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Review 203: Vacances Provencales Vacations, Mas Phyllis


Review by Shirley from Ontario

2bed/2bath house with pool, Provence


May, 1998


We rented this stone two-story house in mid-May, 1998. We shared it for a week with another couple. It was booked through a Canadian company called Vacances Provencales in Toronto, Ontario. (After our week here, we spent a week in Tuscany. See my Italy review 59.)

We rented the lovely two-story farmhouse that is called "Mas Phyllis". We met our friends in the small, quaint town of Gouadarges, a few kilometers from our house … we were so excited to see each other as each couple had arrived in Europe earlier and had been touring on our own. We had directions to Mas Phyllis but there was some road construction so after mastering the detour signs we finally found the house in a very secluded area just outside the tiny village of St. Andre d’Oleargues. We obtained the key from the neighbor (who looks after the property) and approached the house with much anticipation .. it looked wonderful from the outside.

A large stately stone home with a new freshly dug pool outside. Inside it was just as we thought a provencale home should be. The kitchen was well equipped with dishes, pots, pans, cutlery and even some basic foodstuffs, including laundry detergent, salt, pepper, oil, etc. (of course, we replaced anything we used). There was a clothes washer that gave us many laughs over the next week – it took forever to finish a cycle (once we figured out how to use it!!). There was an older barbeque outdoors that we used a couple of times.

The living room was furnished with leather furniture but we spent little time in this room – when we were home we were outdoors on the cement patio in front sipping wine, chatting, making notes, checking the maps. There were two bedrooms, both with ensuite baths which was perfect for two couples. In the morning, one of us would walk to the village and wait for the truck which brought fresh bread and pastries. Although we walked through the village one morning, there really wasn’t anything other than a few homes and some stray cats! Goudargues however was a cute little town and we ate in one of the few restaurants in town.

We had a few visitors at Mas Phyllis – one invited, one not! After our first day, we discovered that a colony of ants were marching up the side of one of the outdoor walls and in fact were also in the one bathroom upstairs. We bought ant spray in town and while we were able to get rid of the indoor ones, I think the outdoor ants were still multiplying when we left! It was a minor inconvenience. Our other visitor was "le chat", a homeless cat who visits people who rent the house. Never allowed inside, he welcomed us home every night and had his evening meal (animal lovers, we bought him some cat food!).

The house was in a great location and we made many day trips into Avignon, Pont du Gard, Les Beaux, Nimes, Arles, to name a few. The price was very affordable, especially when split between two couples! We loved our week at Mas Phyllis and would highly recommend it.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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