How To
Find Us
Country house in Provence, France
+33 (0) 4 93 24 41 38 • 
  Le Foulon :: Links to homepage
No Smoking  
WiFi Zone
    Le Foulon    
 

 

 
   
home
contact & who we are
ENQUIRE & BOOK
---------------------------
video - new
THE FOULON FILM
photo gallery
VIEWS OF LE FOULON
---------------------------
special offers
AND LATE AVAILABILITY
hotel prices
B&B FROM 85 EUROS
weekend group prices
PARTIES AND EVENTS
weekly group prices
SELF-CATERING
corporate travel
MEETINGS & INCENTIVES
weddings
A MARRIAGE IN HEAVEN
---------------------------
the property
ALL YOU NEED
our rooms
LUXURY AND STYLE
our village
GREOLIERES PROVENCE
what to do here
SO MUCH TO SEE
history
A RICH PAST
restaurant & bar
SEASONAL PRODUCE
directions
HOW TO GET HERE
---------------------------
learn french
THE ENJOYABLE WAY
retreat venue
TAI CHI, YOGA, DETOX, ETC
---------------------------
testimonials
CLIENT FEEDBACK
---------------------------
no mosquitoes
A MOSSIE-FREE HOLIDAY

gréolières

THE OLDEST PERCHED MEDIEVAL VILLAGE

4kms, 50 minutes uphill walk through the woods, 30 minutes back! Gréolières, the oldest perched village in Provence, has less than 500 inhabitants, 4 restaurants, a mini-market, gift shop and a hairdresser. It's a sweet place to stroll about, and very un-touristy, but to really understand the history of Gréolières you need to walk a further 10 minutes up the mountain to the ruined old town, now known as Haute Gréolières. Only the chapel has been restored since it was left to the elements when the plague came calling.

The inhabitants of Gréolières fled the town and crossed the valley to the village of Cipieres, taking the plague with them. The survivors who returned vowed never to live in the old buildings again and rebuilt their village just a short distance away. Even today many of the locals still own a few walls among the ruins, but the decision to leave the old village at rest remains.

The commune of Gréolières extends to 5267 hectares and once used to be predominantly farmland. Le Foulon itself was a farm, with the present building being the Maison de Maitre, or in other words, the boss' house. The farm workers lived just down the valley.

The original chateau in Hautes Gréolières over looks the 'new' village just below

It's difficult to imagine the forested hills being cultivated, but take a walk and you'll be stunned at the work that must have gone in to terrace the land. Massive stone walls are everywhere, and when you stop to think about how they were built before the days of mechanical power you begin to picture how tough life must have been here.

Despite their efforts farming was not a profitable business, and with better lines of communication with the coast it only took a blight year to kill the industry altogether. Forest took back over and the deer and boar had a bigger playground once again.

In the village today take a moment at the 9th century fountain that marks the entrance to the Barricade; a small square with a restaurant and pizzeria of the same name. Run by the chic Charlene and her husband they make excellent pizzas in the wood fired oven along with a complete menu of local dishes. If you like your pizza hot ask them to add some fresh chillis (piment frais).

At the top of the village, next to the parking, is the Relais snack bar that also does some great plat du jours. It has a sunny terrace with a lovely view up the mountain and is run by the friendly Corsican Phillipe - ask him "ca va?" (the French national equivalent of 'is life treating you well?', uttered a million times a day throughout the country) and you'll get the same reply every time "toujours!" (always!) probably a symptom of living in such a beautiful part of the World.. Open all day it's a top spot for a quick bite or a refreshing drink.

wedding ceremony
Nothing has changed for centuries

Further through the narrow streets is the Cheiron, run by the husband and wife Marguerite and Patric, who make everyone feel very welcome - another superb and unpretentious Provencal restaurant and one that came to the attention of Michael Winner in his Sunday Times column in the UK. The "Winners Dinner" article is proudly displayed on the wall.

Just opposite is the Vieux Auberge -a restaurant offering great value, great big portons and is a great place to loose a few hours at lunch. The summer terrace s nicely shaded and you can sit and watch the World go by as Didier and his partner look after you. For €24 you can choose any starter main and dessert - the foie gras is really very good, and the Pruneaux (prunes marinaded in wine and served with a boule of vanilla ice cream and a fresh sprig of mint) is a healthy if dangerous way to end a superb meal.

The village, at 800m, is dominated by Mount Cheiron to the north, which rises to over double that at 1778m. This is a beautiful mountain, with a striking ridge and a face known as Les Miroirs because of the way it reflects the sun. I have been to few places in the world where the sky is so blue - I don't know the scientific reasons for it, just that if you look south the sky is incredibly blue, but if you look north above the Cheiron the sky is just about the bluest it can possibly be. It's this view that first encouraged us to create a mezzanine level in the top floor rooms - just so we could put roof windows in and expose this breathtaking panorama - of course we then had to make sure you got the best vista whilst laying in bed!

If you study the ridge you'll soon locate 2 aerial masts (which will explain why you've got such good mobile phone reception) - the first to the West is known as Cime du Cheiron and the second a little to the East is called Jerusalem; these are the highest points to our very own ski station, Gréolières Les Neiges, which drops down the other side of the mountain. Obviously it's incredibly far south for a ski resort, but being north facing what snow it does get stays for quite a while.

The resort is open from Christmas to March and is great fun for a day or two whatever your level of competence, and a great place to learn snow boarding or skiing. What's more, it's only 15 minutes drive from Le Foulon. Which is nice. Read more about the resort here.

the sunny meditation room
The restored chapel in Haute Gréolières
the sunny meditation room
The local walks are simply breathtaking
the sunny meditation room
Gréolières has less than 500 inhabitants
the sunny meditation room
The view of Gréolières from Cipieres across the valley of the wolf
the sunny meditation room
The ruins of Hautes Gréolières
the sunny meditation room
View from the face of Mount Cheiron looking down the valley of the wolf to the gorge and the Mediterranean beyond
 

 

 

 
All Content © Nick Vyse &
Mia Strudwick 2014
SARL VS Proprietes, TVA FR33482895398
Le Foulon, 4220 Route de Grasse, 06620, Gréolières, France
SIRET: 48289539800014

Site Map
Site built by Electric Farm

Resources