Just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed your Caussi house during our trip to Languedoc in Sept 2011. The house had everything we needed and we really enjoyed the view from the roof-top Terrace; we spent most of our afternoons up there after returning from our daily excursions!
As far as tips for future visitors, I will summarize our adventures categorically and hopefully there will be some nuggets there!
Beaches/Plages (we are beach lovers so that was foremost on our list of places to visit)
L'Espiguette - beautiful beach outside of Montpellier near Le Grau du Roi - one of our favorites - 1.5 hrs from Caussi - very remote - bring chairs umbrellas & cooler as there are no services - 5.5 euros to enter & park - long drive but well worth it!
Leucate - great beach between Narbonne & Perpignan - 1 hour from Caussi - bring chairs umbrellas - there are restaurants nearby for lunch - parking is plentiful and inexpensive (there was no charge for parking this Sept - last July there were meters and for a few euros you could park all day) - NOTE: nearby is the African Preserve near Sigean - opens at 9AM - great for a couple of hours before the beach - a little pricey @ 27 euros per person but lots of animals - rated as one of the best preserves in the world - 1 hour in car driving thru and up to 3 hours on foot if you so desire (We drove first and then walked for only 45 mins - time for the beach!!)
Portiranges - the closest beach at 30 mins from Caussi and the one we spent the most time at (3 visits) - You can bring your chairs etc. but you can also rent chairs + umbrella from the Maui Plage station (rents pedaloes, boards & other water sports) at west end of beach - ample free parking - very busy in season - it was nice and empty in Sept.
Argeles (North) - beach outside of Perpignan - 1.75 hrs from Caussi - go to north end of beach as the middle & south are a bit tacky with dozens of beach shops & numerous restaurants - lots of free parking at north end - only a few minutes from here to Colliure (very crowded around lunchtime - go early if you want to park and eat) & Banyul sur Mer (where we had lunch at a nice small sidewalk cafe)
Touring (we picked the cloudy days to tour - there weren't too many!!)
Avignon - went there to visit a few shops Diane had in mind - interesting city - lots of traffic (cars & people). Took the opportunity while there to visit Tavel (15 km away) and pick up some great Rose Wine to bring back to Caussi (we consider Tavel roses to be among the tastiest in all of France - at least the France we've experienced so far - Provence & Languedoc) to sip on the terrace in late afternoon.
Roquebrun - we visited twice; once via D908/D14 route and another times via opposite direction of backroads from Caussi - loved the river and had a great lunch at the Auberge St. Hubert (the Cafe Nice was too crowded for our taste)
Great scenic drive - From Olargues D14 up the mountain to D53 towards Cambron (?) and then back towards Belarieux - beautiful dark pine forests, herds of horses and great mountain views. 2-2.5 hours leisurely drive.
Restaurants ( I don't think we spent over 75 euros for any meal [2 persons] - including tip & wine - most were around 35-50 euros)
Karting Course Restaurant (in Caussi) - has a great lunch there on our first day - meant to get back for dinner but did not make it
La Forge in Bedarieux - beautiful place - good food - ate outside - next time will eat inside for the interior views
La Cave Gourmande in Montagnac (between Pezenas & Meze) - we found this place last July and was glad to see that it is still there and still as good - Italian fare - great lasagne - Open Sun & Mon so thats a plus (most restaurants closed those days) - 45 minute ride from Caussi but worth it (D13 most of the way from faugeres to Pezenas) - center of town at 2nd traffic light - left-side of road going to Meze
Hana Sushi in Pezenas - good sushi but a limited selection - great energetic staff
O Bontemps in Magalas - made a reservation - on arrival found closed until mid-Sept - confused as to why they took rez?!?!? - anyway we found a little Mom & Pop just down the hill from O Bontemps and had a delightful meal & lots of fun with owners - went back for a second meal on our last night - can't remember name but have pictures of resaturant with name - great pizzas among other things!
La Bella Vista in Faugeres - closed the first weekend we were there - finally ate there on a Sunday - good simple food & wine - nice people
Meze - can't remember name but ate at same place twice last year - busiest place in the harbor - good crowd = good food - had oysters, mussels, shrimp etc. etc. - it was nice to be back there - approx 1 hr from Caussi
Le Baroulet in Roujan - beautiful setting in hotel courtyard - food was OK but not great - atmosphere made up for it!
Chez Caussi - we grilled a nice steak on the Weber grill one evening when we did not feel like going out!!! Priceless
All in all it was a great trip. We had beautiful weather. The village of Caussi was charming. It was so quiet, that, if not for the occassional bird chirping or insect buzzing, you might think you'd gone deaf! Talk about great sleeping! I was able to use the cable for the DSL line to call home via Skype so that was very helpful. Made great use of your juicer - fresh OJ every morning! Thanks so much for your hospitality.
By the way, you are now the owner of 2 new beach chairs, a new beach umbrella & a new cooler which we found convenient to buy while we were there - hope new visitors use them well!
Tim and Diane