Our House in France
Our House in France
Rent our lovely house in the wine-growing town of Valros, France

Our region of France

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Sightseeing

The “last undiscovered region of France”

See what the other tourists have been missing. We are located in what is now officially called La Région Occitanie. Until 2016, it was known as the Languedoc-Roussillon. Around 2003, a major magazine called it “the last undiscovered region of France.”


Here is a small sample of what’s on your doorstep when you stay at our house in the village of Valros:

Adjacent Pézenas, with its sprawling, very French Saturday outdoor market; five minutes away by car. This bustling marché features scores of vendors, selling everything from rapture-inducing farm-made cheeses to oysters harvested that morning to fresh Italian pasta to good gifts for the folks back home to local fruits and veggies to roasted chickens and Vietnamese take-away to well-designed, inexpensive jewelry to the globe-trotting vanilla guy to the Irish lady's ginger syrup to cut flowers to cheap clothes ... on and on and on, often with live music to boot.

Pézenas is also one of the antiquing centers of Europe, with something like 50 dealers. Though little known by Americans, the Brits have adored Pézenas since the 1700s and escape here for the sun. You'll hear plenty of English spoken. The old town looks like a movie set, with cobbled, twisting streets and grand Renaissance town houses. Like culture? Love shopping? Want to linger over drinks at a café? Welcome to Pézenas!

History stretching back thousands of years. Nine of France’s 41 UNESCO World Heritage Sites are an easy day trip away: from the 32,000-year-old masterpiece cave paintings of Chauvet ... to the 14th-century Pope’s Palace in Avignon ... to intact Roman architecture like the Pont du Gard and the still-used amphitheatre at Arles ... to Montpellier, a vibrant mini-Paris that’s home to Europe’s oldest medical school ... to the fortified city of Carcassonne. People have settled this prosperous area for millennia, and the wars for control rarely quit. Castles dot the landscape; at the peak of our little town, you’ll find a restored watch tower from the 11th century.

 Beziers Cathedral

Beziers Cathedral

We're near the coast ... and that coast stretches for 200 miles, from the rugged fjords of Marseille to the picturesque painter's town of Collioure at the foot of the Pyrenees. When there’s no traffic, the warm Mediterranean with its miles of wide beaches (and one of the planet’s largest waterfront nudist colonies, you might be curious to know) is just 20 minutes away.

Natural wonders above and below ground. The towering Pyrenees, stretching for 305 miles as the border between France and Spain, are within sight of our town on a clear day. Take the highway there and you’ll soon encounter a whole different, Catalan culture and cuisine. Go the other direction, up to the Causse plateau, and you'll encounter deep-carved gorges reminiscent of the Grand Canyon as well as world-class caves like the 3-star Grotte des Demoiselles.

 

This region is an unsurpassed foodie paradise with Michelin-starred and Michelin-yearning restaurants in abundance. Our little town, by itself, supports two good restuarants you can walk to within minutes.

Did we mention the wine-tasting? You’ll be surrounded by countless high-quality, small-volume wine producers who do not export their products. In the US, wines from this region (“pays d’oc”) are widely available at the cheap end of the red range. But the region's real wine-making achievements can only be appreciated in residence. You can even buy rare and interesting local wines in the town's “tabac” (convenience store).

 

Hike, eat, and explore

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Day trips

Learn more about the region and plan a day trip from Valros. Download Tom and Simone’s very own guides to places to go and things to see in all four directions from your house in France.

 

to the east — download the guide

Via Domitia: Walk a Roman Road, 122 BCE

Bouzigues and vicinity: Oysters, brocante

Mèze: oysters, a wine abbey, and a Saturday flea market

Portside in Marseillan: a notable new restaurant

A Day at the Beach

 

to the North — download the guide

Pézenas: Pretty, artsy, antiquey, real

Lac du Salagou: windsurfing across a volcano crater

Octon: A favorite hike in volcano country

Montpeyroux and a Really Big Castle

St. Jean-de-Fos: a pottery town

Pic Saint Loup: Fab Wines, Great Views, Nice Hike

Ravin des Arcs: Challenging 2-Hour Hike

La Grotte des Demoiselles: Staggering

Cirque de Navacelles: Breathtaking

 

to the Northwest — download the guide

La Couvertoirade: a fortified Templar town

Hidden leather artisan, Jean-Pierre Romiguier

Leather-loving Millau and its nearby gorgeous gorge

Leather-bound Millau & the World's Highest Bridge

Hiking with the vultures: A 3-star canyon rim ramble

Roquefort: The town that cheese built

Micropolis: The City of Insects

 

to the South — download the guide

L'île Sainte-Lucie: A coastal amble

Gruissan: Seaside village

Montolieu: The Village of Books

Abbaye de Fontfroide

A 3-star restaurant in the Corbières

Walking Fontjoncuse

The Last Cathar Bastion (visit to a 450,000 year old man)

Sun-Baked Wine and Castle Peyrepertuse

Fort de Salses and the gorgeous Corbières

Collioure and the wines of Terrassous

 

to the West — download the guide

The Canal du Midi

The windmills of Faugères

Lamalou-les-Bains and the Forest of the Fighting Writers

St. Martin de l’Arçon & Mont Caroux

Two easy mountain hikes: St. Michel and Dio

St. Pons-de-Thomières: Headquarters of the Haut Languedoc

Roquebrun and the Orb River Beaches

Cessenon-sur-Orb: Red marble, rare wines
 

 

 

 

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