Villa Cheminée is installation artist Tatzu Nishi’s replica of a power station tower, with a small house on top of it

four people but nowadays it sleeps just one, albeit with no heating or electricity. Boarding pass not required! The Cessna is just one of the range of eclectic accommodation options at Natura Lodge, located just 15 minutes from the famous Pont d’Arc, the iconic natural bridge and river bathing location. With two gîtes, yurts, a wagon and even a ‘tree cocoon’ (ideal for couples) there is something for everyone, from big kids to little ones. Alongside the plane is a bamboo cabin, while a shared pool, huge wooded garden, table d’hôtes and massage sessions complete your escapism. Plane and bamboo cabin for two from €90, including breakfast.

19. La Tour, Lyon This unusual tower, four floors up in Vieux Lyon, the city’s ancient (and very much beating) heart, provides a fresh, modern space for two to three guests. Its crowning glory is the sweeping view across the Old Town below, a heavenly symphony of reddish, earthy roof tiles.

Other rooms inside have eye-catching views too: an inviting living room with a television, office space with Wi-Fi, and an unbroken view of the city. From the office window, you’ll spy the Hôtel de Ville and its belfry, the dome of the Opéra and the Croix-Rousse. The kitchenette comes with a fridge-freezer, oven and

this whimsical set-up is the brilliant brainchild of Tatzu Nishi, a world-renowned installation artist with boundless imagination and, evidently, an eye for the enchanting. Available to rent all year round, Villa Cheminée has plenty to offer couples or solo travellers who are seeking an independent holiday with a twist. Sleeping two, the homely space provides all the amenities you’d need for a weekend away.

Downstairs, there’s a shower and bathroom facilities, plus a small fitted kitchen that comes

148 ❘ FRANCE TODAY Dec/Jan 2019

complete with table and chairs. The real showstopper, though, is the view of the Loire Valley. There’s even a small garden and viewing deck. From €119 including breakfast. villa-cheminee

18. Cessna, Natura Lodge Falling asleep on a plane may never be more fun than this. While this stripped-out Cessna may never leave the ground, it provides a unique night’s sleep in an Eden-like rural idyll in Ardèche. It used to transport


Barjac, Gard

NATURA LODGE Come to Ardeche and have nature at your fingertips.

With green certificates, including Clef Verte and refuge LPO, we proudly introduce our small site with

9 UNUSUAL PLACES TO STAY La Tour provides splendid views of Vieux Lyon from the top of these stairs

dishwasher, and the table sits squarely before the two south windows, so you can tuck into your meals with the Cathédrale Saint-Jean in plain sight. From €80.

20. Huttopia

What makes Huttopia’s camping sites and new ‘forest villages’ so unique is that they offer such a variety of options for the outdoors-loving holidaymaker, from sleeping under canvas to stays in more elaborate cabins with greater creature comforts. Sited within natural protected environments, their campsites provide scenic spots for tents, caravans and camper vans, canvas tents and wooden rental accommodation that blend seamlessly into the

Natura Lodge offers eclectic camping accommodation in the Ardèche countryside

surroundings. Add swimming pools and a host of activities to complete your simple, friendly and sociable holiday. The ‘forest villages’ in Perche, Périgord, Drôme Provençale and Ardèche, meanwhile, take back-to-nature breaks to another level, with countless activities for kids and adults alike. In the Drôme, for

example, learn to fish in the nearby lake or attend essential oil-making workshops.

21. Les Noctam’bulles Green breaks do not come much more vert than amid the verdant countryside of the Pays d’Auge in Normandy, where you can enjoy a treetop getaway at Les Noctam’bulles.

Located just 15 minutes from the Côte Fleurie’s beaches, this éco-domaine is a preserved site where your host Lily welcomes you to one of six perched hideaways, each utterly cosy. You might need a head for heights when you climb the wooden stairs to bed (the Cabane Grand Duc, for example, which sleeps two, is 21 metres up!) but the comfort and calm that awaits is quite something. Choose from six cabins, all with woodburners and WC and sleeping from two to six, from around €150 per night, including breakfast.

22. Le Perchoir des Pyrénées Location, location, location! A mere stone’s throw from the

4 atypical lodges set on a 4000m2 island, only 20 minutes from La Rochelle

Available to rent for families in a friendly atmosphere with lodges carefully decorated in a castle or colonial style.

The 20m pool is perfect for children to play and enjoy this unique experience.

Feel free to try a beautiful French experience: we will be delighted to receive you!

Natura Lodge Chemin de Brugas 30430 Barjac

0033 6 46 61 05 27

Les Lodges du Château 6 route de La Mazurie 17220 St Christophe 0033 5 46 28 27 95 – 0033 6 33 77 88 42



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