has plenty of space and is decorated, like the rest of the house, in traditional french style.
The third bedroom is a large single (120) and can use either the ensuite bathroom on the landing or the bathroom on the 2nd floor.
The fourth room is a small double (140) again with wooden floors, traditional decor and plenty of room. Another Jack and Jill bathroom with bath, overhead shower and WC, is shared by this room and the dormitory room.
The fifth bedroom is a 'dormitory' bedroom with 4 large singles.
A much simpler wooden staircase leads up to what would originally have been the servants' quarters. This 'secret' area of the house has proved popular with the younger generation!
The large landing acts as a play/games room with 3 sofas and an armchair.
Off the landing are 3 further bedrooms in the eaves of the house (2 x small doubles and 1 x bunk beds), with plenty of space and a shared bathroom with separate bath, shower and WC.
The outdoor dining area is just outside the living room and includes a built-in BBQ area. There is a second large 'summer' kitchen with another large dining table, electric oven, gas hob, fridge, laundry room. A further shower room with WC can be accessed directly from outdoors for those at the pool or from the summer kitchen.
The large mature grounds surround the house and include several outbuildings, including the 'pigeonnier' and the 'prison' (a German officer was held captive here for 2 years during the Second World War and his writing on the wall is still visible!). The 'prison' has an open basement that overlooks Le Saison river which runs alongside the property, a great spot for sundowners or a glass of rosé on lovely summer evenings.
There is a path leading to the river below, with a small dinghy which the family use to cross to the river 'beach' on the opposite bank, which is a great spot for a picnic.
The owners have a vegetable patch in the garden and guests are welcome to pick whatever produce is ripe during their stay!
Dbl 180, dbl 160, 3 x dbl 140, large single (120), 4 singles, 1 bunk beds
2 'Jack & Jill' ensuites shared by 4/5 rooms, 1 large bathroom on 2nd floor, 1 downstairs shower room, 1 separate WC (5 in total)
12 x 6m, heated, salt filtration, alarm, 1.2m - 1.8m deep
Dogs accepted, no smoking
Château de Sillegue is located in a small hamlet 3kms from the medieval village, Sauveterre-de-Béarn. There are beautiful views of the Pyrénées from Sauveterre and they are within easy reach of the house for rafting, cycling or hiking. The surrounding countryside is lovely with plenty of picturesque villages to explore.
Nearest village / town: Sauveterre-de-Béarn 3kms
Nearest beach: Biarritz and Hossegor 1hr drive
Boulangerie: Sauveterre-de-Béarn 3kms
Restaurant: In village 100m from house
Market: Sauveterre-de-Béarn (3kms), Navaranx, Orthez
The great attraction of Sauveterre is its cliff-top setting high above the Gave d'Oloron from where you can see the famous fortified medieval bridge, or, rather, half a bridge - the other half having been destroyed in a feudal war. The village centre is 3 km from the chateau - it's just a small village with a restaurant/bar and a handful of shops.
For the more active, there's tennis and rafting within 1 km.
The region around Sauveterre-de-Béarn is known as the 'Béarn des Gaves', where the mountain streams from the Ossau and Aspe valleys converge to form the famous Gave d'Oloron, known for exceptional salmon fishing (the world championship comes here here every year) and, for thrill-seekers, rafting and kayaking. The region is also famous for its abundance of heritage, especially châteaux (eg at nearby Aren and Laas) and bastides (medieval fortified towns), including Navarrenx.
Navarrenx dates from the 11th century; it is considered one of the finest example of a fortified town in the south west, not least because its Protestant inhabitants resisted every attempted invasion during the Wars of Religion!
Neighbouring Salies-de-Béarn is a larger town and offers more by way of shops and restaurants. Salies is a genteel spa town which has been a popular watering hole for those seeking thermal cures and relaxation, for over 100 years. There's also a splendid Moorish-style casino in the town and a golf course close by. Salies is also a pleasant place for a stroll, notably along the narrow backstreets with their steep-gabled houses. And if you fancy a break from walking, you can take gondola trips along the river in summer.
For a day at the beach, surfing, glamour and seafood are best enjoyed on the Côte Basque at Biarritz or St Jean de Luz. These two authentically Basque towns are well-worth spending time in for their fine boutique shops and restaurants, and just to soak up their relaxed ambience. There are many other beaches to investigate north of Biarritz, Hossegor being a particular favourite.
The location will satisfy mountain-lovers as much as beach enthusiasts. The Haut-Béarn is a wonderful landscape that forms a natural boundary between France and Spain. It is also a haven for outdoor pursuits. Two beautiful river valleys – d’Ossau and d’Aspe – offer great walking/hiking, mountain biking and, in Spring, good white-water potential. Parasailing, rock-climbing, horse-riding and fishing are also popular. Skiing is possible at nearby stations such as Gourette.
In the Parc National des Pyrénées lives some of Europe’s most exotic wildlife including chamois, royal eagles and brown bears, whilst at Laruns there is a 92-hectare reserve for the griffon vulture. At Lescun you will find one of France’s most photogenic natural locations, the Needles of Ansabère, an amphitheatre of jagged limestone peaks rising to the summit of Pic d’Anie.
Also in the Haut-Béarn and a great day out for the kids is a ride on Le Petit Train d’Artouste. Built for dam workers, this 10 kms train journey tales passengers along the flanks of the Pic de la Sagette.
The house is located within 50-60 minutes' drive of several courses on the Cote Basque, plus two courses near Pau, including Pau Golf Club, continental Europe's first course, built in 1856 by a resident Scotsman. The 12-hole Golf de Salies-de-Bearn is a 10 minute drive away.
A short drive east is the stylish and compact city of Pau. Barely known of outside of France, Pau has a variety of attractions. It sprang to fame in the 19th century when wealthy British and Americans were drawn to its mild climate and it became a popular winter holiday destination. To this day Pau retains an ‘upmarket’ feel about it. There is a thriving café and bar life plus plenty of opportunity for boutique shopping, notably along the rues des Cordeliers and Serviez. Pau also has its own château (and birthplace of King Henri IV) plus one of the south west’s finest panoramic views - the spectacular array of distant, snow-capped peaks as seen from the Boulevard des Pyrénées. Pau also hosts horse-racing events, a vintage car race and a Formula 3 street race every year.
In the other direction, the Basque capital of Bayonne has a fine, historic centre with a beautiful cathedral, ramparts plus a range of stylish shops and restaurants. There's also a good museum - Musée Basque - for learning more about the Basque people, their culture and history. And, of course, no visit to this Chocolate City would be complete without sampling its famous hot chocolate and visiting one of the many chocolatiers.
Other suggestions for day-trips are:
• A day exploring les grottes (caves) d'Isturitz and d'Ococelhaya, both within a 30 minute drive
• Wine-tasting in the vineyards of Jurançon, Madiran and Béarn
• Crossing the border into Spain for a visit to Pamplona, San Sebastian or Bilbao
• A trip to Lourdes to satisfy the religious or the plain curious
Service: great place - perfect for family with pool area and large safe garden
Product: really good location both for coast and mountains but also local villages are beautiful
Service Comment: We agree! Chateau Sillegue is ideal for larger groups and extended families and a perfect base for exploring the beaches and mountains of south west France. Really pleased you enjoyed your stay at this beautiful property. Justin
classic maison de maitre close to the Atlantic coast
good value character Bearnais house on outskirts of medieval village