We stayed in this lovely home while visiting Sommières in late May. The house is both elegant and comfortable—we felt completely at home in it, but at the same time were always discovering new treasures (a small painting we had overlooked, a piece of sculpture set in a niche outside the house, etc.). The house is set back off the road and feels private and secluded even though it’s in a residential neighborhood. There is a large combined living/dining area and open kitchen, behind which is a corridor extending to the back, with three bedrooms and 2 ½ baths. Remarkably (at least to this American couple) almost every room in the house opens onto the terrace, giving the house a light airy feel. We particularly liked the kitchen, with its lovely tiles and its well-stocked cabinets, and sitting out on the terrace, where we inevitably had our breakfast. We didn’t use the pool, since the weather wasn’t warm enough, but it is lovely and private and has superb views across the hills.
The house is located on a ridge with easy access to the town and the chateau. In addition, there is easy access to the D40 without going into Sommières proper, so it is an ideal base for visiting the area. The Sommières market is on Saturdays and provides a delightful opportunity to wander through open air shops and food stalls.
Two regional sites that we particularly enjoyed are the Parc Ornithologique de Pont Gau and the city of Aigues-Mortes. The former is a bird sanctuary within the much larger Parc Natural Régional de Camargue, and among other shore birds contains large flocks of flamingos. The park is about 50 kilometers away and it takes about one hour to drive there.
Aigues-Mortes is a medieval walled city built by Louis IX in 1214. It was originally intended to serve as an embarkation point for a crusade to the Holy Land and to provide access to the Mediterranean. The walls are just over 1600 meters (one mile) long and completely enclose the city proper. Once inside the walls, the streets are narrow and flow into a lively city center with shops and outdoor restaurants. We walked the entire length of the walls and had lovely views of the city and the surrounding countryside.
Katya was, from the very start, both warm and prompt in all our communications. We were delighted to meet her and Jacques when we arrived, and were only sorry that our visit with them was so brief. Their warmth and their aesthetic permeate their home and make it very special indeed.