Les Alpilles, €5.5 million
Provençal villa, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
Knight Frank (020-7629 8171)
Five bedrooms, separate guest house, 103.8 acres
Set at the heart of Les Alpilles national park, this French domaine is a haven of tranquillity. The house, which has panoramic mountain and country views, is surrounded by magical grounds, including a sculpted garden, a landscaped park, ancient woodland, an AOC vineyard and about 200 olive trees.
Paris, €1.684 million
Home Hunts (00 33 970 44 66 43)
2 bedrooms, city views, central location
In 1900, this loft was Picasso’s first atelier in Paris. The lure of treading the same floors he did when he created his Parisian masterpieces is enough to draw buyers, but the views across the city are equally beguiling. The loft, which would make a splendid pied à terre, is split into the atelier proper and a separate apartment.
Mill House, Loché-sur Indrois
Winkworth (020-8576 5582)
6 bedrooms, equestrian facilities, 24.7 acres
This stone mill house dates from the 17th century, and has been exquisitely renovated, keeping intact all its period charm. The setting is just as attractive. The house stands amid woodland, paddocks and ponds close to a pretty village.
Côte d’Azur, €4.5 million
La Chèvre d’Or, Biot
Michael Zingraf (00 33 493 77 93 77)
6 bedrooms, swimming pool, 9 acres
La Chèvre d’Or is a masterwork by several architects, including François Spoerry, Emilio Terry and Robert Streitz, who merged and transformed two 18th- and 19th-century farm buildings. But it’s the celebrated gardens that make the property truly outstanding. First planted in the 1950s, they were further developed by the current owners Antoinette and Lex Redelé-Dutilh, who have achieved a fine balance between nature and artistry.
Seine-et-Marne, €1.15 million
Château Hector Guimard, Provins
Emile Garcin (00 33 140 73 84 48)
10 bedrooms, ancillary accommo-dation, 14.8 acres
French architect Hector Guimard was the most prominent proponent of Art Nouveau in France, and this château, which he built in 1913, has all the hallmarks of his style, with bow windows, a loggia and plenty of ironwork. Even better, it has a 65ft-high belvedere that overlooks the property’s own parkland as well as the fields and forests beyond.
Côte d’Azur, €22 million
Les Colombières, Menton
Burger Sotheby’s International Realty (00 33 493 38 50 33)
14 bedrooms, frescoes and mosaics, 8.6 acres
Plagued by ill health, 19th-century architect and illustrator Ferdinand Bac spent his winters in the South of France, where he delighted in designing gardens. His greatest project was Les Colombières, which belonged to his friends Emile et Caroline-Octavie Ladan-Bockairy. Bac turned the existing bâtisse into a frescoed work of art, then gave it a setting to match, creating extraordinary gardens inspired by Homer, Pompeii, Ancient Egypt and Andalusia. The current owners have painstakingly restored the house and grounds as closely as possible to Bac’s original.
Provence, €25 million
Château de Sannes, near Ansouis
Christie’s International Real Estate (020-7389 2631)
7 bedrooms, windmill, 215 acres
The Château de Sannes dates from the 17th century, and has imposing rooms with beamed, vaulted ceilings, indoor and outdoor pools and a roof terrace overlooking the lake. All this is cocooned by mature gardens, plane-tree avenues, woodland, olive groves, lavender fields and 80 acres of vineyards. The grounds are also home to several ancillary houses,a private chapel, a pigeonnier and
a working windmill.
Var, €9.3 million
Domaine du Moulin, Grimaud
Knight Frank (020-7629 8171)
6/7 bedrooms, additional accommodation, 44½ acres
This 19th-century bastide is the perfect French retreat. It has a huge master bedroom with private terrace, a charming farmhouse kitchen and a spa with a Jacuzzi and steam room. The house is set in beautifully landscaped gardens and lush grounds complete with a heated pool, lavender field, olive groves and a lake that is home to ducks and black swans. And, to top it all off, there’s a vineyard producing AOC wines.
Emile Garcin (00 33 142 61 73 38)
9 bedrooms, pool, 14.8 acres
With its pretty balcony and pointy-roofed turrets, this 19th-century château looks as if it’s straight
out of a fairy tale. The interiors, which have been almost entirely renovated, are very atmospheric, with extraordinary details such as original panelling and fireplaces. All this comes in an idyllic parkland setting complete with a pool and an 0.6-acre, river-fed pond.