We are fortunate to be surrounded with stunning countryside creating opportunities for almost every type of outdoor recreation.
Canoeing. All along both the Gard and the Cezes rivers there are canoe outfitters (or places to launch your own), with several operators offering drop off and collection to suit you. Pack a picnic and take your swimming costumes – there’s not much to beat a canoe and swim on a hot day. And for spectacular scenery a canoe under the Pont du Gard, while likely to be busy in the summer, cannot be missed.
North of us is the famous 32km Ardeche Gorge, a natural playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Canoe the river down to the much photographed Pont d’Arc, potter along at your own speed or take a guided trip – there are some rapids, beware – so this river is ideal for both the amateur and the more serious enthusiast.
Cycling / Mountain biking Quiet open roads and a maze of dirt tracks make this paradise for cyclists. Our local area is fairly flat but take your bike just a few miles and you’re in to serious hills. Borrow our bikes or bring your own.
Hiking Throughout the area hundreds of well marked ‘Sentiers’ (footpaths) criss cross the landscape and every village will have a board mapping their local paths. You can start right at the mas and take a gentle stroll through the fields – take one of our dogs too if you like!
Just 5 km from the Mas de la Bousquette is ‘Les Concluses’, a natural gorge which cuts deeply through the local hills. Hike from the mas, or cycle part way and then finish on foot, wading along the Aiguillon River bed. In summer months a cooling swim in the deep rock pools is a delight, though in dry years they may be a little short of water ( But be warned, in spring and autumn the river can run fast and suddenly – check conditions before planning your hike.)
Also close by and worth a visit is the ‘Grotte de Salamandre’, a cavern system replete with crystals. Rappel down inside the cliffs or more sedately take a guided walk though the caves.
40 minutes northwest are the Cevennes an area of outstanding natural beauty where endless paths exist. In spring and summer there are hiking festivals when many guided walks are on offer. Robert Louis Stevenson hiked through the Cevennes with his donkey, Modestine, and you can now follow in his footsteps on the GR70 sentier in the southern Cevennes. To the northeast is the Ardeche, another vast and rugged arena for day hikes.
Swimming River swimming is the perfect activity on a hot Provencal day – no salt, no sand just the cool clear waters of our local rivers. We can advise on the best beaches – some accessible only on foot or by canoe, others a little closer to car parks. And if you do want to sample the delights of the Mediterranean, the coast is just over an hours drive. Traffic can be difficult in the peak season but with the opening of a new high speed rail freight line between Nimes and Montpellier this should soon be eased. Try L’Espiguette, south of Montpellier for miles of wide clean sand and gentle waves. There’s a great beach shack there too for a sundowners.
We have plans to create a lawn tennis court at the Mas, opening in 2018, but in the meantime our village tennis courts are a 5 minute stroll away – conveniently close to the garage bar!