In property parlance there is away-from-it-all, and then there is La Canabière. The location of this outstanding eight-bedroom bastide in the commune of Mons – designated a World Heritage Site – is simply outstanding.
Owner Molly Holt discovered it when she was snooping round the Siagne Gorge looking for a property on behalf of a friend. When she eventually found La Canabière she wanted it for herself – badly.
“It was love at first sight,” says Molly, a businesswoman turned professional sailor.
“I have been here 18 years, and I want to pass it on to someone who really appreciates the incredible setting of the house.”
The name Canabière one naturally associates with Marseille, but there are canebières in just about every commune in France. It denotes an area used to grow hemp, and dates from the Middle Ages when communes were obliged by law to supply the raw material for rope to the French navy.
Molly is a realist who knows that it is likely that someone investing the €1,100,000 needed to secure the purchase would look to make some money back through renting.
“This has been for us a perfect family home for many years. I chose the area in part to satisfy the wishes of my two children. My son wanted to be in a place where he could ski in the morning and swim in the sea come the afternoon, and my daughter yearned to learn the violin and become a ballerina. Living in the Alpes-Maritimes made all that possible.
“We are offering La Canabière fully furnished and ready for holiday letting, including towels, linen, shower gels and body lotions!” says Molly, who is planning to move on to new adventures now that her children have flown the nest.
The garden’s lawns sweep under olive trees – most years Molly gets around 100 litres of oil from them. Dotted around the 15-acre estate is a boules pitch, a badminton area, swings and hammocks, and of course the pool house and the swimming pool itself. The garage features a sauna and gym equipment.
Just off the front terrace – delightful with old stone table and vine arbour – is the 17th-century bake-house that makes a wonderful barbecue area with sink and kitchen-standard work surfaces.
Three paths lead from the house, the first climbs to caves and potholes (for speleo enthusiasts only). Les Grottes des Canebière offers hundreds of metres of the underworld wonder. Another path leads from the wild flower meadow over a small footbridge and drops southward to the river Siagne – further downstream is the beautiful Roman bridge of Le Pont des Tuves. A third path leaves from the back, out the conservatory door and down northward to the river. Here you will find a series of rock pools and waterfalls, great places to dive and swim, fish, and explore. Upstream there is a natural stone bridge and no sign of civilisation until you hit the Route Napoleon near Escragnolles. Enjoy, the trails are unending.
So if you are looking for absolute peace and tranquillity, then look no further. Yet you are less than a 10-minute drive to the historic town of St Cezaire sur Siagne, and under an hour to Cannes. A private drive leads to the house, which is located in the centre of a wide valley with cliffs rising to several hundred metres on both sides. The house is positioned to capture the sun for the longest possible period of the day. The house is a traditional stone construction and has all of its original character intact.
To the rear of the property is a lovely self-contained gîte. Carved out of the cliff face, the gîte has fantastic features such as a bedroom is formed from a cave in the cliff.
The whole property has the special feel of a human habitation at one with nature. Surrounded by impressive cliffs and mountains, with the crystal waters of the Siagne running along the boundary, this hidden gem is one of the jewels in the crown of an area of outstanding natural beauty.
For more details contact Tim Clark of Leggett Immobilier on 06 76 59 25 88.