After a three-and-a-half hour TGV ride from Paris’ Gare de Lyon station, we arrived in the bustling city of Montpellier and picked up our hire car to drive to Olonzac in Languedoc. The drive took about 90 minutes, and being late November, we arrived in Olonzac in the dark, but were not disappointed.
Castel Grand Rue, our three-bedroom gite (the French word for self-catering cottage), is right in the heart of the town and close to all amenities. The quirky house is built on three levels, like most houses in France, and is spacious enough for the four us to spread out and have plenty of space. With heaters in every room, the house is lovely and warm, and with two flights of stairs to ascend to reach the master bedroom, it provides a great workout after all the delicious French food we’ve been eating!
Whilst Olonzac is perhaps not the prettiest village in France, it is really well located to visit all the major attractions and vineyards in the area which is what we’ll be doing during our week’s stay here. The town is the major hub for all the villages in the area and is well serviced with supermarkets, a butcher, numerous bakeries, restaurants, pizzerias, a newsagent, banks, dry cleaners, locksmith, hairdressers, florists and a tourist office.
Perhaps one of the highlights of staying right in the heart of Olonzac is the Tuesday morning market, literally right outside the front door. With our street, and a number of others in the heart of town, closed off for market stalls, you definitely can’t get closer to the action. We’ve already experienced the market, selling everything from clothes and hardware to the freshest local produce, and sampled a few tasty goodies.
We’ve got lots of sightseeing planned for our week here, so I’ll let you know our favourite places to visit and things to do in the area. First stop - Minerve, Carcassonne and Mirepoix.