Meet Martin, owner of a 2 bedroom traditional gite in the Lot et Garonne region of France. No doubt it, this gite has everything going for it. But, what sets it apart (at least for me), are the views, both day and night…
“Occupying an elevated position Valmar affords our guests views that they often tell us are ‘stunning’”
“have a glass (or two) of your favourite tipple by the pool and do some star gazing, the skies in this part of the world are so clear and give you another ‘amazing view’”
1) Tell us a little about your gite.
Valmar Gite is a two bedroom home with pool, sleeping 2 – 4 guests in comfort and is situated in the countryside of the dept of Lot et Garonne, in South West France, close to the bastide town of Villeneuve-sur-lot. Valmar nestles quietly on the side of a hill in just under an acre of private grounds. It is the only Gite within the grounds, so no sharing the pool or amenities with guests of neighbouring properties. Occupying an elevated position Valmar affords our guests views that they often tell us are ‘stunning’.
2) What made you buy the gite? Was it financial, emotional, a connection with the area, or something else?
Having holidayed in several regions of France, we fell in love with the laid-back feeling of the South West. The climate is hot enough in the summer for a good tan, but unlike further south, which is a bit too arid for us, it is really quite green and reminds us of the English countryside back home.
We initially intended going down the ‘buy a ruin and refurbish’ route, but ended up buying a beautiful plot of land and commissioning a local french builder to create a home in very traditional style, but with ‘all mod cons’.
3) What’s the best thing about this part of France? Is it the scenery, the pace of life, the locals, the activities, etc?
What we like about the Lot et Garonne is that visitors really do have the best of both worlds. You won’t be involved in the mass hustle and bustle of tourism, in fact rush hour traffic tends to consist of more than one tractor bimbling along the country lane at any one time. The area is very tranquil, but there is a fantastic amount to see and do locally, whether it’s canoeing, boat trips, waterskiing (or other watersports on the nearby river Lot), a family trip to the waterpark, ‘Walibi Aquitaine’, and mountain biking around local trails. Or, or for the less energetic, sightseeing Chateux, the National Water Lilly gardens, or a visit to some of the most beautiful and historic Bastide towns in France. There really is a great choice for all the family.
4) What are the 3 special touches you add to enhance the guest experience?
1. To help get our guests holiday off to the best possible start we like to try and take some of the stress out of their journey to Valmar. With this in mind we put together a ‘Valmar Information Pack’, which consists of door to door directions from their arrival airport/ferry port to Valmar, a complimentary map of the local area to help them find their way around easily and a ‘Martins top tips for driving in France’ leaflet, that I devised myself.
2. Guests then find a Welcome pack on their arrival, consisting of basic provisions to tide them over until they visit the local shops, including a bottle of wine, tea, coffee, milk etc.
3. If we become aware that a special occasion falls due during their stay, a complimentary bottle of bubbly is the order of the day.
5) If a guest had just one day staying in your gite what would you recommend they do for the perfect experience?
Turn left (or right) out of the gates at Valmar and take yourself for a brisk walk along the lane. Listen to the local hoopoe birds sing, you might be lucky enough to see a wild roebuck and then back for a breakfast of fresh bread or croissant and locally made jam, with fresh coffee.
If you’re a family group, head off down to the river and enjoy some canoeing, or a boat trip, or alternatively visit an ancient Chateaux. Have a spot of lunch on the promenade at Villeneuve and then, in the afternoon, back to the pool at Valmar. For your evening meal go to ‘La Source’, our favourite local restaurant and watch the sun set over the river.
When you arrive back at Valmar have a glass (or two) of your favourite tipple by the pool and do some star gazing, the skies in this part of the world are so clear and give you another ‘amazing view’.
To rent the two bedroom gite from Martin, please contact him through the above links.