Visit The Magnificent Cévennes National Park in Lozère & Gard, a Magnificent Region of Languedoc Roussillon, France
There is a huge place in my heart for the magnificent Cévennes in Languedoc, France, and it is a unique place to stay. I have always loved the rural beauty inland of the Mediterranean coast and prefer staying in an authentic "Gite Ruraux" over a swish hotel. But L'Elzet Gites & the Cévennes is far far more - it can be a heady experience immersed in such dramatic scenery, connected to nature in this idyllic haven. It lifts the spirit, calms the mind and inspires all who visit. Combined with great hospitality, and lots to see and do, it will be a holiday like no other.
On my first visit to L'Elzet and the Cevennes it was a magical sight, and I could barely get my breath for the wonder of L'Elzet itself, and the breathtaking panoramic views before me. Spring, Summer, Autumn, or Winter, it still continues to enthrall me.
Having traveled far, I have now come to the conclusion that I don't need to. Everything I could want in a holiday is in reach here. Though my family have lived in Cannes for over 30 years and more, I am always drawn to get on a plane or train, and spend much of my holiday time in this magical place.
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Introduction by Annette, Leeds UK
L'Elzet Gites France - A Unique Chateau Style Farmhouse in the Cevennes
These SE Cevennes Holiday Gites (with swimming pool) are in a stunning location for a rich and diverse holiday in France. The Languedoc Roussillon region is probably the most diverse and beautiful of all the regions in this vast & wonderful country, and has the highest sunshine hours equalled by only one other region in France.
From here you can enjoy the magnificent Cevennes National Park (read more about this below) to the West. Saint Jean du Gard is just 11km, Ales 34km, Nimes 45 mins, Montpellier 1hr45, historical Uzes & the Pont du Gard en route to Avignon to the East, or the Mediterranean coast and everything in-between to the South.
Each Gite has its own corner of a unique and delightful Chateau Style Farmhouse with pool, including a romantic Tower Annexe, lovely apartment & "Gite Ruraux", They are self-catering, or b&b, with Anglo French hospitality, but visitors often join together for a BBQ, or meal for all with a laugh or two, The superb views and tranquillity here are evocative (outside of family holidays of course!).
Every season has its beauty here. Some of our visitors try Spring or Autumn instead of the usual Summer and are astounded at the fun and enjoyment to be had when not so blistering hot!
Try a Long Let outside of the main season - it's a great way to speed-improve your family French! If with children - there is a good school for Junior to 14yrs old in our village!
The Challenge and the Extraordinary
Jeaves Ropero, like many from the UK, bought a ruin, spent many years of labour on it, and then committed to a life permanently in France. L'Elzet evolved, 25 years in all so far, with a vision that was quite extraordinary. Without an architect L'Elzet became a chateau born out of a ruin to become what it is today.
Jeaves always strives to help everyone get the most out of their stay in the Cevennes. With her character and hospitality I know she offers (she's a fab cook too) it's no surprise that feedback says L'Elzet is loved by so many.
Some of Our Residents!
L'Elzet has a menagerie of animals, all with such individual character and as tame as house pets. There is always a newborn or young ones that need feeding and children love to get involved.
There are goats, Lilly the sheep who followed Jeaves everywhere and thought she was a hen and demanded to sleep with them! until she was given a new friend.
Our 4 gorgeous donkeys - 2 young ones, then Pacarette & Annabelle who love being taken for a walk on a picnic or to the village (they especially know their way to the bakery!).
One recent resident - a "Little Owl" (the smallest of the species) named "Kes", with its candid stare, was rescued and raised from just 2in tall until fully grown and set free.
Imagine swimming in crystal clear, aquamarine springwater, sheltered by petit canyons, where even in the driest of Summers there is still swimming here; or exploring the many walks of Robert Lewis Stevenson's account in "Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes", or horse riding along ancient trails that thrill. Canoeing, kayacking, climbing or caving the Cevennes can offer it all and more.
A Stunning Film about the Cevennes (1st half)
The Cevennes National Park
The National Park is a wild and rugged mountaneous area, with forests of sweet chestnut, granite cliffs, canyons, and rich verdant valleys, crowned by Mont Lozere.
In contrast, limestone has created fabulous deep underground caves. Of all of these, the Grotte de Trabuc is the most spectacular - From February through November, and dramatically lit,the "100,000 soldiers", underground lakes and unlikely glittering formations are in many hues. It is just a 25 min drive from L'Elzet..
This land is also shaped by its several river "Gardons" , and in places, deeply gouged out of the bedrock to dramatic effect. One of these well worth the visit is the Gorge du Tarn, near Florac..
The Cevennes National Park is designated as a "Biosphere" uniquely protected by UNESCO since 1985. This includes protection of the Cevenol way of life within the park, as well as its uniquely diverse nature, geology and archeaology.
This "Biosphere" supports 2,250 species of flora, some unique to the Cevennes and Botanists from all over Europe and beyond come to study them. Look out for an orchid only to be found in the hedgerow in May/June. There are 2450 reported species of animal life including the reintroduced, and prized, fawn and black vultures.
Voted one of the top "Must See and Do"' things in France is to drive the dramatic Corniche Des Cévennes in Autumn, with its rich russets and golds of sweet chestnut. And L'Elzet is perfectly placed.
Take the Train Vapeur journey from St Jean du Gard to Anduze
Parc Parfum d'Aventure nr Anduze
L'Elzet - Local Information
The village of St-Etiènne-Vallée-Française is only 1.5km from L'Elzet with friendly villagers and typical local shops, it also boasts a bar-restaurant which serves great affordable food. just beyond the village, at each end, are two more restaurants, one of which was such an entertaining experience we loved every minute and every morsal that was served.
St Jean Du Gard is 11km and sits on a wider section of the river Gardon. (There is an amazing restaurant here called L'Orangerie that was reported to be as good as a michelin star but I have yet to try it!). It is quite a hub of activity and at the Visitor Centre here you can find out about the local festivals and cultural events, as well as at Mende. There is a Cevenol Museum, Aquarium and outdoor swimming pool.Twice a week it has a marvelous colourful and lively street market. You can take the Steam Train from here which takes you through beautiful scenery with a stop-off at the Giant Bamboozerie Park on it's winding way to Anduze.
Anduze has much to visit. The ancient tower dominates, and cobbled streets, colourful lively street cafes/restaurants and nearby attractions make it a place to include in your holiday. The Grotte de Trabuc is famous and well worth a visit to see some unique features here.
The Parc Parfum d'Aventure is close to Anduze, and is a thrilling activity day for all the family. Forest canopy and ground assault courses (children's, and older who are fit enough for the red and black levels of ability too), park and river activities too.The videos on the right are an inkling of what you can do here though visit the website link to see how it caters for the younger (from 3yrs old) to anyone who wants excitement in a supervised safe environment!
Location nr St Jean Du Gard, Languedoc Roussillon, 2hrs North of Montpelier, 1hr Nimes
Nature Guide to Cévennes and Grands Causses - France
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