Imagine your own little apartment in a medieval house in the walls of Cordes sur Ciel, with a garden at the back and miles and miles of view. The Australian owners have transformed two stone barns below into an elegant bolthole for two: one your living space, the other… your library! Drop off the bags, park the car, enter a haven of comfort and peace. There are cool terracotta floors, Empire style furnishings, a kitchenette in a cupboard (you can throw together a simple meal), a fine sleigh bed, and French windows opening to spectacular views. Shutters and curtains allow privacy from the street, and when the owners are in town they live discreetly upstairs. Generous with ideas on where to go and what to do, they’ve created a great info pack and leave you a ‘welcome’ breakfast too. After a day’s discovery of spectacular gorges and historic places (don’t miss Albi) take a drink and a book to the lower garden: it is high-walled and enchanting, with nooks, steps and exotic planting. Car-free Cordes is one of the most beautiful villages in France; boutiques, restaurants and market lie down the steep cobbled hill.