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Postcard Perfect Provence: Where to stay in Rural Provence
If you've always dreamed of spending at least the ubiquitous year in Provence, but taking the plunge is proving a bit unlikely, don't despair! Provencal dreamers here are some of the best places to stay in rural Provence where you can experience all the highs of this beautiful countryside:
- the wonderful little medieval villages with their cobbled streets, church towers and bountiful almost daily food markets;
- the lavender fields, olive groves and vineyards, and views beyond of either the mountains or the Mediterranean;
- and the bustling historic towns and cities with their Roman treasures and art galleries reflecting back the beauty of this landscape.
And none of the lows involved with trying to convert your own property in a foreign land!
And who knows, maybe experiencing one of the guru's best places to stay in rural Provence will be enough to inspire you closer towards the big plunge… Or alternatively you'll have a wonderfully relaxing time bathed in glorious sunlight and eating well, and you'll keep coming back to your own pocket of Provence year after year.
Best places to stay in rural Provence - In the Middle of Nowhere
- With its sunny terraces, large and lavender scented gardens and rustic farmhouse feel, Domaine des Clos is quintessentially Provence. This green-shuttered, stone clad, picturesque country retreat is the stuff of Provencal dreams. It's also very reasonably priced, with rooms starting from just £88 per night. Its varied and comfortable selection of rooms, family suites and self-catering apartments makes it one of the best places to stay in rural provence for families.
- Le moulin du chateau is beautiful in its simplicity and the reasonableness of its prices. It has the lovely lawns, lavender and art you'd expect, but its doubles, triples, quadruples and suites are peaceful and unfussy. Two of its ground floor rooms have their own private gardens, so this is one of the best places to stay in rural Provence if you really want to experience your own little piece of it.
- Where can you sleep peacefully in a farmhouse amongst vineyards, orchards, olive groves? L'Enclos des Lauriers Roses. This gorgeous old farmhouse feels more like a country house hotel, with its great restaurant, extensive wine list and four pools. It's also within a short drive of Nimes, Avignon and Orange, so is one of the best places to stay in rural Provence for people wanting to explore the history of the region without staying in town.
- Les Florêts is a family-run hotel set in the wooded hills on a family-owned vineyard in the Gigondas region. The rooms, restaurant and terrace are elegant, and the views are glorious. If you're here in summer you'll also appreciate the outdoor dining terrace and the pool. Whatever season you're here you'll appreciate the excellent cuisine paired with, naturally, the owners own Gigondas. The 15 rooms here begin from just £64 per night, so this is an excellent option if you want to taste some of the best wines in Provence on a budget.
- The pretty pink farmhouse which has become B&B, La Ferme Rose is just outside Moustiers, but it feels like it's further away - and possibly in another era? So it's perfect if you're looking for one of the best places to stay in rural Provence and you like things quirky and original. The charming owner, Kako Vagh, has done a lot of the decor, and is a passionate collector of wonderful things, so the public areas of this B&B are a wonderful treasure trove. The 11 rooms are fresh and simple - mostly white - and the breakfast is a cut above with good quality coffee and croissants and freshly squeezed orange juice.
- La Manescale used to be a shepherd's house, so you might expect it to be a good choice for people wanting to experience the beauty of rural Provence on a budget, but it's not the simple structure it may sound. It's set amongst vineyards and olive groves with wonderful views you can appreciate from your own private terrace. And the decor is home-like, if your home is filled with quality antiques, paintings, and an excellent library, and has a lovely pool and large garden. La Manescale is just outside Vaison-la-Romaine, but the way the hills and forests curve around your views you can't see another settlement for miles, so it feels much further from the madding crowds.
- Les Sardines aux Yeux Bleus is a beautiful sandstone B&B in a charming little hamlet, surrounded by other charming little hamlets, so there are plenty of excellent local markets nearby. There's also kayaking, cycling, spectacular walking routes and wine tasting opportunities. There are three rooms and three apartments in this complex, along with a lovely swimming pool and garden, and its prices start from just £92 per night, so it's a great choice for families or groups looking for a retreat in rural Provence.
Walking Distance from Transport (and Restaurants)
If the sound of all that lavender and row upon row of vines leaves you cold, maybe you might also consider staying in a small village? Benefit from the clean air and peace, but put yourself within walking distance of a station, local food markets and restaurants. Many of the best places to stay in rural Provence can be found in the mediaeval villages and towns that dot the countryside.
- Provence has numerous excellent restaurants with rooms, but one of the best in a rural setting is the Hotel des Deux Rocs. The food is very Provencal, the views over the valley are sublime and you're close to both the charming local hilltop towns and the Côte d'Azur. This is one of the best places to stay in rural Provence if you'd rather be in a pretty little town than in the middle of nowhere.
- While romance is on the cards, Le Mas des Carassins is one of the best places to stay in rural Provence for couples escaping to the country. What could be more romantic than staying in a farmhouse surrounded by lavender and lemon trees in Saint-Remy-de-Provence? Not much. It feels like you're deep in the countryside here, but you're actually just a short walk from the town centre. Bedrooms and suites benefit from exposed stone walls and private terraces, and the whole hotel benefits from the feeling you get from the owners that nothing is too much trouble. Children are lovely, but there's a time and a place, and only the over 12s are welcome here.
- In a perfect medieval village, perfectly located for Avignon and Arles, La Bastide de Boulbon is as near perfect as it gets if you're looking for the rural Provence of tiny towns and spectacular views. The bastide is, you guessed it, perfectly renovated, and set amongst beautiful rose gardens and terraces. And of course there's a small, but perfectly proportioned pool. Peaceful on the outside, comfortable on the inside, this place is…perfect for couples trying to get away together.
- Simple, chic and full of character, Le Mas des Romarins is an excellent choice if you're looking for a rural hideaway somewhere very green. This 19th Century house has been sympathetically converted to retain all the of the charm of its secluded gardens and wonderful view. It's also just outside of charming Gordes, one of the most beautiful old villages in the region - you may have seen photos of this town looking luminous orange, its 12th Century beige stone glowing in the evening light. So this is definitely one of the best places to stay in rural Provence if you want to be close to a particularly lovely looking pub - or cafe/ bar.
Where to stay for foodies
Rural Provence is a foodie's dream, but if you stay in La Cadiere-d'Azur you'll have access to both ends of the scale - the farmer's markets with their rustic treasures and the Michelin starred restaurant of Hostellerie Berard et Spa. As well as the restaurant, Hostellerie Berard also has an impressive wine cellar and an indulgent spa. And all in this tiny, medieval cliff top village which has views all the way to the shores of the Mediterranean, narrow lanes winding past the colourful and indispensable shops, and traditions which have remained the same for hundreds of years. Hostellerie Berard also runs cooking classes, so this is probably one of the very best places to stay in rural Provence for foodies
Still not found what you're looking for? Take a look at all our recommended hotels in Provence, or call one of our friendly gurus for advice.
Domaine des Clos 9 rooms from $110Beaucaire, Provence
Fabulous rustic farmhouse B&B with a selection of rooms, family suites, and self-catering apartments. Wooden beams, oak floors, fireplaces, terraces, lavender-scented gardens and a swimming pool. A picturesque countryside retreat for families, groups or couples, and at great value.Swimming Pool - Large outdoor poolLocal markets - Good for local colour.Cooking classes - Check for timings.Recommended by - Sawdays
Le moulin du chateau 10 rooms from $104St Laurent du Verdon, Provence
Beauty here is in its simplicity. Peaceful rooms with minimal decoration, lovely lawns, lavender beds, artworks adorn the interiors. Doubles, triples, quadruples and suites accommodate families and groups of friends. A great spot to rewind and relax in.Value chicLocal markets - Good for local colour.Great walks - Good for walkers.Sights nearby - Well located for major sights.Recommended by - Sawdays
L'Enclos des Lauriers Roses 23 rooms from $84Cabrières, Provence
Fabulous country hotel in the middle of vineyards, fruit orchards and olive trees. Excellent accommodation for families and groups. Airy and bright bedrooms, four swimming pools, great restaurant and wine list.Swimming Pool - Outdoor Pool with Great ViewsLocal markets - Good for local colour.Views - Great views from hotelGreat walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - Sawdays
Les Florêts 15 rooms from $88Gigondas, Provence
A charming family-run hotel set amid vineyards, lush gardens and century-old trees. Rooms are elegant and light. Excellent local cuisine is served on a shaded terrace with wine from the hotel vineyard. Lounge by the pool and enjoy the panoramic views. The ideal Provence property.Country Escape - An enchanting getaway- sip wine at the foot of the majestic Dentelles de Montmirail, surrounded by lush gardens and vineyards.Local markets - Check out the weekly picturesque Provençal markets displaying a wide range of local produce.Great walks - Over 300 km of marked hiking trails wind through lavender fields and vineyards.Sights nearby - Day trips are possible to Orange, Avignon or Vaison-la-Romaine.Recommended by - Sawdays
La Ferme Rose 11 rooms from $89Moustiers, Provence
Quirky and charming pink villa b&b in rural setting. Simple, fresh white painted bedrooms. Beams, terracotta tiled floors and terraces. Pretty garden, large swimming pool with stunning views and vast collection of owner's objets. A quaint Provence property.Romantic Break - For romantic getaways take one of the balconied suites, with views over the valley and simple elegant interiors.Great walks - There are endless walks starting from the gardens and heading through the lovely countryside, get out and explore!Sights nearby - Visit the stunning Les Gorges du Verdon, one of Europe's most beautiful river gorges.Fishing - Fishing and sailing are available at the nearby Lac de Sainte-Croix.
La Manescale 6 rooms from $94Entrechaux, Provence
Former shepherd's house set amongst vines and olive groves, an intimate hideaway for nature lovers. Home-like feel, with antique furniture, paintings, and library. Rooms have private terraces. Lovely garden and pool. A gem.Sights nearby - 17.5 miles away is the historic town of Orange which features impressive Roman monumants and a lovely cathedralGreat walks - Beautiful walks through rural ProvenceRemote - Off the beaten track.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoor
Le Mas des Romarins 13 rooms from $110Gordes
Authentic stone-walled 19th century house, with wonderful views, secret gardens, swimming pool and breakfast terrace. The chic Provencal-style rooms are full of character and the highly acclaimed restaurant crafts wonderful food from local produce. An ideal spot for exploring.Foodies - The restaurant is committed to using only the freshest locally sourced ingrediants, thus the yummy food changes each day.Local exploring - Well situated for exploring the stunning Luberon area, start with a stroll up to the lovely hilltop village of Gordes.Sights nearby - Just a few km away is the still working monastery the Cistercian Abbey of Notre Dame de Senanque.Great walks - Only a ten minute walk brings you to the historic village of Gordes, well worth checking out.Recommended by - Sawdays, Fodors
Les Sardines aux Yeux Bleus 3 rooms from $115Aigaliers, Provence
A beautiful sandstone boutique B&B in a secluded hamlet setting. Three rooms and three apartments with wooden beams, pastel walls, and fireplaces. Lovely swimming pool and garden. Fantastic for groups or families, and excellent value for money. Rustic-chic.Swimming Pool - Lovely Outdoor PoolSecluded setting - For escaping.Full of characterGreat walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - I Escape, Mr & Mrs Smith
Hotel des Deux Rocs 11 rooms from $76Seillans, Provence
A sublime restaurant with wonderful rooms and sweeping valley views. Excellent food and shady terraces, three family rooms sleep four, all in a stunning location. A gourmet spot fit for families and romantic breaks.Views - Wonderful views over the valley.GourmetFoodiesSights nearby - Explore the hilltop villages, or take a trip to the beaches of the Cote d'AzurRecommended by - Sawdays
Le Mas des Carassins 22 rooms from $103Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Provence
Charming stone farmhouse surrounded by lavender bushes and lemon trees in Saint Remy de Provence. Beautiful bedrooms and suites with exposed stone walls and rich fabrics, some with private terraces. A very countryphile spot to relax in.Country Escape - Surrounded by lush gardens of oleanders, lavender and lemon, beautiful rolling countryside leading up to the Alpilles mountains.Swimming Pool - Outdoor Pool in lovely gardensGarden - Attractive outside space.Local markets - Every Wednesday enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Saint-Rémy-de-Provence market.Recommended by - Sawdays
La Bastide de Boulbon 8 rooms from $162Boulbon, Provence
Beautifully renovated mansion surrounded by rose gardens in a charming medieval village. Cool, contemporary rooms with beamed ceilings, white washed walls and enormous sash windows. Excellent cuisine served on a charming patio. A lovely base to come and completely unwind.Country Escape - A charming country house situated in a pretty quite village, with stunning gardens and centuries-old plane trees.Sights nearby - Visit the medieval castle of Boulbon, the windmill and the Frigolet Abbey.Swimming Pool - Outdoor poolRomantic - Good for couples.Recommended by - Sawdays
Hostellerie Berard et Spa 40 rooms from $103La Cadière-d'Azur, Provence
A lovely hilltop hotel in a charming village with a Michelin star restaurant, excellent spa and wine cellar. Chicly decorated rooms and suites with valley views and private balconies. A hotel that indulges all the senses.Restaurant - Michelin-star.Spa breaksFoodiesSpa - Aroma spa with wide range of therapies and treatmentsRecommended by - Sawdays