- 5 bedrooms
- 3 bathrooms
- Sleeps 9
Description from the owner
Breathtaking vaulted ceilings highlight this restored, 15th-century, village home. Chosen for its location in the heart of the Languedoc (called by one travel magazine "the last undiscovered region of France"), this ample, well-equipped home puts you 20 minutes from the Mediterranean in one direction, an hour from Carcassonne in the other, with wine country on every side.
The house was purchased in 1999 by US owners, who stay there often to perform maintenance as well as enjoy their favorite region on earth.
It's a stone village house, two stories in front, three stories in back. It has a mostly restored ground floor, a late 19th...Read more
15th century home in wine village, sleeps 9
Pezenas, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Additional Location Information
Our house is in Valros, a small village neighboring picture-perfect Renaissance-period Pezenas. Pezenas (with its dozens of antique dealers, a sidewalk cafe culture, abundance of artisans' shops, and summer-long arts festival) is a special discovery for all our visitors. In 2011, stage 15 of the Tour de France bicycle race went through Pezenas.
But it's only your first taste of a strikingly varied and delightful region that provides an all-you-can-eat feast of things to see and do, no matter what your interests.
In June 2011, for instance, UNESCO added 25 new properties to its "World Heritage List," bringing the total to 936 globally. One of these new properties, a vast limestone plateau called the Causse, is 45 minutes from our door. The rural Causse contains the cheese caves of Roquefort, many fortifications of the Knights Templar and Hospitaller, Grand Canyon-scale gorges, the world's tallest suspension bridge, the glove-makers of Millau, and is criss-crossed with pilgrimage routes.
Want history? You're in an area first settled by the Phoenicians. Conquered by the Romans. Lost to the Visigoths. Invaded by the Saracens. Fought over mercilessly during the 13th century crusade against the Cathar heresy. Playing a major role in the later French Wars of Religion. And filled with events and echoes from the Revolution.
Today, the Languedoc is making history again with the world's highest suspension bridge, 45 minutes from our house. Lord Norman Foster's Viaduc de Millau, which only opened a few years ago, is already a recognized engineering wonder of the world, attracting an international fan club of awestruck visitors.
Want shopping? Welcome to paradise. Pezenas, a few minutes from the house, shelters a well established and very select artisans' hub amongst and sometimes in restored mansions from the days of Moliere. Small ateliers sell beautifully crafted, one-of-a-kind leather goods, designer clothing, jewelry, hand-loomed silks, art, home goods and the unclassifiable. The person behind the counter is often the artisan.
Up the highway 45 minutes is Montpellier, site of Europe's first medical school, now a cosmopolitan high-tech hub offering a wealth of Paris-quality goods to an affluent and sophisticated audience.
Want superb French food and drink? Bon appetit.
As you will soon notice, this is serious wine country. And boutique vinters are everywhere, including our little town. Les Creisses, in Valros, sells almost its entire exquisite production to an exclusive Swiss resort. But you can buy a bottle locally, at the vegetable store.
Within an hour's drive are distinctive appellations such as Faugeres, Saint Chinian, and Minervois. A bit further south, past the wind farms and into the arid Corbieres, you will enter one of the world's foremost "fortified" wine areas. Here, renown wineries like Mas Amiel, in the valley beneath the cloud-touching old fortress of Queribus, ages its wine in the sun. Their incomparable complex sweet wines, some aged 20 years, pair fabulously with treats ranging from chocolates to local anchovies, salted and in oil.
But that's just wine. Oyster farms use the same warm salt lagoons as flocks of flamingos, 20 minutes away from our house.
An hour's drive south, in the middle of nowhere, is one of France's newest Michelin 3-star restaurants. Prepare to spend a few hundred per person on a meal you'll never stop talking about.
How about an olive oil tasting at Oulibo? Or some of the best bread baked on earth, a 5-minute drive from Valros?
Exploring restaurants is part of the fun for many visitors. Pezenas has plenty of them, some traditional, some nouveau, some ethnic. And let's say you're plain tuckered out ... well, maybe it's "pizza night" in Valros, when a van parks in the town square and right there in its ovens makes some of the best thin crust we've ever had.
So you're probably wondering about exercise? We walk in the vineyards. We hike in the mountains 45 minutes away. We swim in the Mediterranean, 20 minutes away. And some guests rent bicycles, because bicycling is a French obsession.
Our home is the perfect base for dozens of day trips and a memorable French holiday. The house has its own website where many of the day trips we've done personally are described in detail. We collect at the house every guide book and map we can get our hands on, for your convenience. Plus our guests (we've been renting for almost a decade) leave their personal notes about what they've seen and done.
Last updated on December 05, 2012
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Additional notes from the owner
Check in is 4 PM Friday. Check out is 10 AM the following Friday. Between those times, our housekeeper comes in to clean. This is a so-called "self-catering" house. We provide linens and towels, but otherwise you're on your own.
- Local Guides/Maps
- Towels Provided
- Wood Stove
- Linens Provided
- Washing Machine
Phone / Internet
- Electric Stove
- Board Games
- Music Library
- Movie/Video Library
- Standard Definition TV
- Balcony or terrace
- Beach Chairs
- Beach Towels
- Pet friendly - no
- Smoking allowed - no
- Suitable for children - ask
- Suitable for the elderly - ask
- Wheelchair accessible - no
- 2500 square feet