The House on the Square

The local area

The local area offers fantastic walking in dramatic scenery and great swimming and canoe trips in the Hérault, one of France’s most beautiful rivers – clean, clear, warm in summer and only ten minutes’ walk from the house. Five minutes’ drive away is a safe river bathing beach, with lifeguards on duty in high season and a good cafe close by. In the other direction you will find a wide choice of secret swimming spots.

Positioned between the mountains and the sea, this is a landscape of rolling vineyards, shady olive groves, Mediterranean cypresses, dramatic gorges, secret valleys and beautiful pine forests up in the hills.

There are many places of interest within easy access - unspoilt medieval villages, the historic cities of Montpellier, Pezenas, Nimes (and the Pont du Gard) and Arles (with one of the best preserved Roman amphi-theatres in the world), the strange beauty of the Camargue, extraordinary underground cave systems and the fortified villages of the Knights Templar. Montpellier is 45 mins drive away – and only €1.50 on the bus from nearby Gignac. Barcelona is 3 hours drive away. To the north are the Cevennes mountains and the stunning Tarn Gorge, close by the Millau bridge. To the south you are within one hour's drive of the Mediterranean coast and your choice of beautiful beaches.
Montpellier is a fascinating city. See this link to the New York Times which voted it in their Top 45 places to visit.

beach from bridge

The river beach, just five minutes' drive from the house


One of the beautiful beaches, one hour's drive away


Grau du Roi, fishing port

There is a very lively cultural agenda locally with international festivals in Montpellier, Nimes, Lodeve and Sete and you're spoilt for choice with nearby live music events in the summer months. Traditional festivals such as the water jousting at Sete and the feria in Nimes are highlights of the year.

If you’re looking for something more energetic, there’s local canoe and bike hire and endless hill and valley paths for all grades of walkers. Lac Salagou, about 30 minutes’ drive away, is a popular sailing and wind-surfing location. Experienced climbing instructors and horse-riding ranches are based nearby.

This area is still unspoilt by tourism, said by some to closely resemble Provence and the Cote d’Azur before they became so popular.

The traditional way of life remains unchanged – each village has its own weekly market full of local produce, and there are many excellent local vineyards and olive producers to visit.


A Mediterranean beach, one hour from the house


River swimming, just five minutes' drive from the house

Vineyard near Gignac

A vineyard near the chapels of Gignac, 10 minutes' drive from the house

Gignac market

Gignac market every Saturday

Herault in gorge ADD

The Herault gorge at the bottom of the village


A path above Saint Guilhem

Walk above FenestrettesJPG

Walks above the Saint Guilhem valley

St Guilhe valley

A path above Saint Guilhem


Part of the Herault gorge in winter flood

lavender villetelle adj

Mas de Villetelle lavender farm nearby

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