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About us

The six of us live in the hamlet of Albugue: Jean-Marie and Jule with their two daughters Lila (5) and Marilène (3) and the (in-law) parents Michel and Yvonne. The latter two left the Netherlands in the 1980s in search of a place in untouched nature.


They bought the ruins of Albugue in 1982 and devoted their lives to rebuilding it into a paradise. 



We have many fruit trees and a large vegetable garden, which we eat almost all year round, keep sheep, chickens and bees. In the spring and autumn we receive hiking guests who stay here for one or two nights, and in the summer we receive holidaymakers who stay here longer. 

We all love music and have a predilection for working in and with nature. Our goal was and is therefore to create a nice place in nature for ourselves, our guests and our family, while leaving a relatively small ecological footprint.

The construction of Albugue


In 1981, Michel and Yvonne left the Netherlands for France with their first one-year-old son Christiaan, looking for a place to build an independent existence in nature. After a year-long search, they fell madly in love with the almost completely collapsed hamlet of Albugue at the first viewing. The fact that there was only one roof on one building, which also leaked, did not bother them. They bought it with the little savings they had.

Fortunately, Michel had two right hands and he made two doors and two windows, laid a floor, and they could move into their new home. Soon they had Jean-Marie, their second son.

To earn money, they soon decided that a campsite should be built and the first terraces were dug out. Most of the roofs and walls had still collapsed and the guests of those early years sometimes drove away, thinking they had taken a wrong turn in search of their holiday address.

In the meantime they sold their own honey and jam on the market and Michel did odd jobs for other Dutch people in the neighbourhood.

After a while they were able to buy a tractor, which Michel could use to collect trees from the forest to make beams. Without a crane, but with blood, sweat, tears, patience, love and much cursing, the beams went up. Walls were re-stacked with the typical natural stones of the area. Albugue was rebuilt by hand in an authentic style. The first gîte became a fact in 1984.

The two right hands worked in and out 1992 the workshop, a painting studio and the second gîte were finished. More camping terraces and a sanitary building were added. In between the renovations, they took care of the land, the sheep and the chickens. They also had two daughters, Nelli and Liza. So there were now fourchildren and - employed by the municipality - would take on the transport of all school children in the area for 25 years. In 2003 two more gîtes were added, this time there was a little more to spend and the slate roofs were laid by a local contractor.

In the summer, the weekly restaurant and music evening was created. The family not only pampered all guests of Albugue with a meal from their own garden, but also enjoyed participating in the musical entertainment in the romantic courtyard. 

Michel and Yvonne have never been able to resist renovating and refurbishing. Old farmhouse cupboards were restored, chairs were re-matted, curtains were sewn, stairs, kitchens, doors and tables were made from our own wood. It was a mixture of necessity and ideology. Away from the consumer society, they liked to make or repair things in a sustainable way.

In 2009, father Michel and son Jean-Marie decided to refurbish a building further on in the woods. It was once onesecadou (a drying house for chestnuts), but it turned out to be a romantic holiday home. As always, the wooden scraps for the walls came from the thrift store and the slates from a nearby farmer. They called it "Foncombe", the French name for "Rivendell" from "Lord of the Rings".

Receiving guests was a big success; Albugue became a true holiday paradise and no one wondered whether they were in the right place. So was Jule, who spent seven consecutive summers on Albugue as a child and who would later become Jean-Maries' wife and have two children with him. Gradually they take over more and more tasks from their (in-law) parents, with the same pleasure in receiving guests and continue to make Albugue more and more beautiful with love.

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