France gite accommodation, Mercantour, sleeps 6
Description from the accommodation owner
France gite accommodation, Mercantour, sleeps 6: the story of this holiday company
The proprietors have been living full time in France since 2003, after a chance happening upon the lovely area of the Mercantour in 2001. Just an hour from the French Riviera, yet in an unspoilt National Park - it seemed like a dream opportunity. The house is a former farm, which remains an ongoing project (it is a big place!). The owners wish to create an energy efficient and tranquil environment and to extend guest accommodation, thus allowing them to share their love of the area with their guests, as well as to bring much needed revenue into the Vesubie valley.
Responsible tourism: France gite accommodation, Mercantour, sleeps 6
Food air miles are limited here as fresh organic produce, fruit and veg, milk, cheese and honey (and now from our own bees!!) are available within walking distance. Our water comes straight from the hill. We also grow our own vegetables, which we are happy to share with our guests.
Although we are 5km from the nearest town, we do try to encourage guests to use the €1.50 Alpes-Maritimes bus, and limit our road miles as much as possible using our minibus.
We recycle as much as possible and have now have a super "green" heat pump to supply hot water and the central heating.
Information is provided to our guests to enable them to enjoy the Park to the maximum while showing the utmost respect for the environment. We only use local, qualified guides who are passionate about the area that they live in. They are paid a living wage for their excellent services.
We are 100% focused on creating awareness of this magical corner of South East France. Your walking leader is a partner of the Mercantour National Park, which has a continual training programme for its leaders, to keep them abreast of developments and issues, and to enrich their local knowledge. Visitors can enjoy an unspoilt mountain environment and appreciate a traditional rural way of life. As permanent residents we are fully integrated into the community in the Vésubie valley.
As we await permission to fulfill our vision for our centuries old farm house and land, we are keen to implement as many environmentally sympathetic measures as possible. We encourage the preservation of our pure water which comes straight off the mountain and use our splendid climate for laundry drying outside.
As much waste as possible is re-cycled, including pony manure which goes straight onto our vegetable patch. We aim to be as self sufficient as possible from your own garden. Guests are welcome to help themselves to fruit and vegetables.
When meals are provided they are prepared with local produce only, often solely from the Vésubie valley. Vegetarians are willingly catered for. Energy efficient bulbs are used throughout the house. We try to minimise the use of paper in our office. Guests are encouraged to shop locally and of course to respect the integrity of the National Park.
We only work with qualified guides for all activities. These passionate locals create a genuine and rich experience for our visitors. They are paid the appropriate rate for professional guides. Our local accommodation partners are chosen for their warm welcome and a willingness to share their love for the region.
In the longer term we will use abundant natural resources (wood and sunshine) for heat and light as well as providing alternative accommodation on our land. We work closely with other like minded partners here in the Mercantour, and can offer other eco accommodation, plus those adapted for the less mobile. We have have our own horse who is available for riding and taking out as a companion on day walks.
We have lived here in the Mercantour for 12 years and are proud to be part of the community. The area, despite its proximity to the French Riviera, is quite poor, but inhabited by people who are passionate about the area, so we are delighted to be able to make an impact on the local economy. Our guests can take advantage of our local knowledge for walks and other activities, and recommendations for fun places to eat and drink. Therefore guests don't waste a Euro or a day being disappointed, and our local suppliers who merit support, get it.
We support the active community in Roquebilliere with its local weekly market, and buy as much as possible from local producers. We are also keen to contribute to cultural events which keep the "patrimoine" of the area buoyant - these include dancing in the village square in July and August, a summer programme of music and drama, an art gallery showcasing local talent, and a cost free system for bartering goods and services between inhabitants.
When using other accommodation we try to ensure that a night could be spent with a local farmer or craftsmen, providing valuable income to our hosts and also giving guests an appreciation of a typical rural life here.