The apartment is situated on the promenade which runs along the Bassin de Thau (lake) and is only several minutes from the port, bars restaurants, cycle hire, fishing, sailing and wine tasting. It is on the groundfloor in a newly built block of apartments in a gated community. The surroundings are made very attracive by extensive planting of mediterranean trees, shrubs and climbing plants.
The apartment is on the ground floor and has extra wide doors for wheelchair access. It has open plan kitchen, dining and sitting area with DVD/TV. Internet can be provided upon request and for a small weekly fee.
The kitchen is very well equipped with washing machine, dishwasher, cooker, induction hob, fridge freezer, microwave, kettle, coffee maker, iron, with crockery and cutlery for up to 8. There are lots of kitchen utensils.
Patio doors lead onto a large terrace and small garden. There is reversible air conditioning.
There are 2 double bedrooms with room for a single bed in the larger bedroom. Bathroom contains bath, washbasin, shower and radiator. Bed linen and towels are included in the price. Electricity is too but excess use will be deducted from the damage deposit.
To allow for a variety of family needs we can provided a cot and highchair too.
All day to day shopping needs are found in Marseillan through small local shops or supermarkets. Numerous bars, pizzerias, take aways and a range of restaurants are within walking distance if you choose to eat out. Many restaurants have regional and seafood specialities. There is a Michelin starred restaurant in the town.
The Noilly Prat distillery is in Marseillan, by the harbour which makes an interesting visit with tasting to finish. There are opportunities for fishing, water sports and sailing lessons are available - check this website for sailing lessons for 18 and over with a tutor who speaks English French and Dutch:
Lessons can be for a day or more and complete beginners are welcomed and encouraged. We have had fabulous times here sailing on the lake as complete beginners. If you are more experienced there are sea going courses too. Contact Sofie on the website above .
Every Tuesday morning there is a market in the square, five minutes from the apartment, where you can buy local fresh produce, home ware, clothes, flowers and even be entertained by musicians. On Thursdays in July and August there is a craft market from 7pm-midnight down by the harbour. On Saturday and Sunday by the sea front you can browse the Puces Brocantes (flea market) for a variety of goods, old and new. 10 minutes away in Agde is an even larger indoor and outdoor market on Thursday morning with similar goods- fresh produce, clothes, accessories, home goods, flowers, plants etc. Good to browse here and visit the shops and have something to eat and drink. (You could visit a market every day and there is a list in the house of many market days)
Montpellier is the capital city of the region and towns such as Pezenas, Beziers, Agde, Narbonne and Sete are just a few of the places to visit. Montpellier is a vibrant University town, with historic interests but also many shops to explore. Pezenas has some excellent architecture, historical interests, art and craft shops which open during the summer months and the usual shops and restaurants. At the other end of the long stretch of beach is Sete known as the Venice of Languedoc because of the many canals. It is the second largest active fishing port in the Mediterranean (after Marseille)and fish restaurants abound. The main canal has shops, restaurants and bars along either side, fishing boats tie up, nets are mended and tourist boats ply up and down showing the sights. On Bastille Day (July 14th) and during August this central canal is crowded with spectators watching the water jousting. Opposing teams try to knock each other into the water. The combatant stands at the back of a gondola type boat high on a platform with a long pole in his hand. The rest of the team, on the gondola, row towards the opponent. The idea is to knock your opponent off the platform using the pole. The winner stays on the platform - dry, the loser is tipped into the water. There are spectacular views from the top of Mont St Clair (above Sete) across the sea and lake.
The lake, sea and beach are to the south with all the opportunities of sport or relaxation. There are 10km of sand and beach between Agde and Sete with more if you want to travel a bit. In summer there is another fun activity to watch at the harbour. 'Le Capelet' A long greasy pole is suspended horizontally-ish (slight slope)over the water. At the end is a vertical pole with a hat on it. The challenge is to get along the greasy pole and snatch the hat. It is possible!
North of Marseillan you are quickly into beautiful mountainous areas, great for walking, exploring and canoeing. Several UNESCO World Heritage Sites are near: the Amphitheatre at Nimes, the Pont du Gard, a Roman Aqueduct and St-Guilhelm-le-Desert, a lovely village in the cleft of the mountain near the Herault Gorge.
To the west is Carcassonne, used in the film 'Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves'. It is an old castle, which has been renovated with fairy tale turrets. It is huge, people still live within the castle and there are interesting shops for browsing, restaurants, cafes etc. All this area is full of Cathar history. The drive to Carcassonne is good too with other places to visit en route. Minerve a beautiful, historic village, with local wine tasting,and Narbonne the old capital in Roman times. There is a Safari Park near Narbonne, beaches and walks here too.
To the East you can visit Nimes (amphitheatre, Roman temple, modern Art museum, shops, restaurants etc,) Montpellier(capital)the Pont du Gard (magnificent Roman aquaduct), the castle of Aigues Mort and see the pink flamingos, black bulls and white horses all typical of the area.
The Canal du Midi passes from Toulouse to the Bassin de Thau and is a lovely shady place to walk, fish, cycle or sail. You can take a boat from Grau d'Agde, up the River Herault, along the Canal du Midi and across the lake by Marseillan (Etang de Thau) to see the oyster beds (4 1/2 hrs)finishing off with a taste of Picpoul de Pinet and an oyster or two.
There are many local and well-known vineyards to visit. Regional wines are Corbiere, Minervois, Fitou, Cotes du Roussillon while a local dry white is Picpoul de Pinet with many roses to try. There are many winemakers locally and in the town. By the harbour: Madeleine St Jean and Henri de Richmer. Further afield wineries in Florensec, Pomerol and Pinet. Try some of the lesser-known wines which are good quality also. We can give you details if you fancy a wine tasting trip.
There are three golf courses in this area, at Montpellier, Beziers and Cap D'agde.
For younger children: a Dinosaur Park and Aqualand as well as the lovely beach. Children and adults are catered for at the Jungle Adventure near Agde - different routes for different abilities. Climb trees, swing across, walk tightropes - all with the security of being tied on with double ropes. Take a challenge!
Internet access is possible please enquire.
Marseillan has a very good tourist information centre and newly developed and extensive website to visit.
Like reading? One of the current best sellers, the novel Labyrinth by Kate Mosse (set in Carcassonne, is about the persecution of the Cathars and search for the Holy Grail, but matched with murders and a search for the Grail in present times. Her sequel 'Sepulchre' is good too. Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code has a section which was set in parts of the region too.
Rick Stein's French Odyssey visits places along the Canal du Midi but the end of the series focuses on Agde, Bezier, Marseillan itself and Sete, before going to Marseille. Repeats are on the Food and Living channel. The programme gives a very good impression of the region with just some of the food specialities (sea food, duck breast, confit de canard, cassoulet) as well as interests along the way.
If you need to know more we will send further help or information with the confirmation of your booking. We aim to make your stay as enjoyable as possible and enjoy finding out as much as we can to meet your needs, if we don't already know it. There is a lot of information provided in the house too.
For a fee we can provide extra cleaning (45€) and change of linen (9€ pppw) if it is required during a long stay. Please bring your own beach towels.
Access is easy from Beziers(nearest), Montpellier, Nimes, Carcassonne, Toulouse and Perpignan airports. We have even driven from Girona (north of Barcelona) round the coast when prices were incredibly cheap. This drive is about 2-3 hrs and very attractive. Cheap flights are available by Ryanair from Liverpool,East Midlands,Bristol, ), Ireland, Stansted and Luton. Ryanair have just introduced new flights which are available from Bristol,(Manchester starting 2012) or Stansted to Beziers which is the nearest airport and only 20 mins away. Other airlines fly to these airports too. When you land car hire is easy through Hertz (reduced rates for Ryanair customers) Avis and Europcar. You can book on arrival although it is quicker and cheaper if you have pre-booked.
If you are travelling by train from the airport to Marseillan it is as well to remember that train travel is not as frequent on Sundays and connections can be difficult at times. If visiting out of season it is a good idea to check train times first for Sunday travel.
If you prefer driving; the Languedocienne motorway (A9) passes along the whole south coast and links Marseillan easily with central and northern France (and also to the west with Northern Spain and east to Italy). Driving from Calais/ Dunkerque can take about 10 - 11 hrs and cost approximately £45 in tolls if you use motorways.
The area is comparatively unspoilt and although growing in popularity it is still possible to be away from the crowds even in summer if that is what you want. Going north, south, east and west will provide you with a huge range of entertainment,activities or relaxation.
The climate here is the best in France having 300+ days of sunshine. Even in February there is often sunshine with bright blue skies.