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18thCentury property : Stunning Location, 3 private pools, river, cascades,views - Romantic, stone vaulted Bergerie for 2, private pools & views.

Bedrooms 1
Space 430 sq. ft.
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 3 - 14 nights



Romantic, stone vaulted Bergerie for 2, private pools & views.

This romantic hide-away is in the southernmost part of the 18th century olive mill, with direct access to the grounds overlooking our valley& the hills beyond. It is completely private, with its own secluded pool & own private road. There are 3 rooms: the main room(30m2), with an impressive vaulted ceiling, is beautifully furnished with good quality modern(king bed) & period furniture. TV. The fully equipped kitchen has a 2nd dining area. The wet room has a large,walk-in shower,basin,WC & washing machine. The terrace,with dining furniture,has wonderful views across the valley,where you can see all varieties of wild life: wild boars running beside the river at dusk,red squirrels,red legged partridge & pheasants. A wild tortoise family (please don’t disturb) lives under our plum trees next to the wild orchids. You will see eagles & hawks soaring below . THE POOL IS SOLAR HEATED in spring and autumn.

About the property

18thC Olive Mill,river,3 pools

The photos here (except the high waterfall)are of our olive mill at Sillans la Cascade:

PLEASE ASK FOR OUR WEB ADDRESS FOR MORE PHOTOS of our olive mill & for details of its 3 BED house for 6 (own private pool), 2 BED COTTAGE (own private, heated pool) FOR 4 persons, STUDIO (own private, heated pool) FOR 2 persons.

Please see captions under each photo to identify which refer to the Tower House, the Cottage or the Studio.

Featured as one of the "Top Ten Riverside Gîtes" in "A River Runs Through It: The Top Ten Riverside Gîtes For A Spot Of Wild Swimming":

Architect owner's beautifully restored 18th century Olive Mill faces full south across its own valley, with a river (several waterfalls & natural pools) & 30 acres of hills (ancient woodlands), wildflower, herbs, cherry, plum, fig & apricot trees as well as wild asparagus & truffles. The house, the cottage & the studio each has its own very private pool well away from the others, each in secluded grounds overlooking the valley (the Cottage & Studio pools are heated in spring & autumn). ALL OF THE POOLS HAVE IRON SAFETY FENCES.

The property has 30 acres of hills, ancient woodlands of pines, oak, and laurel, wildflowers (orchids), herbs (thyme, rosemary, mint, lavender, fennel, marjoram), cherries, plums, apricots, figs, and wild asparagus. Olive trees grow by our river (fishing is possible). The Domain is completely private, but within easy walking distance of the village. The Mill has been restored to provide three completely self-contained dwellings, each with its own private pool set well away from the others.

The extensive gardens, the hills and our private valley are perfect for exploring - the river just below our olive grove helps  make the Olive Mill an unforgettable and unique holiday. . There are a series of shallow pools in between the cascades which you can explore and which are a great success with children. 

The Tower House (sleeps 6) was the original dwelling for the large stone olive mill which was built in the 18th century. It faces full south over an enclosed courtyard, overlooking grassy terraces which lead down to the pool. There are extensive views from each window and a panorama east, south, and west from the large roof terrace. The property has been completely restored (using period materials where possible, but incorporating the best modern equipment in the kitchen and bathrooms) and has excellent outdoors facilities: grassy terraces planted with lavender, sage, and irises, with wild mint and rosemary, mature trees for shade, a beautiful pool (ten by five meters) with natural stone surround, barbecue on the roof terrace, swings for children, and unlimited space for all games.

The TOWER(MAIN)HOUSE accommodation consists of:

* Large Ground Floor hall paved with stone. There is a guest water closet.

* First Floor includes double bedroom (en suite shower and water closet) with exposed beams. Good quality double bed, antique furniture and lovely views of trees and - when the leaves have dropped- hills extending for miles to the east. Landing and stairs to second floor.

* Second Floor includes sunny and spacious kitchen/dining room with original Provençale floor tiles and exposed beams. The kitchen is fully-equipped with Siemens dishwasher, top of the range  Siemens stainless steel electric oven, microwave oven, large refrigerator/freezer, and a good supply of small electrical equipment (toaster, kettle, coffee maker, juice extractor, blender, and beaters). There are extensive views south across the 18th century courtyard.

Well-decorated sitting room with comfortable sofas, antique furniture, with exposed beams, original Provençale floor tiles, television. View across leafy courtyard to hills beyond.

Second, main double bedroom with antique furniture, double aspect south & west with views extending for miles over countryside.

Small third twin bedroom (2 single beds) with views south and east through trees (mulberry and fig, as well as ash and pine) and across our valley towards the river.

Bathroom with bath, antique walnut furniture (modern basin and fittings), and third water closet. There is a fourth water closet on this floor.

Steep stairs lead to the third floor.

* Third Floor is a  magnificent roof terrace paved with white natural stone, with panoramic views east, south and west across valleys and hills. Furnished (teak table, chairs, benches), with external lighting for outdoor meals. There is also a barbecue & second sink.

The  washing machine is in a separate laundry room  (for the exclusive use of the Tower House) at ground floor level.

Behind the large pool (see photo on web page) there is play equipment for young children: climbing frame with swing,slide, table and chairs for painting etc.

We can lend you (free of charge) a cot (please bring your own cot sheets, cot blankets and baby pillow - babies sleep better with familiar smells!), a high chair, a push chair (please check on availability).

Activities (on site or nearby): Hiking, Biking (bicycles can be hired at Salernes), Fishing, Hunting, Wildlife viewing, Horseback riding, Golf, Tennis, Shopping, Swimming, Water-skiing, Boating. 

The river, with several waterfalls, is a wonderful spot for fishing, exploring, etc.

Some other suggestions, among many:

*  Explore the hills and valley of our property - the olive grove, the herbs and wild flowers, the river, the waterfalls.

*  Go fishing, paddling, swimming in the river

*  Choose from an endless number of walks in the unspoiled countryside all around, starting from your doorstep.

*  Go to the local markets and rediscover what food used to taste like.

*  Long, lazy lunches (and dinners) outside: by the pool or on your private terrace overlooking our valley.

*  Lose the extra calories by cycling from hilltop village to hilltop village.

*  Antique and bric-a-brac hunting at Salernes, Cotignac, Tourtour.

*  Take a canoe ride in the heart of Provence, following the Argens river for 7 km. See

* Explore Gorges de Verdon - the extraordinary grand canyon (or ride a canoe down it). See

*  Visit the  castle at Entrecasteaux

*  Bump into Princess Caroline at chi-chi St Tropez.

*  Picnic in the chestnut forests outside lovely Collobrières.

*  Drive to the top of Tourtour (cycle if you're mad) and let the Var and the Med take your breath away.

*  Marseille, 1 hour away, is France's most exciting city, and home to the world's best bouillabaisse.

*  Avignon, 2 hours away, is a fine city still showing its medieval charm with the Pope's Palace.

*  Go wine-tasting at the local vineyards .

*  Day trips to Monte Carlo, Nice, Cannes, Aix, Hyères (the islands), even Italy.

*  Children like to make a list of all the animals and insects they see, sometimes keeping a diary with drawings, lists, leaves and petals to remind them of Provence. 

*  Just read..... and read....... and read.


Since 2010 our property has been a Natura2000 site: this is a European Union classification, established by government decree. 

Each government, having selected these sites,  which are of extraordinary importance for the biodiversity of the environment, is obliged by European and national law to protect the sites.

Within our property there are two rare and endangered animal species, both protected by international treaties: Testudo hermanni (a tortoise which lives in our fields. Baby tortoises have been sighted over several years) and Rhinolophus hipposideros (a tiny bat which lives in a pre-historic grotto on our land. It flies between the grotto and the river and doesn’t fly near the buildings). It is most important that these animals be left alone and certainly not touched. 

The wild flora within our property is also extra-ordinary.  A small selection is on this link:

(these are ALL wild flowers)


(the lavender is not wild).

The river is spectacular, with large, clear pools & a 10m high waterfall. Golf at 30min, horse riding in the village, fishing in the river, idyllic walks & cross-country cycling. The Domain is completely private, but within easy walking distance of the village. Equidistant from Nice & Aix-en-Provence, with St Tropez an easy drive south.

As well as the outstanding scenic splendours of Provence at your doorstep (waterfalls,wine domains,ancient buildings & still-preserved hill villages to visit in the immediate area), less than an hour away are the fabulous Mediterranean coast,sandy beaches,sailing to the islands for a lazy day trip, cafés, glamorous shops.....

More Details

Member since: 1998
Speaks: english, french, italian
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
September 8, 2017

About owner

Visitors' Comments:

"“We had a brilliant stay - a fantastic time! it was a lovely place to stay and enjoy the local countryside, waterfalls and access to local towns of interest like Moustier, Cotignac, Aix, Antibes, St Paul de Vence, even Sillans was very lovely! Everything was perfect and we had all we needed to have a very comfortable stay.

Thank you so much for re scheduling us in and we hope to return.

Would highly recommend the cottage! Great to have a swim in the first week of October! “

KG, Norfolk, England, October 2016

"Many thanks for returning the deposit. We had an absolutely lovely stay, thank you very much for everything. Your grounds are stunning; we loved the waterfalls. The prooerty is absolutely delightful and we found everything we needed there. Richard was very impressed with your barbeque and has been searching for an identical one since we got back home.

Thanks to Catherine too for making us feel so welcome. We hope to come back and visit again!"

Gemma and Richard, Reading, England

"Everything was excellent and charming and we will recommend the olive mill to our friends.

We wanted to say goodbye to Catherine, who was very kind with us, but we didn´t find her."

Berthold W. Emmendingen, Germany

"Our holiday was fantastic. Everything was provided and appreciated such an incredibly beautiful place we hope we can return soon."

Sarah & Paul R. Paris, France

"Thank you very much, we had a great holiday in your olive mill and in Provence. We appreciate a lot the wi-fi :-) It was of a great quality."

Jurgita B. Vilnius, Lithuania

“Thanks for sharing your private paradise with us : everything was fantastic, beyond expectations! We will strongly recommend your property to our friends."

owner purchased this cottage in 1990

Why owner chose Provence

Our family moved from London to Provence in 1988. The olive mill was still owned by the Count de Castellane, whose family had owned the entire village of Sillans la Cascade since 1781. The properties were all sold towards the end of the 20th century when the last Count died without heirs.

The Domaine des Baumes is an authentic 17th-18th century olive mill with medieval vestiges, in an important natural environment which includes a listed waterfall. The entire property is protected by European legislation ("Natura2000").

It is very private but not isolated, with wonderful views. Walk to the village for morning croissants and coffee. Morning swimming in the river with its multiple cascades, lunch under ancient mulberry and fig trees, siesta by private pool..

Easy drive to lake Ste Croix (boating, swimming, sailing) and to the coast.

What makes this cottage unique

In the heart of a European-protected natural site ('Natura2000') with private river, several waterfalls and low cascades, very private restored olive mill dating from the Middle Ages provides accommodation for as few as 2 persons and as many as 12 in three completely independent and private dwellings, each with its own private, unshared pool.

Outstanding views and wildlife including two protected, endangered species.

A part of our river and our small waterfall of 10metres have also been classified by the French government as protected sites.

The land is free of all chemicals and has never been farmed intensively. The olive grove is also completely organic.

Featured as one of the "Top Ten Riverside Gîtes" in "A River Runs Through It: The Top Ten Riverside Gîtes For A Spot Of Wild Swimming":


“The Cottage was exactly what we were after – a picturesque property set in beautiful grounds. Catherine provided a warm welcome upon arrival and checked that we had everything we needed. The Cottage itself was spotlessly clean and had all the mod cons one would require (loved the gas bbq). The swimming pool was lovely for a quick dip to cool down and had magnificent views. The nearby river and waterfall (which you could swim in) was a hidden gem. Lots of quaint little Provincial towns nearby to explore and near the Lac de Sainte-Croix (30 mins drive away) was unbelievable for swimming in – much better than any beach I have been to of late. Would highly recommend this property.”

George and Clair, London, September 2016

Guestbook comments from the owner

"Many thanks for a truly wonderful stay at in the studio. The one consolation of being home is that the weather here is very Provencal!

Jill and I have thought and thought about how or if our stay could have been improved any further and we have to admit that we can’t. It was all pretty perfect. I think that what you are doing and what you have got is just about right. We would certainly have no hesitation in recommending the holiday to friends and relatives.

Do pass on our thanks to Catherine, she was so helpful and full of really good tips about what to do and what to see.

Once again, thanks for a memorable holiday."
Jun 2013
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Available Rentals

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Please ask for our web address.
For photos see:please contact owner

We prefer a Thursday arrival: travelling is easier for our visitors, queues at airports are shorter, shopping for the weekend is easier AND fares are much cheaper.

You can fly to any one of 3 airports & be within an easy drive of our property: Nice 110km (66 miles),Toulon/St Tropez airport 100km (60 miles),Marseile 100km (60 miles).Ryan air/easy Jet/German operators HLX & Condor.
Euro star/ TGV to Avignon. Direct flights New York-Nice.

The Pool is solar heated except in high summer, when it is not necessary.
I wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed staying at your Olive Mill. It was such a gorgeous setting - from the arched stone ceiling to the view over the valley to the private pool. It was all that I hoped it would be. It’s always a little scary committing to a place sight unseen, but the Studio lived up - and even surpassed - our expectations. The time we spent at the Olive Mill will always be remembered as a special period.
We had a wonderful holiday in your fabulous property. It was the most relaxing holiday we have had for many years.The studio is absolutely perfect & the setting is glorious. We hope to return in the future.
Dr F and DR J .C.,Oxford

We had a wonderful holiday and thoroughly enjoyed our stay in the Studio, I would absolutely recommend it to anyone wishing to stay in Provence.
Deborah, Edinburgh
We have thoroughly enjoyed staying in your beautiful house - we loved the things you have done.
Jennie and Matthew, Kent
“First thing to say is that the Studio was a fabulous place, the buildings, the location and the surrounding area were truly memorable. Quite the most enchanting of holidays....


Sillans-la-Cascade Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Optional
Floor Area:
  • 430 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 2
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Rural
  • Village
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Basic Soaps
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street
  • Shampoo
  • Sunbed
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Grill
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom - toilet , shower , wet room
  • The generous wet room (a real one!) has an extra large walk-in shower. There is also a washing machine, ironing board & iron, hair dryer. All linen is supplied, including towels for the pool.
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 2
  • Bedroom - 1 king , 1 baby crib , 1m 60 wide
  • The Bergerie's generous main room has well-defined 'living' and 'sleeping' areas. The good quality (1m 60 cm wide) double bed has a canopy separating it from the dining/sitting space. Antique oak dining table with pretty Provençal chairs, comfortable modern settee, armchair, Provençal sideboard & wardrobe, TV (DVD) & CD player.
  • Audio Tape Player
  • Books
  • Books for Adults
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Music Library
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Television
  • VCR
  • Video Library
  • Beach Chairs
  • Beach Towels
  • Bicycles ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Golf
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Outdoor Grill Gas
  • Porch / Veranda ...
  • Tennis
  • Terrace
  • 2 bicycles
  • 4 garden chairs
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Heated Pool
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Private Pool ...
  • autumn foliage
  • botanical garden
  • caves
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • forests
  • library
  • museums
  • playground
  • pond
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • waterfalls
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • jet skiing
  • mountain biking
  • mountaineering
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
“Just wanted to drop you a line to say thanks again for providing the Studio for our holiday, it was a truly wonderful place to stay – I wasn’t expecting the wild tortoise! We seem to have brought the weather with us back to England too, although there’s no danger of getting burnt here !  We will definitely be looking to return, there was so much more we wanted to do, you were right – a week is nowhere near enough. We now know that there’s no point searching for anywhere else to stay in the region either – you wouldn’t find better !” Matt and Catherine, Lancashire “We had a lovely, relaxing time. The location is great.” Gareth, Switzerland “Thank you so much for our stay, it was so beautiful and peaceful. We found everything we needed , and were especially excited to find the bottle of rosé waiting after our long drive! Catherine was very helpful too and she kindly chatted and told us the history of the mill which was interesting too. Thanks again for having us.” Ian& Lindsey, Northern


5/5 -
(3 traveler reviews)

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Romantic, stone vaulted Bergerie for 2, private pools & views.
average rating of 5.0 based on 10 reviews

Don't be surprised if we book again.

  • 5 of 5

Don't be surprised if we book again.  We both lead quite hectic and public lives so we adore the isolation of such a lovely place as the studio.  

Mike and I both enjoyed Aups and went there a few times for coffee in the square, and we thought Fox Amphoux was stunning.

  • Submitted: Sep 8, 2009
  • Stayed: Aug 2009
  • Source: HomeAway
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27 0
Manchester, UK

A perfect hideaway, beautiful inside and out.

  • 5 of 5

"The Studio is a perfect hideaway, beautiful inside and out. The highlight was watching wild tortoises come up to the driveway whilst we had lunch. The Olive Mill property as a whole is genuinely spectacular, walking down to the river with the butterflies fluttering around your ankles really is like something out of a fairy story! The waterfall itself is well worth swimming under - I've never been in water so cold!

If you want to explore the region the location is excellent - easily drivable to the coast and to northern attractions such as Avignon and Orange. But if you want to be lazy and do nothing I cannot imagine anywhere better to do it. We will be back!

Matt and Catherine, Manchester, UK"

  • Submitted: Aug 10, 2009
  • Stayed: Jul 2009
  • Source: HomeAway
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28 0
London, UK

We will definitely be back!

  • 5 of 5

We had an absolutely fantastic time and there wasn't anything else we could have asked for.

I would recommend it to anyone.

We will definitely be back in the future. Thank you for letting us stay there!

  • Submitted: Aug 10, 2009
  • Stayed: Jul 2009
  • Source: HomeAway
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25 0


Nearest Airport
100 Kilometres
Nearest Barpub
1 Kilometres
Sillans la Cascade
Nearest Ferry
80 Kilometres
Toulon (for Corsica)
Nearest Train
30 Kilometres
Draguignan/Les Arcs or Aix ,
Nearest Motorway
20 Kilometres
Le Luc or Brignoles
Nearest Restaurant
1 Kilometres
Sillans la Cascade
Nearest Beach
64 Kilometres
St Raphael
Car: recommended

The Olive Mill nestles in the countryside near the little village of Sillans la Cascade, in the heart of Provence. The beaches of the Cote d'Azur are directly south and to the north (30km) are the Gorges(grand canyon) de Verdon & the Lake Sainte Croix. The Grand Canyon is spectacular - created over a period of thousands of years, it is unique in Europe.

Nice & Marseille airports are just over 1 hour away.

It is an easy walk to the village & 5-10 minutes’ drive to Aups, Cotignac & Salernes. Nearby are Tourtour, famous for its antiques, restaurants & music festival, Cotignac (a walker's paradise with fascinating cave dwellings & several medieval monasteries), Entrecasteaux (outstanding formal gardens & towering castle), La Roquebrussane(home of Provencal cooking: please ask to book a class ).

Michelin starred restaurants are at Tourtour, Lorgues, Moustiers, Callas & Grimaud. It is an easy walk to our excellent village restaurants.

A prehistoric cave is also to be found on our own property: please ask to visit.

Other Activities: canoeing, water skiing at the lake, fishing and swimming in our river, mountaineering at the Gorges Verdon.


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