One fall day in 2007, we headed by car to Lamalou-les-Bains and then up the mountain to the hamlet of
DOUCH, beneath the summit of Le Caroux. Douch is a perfect village where time seems really to have stood still. Half-a-dozen rough stone houses, inhabited by a handful of elderly residents, cluster tightly together for protection against the elements.. In the meadows below nestles a picturesque church with an ancient cemetery full of graves like iron cots.
From Douch follow the path south of the village to the popular, easy 2.5 miles ascent of Le Caroux (1040m), where you’ll find extraordinary views from the summit along the mountain ridge, south to Beziers, the Mediterranean sea and even the Pyrenees, on a clear day. We could see the mountain goats scampering up and down over the rocks below.
Walking back through the fallen fall leaves was exquisite—and we stopped in the charming inn at Douch for tea before claiming our car in the parking lot.
Driving back to Caussi, we chose the route through Rosis, where the road levels out into a small mountain valley, whose slopes are brilliant yellow with broom in June, and then the village of Combes. From Combes, the D180 winds through cherry orchards to Le Pourjol
The Auberges de Combes (tel 04.67.95.66.55.) offers a splendid meal in an exquisite gorgeous mountain setting (Closed Sunday evening and all day Monday). Although we’ve driven by many times, we haven’t stopped for a meal yet. The very first Caussi renters, the Hackman family of Kansas City, raved about their lunch at the Auberges de Combes so we recommend it.