la Colle scetch 


Discovering La Colle en Provence - Euro Style






 To see our holiday and long term lets. 

 'A short walk in the countryside one weekend was to become the start of an adventure that has lasted many years ..... and will I hope continue for many more! '

La Colle en Provence: A hidden jewel deep in the traditional French Provencal countryside.

 Who am I? .... well I'm a little hamlet that sits on the top of a small hill at 633 m altitude and I'm hidden deep in the French traditional countryside.  I'm about 400+ years old, nobody really knows how old, and I was first constructed to be a way point for meeting between two small villages of Sigonce and Saint-Etienne-les-Orgues in Haut Provence. I still have the original 'Pigeonnier' that served as the internet of the old days.

I remember many a Sunday when I entertained the inhabitants from both Sigonce and Saint-Etienne-les-Orgues they would come up hill from their valley positions to celebrate unions, trade in a little market place or just chat to get the local gossip.  Officially I'm attached to the village of Montlaux which is in itself part of the Pays de Forcalquier.

In my hay-day I had more than 100 inhabitants, a School, le Pigeonnier, a Fountain, and a Post Office. I have principally served as an agricultural residence for many years and have seen many different evolutions but again my hay-day was when the lands around me grew bountiful Almonds on many trees (now either cut down or overtaken by Oak and the faster growing pines).

During my life time I have been within a small kingdom, part of Italy and served as a hide away for the French resistance. My main demise came near to the end of the 19th century when the lands around me suffered from long years of draught and the local 'Source' (natural water point) started to dry up in the principal summer months.

The whole area suffered in this period which is well depicted by the Italian-French film 'Manon des sources' by Claude Berri based on the novels by Marcel Pagnol. In fact many places became almost waste lands.

I have been restored at least twice in the 20th century by two loving groups of people and I am even better than I was before.

I currently serve as a work and peace retreat for my principal owner and two other habitations (more below) one who is extremely friendly and beneficial to me and the other well not much to say. I also am rented out for wondering globe workers to enjoy for peaceful retreats back to the country away from it all or as a base for shooting or creating projects in this astoundingly photogenic area know very well by my principal patron.

  Deep summer on the plateaux    This area has been chosen by World renowned Artists like Cezanne, Vuillard, Matisse and even his mentors, Seurat, Picasso and Bonnard and continues to draw exceptional talent from all over the world ...... to extreme their next vision.

These pages follow my evolution and how I was saved from a crumbling death and you can read as much or as little about me and the local area which enchants daily, as you wish.

I am however in need of constant love and attention as I have been built in the traditional old ways which require continual tinkering. However if I am kept in my currant state I will last forever as my walls are 1/2 a meter thick as a minimum and in some places over a 1 meter.

During my second restoration, by my currant patron, I have been completely modernised and therefore I brim with all that is currently considered as normal in our world. If you are reading this as a non previous visitor and you should one day come to see me you would find that everything is real here. I am not a representation of a dream but a real working property with everything that one would expect.

  Some of the best lavender is to be found on the plateaux opposite and in the area there is a quite extraordinary choice of organic produce. A feast for anybodies palette.

The Plateax 

These pages will also show you the beauty of the area in which I have been constructed. Haut Provence or 'High Provence' is an area steeped in history and has long been an organic agricultural farmland. Here is produced some of the best lavender, olives, melons, sheep, truffles, and a whole hoist of other products.

Naturally with such dedicated farmers tilling the land there also comes great visual scenes. You will not find kilometres of industrial farming here but small plots that change in colour as the seasons continue during the year..

In fact no matter what season you are in during the year you will always find something very pleasing to the eye. I suppose the worst  period is when the skies are grey on certain winter days. However as this place is one of the areas to have the most annual sun in France these days are usually rare.


A short walk in the countryside one weekend was to become the start of an adventure that has lasted many years ..... and will I hope continue for many more!


We had been invited by some new friends for lunch in their stone built house in the little village of La Blache which is a magnificent group of natural stone houses.

After lunch our hoists suggested that we strolled off into the countryside and explore a little the area and that they knew someone quite near who we could pop in on.

Little did I know that this would be the start of a long adventure that would involve a great deal of effort, commitment and struggle over the ensuing decades.

This little walk in the countryside would end up in me buying 3/4 of a ruined hamlet perched on a hill overlooking a superb valley. But as I was latter to discover, had no water most of the time, hardly any electricity and a very rough farm track to get to.

This site is the story of La Colle en Provence and is dedicated to the many talented friends that have aided me in it's reconstruction and the many visitors over the years that have shared some time and a little beauty of the place.


The original ideal behind the the reconstruction of La Colle was to create a family domain that could be passed down through the generations as a place to live in close contact with nature.

This interaction with nature was to serve as a reminder that we are but a small element in the story of life. Even though we might aspire to become much more.

It hasn't completely worked out like that but we have had the association and experience.


Rod Cook

Nov 2023




Discovering La Colle en Provence - What's next?

Why is la Colle special

1st reconstruction

2nd reconstruction

Where's the electricity/water?

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Copyright: Rod Cook 2023