(x 4 people)
Sleeps 4 | Bedrooms 2 | Bathrooms 2 | West of Lecce, Puglia
Independent villa | Private pool | Tennis court | Hot tub | Maid included |
In the Middle Ages the Puglian coast was beset by pillaging Saracens. Isolated farms were particularly vulnerable and so the masseria evolved, a fortified farmhouse with rooftop lookouts and thick walls enclosing a garden-like courtyard. The Masseria Helios combines the best of Pugliese tradition with all the benefits of clever modern design. The thick honey-toned limestone walls, peaked chimneys and interior courtyards are complemented by bright interior spaces filled with colourful contemporary furniture and a sprinkling of antiques. Fully air-conditioned, the rooms open onto terraces with retractable awnings that in turn lead to a large and impeccably maintained garden planted with herbs and roses, pistachio, myrtle and almond trees. A rooftop terrace with 360-degree views, a lovely swimming pool with submerged benches and a hot tub are among the many features that make Masseria Helios an ideal holiday retreat.
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Masseria Helios is available at a lower rate for smaller parties. For details see Masseria Helios (x 2 people). It is also available for larger parties. See Masseria Helios (x 6 people).
Situated in the flat, fertile centre of Puglia, 4km/2.5 miles south-east of Manduria, a lively and surprisingly sophisticated town with a very pretty historic district. 15 minutes' drive to sandy beaches rated among the best in Europe, and to a choice of wineries, new and old. Villages to explore include Ceglie Messapia, 40 minutes, Oria, 30 minutes and Locorotondo in the beautiful Valle d'Itria, 1 hour. Puglia's capital and Baroque centrepiece, Lecce, is 45km/28 miles away. Masseria Li Reni, the neighbouring property, is a 10-minute walk across a field.
On one level
Bright air conditioned sitting room with an open fireplace and glass doors leading to a large paved terrace with a shaded dining area. Well-equipped kitchen opening onto the same terrace. Courtyard with built-in barbeque and pizza oven. Air conditioned double bedroom and Air conditioned twin bedroom [with a bunk bed] sharing a bathroom with shower. Two air conditioned double bedrooms sharing a bathroom with bath and separate shower. Outdoor shower. On the roof: a sun terrace. A photo slideshow can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6XO2_aYKXk
A gardener's garden with 4ha/10 acres of immaculate lawns and an astonishing array of flowering and fruit-bearing shrubs and trees (including blackberries, plums and figs). The owner produces a Passito wine, made with dried grapes of gewurztraminer and muscat, from his two and half acres vineyard and the olives from the property’s grove are pressed on the spot to make an Extra Virgin oil. The private salt-water pool, 7 x 8m/23 x 26 feet, with steps, submerged benches and a shallow area has a gazebo with a mist fan. Courtyard with built-in barbeque and pizza oven. Hot tub. Second courtyard with lemon trees. Pergola. Two resident dwarf sheep. A bird pen enclosure lies at the end of the vineyard with pigeons, geese, ducks and chickens providing free eggs on a daily basis.
Assistance is provided locally by the property's very engaging owner, who speaks English fluently and lives in a separate house on the property with his four friendly dogs. Guests are provided with table grapes, plums, figs and the products of the owner's vegetable garden. Services included in the rental fee, and optional services available, are noted under Price and Availability.
Dishwasher. Built-in barbeque. Portable barbeque with English receipes. Washing machine. Satellite TV [Sky channels] with DVD. CD player. Ping-pong table. Central heating. Working fireplace. Pushchair for babies. Air-conditioning throughout. Mosquito nets in all windows and doors. ADSL wireless internet connection [computer not provided].
Airports: Brindisi, 50km/31 miles; Bari, 2 hours; Naples, about 4 hours. Railway station at Taranto, 45km/28 miles. Motorway exit at Francavilla, 20km/13 miles along paved roads to the property’s white drive. Parking for three cars.
Tennis in Manduria. Beaches rated among the best in Europe nearby, the nearest being Tutti Frutti a 10 minute drive, Punto Prosciutto 20 minutes. Several golf courses within about an hour's drive.
The private salt-water pool, 7 x 8m/23 x 26 feet, has a depth of 1-1.60m/3.25-5.20 feet and steps for entry/exit.