Romantic mountain cottage, set in terraced garden with fabulous sunset views.
Set in a wild mountain garden, Earthsky is a rustic domain, offering fabulous sunset views, both from the cottage and from her terraces.
She sits above a picturesque hamlet called Le Lau, in the heart of the Parc Naturel du Haut-Languedoc, an area of great natural beauty, which is steeped in Roman and Cathar history.
Le Lau is one hour's drive from several Mediterranean beaches, and there are rivers and lakes to swim in much closer to home.
Other attractions of this area include exploring local medieval towns and villages, colourful markets and flea-markets, fabulous walks in the Caroux mountains, rock-climbing in the Gorges d'Heric, horse-riding, mountain bike rentals, kayaking, tennis, golf and spa treatments.
There are also some excellent restaurants in this area, and a multitude of quality local wines to be savoured !
Le Lau is a fifteen minute drive from Roquebrun, a large village on the River Orb, which is famous for it's beauty, its' river beaches, and it's Mediterranean gardens and micro-climate.
Fifteen minutes in the other direction takes you to Mons La Trivalle, another vibrant and attractive village, with excellent facilities and easy access to the fabulous and not to be missed Gorges d'Heric.
One hour's drive will take you to the historic cultural centre of Pezenas, with it's maze of back-streets hosting very attractive shops, art-galleries, museums, musical happenings and some fine restaurants.
Close to Pezenas you may find one of my favourite haunts, the Jardin de St Adrien, a tastefully landscaped oasis, created in an old stone quarry over the last 30 years, which has won the prize for the most beautiful garden in France on several occasions now.
In short, Earthsky is well off the beaten track, but also well placed as a base from which to explore this fabulous area.
She is essentially an inspirational rural retreat, well loved by sporty, artistic and creative types.
You will need to be reasonably fit to enjoy this location.
You should leave your high-heels at home,
and bring with you good walking shoes and an efficient torch.
The access is rough and quite steep.
But once that is negotiated you will find a picturesque venue,
providing homely, rustic comfort,
for those seeking a peaceful oasis in the clean heart of nature.
The cottage is comfortably furnished for two people,
and each terrace equipped with a barbecue, a parasol,
table, chairs and sun-loungers.
Here you may appreciate leisurely breakfasts,
accompanied by the sounds of bird-song, cicadas, and wood-peckers
tapping across the valley.
Or evening barbecues, whilst relishing the very fine sunset views.
Later a canopy of stars and the sound of owls calling.
Top Traveller Review
A little piece of rustic heaven!
It was an absolute pleasure having you here :~)
About the Owner
About Sally Stephens
I was a wandering soul until I bought Earthsky.
Brought up near Sevenoaks in Kent, I took a year out when I left school in 1973,
and travelled overland to Nepal, and back, a great adventure which left me with a thirst for foreign parts.
I then studied literature at Sussex University, where I managed, by some miracle, to scrape through with a 2/2 degree.
I pursued a career in residential social work for a few years, but never stayed anywhere for very long, always restless for new places and new experiences,
and always pursuing a vision of establishing a small retreat centre, somewhere warm, unspoilt and welcoming.
Sally Stephens purchased this cottage in 2002
Why Sally Stephens chose Saint-Chinian area
I fell for the raw beauty of the Roquebrun area while visiting friends there in the late 90s.
I love the spaciousness and variety of the landscapes here, the cleanliness of the air and water, the pristine nature, the skyscapes, the local markets.
There is much to explore here, and to inspire my artistic soul.
Earthsky presented itself to me, as a location where I may realize my vision of a rustic rural retreat, somewhere where I, and others, could find an oasis of calm, to regenerate, and in which to be creative.
Three dilapidated cottages set in a wild mountain garden, with world-class views over the Orb Valley, were on offer for a song. I thought!
Several songs and ten years later, the cottages are now comfortable and the garden space half-tamed.
So we are open for visitors.
What makes this cottage unique
Rustic, bohemian comfort. Tranquility. Bird-song (day and night). Spring water tapped in. Fabulous views. Easy access to an area of devastating natural beauty,
prize-winning medieval villages, colourful local markets, and ample opportunities for many and various outdoor activities.
A quirky patrone, who lives on the property and is happy to share with you her love of the area.
(20 traveller reviews)
If your idea of holiday accommodation is marble floors, IKEA furniture, a TV with 2000 channels and a swimming pool - with a restaurant just around the corner and a hypermarket five minutes away....forget it. Rustic is the word Sally uses, and rustic it is. Pretty remote at the end of a valley and up a steep unpaved path, you need to be reasonably able bodied to get up to this stone built hideaway. But when you do, the views down the valley are stunning and the peaceful silence truly healing. All necessary services worked well for us - water (even after a dry summer , it was still flowing from the spring that serves the property), shower, cooker, fridge freezer (vital in the heat), internet. No TV, which was a real bonus! Sally took a load of washing away for us and it came back crisp and ready to wear. It's in a wonderful area, of course with lots to do and see if you do want to venture afield, from lovey old towns and villages to activities such as walking and canoeing. Sally was a helpful hostess and her two companions, who always seemed to turn up at mealtimes, added to our pleasure. Thanks, Sally, for a lovely time.
A little piece of rustic heaven!
The cottage was a delight just as described and tucked into the hillside in a small hamlet. Simply but adequately furnished and with absolutely everything you could possibly need. Cotton sheets on a comfy bed, wonderfully natural outdoor sitting space with lovely views , comfortable recliners as well as table and chairs. Total peace and it was tempting to just stay put and soak it all up! Sally was always on hand for help and advice about places to visit, but never intrusive. This is a wonderful part of France, beautiful medieval villages, many lovely river swimming spots and the Gorge d'Heric which offered a great walk as well as river swimming. We visited the higher mountains and swam in a lake that wasn't far from villages with a real Alpine feel.. We need to return to explore this area in more depth, there was no time to visit the vineyards but we did enjoy shopping in several of the nearby markets. All in all a perfect break. Thank you Sally, you have created a little haven with Earthsky!
Myself and my partner were looking for a quiet, away from it all gite in the south of France and that's exactly what we got. We hired a car and Sally, the owner provided us with bikes which got well used. Sally, could not have been more friendly and helpful. I celebrated my 50th birthday there and could not have spent it in a better place. The views from the gite were amazing, the surrounding area was lovely, great Lakes for swimming in and the gite itself was perfect plus we had fabulous weather. I could not fault our time there in any way and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for some time out!
Hidden paradise in Languedoc
Sally owns one of the most beautiful spots we visited in France, with awsome views on the green scenery, close to some nice old French villages in the hills between Roquebrun and Vieussan. The atmosphere is absolutely relaxed and clean, you can hear the birds and enjoy the great landscape from the terrace. The cottages are authentic and restaurated with elegance and good taste. Sally is a very kind and perfect host who takes care of her guests. She was so kind to carry our suitcases with her machine and supplied us with wood and a new gas tank. We enjoyed every day of our stay in this beautiful part of France.
In juni we stayed a week in this beautiful cottage. In fact it was to short. We enjoyed the nature, the beautiful views, the nice local people, the long walks, and of course the local wine. It is a quiet and peaceful place. Sally is a friendly hostess.
Dettie & Rob
A unique place!
To say it shortly in the first place: we spent two weeks in July at Earthsky, we came with high expectations after studying Sallys announcement - those beautiful pictures! - and all our expectations became fulfilled. Definitely five stars.
Read Sallys description of the place, look at the photos of landscape, views, house: it's all true, it's real, all this you will get when you choose Earthsky. And furthermore you will meet a rather kind and helpful hostess, a person a pleasure to get to know.
To say it more detailed: it is a calm place. In daytime you hear birds and bees, at night there is entire stillness, interrupted just from time to time by an owl or a dog barking somewhere and another one somewhere else answering him - which all the more assures you that you really are in the countryside, far away from cities and highways.
The house is spacious and cosy, you can spend there easily rainy days or cool evenings - this can happen, even in July - without getting depressed. It is furnished and shaped with taste and sense of the locality: solid ancient wooden furniture, french linen bedclothes, high quality towels and here and there a beautiful coloured eyecatcher - not at all the ghastly bog-standard you meet in so many holiday homes. You may not find every modern comfort you're used to - but surely all conveniences you need at your holiday.
We loved spending our time on the terrace, enjoying the views to the hills on the far side of the valley or into the terraced mountain garden that developed under Sallys hands between the old stonewalls. We had our meals there and relaxed in the light shadow of the fig tree until finally the moon shone through the leaves. Spectaculous starlit sky!
Of course you can do lots of other things in the nearest surroundings or just go to the sea - it's about an hour and a half to drive and each village you come through is charming and worth visiting. But for those informations read your guide or, better, ask Sally.
Conclusion: at Earthsky, you come close to the nature of Southern France - in the most pleasant and comfortable way. And you can feel in good hands with the person who put a lot of her love and energy in creating this unique place.
We spent a wonderful holiday there, and we surely wish to come back next year.
From the Owner
“I fell for the raw beauty of the Roquebrun area while visiting friends there in the late 90s. I love the spaciousness and variety of the landscapes here, the cleanliness of the air and water, the pristine nature, the skyscapes, the local markets. There is much to explore here, and to inspire my artistic soul. Earthsky presented itself to me, as a location where I may realize my vision of a rustic rural retreat, somewhere where I, and others, could find an oasis of calm, to regenerate, and in which to be creative. Three dilapidated cottages set in a wild mountain garden, with world-class views over the Orb Valley, were on offer for a song. I thought! Several songs and ten years later, the cottages are now comfortable and the garden space half-tamed. So we are open for visitors. At last!”
Activity and Interests
Earthsky sits above a picturesque hamlet called Le Lau in the heart of the Parc Naturel du Haut-Languedoc, an area of great natural beauty, which is steeped in Roman and Cathar history.
It is one hour's drive from several Mediterranean beaches, and there are rivers and lakes to swim in much closer to home.
The attractions of this area include colourful local markets, fabulous walks in the Caroux mountains, rock-climbing in the Gorges d'Heric, horse-riding, mountain bike rentals, kayaking, tennis, golf and spa treatments.
Not to mention some excellent restaurants, and a multitude of local wines to be savoured!
Le Lau is a fifteen minute drive from Roquebrun, a large village on the River Orb, which is famous for its beauty, its river beaches,
and it's Mediterranean micro-climate and gardens.
Fifteen minutes in the other direction take you to Mons La Trivalle, a popular and vibrant village with excellent facilities, at close proximity to the fabulous Gorge d'Heric.
Earthsky is one hour's drive from the historic cutural centre of Pezenas, with its maze of back-streets hosting very attractive shops, art-galleries, museums, musical happenings and some fine restaurants.
Close to Pezenas there is the Jardin de St Adrien, created in an old stone quarry over the last 30 years, which won the prize for the most beautiful garden in France in 2013 and 2014.
Mediterranean gardens, medieval towns and villages, caves, gorges, lakes, rock-climbing, kayaking, markets and flea-markets.
There is an attractive nine hole golf-course in Lamalou-les-Bains, which is half an hour's drive from Earthsky.
|Rental Period||Minimum Price||Additional Nights||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly||Event Price|
1 Dec 2016 - 31 Mar 2017
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights
1 Apr 2017 - 15 Jun 2017
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights
16 Jun 2017 - 14 Sep 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
15 Sep 2017 - 30 Nov 2017
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights
Additional pricing information
|Refundable Damage Deposit||£129|
The rates listed above are for up to two people.
I charge 5 euros per day for any pet that you bring with you,
on the understanding that your animal is clean, does not wander,
and is well behaved.
Bed-linen and towels are included in the rental price.
Firewood and fuel are charged for according to consumption.
The damage deposit is refundable,
on the condition that the cottage is left as clean and tidy as you have found it,
and that nothing has been damaged.
Owner's Cancellation Policy
From the Owner
“Rustic, bohemian comfort. Tranquility. Bird-song (day and night). Spring water tapped in. Fabulous views. Easy access to an area of devastating natural beauty, prize-winning medieval villages, colourful local markets, and ample opportunities for many and various outdoor activities. A quirky patrone, who lives on the property and is happy to share with you her love of the area.”
- Guest House
- Away From It All
- Sports & Activities
- Activities Guide
- Basic Soaps
- Hair Dryer
- Heating ...
- Laundry Soap
- Linens Provided
- Living Room ...
- Local Activities Guide
- Local Maps
- Local Restaurant Guide
- Paper Towels
- Parking ...
- Parking On Street
- Sofa Bed
- Thermos Flask
- Toilet Paper
- Towels Provided
- Washing Machine ...
- Wireless Internet ...
- Wood Stove ...
- 4 Ring Stove
- Coffee Maker ...
- Cooking Utensils ...
- Dishes & Utensils ...
- Ice Maker
- Kitchen ...
- Oven ...
- Pantry Items
- Hob ...
- Toaster ...
- Dining ...
- Dining Area
- Books ...
- Books - Fiction / Non-fiction
- CD Player
- DVD Player
- Games ...
- Stereo ...
- Video Player
- Video Library ...
- non smoking only ...
- not suitable for children ...
- pets considered ...
- not suitable for elderly or infirm
- wheelchair inaccessible ...
- autumn foliage
- botanical garden
- winery tours
- bird watching
- horse riding
- scenic drives
- sight seeing
Local Services & Businesses
- massage therapist
Sports & Adventure Activities
- fly fishing
- freshwater fishing
- mountain biking
- mountain climbing
- 45 m²
- Bathroom 1 - Toilet, Shower Enclosure
- The en-suite shower-room/wc is light and spacious. It contains a large wardrobe with hanging space and shelves.
- 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 2
- Bedroom 1 - 1 Double Bed
- There is a double bed on the mezzanine, which leads into an en suite wash-room. There is also a sofa-bed in the living-room.
- Deck Chairs
- Bicycles ...
- Terrace ...
- Golf ...
- Kayak / Canoe ...
- Large Cooler
- Garden ...
- Tennis ...
- 2 bicycles
- 2 garden chairs
- There is no vehicle access to Earthsky. Cars are parked in the village below, and access is via a foot-path which is steep and rugged. I have a motorized wheel-barrow and will help you with your luggage ! To enjoy Earthsky you will need to be sure footed and wear very sensible shoes. A good flashlight is also necessary. Smokers are respectfully requested to step onto the terrace and enjoy the magnificent views whilst indulging.