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“Extraordinary landscape matched by an historical legacy. Add to this a packed calendar of festivals and in short, you have a variety which few parts of France, or indeed Europe, can match.”

The Rough Guide to Languedoc and Roussillon

Here’s some ideas to fill your days, should you feel so inclined to leave your sun lounger!

Hit the beach – Several wonderful Mediterranean beaches are within easy reach of Maison Dix. Within 30 minutes, stretch out on one of our three favourites of Serignan, Portiragnes and Vias. The many beaches of Cap d'Agde are easily accessible by car and offer resort facilities and nudist bathing. The nearby lakes and rivers, ideal for swimming and relaxing, offer clear water and interesting scenery.

Canoe the gorge – A great way to experience the beauty of Languedoc is from a canoe, floating through the stunning gorges, perhaps with a picnic on board. You can canoe on the Rivers Orb or Herault; one of our favourite trips is from Vieussan to Roquebrun.

On your bike – Take a Maison Dix bike and follow trails through vineyards and the mountains. Ride on quiet roads to visit pretty villages.  You can also hire bikes at the Canal du Midi - the most famous cycleway in the region. Serious road cyclists (with bikes) are welcome to join John on the local club ride (Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday mornings).

Take a hike – There’s excellent walking to be found in the vicinity, to suit all. Well-marked walking routes are to be found in the village and beyond into the vineyards, pine forests and foothills of the black mountains.

Hunt for treasure – Spend a morning at one of the many local ‘puce’ (fleamarkets). One of the most popular is held every Sunday at Marseillan, where hundreds of stallholders will tempt you with with a mindboggling array of wares.

Horse around – There are several equestrian centres within a short drive from Maison Dix. Many offer trail riding opportunities for all abilities. For a unique experience, you can choose the Camargue and it’s world-famous white horses. Erica can personally recommend Les Cavalcades de Valenta, just a 5 minute drive or short cycle away.

Play a round – The course at nearby Beziers Saint-Thomas (par 72 - 6130m) is set in the typical Mediterranean scenery of wild garrigue. Other courses include Golf de Lamalou-les-Bains (high-altitude) and Golf du Cap d'Agde. (coastal).

Something fishy – In addition to sea-fishing, with a valid Carte de Pêche Vacances (fishing permit) you can fish daily or weekly in the lakes or rivers. Popular locally, for pike perch and carp, is the Barrage de Olivettes (just 3km away).

Joust anyone? – Seeing is believing – join in the fun as local men do battle on the canals and rivers to knock each other into the water. Dating back centuries, the sport is unique to the region and takes place in the coastal towns along the Etang (Sete, Meze, Agde, Marseillan) throughout the summer.