Calvisson, a quaint town set on a hillside overlooking a valley of vineyards about 15 miles west of Nîmes, makes a great base for exploring the region, with Provence to the east, the Camargue to the south, the seaside towns of Hérault to the southeast and the Cévennes mountains to the north. A typical old French village with narrow streets, stone buildings, pastel painted shutters and historic points of interest, it even has its own wine appellation. However, unlike many quaint villages, this is a real working town without the rows of tourist shops.
We spent two weeks at an apartment on Rue de Fontaine, a three minute walk to the center, convenient to the boulangerie, fish shop, butcher shop, primeur (greengrocer), small supermarket, café, bank, a couple of restaurants and of course the Sunday market. Everything you need for your home away from home.
The apartment itself was nicely appointed with elegant yet comfortable furnishings in a tasteful mélange of old world stone and new fixtures. My only complaint was that the kitchen was a bit small and not as well equipped as I would have liked. Certainly adequate for more casual cooking.
My favorite discovery was that we lived on a historical trail winding through the town and up over the hill behind. One day we noticed that there were yellow blazes, like the ones we followed on our hike in the Cévennes, on our street. Sure enough, we looked at the Calvisson map and it showed a trail going around town and through our street. The trail, relatively easy to follow and about a 3 mile loop, takes you to the most important sights in town as well as affording pretty views from the hilltop moulins (mills). You can pick up a map this trail at the Sommières tourist office.
For links to all the posts in this series see the Calvisson page.