Medieval stone house in quaint village of Sauve overlooking the Vidourle River
Alison Johnston Lohrey
- english, french
About Alison Johnston Lohrey
I have been an artist, a painter for over 30 years and lived in France in 2007 where I fell in love with this village. With the help of french friends I renovated this stone niche into a lovely petite maison which serves as a retreat, a source of inspiration and part-time home for a displaced franco-phile.
Alison Johnston Lohrey purchased this Apartment in 2008
Why Alison Johnston Lohrey chose Sauve
Fell in love with the view! Watching the sunrises and sunsets and listening to all the birds and the great sky. The space is cozy and comfortable and charming. You are private yet just in the midst of the vibrant village life, a walking village where you get to know your neighbors. I love it.
What makes this Apartment unique
Two doorways away is Chez Fouzia, a fabulous gourmet épicérie where one can find everything from fresh goat cheese to the best strawberries in France, les gariguettes. Everything you need from local wines to great olives, produce and staples as well. Each morning pastries and breads arrive from the local bakeries. On Saturday mornings head to the Sauve's own marché next to le Café du Jardin where you can enjoy un café créme after stocking up on freshest local produce.
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
Another enjoyable visit to Sauve
We discovered Alison's "Hideaway" four years ago on our first trip to the area. Loving everything about the apartment and Sauve itself, as well as the surrounding area and towns, we have now visited three times, most recently over Christmas 2018. Each visit, the apartment has been perfect, it has charm and coziness, a beautiful view and a wonderful mix of a medieval feel with a few modern artistic touches. Alison's images of her apartment perfectly represent the feel of the space. Of course, we will return again, thank you, Alison! À bientot! Tori & Jim
Tori and Jim it’s always a pleasure to welcome you two!
So happy you enjoyed celebrating in Sauve
around the holidays.
Love to hear what adventures you had in
le Gard this time :-)
I look forward to returning mid-March for a walk on Le Chemin de St Jacques! À bientôt!
Perfect retreat in a picturesque setting!
My daughter and I spent an amazing long weekend at Alison’s place. Both the apartment, and the village were exactly what we needed after a hectic week of touring Paris. Originally we intended to use the Sauve apartment as a central point for touring Southern France, but once we arrived, it became apparent that we didn’t need to leave. The apartment was lovely and comfortable, the views were extraordinary, the village welcoming, and the dining options phenomenal—La Tour de Mole is a must! Get your coffee from Fouzia, the owner of the Epicerie downstairs—walk across the river for the freshest of delectable pastries from the Boulangerie, and spend relaxing evenings having cocktails in the public square just outside your door... highly recommend!!
I am so happy you had fantastic time in Sauve and that you found “la maison des hirondelles”
a truly magical place. The memories will linger until you return again, which you must!
Quaint, atmospheric, but impractical. We do not recommend this gîte.
Very difficult outside access for anyone with reduced mobility due to irregular stairs, a steep slope (no hand rail either), while inside, the actual steep stone stairs were a risk as well. Adequately furnished but too much was actually housing the owner's belongings. Overall effect was rather cramped. Negotiating the stairs at night to use the toilet meant my wife had to sleep in the single bed outside the bathroom! No ventilation in the bathroom/ toilet led to condensation which was made worse whenever it rained as the wall next to the window became very damp; instructions during and after rain, were left for us to remove soft furnishings, (cushions etc.,) away from that window. There was no timer or thermostat for the hot water which was absolutely scalding; particularly with metal taps that turned the opposite way around! Immersion heater and washing machine shared the same plug and we queried the loose wire from the plug of the heater but were told that this was 'normal'. We did not notice the absence of television set or micro wave oven on the site details, but both items were sorely missed. The hand written book of 'do's and dont's' was detailed but failed to give information about doctors, chemists, nearest hospital etc... Tourist information that was left out was stale, going back two or three years. On the plus side the lady who met us was very helpful, made up the spare bed willingly and returned to fix the temperamental WiFi. The owner with whom we raised our initial problems offered to give us our money back and help find somewhere else, but having put in so much effort, we decided to stay especially as the first three days were taken up with a wedding nearby, (our main reason for renting the gite). In the absence of a visitor's book it would be difficult to verify that we were the proverbial 'exception' in raising the problems listed above. The beds were comfortable but difficult to make due to poor access. The two floors were clean but cluttered and we had to keep our empty bags and boxes, in the car. Great views from both windows over the river and its wildlife - especially in the morning - but we missed not having curtains at night due to the well lit car park below. The site may give marks of 5 out of 5 which seems incredible. We certainly cannot recommend this place which we do not believe meets with minimum standards and is anything but... 'romantic'... Have HomeAway/Abritel actually vetted it???
When I go traveling, I look for an accommodation which exemplifies the authentic beauty and quaintness of the place in which it is located, and allows me to imagine the history of that culture. If I am going to attend a wedding I look for a hotel with a big bathroom and plenty of square footage to prepare for that important event. I also study VERY CLOSELY the photographs supplied and understand completely the floor plan before I rent a place. I ask questions of the hosts in advance if I have a special need. Everything about my rental is made clear on its HomeAway listing from the square footage, the stone stairs with railings, the entryway, the diminutive bathroom, the bedroom just off the bathroom, the bedroom curtains for shutting out light, and the absence of a television and a microwave. I planned the renovation of this 900 year old stone apartment and it is a lot like living on a schooner in the upper level. Everything has its place, just not an immense one. If large is essential, I rent large. If I want all the amenities I choose a place with lots of bells and whistles. As a seasoned traveler I know that if I do not ask the questions before booking a private residence my assumptions become resentments when I arrive to find my expectations dashed. Knowing my own personal requirements and limitations is my responsibility as the guest, not of the owner of the rental. The wording about mobility impairment being a challenge has been addressed in my listing. The hot water heater will be looked into. I am currently working on a plan to renovate the exterior facade with approval and assistance from the village, a complicated procedure in a designated historic village. Again as previously stated in several emails, I am very sorry you did not have a pleasant experience. Bon chance la prochaine fois.
river pageant under our window
Great little nook, just steps below the sunny open square, just overlooking the Vidourle with its constant pageant of colors, forms, sounds, the warm glow of emerging spring, the hearty roar of the resurgent waters after a rain, the children's voices from the playground, the paddling mother mallard with her nine new downy ducklings... and Helene the hostess was very helpful with our questions. Merci for your part in our delightful stay in Sauve!
IRichard And Elaine,
It is wonderful to know that
you were able to share in the magic of spring in Sauve! Your impressions are so very accurate! The view from my window truly is a constant source of inspiration anytime of the year.
An incredibly beautiful place to visit ❤️
I had the most wonderful stay in the charming and very quaint "Appartement des Hirondelles". It's situation is perfect overlooking the Vidourle river with lots of bird activity and just loved the swallows. It's also very close to the village convenient to the shops and restaurants .
Had wonderful walks every day on the "Mer des Rochers" Sea of Rocks and an interesting visit to Chateau de Rocquevaire . I highly recommend Sauve and the Appartment as a place to include on one's bucket list! Thank you Alison for everything.
Quaint and Cozy Apartment
We had a lovely time in this small, quaint and cozy apartment that looks over the Vidourle river in Sauve, France. The apartment is tastefully decorated and clean. It was also supplied with everything we needed, so that all we had to do was buy our food. The owner and manager were very helpful making our stay that much nicer. We would stay there again!
Sauve is a wonderful village to explore by foot, a dense medieval village built on a hill overlooking the Vidourle River backed by La Mer des Roches, the the 'sea of rocks' great for exploring with sturdy shoes, a day-pack, lunch and plenty water. For a longer 13 km hike one can walk from Sauve to Corconne, another nearby village with an ancient stone church high on a cliff which marks the end of the days hike. Enjoy a meal at a local restaurant called Sous le Chêne, 'Under the Oak' in the town below with its lovely olive groves. Check the local bus schedule to find one passing by to take you back to Sauve via Quissac. **see note below
Sauve is filled with many quaint art studios and galleries, a gourmet épicerie called Chez Fouzia, several fine restaurants including le Tour du Mole and le Trouquet Toque, yoga classses, concerts, a Flea Market May1st, a Fête du Violon in June, a Music Festival in July, weekly Saturday markets, and 1st Sundays Art events and festivals throughout the year.
Horseback riding is available nearby at l'Asinerie des Garrigues, and l'Ecurie de Liouc and often in the summer horses can be seen parading into the river below to cool off with their riders.
A beautiful path connects Sauve to Quissac and meanders next to the Vidourle River where nature lovers may see blue heron, white egrets, beaver, muskrat, plentiful fish, as well as many song birds, butterflys and dragonflys.
For the avid cyclist the small roads of the region up into the Cevennes are unsurpassable. For a child safe 5 km bike route try la Voie Verte or 'the green way' an old train track now paved for bicyling, walking, running and rollerblading between Sauve and Quissac.
Perhaps the most stunning attraction in Sauve is the Source, where the Vidourle River after traveling 10km 'sous terrran' or underground through the limestone, from St. Hippolyte du Forte to Sauve, suddenly re-emerges at the foot of the village gushing up from deep in the ground into the river. At times of high rainfall the sound is deafening and the energy astounding.
Nearby Anduze is a great Sunday destination where a year round flea market is a great reason to browse for antiques and treasures. The town is famous for its rich glazed plant pots and ceramics. Enjoy déjeuner in one of the several outside cafés. Choose one facing south in the fall and winter!
Near Anduze is an intriguing Botanical Garden known as the Bambouseraie can be seen, with every specie of bamboo.
Uzés, once a small Gallo-Roman villageand dating from the first century BC, is now a gorgeous city of 8500 45 minute drive east of Sauve where the most beautiful market is set up twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays inside the city in a car free zone surrounded by richly appointed limestone dwellings. Uzés was the source of the water which the Romans ingeniously transported 22 km to Nimes via an aquaduct and the famous Pont du Gard one of the wonders of France, several kilometers away.
**Note that if personal mobility is a concern Sauve may not be the best choice as the road surfaces are uneven in many places and the small paved paths are often steeper or with stairs.