What makes Maison Oloron a great holiday rental
Lovingly renovated house retaining its traditional features - exposed stonework and beams, the Béarnais 'hat-shaped' roof, bright blue shutters, the old well and cast iron radiators. The owner has carefully blended this period charm with modern facilities such as wifi, home cinema, air conditioning (in some rooms) and 'farmhouse' kitchen. The result is a charming & relaxing holiday home for a larger group.
Francophiles who want a character home in a peaceful setting in an area that embodies French culture. Also, it's the best location if you want be in easy striking distance of beaches, mountains and Spain for a variety of day-trips, as well as a host of bastide villages and market towns nearby.
Anything to watch out for?
The two twin bedrooms upstairs have a low, beamed ceiling and are best suited for kids. Guests should take care on the polished wooden staircase.
The garden boundary is fenced off for safety from the river below (there is ample garden for kids).
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. There's excellent walking, mountain biking and a host of other activities including rafting in the Pyrenees, and it's an easy day-trip to the coast, and over to Spain.
Quality Bearnais cottage with fantastic gardens and pool
Maison Oloron is a spacious cottage, full of character, dominated by exposed stone and beam. The accommodation, furnishing, equipment and décor are of a good standard throughout.
Bedroom 1: Double bed, air-conditioning and en-suite bathroom. Hairdryer available.
Bedroom 2: Twin bedroom with private shower room & wc.
The beautiful stone and beamed kitchen is fully-equipped to include dishwasher, washing machine/dryer and microwave plus conventional oven and hob. The kitchen has a double aspect with a side entrance/exit leading to the pool and to the rear of the house are French doors leading to the back garden. The kitchen also has a TV with satellite connection.
The living room provides plenty of comfortable seating and features a home cinema plus dvd, satellite TV and CD stereo system.
The dining room has French doors leading to the terrace.
The first floor bedrooms are accessed from a staircase from the living room. Toddlers and elderly guests should take care - the stairs are open-tread and polished wood.
Bedroom 3. Double bed, air conditioning, en-suite shower room and wc
Bedroom 4. Double bed, air conditioning
Bedroom 5. Twin bedroom
Bedroom 6. Twin bedroom
NB Bedroom 6 is accessed via Bedroom 5. Both of these bedrooms have low, beamed ceilings - they are best suited for kids.
There's also an extra shower room and wc.
The 10x5m swimming pool has a depth range from 1.1m to 2.0m and is safely and tastefully protected by a stone wall and security gate; please close the gate after each use. There is also a cover for retaining the heat of the pool overnight. The pool is open May-September.
The pool is surrounded by an area of decking and there are sun-loungers plus a relaxing hot-tub adjacent to the pool. The garden is a good size and to the rear overlooks the Gave d'Oloron. There is a fence along the garden boundary to ensure safe enclosure from the river below.
For eating outside, a BBQ is provided and a covered terrace allows alfresco dining in the shade.
3x double bedrooms and 3x twin bedrooms
1x en-suite bathroom, 2x en-suite shower rooms and 1x additional shower room
Yes, 10x5m, 1.1m-2.0m deep, open May-September. Protected by gate, cover & fence
Nintendo Xbox also available.
There are two cots (one wooden and one a travel cot) and two high chairs.
No pets. No smoking in the house.
Maison Oloron is located at the southern edge of the medieval village, Sauveterre-de-Béarn. The village and house are separated by the Gave d'Oloron, a river of fresh mountain water that changes colours with the seasons. The snow-capped Pyrénées can be seen from the village.
Nearest village / town: Sauveterre-de-Béarn (1.5 kms)
Nearest beach: Biarritz & Hossegor both 1 hr drive
Boulangerie: Sauveterre-de-Béarn (1.5 kms)
Restaurant: Sauveterre-de-Béarn (1.5 kms)
Market: Weekly markets in several local towns (Sauveterre, Orthez, Navarrenx etc)
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 1.5 km from the cottage - 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 spa 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.
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: AA service was very efficient and effective. My queries were dealt with well,
the booking process was simple and the procedure for arriving at / and details regarding the property were well organised.
Product: Water supply for showers etc./ and pool water were excellent. Kitchen was very well equipped . The sitting room furniture somewhat heavy for the summer. The upstairs floors are very creaky and disturbed the guests in the ground floor bedrooms. The location is peaceful and the parking area inside the property gate ample.
Product Comment: Thank you for the informative feedback - we will talk to the owner to see what can be done, especially about the floors upstairs.
Service: The information on the internet was accurate, the service on the phone was always very prompt, helpful and polite, payment was easy and secure, and the property we rented was just what we wanted. The house itself is in a quiet location but not too long a walk into the village for French breakfast essentials. The house was well appointed, the pool and hot tub superb, and the manager very helpful. If I could get all the family together again, I would certainly return.
Product: Lovely house in good location
Product Comment: We're delighted to hear how much you enjoyed your stay at Maison Oloron, it sounds like the house worked perfectly for your family get together! We completely agree that the morning trip to the boulangerie is one of the great joys of holidaying in France, and we are so pleased that you liked the area around Sauveterre-de-Béarn - thanks for sharing your comments.
Product: was not cleasr from web info that two of the rooms were interconnected and therefore innapropriate for couples.
Service Comment: Thank you for your feedback and positive review. We're really sorry about the top floor children's rooms, we're normally very careful about such details, I think it's may have been because kids usually stay up there we omitted to mention it. We have updated the description now, and appreciate you bringing it to our attention. Alex
Service: Good communication and information provided
Product: Nice place, shame about the weather!
Service: AA service cannot be faulted.
Product: The house is very nice and the welcome and help from Jane Sully excellent.
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