Château de Sibra
Surrounded by a Romanticist park, Château de Sibra is a lovingly restored small boutique hotel in the Cathar region of France, on the doorstep of centuries-old castles and spectacular hiking trails.
The first thing to remember is that time is luxury. So take advantage of the southern rhythm and slow down. Read a good book. Take a plunge in the pool and bask in the sun.
Experience real life in a small French village that’s not overcrowded with tourists.
The house has a great location to explore all that the Provence has to offer.
There is only a small plunge pool but more than enough to refresh and relax on the terrace.
How would you describe Ad Austrum in a nutshell?
Ad Austrum is a 17th century stone house full of history and with a very strong presence in the south of France that we turned into a luxury vacation rental. Originally the owners of the house lived on the first floor while their animals lived on the ground floor. The traditional farmer’s house is set in a rustic village.
The name Ad Austrum is Latin and means ‘to the south’.
What was your inspiration to turn Ad Austrum into a vacation home?
The south of France has always been the location of my dreams and I especially like this area in Languedoc-Roussillon, as it is very authentic. To me the house offers the best of two worlds – the quietness of a small village as well as all the big sights of southern France within close proximity.
I have traveled a lot over the years and really wanted a place that I could call a family home, somewhere I could spend the weekends. For that reason it was very important to me to create a place with a soul. I really put my heart into working on every single detail in order to turn it into a house where everyone would feel comfortable and at home.
How would you describe the style and atmosphere of the house?
Ad Austrum is a typical village house in southern France. Its rough, authentic beauty is emphasized by leaving certain essential materials exposed, such as the wooden beams, and the stone masonry. Texture in general was very important to me when setting up the house.
Some of the furniture in the house is inspired by some of the type of village work in old times. One example is a piece of furniture that was used to store flour, which is now part of the interior design yet used with a completely different purpose. There are little reminders everywhere here of things that were originally used.
The result is a unique mixture of old and new, reminiscent of the old but intrinsically modern. I tried to take the best of both worlds, bringing modern day comforts using the best of the old materials.
How did this part of France influence the style of the house?
Life in the south of France is stylish at every corner. It influenced me in my choices for remodeling and decorating this house. Special antique and brocante pieces were mixed in a modern way. The result is a house that combines aesthetics with comfort and charm and pushes one to daydream, relax or simply slow down and look up at the sky.
What kind of responses do you receive from guests on vacation at Ad Austrum?
Visitors are always surprised by how sophisticated, yet rustic and full of charm the house is. The village where it is located is off the beaten path of tourism.
Holiday guests at Ad Austrum value that the house not only has such an interesting history, but at the same time is homey and full of soul. Unlike a museum this is a place where you can feel at home and take full advantage of what it has to offer. There are a lot of spaces to sit and enjoy different views, so that each day can offer a unique perspective.
What has been the most rewarding renting Ad Austrum to vacation guests?
When I bought the house, I created a whole new floor. I did a lot of heavy renovation for about 2-3 years, and I couldn’t see the end of the renovation work. It felt like it would be endless and it would never be complete. The greatest satisfaction has been to really create a place where people feel good, where they want to come back, and where they can spend their vacation in an authentic experience of the south of France as it used to be.
Our vacation home offers two large bedrooms and a large loft suite with a bedroom and a living room. Each bedroom has its own personal bathroom. All three offer enchanting views of the courtyard and the surrounding landscape.
The living room is encircled by a stone cave, which allows for cooler temperatures even during hot summers. For cold winters our guests can use the fireplace in the dining room to create a cozy atmosphere.
As you might know, eating is a very important part of French culture. Therefore all life in the house is centered on the huge dining room table. Another beautiful place to gather for meals is the courtyard and the garden. In order to make your cooking experience as pleasant as possible the kitchen is fully stocked for you to use.
Lots of the furniture and accessories in the house are original and were created specifically to match the traditional atmosphere of Ad Austrum.
Additional single beds can be added upon request.
Guests can make requests and we’ll do our very best to supply whatever might be needed. A yoga instructor is available, for example.
The first thing to remember is that time is luxury. So take advantage of the southern rhythm and slow down. Read a good book. Take a plunge in the pool and then bask in the sun afterwards.
Uzès is the closest town and it is a charming little historic town full of cafés, great restaurants and interesting little shops and boutiques. Go for a leisurely stroll through the cobblestone streets and admire the beautiful buildings. Or go on top of the bell tower to admire the view from the top. At the market you can buy fresh local produce to prepare a delicious meal back at the house.
The house is located in a part of Languedoc-Roussillon with many sites to visit nearby. You can easily explore the various breathtaking sites in the South of France including Uzès, Arles, Nîmes, the Baux-en-Provence, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Gordes, Roussillon, the Camargue, Aix-en-Provence, or the Luberon region.
Nature surrounds the village of La Capelle et Masmolène. Walk down the path to the pond, bike around the woods, walk in the Garrigue with its thyme and rosemary smells or take a walk around the vineyards and apricot orchards.
If you want to visit all the beautiful sites nearby and a bit farther away in Languedoc-Roussillon or Provence, make sure to take a map with you. There are many hiking trails around the village, Pont du Gard and a bit further away. We will provide you with guidebooks upon arrival. The sky is the limit – it is up to you to choose into which direction you want to take your adventures.
The house is located about 15km from the city of Uzès in Languedoc-Roussillon and is close to all the major sights in southern France.
As a tourist it is often difficult to get a real feeling for how locals live. In this village you will definitely experience true authentic French life and not be disturbed by any tourist groups. The people here live according to the rhythm of the seasons. You can see cattle grazing in the valley around the village of La Capelle et Masmolène, there's a huge pond, and a castle. It's like something out of a storybook.
If you come in the spring, it’s nice to go on a picnics, or to visit the open-air markets and experience fresh produce. We’re pretty much a food destination here.
In August, the bulls are escorted through the streets of Uzès by men on horseback. One of the things the younger crowd enjoys is stopping one of the bulls by surrounding it and taking it by the horns. It's an old tradition. If you've missed the one is Uzès, there are more around the region. It’s also nice to kayak or canoe on the river or to drive down to the sea.
Autumn can be quite nice. You can still do a lot of things outside. And winter brings the truffle festival.
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