La Terrasse is a large and spacious renovated home, built in the centre of the old part of Olonzac, capital of the Minervois. The house is comfortably furnished with a large kitchen, breakfast room; a very large, high ceilinged living/dining room with a view across to the Mairie, with radio/cd player and long table that will seat eight. It also has two iron sofas, which can be used as beds if so wished. There are two bedrooms, one with a double bed, and the other with twin beds.
The tiled roof terrace is a wonderful feature of the house. With lighting for the evenings, it is 40 square metres in size, with table and chairs for six, two sun loungers and a barbecue. It is totally secluded and looks out over the rooftops of Olonzac and across to the church. In spring and summer the aerial displays of the house martins, swifts and swallows are spectacular, not to mention the hawks and falcons preying on the pigeons near the church!
Whilst a car is not essential, particularly if you are keen cyclists, it is advisable to have a car available in order to explore the surrounding area. One of the main features of Olonzac is the easy accessibility to so many varying sights in this part of France.
This is a small town, you can walk across it in just a few minutes, and it has all the facilities you will need for a comfortable holiday. Several restaurants, cafes and bars, patisseries, boulangeries and a marvellous market every Tuesday morning where you can buy some of the most wonderful fresh, local produce.
Vineyards surround the town and one of the joys of the area is sampling the local wines. Once known for producing vast quantities of, shall we say plonk, there has been a revolution over the past 20 years and there are some superb wines to be tried. Look out, in particular, for AOC Minervois ‘La Liviniere’, a label reserved for only the better wines being produced.
For the energetic, there are public tennis courts in the local park, cycle hire nearby as well as swimming, windsurfing and sailing in the Lac de Jouarres. The Canal du Midi is easily reached from Homps, five minutes away. Here you can hire boats for the day or longer and savour the wonders of canal travel, as recently enjoyed by Rick Stein on his culinary trip through here with the BBC in “A French Odyssey”. As mentioned elsewhere, the beaches of the Mediterranean are just 45 minutes away, with all kinds of activities to be enjoyed.
During the summer months, there are festivals in all the villages and towns, with jazz and blues evenings in local 'caves' and restaurants. Narbonne, Beziers and Sete all have vast programmes with a different theme each year, often with a Spanish feel to them, right through the holiday period.
The Languedoc is a wonderful place to explore for its history, for its beauty, for its culture. UNESCO has declared the Cite de Carcassonne and the nearby Canal du Midi, World Heritage sites, but there is so much else to discover. To name but a few, the Cathar Châteaux of Peyrpetuse, Quéribus and Lastours, the abbeys of Lagrasse and Fontfroide, the Cathedrale de St-Just in Narbonne. The Montagne Noire with its forests and lakes is just 45 minutes away, the mountains of the Pyrenees and skiing resorts just two hours drive. The Spanish border is one and half hours drive and just over the border you can visit the Teatre-Museu Dalí in Figueres, a remarkable tribute to the surrealist, designed by the man himself, of course. Barcelona is just three hours away. The list is endless.