Our home is a spacious 18th Century Character Maison de Maitre in a quiet village in the South of France. The house is on three levels, the ground floor has a spacious entrance and large garage. From the entrance take the large stone staircase to the first landing ahead is a door that takes you to the back lower garden (100sqm) and Laundry which is situated in the old goat house. Up another set of stairs into a large landing that is used as a children's play area with separate television/playstation/DVD. To the left is the main open plan living and kitchen area, and to the right along a picture lined hallway are 3 bedrooms (two with ensuites) and one main bathroom, plus a study. At the end of the hallway is access onto the large 100sqm terrace which sits above the garden (Outdoor dining table and umbrella, plus 4x out door bean bags). Take the stairs again to the Grenier (top floor), the first space at the top of the stairs is the main office, to the right is the large 100sqm Master Bedroom with open plan bathroom and walk in wardrobe. To the left of the Office are two more bedrooms.
The house is well set up with media entertainment, there is a Sonos sound system throughout, including outdoor speakers on the terrace. There is a large television in the main living room and a large 3D Television in the master bedroom on the top floor, Sky Television is available in the main living area, the Television in the children's play area and the 3D Television in the Master Bedroom do not have Sky, but both are set up to play DVD's and the children's area also has playstation. In the summer, the house is a perfect place to live. The interior is cool and a great place to escape the heat of the typical Southern France summer.... the best months are May/June/July/Sept and Oct, it is hot during the day but not too hot at night; August is still gorgeous but it can get pretty hot, it is not rare to experience some days in the 40's!!! Our evenings are spent wining and dining on the terrace, it is even fun to sleep under the stars. Days are spent at the river (there are hundreds of gorgeous spots), at the beach or just enjoying the area, there is lots to do and endless places to visit!
We are situated in the heart of the St Chinian Wine Region, therefore surrounded by vineyards and wine Domaines. Driving from the village in any direction will take you on a picturesque journey through beautiful countryside and quaint little villages. The Orb River is a 10 minute drive away where you will enjoy stunning swimming spots and kayaking, if you have competent swimmers in the family, the rock formations at the river provide wonderful spots to leap into the deep swimming holes! The village has a small grocery store and a popular Bar/Restaurant, it is a 7 minute drive to the local supermarket, 20 minutes from Beziérs, 45 minutes to the beautiful Montpellier and a 3 hour drive to Barcelona and only 1hr 45mins to Arles, the gateway to Provence.
Our Village, Causses et Veyran is a very quiet village, the locals are very friendly. In the summer months the village is a very international village, there are many rental properties plus holiday homes owned by people from all areas of Europe. The Bar/Restaurant becomes a hive of activity, a great place to socialize in the typical relaxed French manner, at the end of a hot summers day. The landscape around the village is spectacular; you can walk out the door and within minutes be amongst vines. Walk the quiet rural roads up over the hills and enjoy the stunning views across the valley. Merv, a lovely English resident of our village lives a few doors down and offers walking and cycling tours that take you to even more spectacular areas. The closest swimming holes at the River Orb are a 5-10 minute drive away (or a 20 minute cycle) but there are many different areas along the Orb that have beautiful swimming areas; Roquebrun, 15 minute drive away, is a very popular picturesque river side village with lovely restaurants. There are plenty of wonderful beaches on the Mediterranean, the closest is 25 minutes away; all the beaches come alive in the summer months, with beach side restaurants and numerous water activities available. The closest city Beziérs has great shopping and markets, and Montpellier is a 'must visit'! Pézenas (40 minute drive through the beautiful countryside) is just one of the glorious quaint French villages with regular weekend markets. St Chinian is another great village with a wonderful Sunday Market...... the list is never-ending!!! Where we live is a great location, close to National Parks, close to city life, and there are so many wonderful places within reasonable driving distance that are so worth a visit! Come and enjoy a few weeks or months in a relaxing, calm and beautiful place.
|Size||Sleeps up to 12, 6 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||SERIGNAN PLAGE / VENDRES PLAGE: VIAS PLAGE|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings, Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Beziers, Carcassonne, Montpellier, Nearest railway: Beziers|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, TV, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms and 3 En suites|
|Furniture||Single beds (2), Double beds (4), Cots (1), Dining seats for 8, Lounge seats for 6|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ|
The Languedoc is a beautiful and truly magical place. In a country that plays host to the most amount of tourists found anywhere in the world, this charming and hugely varied corner of France remains relatively untouched and unspoilt.
Yet there is so much to do, so much to discover. Something for everyone. Something for all ages.
First and foremost, the climate. The Languedoc is the sunniest and warmest region of France.
You must visit Carcassonne at least once. It's truly spectacular. And it's old, very old. Not a Disney theme park. This is for real ! Kevin Costner filmed the Robin Hood film here.
There is so much to see and do. Many shops, several squares with traditional restaurants and cafés. But mainly it is the imposing ramparts and sense of history that will intrigue all the family. Great guided tours of the castle and the fortifications.
Lots of summer spectaculars; sound and light shows and don't miss the firework display if you're in the area on July 14th.
At a gentler pace is the Canal du Midi.
The waterway was built to connect the Atlantic and Mediterranean sea and today is a truly beautiful entity consisting of endless, shaded tow-paths and sporadic waterside cafes and restaurants.
BBC TV chef, Rick Stein based a whole TV series about it. It seems to encompass all that the Languedoc is – meandering through the endless, sun-baked vineyards and connecting areas of countryside and shoreline.
Those who love food will love to follow the path of the canal and all things 'gourmandais' that it relates to !
There is a great market on a Sunday morning at St Chinian with fresh local produce and plenty of ideas for gifts etc.
Perhaps spend an afternoon / evening at Cap d'Agde; a hugely chic and popular resort among the rich and famous from Paris.
There's everything going on here; lovely beaches, huge harbour and marina, lively bars and discos and lots of waterside restaurants. Huge funfair that is definitely not just for the kids…
A great way to spend a balmy, Mediterranean evening.
You probably won't be home very early.
Some of the most stunning scenery in the whole of France can be witnessed at the Gorges d'Héric. A huge, natural gorge cuts into the imposing mountains creating a truly beautiful spectacle.
It's a great place to take the kids – there's a paved path (ideal for push-chairs) that leads you through the gorge where you'll find many natural pools which are perfect for swimming in. A lovely alternative to the beach or the local Orb River.
The Gorge is located at Mons La Trivalle (you'll see the signs when you get there).
Take the D909 north and turn left in Hérépian towards St Pons.
For those who need some retail therapy, head to Montpellier. (45 minute drive from the village). It's a truly beautiful city. Head towards the city centre and park underground in the 'Comedie' or the 'Polygone'.
The main square is lovely and you can pass many hours sitting in any of the numerous pavement cafés watching the world go by.
Closer to home (20 min drive) is Béziers. Apart from the restaurants and the boutiques, the main reason to visit is the huge flower market that takes place in the Allées Paul Riquet in the centre of town every Friday. Don't miss the view from the cathedral in the old part of town. It is well signposted, and a great area for cafes, bars and restaurants. There is also a new 'Polygone' in Beziérs which is great for shopping.
On the outskirts of Béziers are two huge hypermarkets, 'Géant' and 'Auchan'. Great for just browsing the food aisles and the fresh produce counters. More wine on the shelves than you've probably ever seen.
If you're here for two weeks, do not miss a trip to the traditional street market in Pézenas on a Saturday morning. It starts early, and fills the streets until lunchtime.
Pézenas is also well worth a visit; a pretty Renaissance town with a real 'south of France' feel about it..
Finally, for a day out, why not head to the Pont du Gard or Arles (both about 90 min drive). Or go in the other direction and discover the charming Mediterranean village of Collioure under the shadow of the Pyrenees.
The beaches are relatively uncrowded with endless stretches of golden sand and are extremely child-friendly.
None of the bustle and over-crowding of the shore-line in Provence. Here, you'll find exactly what you're looking for; all the excitement of a Mediterranean beach (water-sports, hot sunshine, warm and clear sea) without the crowds.
VALRAS PLAGE: One of the closest beaches to the village. It's about 35 min in the car depending on traffic. We recommend that you go to the beach midway through the afternoon (about 3pm). In this way, the sun will still be at its highest, you'll pass all the traffic coming away from the beach and there will be plenty of places for your pitch on the sand. Stay for a cold beer/coke or ice cream at the end of the afternoon and avoid the traffic jams on the way home.
There's everything going on here; cafés, bars and restaurants, beach games, amusements, water sports, street markets, beach shops etc.
SERIGNAN PLAGE / VENDRES PLAGE: VIAS PLAGE / PORTIRAGNES Not as busy as Valras Plage. Plenty of space to spread out and have some privacy. Great stretches of sand and a few of the essential amenities.
CAUSSES ET VEYRAN
- Café bar in the square. Open every day during the summer. They do serve meals, the beer is good, (ask for 'un demi' if you would like a draught beer or 'un pastis' if you want to look like a local).
Throughout the summer, there are several great village parties and the café will be the central part of the 'féte'. Information about all activities will be on the notice board at the “Marie” ( town hall) or at the bar or bakery.
- Bakery. Local bread and croissants etc called The Depot du Pain. The shop only opens in the morning until 10.30a.m.
- There is a post office in the village, up the road from the Mairie's office, but opening hours are precarious.
Head out of the village for more shops and amenities. The neighbouring villages of Murviel-les Beziers or Cessenon-sur-Orb are about a 5 min drive away and have everything. They are beautiful, busy, small Languedoc village with lots going on and everything you need;
- Super U supermarket is located just outside Murviel on the outskirts of Thezan-les-Beziers. Open Monday – Saturday 8.30-20.00 (even through lunch time which is rare!) with a good fruit and veg and excellent meat counter. Wonderful fresh fish counter most days. Don't be scared to ask for what you want, it's worth it! And of course, they sell a fantastic variety of local wine. Well worth a visit. There is also a petrol station and car wash here.
- In Murviel is a great tourist office with info on everything that is happening all around.
- There is a Lidl supermarket in Murviel also, situated behind the Tourist Office.
- There is a Carrefour express supermarket in Cessenon which is quite small but handy, and it is open on a Sunday morning.
In the centre of Murviel you'll find;
- 'Credit Agricole' bank with a cash machine that accepts most bank cards
- Newsagent and tobacco shops
- Small grocery / general store (Tabac)
- Post office
- Two bakeries
- Flower shop
- Take away pizza
A few facts to impress your friends when with when you get home;
- Languedoc is the biggest wine producing area in the world
- 1 in every 3 bottles of French wine comes from the Languedoc.
In the past, Languedoc wines were all about quantity, not quality. But things are changing and many of the best French wine producers have recently realised the potential of this region and have invested heavily in purchasing and developing private vineyards here.
You probably know many wines that come from the Languedoc; Minervois, Corbières, Fitou St Chinian and Faugères.
As you travel throughout the region, you'll see the sea of vineyards that cover every conceivable inch of countryside. It's a wine-lovers dream ! Small, independent domains on every corner. Pull in and try the local brew. Its great value for money – much of it is cheaper and considerably better than its expensive, more famous neighbours. Most if not all vineyards offer free tasting or “degustation”
Laurens The 'Caveau des Schistes'. Large wine outlet on the main D909 road, just north of Laurens. Sells only local Faugères wine, as recommended in most wine guides. Exceptional value for money. Everything is superb; the bag-in-boxes and any of the bottled red. Take your own plastic bottles for superb wine on tap ('en vrac') at about 1 euro per litre.
Puissalicon. 'Croix Belle' outlet.. Lovely red wines at excellent prices.
Causses et Veyran Maurine Rouge. Located in the centre of the village producing wine from local vineyards. Visit the Cave and meet Carol and Sebastian as they often have meals and wine tasting events at their cave in the village. They are charming and are happy to arrange a private tour of the vineyard for you.
It is a credit to this unspoilt part of France that it is not over-run with expensive, touristy, poor-quality restaurants (please head to Provence if this is what you are looking for!).
To start, it should be emphasized that the cafés, bars and in particular the restaurants in this area are always extremely welcoming to children, no matter what age. The French have a very different attitude towards 'enfants' in the dining room and you'll see that French children are happy to share the table with their parents and family and friends and take part in the whole dining experience.
Magalas - L'Excalibur – (in the main square). The most lively and fun restaurant bar. Children very welcome. Good exterior terrace with lots of dining tables. Typical French brassiere food (local salads, fish, steaks, pizzas etc) at very reasonable prices. Order the jugs of wine rather than the bottles.
- La Tramontane – a mid-range restaurant. Traditional cuisine.
- O'Bontemps – excellent, high quality cuisine. Just missed out on a Michelin star this year. Reserve well in advance. Located at the top of the village by the church.
Béziers – take your pick from any of the restaurants up by the Cathedral. The brasserie in the square at the bottom by the Post Office has a talking parrot and does very good, traditional, local cuisine.
The touristy restaurants on the main 'Allées Paul Riquet' (tree-lined boulevard) are OK but nothing special.
Pézenas – almost too many restaurants to choose from. A great atmosphere on summer evenings on the dining terraces, choose from traditional back-street eateries to the restaurants on the main thoroughfare and watch the world walk by…
Laurens – 'Chateau de Grézan'. Lovely location, lovely restaurant.. A fine fining experience with silver service. Wine is produced on the premises and the Chateau is owned by Madame Lanson of the famous 'Lanson' Champagne family.
St Geniès / Murviel – 'St Martin du Champs' – more fine dining, close to the
Cessenon-sur Orb - A cosy French restaurant called Restaurant L'Orb And a great pizza restaurant called L'Europa.
Valras Plage – Maybe better for a long lunch as it's a 30 min drive from the village. Many beach-side restaurants to choose from which specialise in seafood. Great summer ('estivale') ambience and no better place for an after-dinner walk along the Mediterranean boardwalk.