There’s a wonderful winding road up past vineyards, umbrella pines and rocky cliffs to the 13th-century bastide. Barbara and Wendel are worldly hosts with umpteen languages between them and plenty of local knowledge. Their recent renovation carved five gîtes out of the space and revealed the soft gold stone. Rooms are airy, with high ceilings and views out over the countryside to the tips of the Pyrenees. The décor is contemporary – white walls set off by brocante treasures and art, quality beds, squeaky bathrooms and great kitchens. A separate entrance and terrace big enough to lounge and dine on means you can dip in and out of seclusion as you like, and for large groups there’s a dining room for feasting en masse. The baker arrives with warm croissants daily, and a bottle of good local wine awaits. Grounds include the bio olive grove and vineyard, deep pool with wild countryside backdrop, Jacuzzi perfect for stargazing and a secret path to the magical hammam and sauna spa set inside the oaks. You can organise wine tasting from home, reach beaches in under an hour, and medieval Minerve is moments away.