Note from Susan: I asked Jim, a New York professor who has twice spent three weeks at our house, whether he would post comments about his stay on our VRBO page. I was honored to read what's below and have copied here to our Caussi site.
It may well be that the constellation of experiences one can have from a visit to this village and a stay at this home has wrecked me for other vacations, but I'm the better for it.
In what follows, I will gush to the point that you may suspect me of being a plant. I'm not: This is my second time renting here. From the utter congeniality of its owners to the wonderful possibilities of staying in this location, I cannot recommend this place more highly.
Within a short distance--that is, a drive of 20-40 minutes at most and sometimes less--you can be swimming on a Mediterranean beach of extraordinary beauty, diving into a pool of fresh water and leaning against a waterfall, eating at a Michelin-star restaurant, hiking in the mountains, marketing in one of many villages or towns in the area, or visiting any of a number of very good winemakers.
Then there's taking off from the village for a 2-hour trip, which would be enough time to visit the art and Roman ruins of Arles as well as the extraordinary birds of the wildlife refuge of the Camargue; Girona in Spain (or Barcelona only an hour more). All of this is to say that the location and possibilities are extraordinary and fit many ages.
The house itself is a winning combination of amenities and a rustic charm, and suitable for families or couples or individuals of many ages. You can cook sumptuously in it and relax in it with ease. Whether it is the view of the Mediterranean towns from the roof deck at night or from the front bedroom, there is a peacefulness to the place, an utter quiet that is restorative.
The owners are honorable and reliable, too. I feel deep affection for this place, which occurred almost instantly but has built over two visits taking place in two different summers, each for multiple weeks. To my mind, that speaks to one of those rare times when my impulses have not proven themselves wrong. I've only deepened in satisfaction for this village and this home.
Yaniv and Yael Nadler, along with their daughters Lili and Ada, live in Paris where Yaniv is an architect. The family has been spending August in Caussiniouojouls for the last eight years (and sometimes New Year's as well). They've become family friends and Caussi's biggest fans.
Here's a recommendation that Yaniv posted to our page on VRBO in the fall of 2014:
Yet again we had a great summer in Caussi. Lili is now 8 years old which means this is our 8th visit.
We wanted to say a few warm words about how the house makes us feel that we are visiting a friends house instead of any ordinary characterless gite. The house is generous In light, in its scenery, in its effortless style, in its kitchen spices and utensils! In its bed linen! and more.
It is such an optimistic welcoming house and each time when we sit on the terrace and see the Pyrenees mountains on the south or the fire works on the beach at night (40km away!) it fills us with joy. Beautiful.
For us the house sits on the right spot between mountain and sea. We love to go to the beach at Portiragne but also to Lake Vailhan or for river swimming at Roquebrun. We saw a great exposition of Rosson Crow this year at Serignan and of course we went to the MIAM at Sete. Yael took this year couple more horse riding lessons and has become a real cowgirl :-) even Ada started to take Poney lessons. On the last weekend there was a concert at the Chateau (flute & Harp) and this year we discovered another new great market at Lamalou-les bains (on tuesday). We already miss it till next summer.
Note from Susan: I was pleased to see this article about the region around our house. Some of our visitors have been surprised to find themselves surrounded by vineyards so here's my chance to clarify! Caussiniojouls is a wine-growing village.
From The Wine Enthusiast:
A part of Languedoc-Roussillon, the world’s largest wine-producing region, Languedoc lies in the sunny south of France, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Mountains. It stretches west from the Roman city of Nîmes to the borders of the Aude départment. A vast expanse of multiple landscapes, grapes and weather patterns, this up-and-coming area stands out for its exciting, excellent value wines and unspoiled, vine-covered vistas. With its sandy, golden coastline and cool, green climes inland, visitors have the best of both worlds. —Louise Hurren
Where to Dine
Some of the most authentic restaurants here are hidden in the heart of wine country. Le Faitout (Berlou), l’Auberge du Presbytère (Vailhan) and Ô. Bontemps (Magalas) offer intimate dining paired with local wines, while the charming Relais Chantovent offers traditional regional cuisine in the must-see medieval village of Minerve. For something more unusual, dine al fresco in Domaine Gayda’s luxury barbecue straw huts (a short drive from Carcassonne). L’Auberge du Vieux Puits (Fontjoncouse) is a ritzy address worthy of a splurge.
Where to Stay
Lodging options abound. The upmarket Château les Carrasses in Capestang is a 19th-century wine estate transformed into luxury, self-catering vacation homes. Winemaker Gérard Bertrand’s L’Hospitalet is a leading wine tourism destination, boasting hotel rooms, a restaurant, tasting room and craft boutiques. In the hamlet of Lauret, Auberge du Cèdre offers character, shady gardens, authentic cuisine and a wine list featuring some of the Pic Saint Loup appellation’s best producers.
This is a region for fans of the great outdoors. Sea kayaking, wind surfing and river canoeing are just some options. Rocky Upper Languedoc has miles of walking and cycling trails. Ancient Roman sites like the Pont du Gard and the amphitheatre of Nîmes can be enjoyed at a more leisurely pace.
Book a self-catering holiday rental (like susan and gerry's house!) and live like the locals: buy produce at a local market (think olives, salted anchovies, goat cheese, some charcuterie and a handful of nectarines), add a bottle from a nearby domaine and enjoy.
When to Go
Spring for budding vines, fall for harvest and gentle sunshine. Avoid the crowds and soaring summer heat.
Local in the Know
Note from Susan: The Faugeres wine festival is held the second weekend in July--do not miss. All the winemakers have booths along the winding medieval streets offering tastings. Moules et frites lunch too.
Vianney Fabre, a second-generation winemaker at Château d’Anglès, says, “The annual gourmet wine walks held in early summer are the perfect way to discover some of Languedoc’s top AOPs and stunning landscapes. The Sentiers Gourmands event is held on the third weekend in May. It’s a gentle walk interspersed with delicious food and AOP La Clape wine pairings, which you can enjoy while admiring the breathtaking views of the coastline and limestone cliffs.”
Where to Taste
Few wineries have public tasting rooms with full-time staff, but calling ahead will open many doors—tastings are almost always free. In Lattes, the Mas de Saporta showcases over 400 Languedoc wines and the knowledgeable staff will happily answer questions and make recommendations. In Saint-Chinian, the Maison des Vins’s dispensing machines allow visitors to try 32 wines (red, white and rosé) from across the appellation for a charge. The shop stocks more than 300 wines. Florensac co-op’s Vinipolis visitor center offers an informative, multilingual experience (buy a bottle and enjoy it in the adjoining Bistrot d’Alex), while Faugères producerL’Abbaye Sylva Plana’s tasting room and restaurant are open year-round. In Montagnac, Côté Mas has a tasting room and restaurant showcasing wines from seven Domaines Paul Mas estates. Down near Fitou, the Mont Tauch co-op has an excellent visitor center, interactive displays and free tours.
Languedoc’s challenge is its diversity: red, white, rosé, still and sparkling, dry and fortified wines are all made here. Its AOPs—particularly Minervois, Corbières and Coteaux du Languedoc—are becoming well known. Terrasses du Larzac, Saint- Chinian and La Clape are now attracting attention. Varietal wines like Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Viognier and Chardonnay are commonly found under the Pays d’Oc label. Zippy Picpoul de Pinet (perfect with seafood), sparkling Blanquette de Limoux and aromatic Rolle-Roussanne-Marsanne blends are whites to watch. Fans of hearty reds should try the rich, spicy wines of Pic Saint Loup, Corbières and Fitou.