Getting here

Lou  Recantou   &   l'Ancien Pressoir

Getting here


Lou Recantou:        the cottage        guestbook comments
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WARNING ABOUT BARCELONA





  • Try to find Michelin maps or IGN maps at the scale of 1 cm to 2 km
  • The map(s) you buy should show Olonzac and Oupia and include Toulouse (to the west of us) and Montpellier (to the east).
  • Suggestion: Michelin map #339, Gard, Hérault and #344, Aude, Pyrénées Orientales, both at 1 cm to 1.5 km.

Detailed directions:

  • Google map of area
  • Coming from Olonzac
  • Coming from Narbonne
  • Coming from Carcassonne
  • Coming from Toulouse
  • Coming from Montpellier
  • Coming from Barcelona


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    From Canada or the USA:

    Most of our North American guests fly to Paris, then to Toulouse or to Montpellier.
    We've had several complaints about Air France and we would fly with them only if there were no real alternative. On at least two occasions, they've cancelled flights without notifying their clients or the clients' travel agents.

    We've been told that search engines usually don't turn up Air Transat, which has several flights to France, as well as to Barcelona, London England and Frankfurt.

    Some people fly to Frankfurt, then on to Toulouse. Be sure that you have lots of time between flights; some of our guests have missed their connection in Frankfurt.

    A couple of our guests from London Ontario flew with IcelandAir and said that the price and the service were both very good. They took advantage of the stop in Iceland for a two-day visit.

    Toulouse:
    • a few direct flights from North America, including Montreal via Air Transat.
    • about 1 hour and 45 minutes by car to Oupia
    • airport (Blagnac) is on the opposite (west) side of Toulouse
    • traffic is heavy as well as fast
    • easy to make a wrong turn
    • possible advantage: a direct flight to Toulouse, without having to transfer in Paris, should make it worth dealing with the Toulouse traffic.
    Montpellier:
    • no direct flights from North America
    • easier than Toulouse, as the airport is smaller
    • autoroute is close to the airport and clearly indicated
    • driving time to Oupia is about 1 hour and 15 minutes
    • Montpellier is about the size of London, Ontario and a very attractive and elegant city to visit
    • driving in centre of Montpellier is a challenge, partly due to one-way streets - use the efficient public transport, especially the tram

    A warning and a tip for anyone planning to come to this area: if you're trying to book flights through to Montpellier, especially with Air France, be sure it doesn't involve an airport change in Paris. Air France doesn't alert you to the change and, if you have to go from Charles de Gaulle to Orly, it's a 1-1½ hour uncomfortable bus ride through parts of Paris you don't want to know exist, for a cost of 18 euros per person. Either book your flight to Toulouse or take the TGV (very fast train) from Terminal 2 Charles de Gaulle airport to Montpellier.

    Barcelona:
    • about a 3-hour drive to Oupia
    • autoroute usually very busy, with transport trucks packed with goods en route to France and the rest of Europe
    • might be worth the drive and the heavy traffic if you had a direct flight

    WARNING: Visiting Barcelona could cost you dearly. Several of our guests and friends have been robbed there, including experienced travellers who believed they were taking every reasonable precaution. The police shrug their shoulders and the situation continues year after year. New schemes appear from time to time, making it difficult to anticipate and prevent theft. Too bad, because Barcelona is a beautiful, impressive city.
    If you do go, try to avoid driving in Barcelona with non-Spanish license plates, which make you a very obvious target. Here are some of the stories we've been told about:
    • We personally know three groups who have been caught this way: They returned to their parked car to find one of the tires was flat. After they had opened the car and put their things inside (including the women's handbags), two men approached them and offered to help, in the process getting them slightly away from the car, with their backs to it. Meanwhile, a third person scooped everything possible out of the car and then all three disappeared.
    • A couple who live in Oupia, but who are Spanish in origin, were driving on the autoroute in Spain a few years ago, when two men in another car gestured to indicate that there was something wrong with their car. They stopped and got out and were held at gunpoint while everything they had was taken.
    • The two sons of Swedish friends of ours were on the Underground in Barcelona, when one of them was pickpocketed. The train was so crowded that he didn't realize until later that he had been robbed. The same thing happened to the son of former guests.
    • This is a more complicated story. Four friends who were staying in a hotel in Barcelona asked the person at the reception desk to call a taxi. They were told to wait in the hotel while their bags were being loaded into the taxi. When they got to the airport, one of the bags, containing a lot of valuable items, was missing. They were certain (from the circumstances) that the man at the reception desk was working with both taxi driver and another person to whom the taxi driver handed off the bag while carrying it to his car from the hotel. By the time our friends were able to piece together the sequence of events, the taxi driver had driven off and could not be traced.
    • I remember talking to people who had been "swarmed" in Barcelona by several children, who then managed to pickpocket them. That happens in Rome as well.
    • Another trick: tourists are approached by a woman with a baby. Usually, it's just to beg but, sometimes, the baby is used as a distraction while the woman deftly removes wallets, etc.
    • A more recent development: Motorists stopping at service centres in the Barcelona area have been threatened and robbed. Cars with foreign plates are particularly targeted.
    For more scams and tips on how to avoid them, see:
    Tourist Guide Barcelona, Safety     or Trip Advisor's Barcelona: Health & Safety


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    From the U.K.:

    RyanAir:
    • flies from Stansted airport (and one or two others in the U.K.)
    • to Carcassonne, about a 45-minute drive west of Oupia
    • to Béziers, about a 40-minute drive east of Oupia (this one goes from Bristol)
    • to Perpignan, about an hour's drive to the south
    • to Girona, Spain, about a two-hour drive.
    • not represented by travel agents
    • must book flights by phone or on the Internet
    • Best fares usually by booking early
    • Major drawback: very limited baggage allowance and the high excess baggage fees and frequent theft of travellers' belongings, especially in duty-free area, we're told
    Easy Jet:
    • flies from Gatwick to Toulouse
    • many of the same restrictions as RyanAir
    Flybe:
    • flies from several sites in the U.K. to Perpignan (about a one-hour drive from Oupia) or to Toulouse
    By train, with car:

    A few guests have put their car on the train at Calais and travelled to Narbonne overnight; an easy though expensive way of getting here. Details should be available on the SNCF website.


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    Renting a car:

    Rhinocarhire.com "compares prices from all local and leading car rental suppliers in the area (such as Avis and Hertz) to find customers the cheapest price possible. We are a family run business established in 2007 and in 2010 we won the award of Best Car Hire Website at the Travolution Awards in London." (This is a quote from their website.)
    Two of our guest groups have rented through this company and made a special point of telling us how pleased they were with the service.

    Rental cars can be picked up at almost any airport or train station. Most guests taking the train to Narbonne rent from EuropCar (also called AutoEurope). If you're likely to arrive after noon or 1 pm, however, consider the following two car rental agencies, both of which are close to the Narbonne train station and claim to be open Saturday from 2 to 6 pm:

    Rent-a-car (I don't know anything about this company; perhaps TripAdvisor might have something on them).

    Hertz used to be several kilometres from the Narbonne train station, but relocated recently.

    Another tip from guests: "Looking to hire a car for the 'under 25s'? Try 'Ford' in Béziers. We hired a 5-door Fiesta for our children (aged 19 & 20) for a week - cost only 260€ and gave them freedom to travel on their own!"
    Tel. from France: 04 67 76 81 12         from outside of France: + 334 67 76 81 12





    Leasing a car:

    An alternative to renting is the lease/purchase plans (usually a minimum of 17 days) offered by the major car manufacturers, most commonly Renault, which has an office in Montreal. One of the advantages is that cars can be picked up and dropped off in different stations or airports. (a tip from one of our guests)

    Dave and Alexandra Minnes of Kitchener, Canada, leased a car from Renault when they were in the Pressoir in August 2012. They said: "It was not difficult at all to lease the car. It almost felt too good to be true and for a long trip like ours (45 days), it was less expensive than a regular rental. We kept wondering what the catch was. It is all-inclusive, so you don't have to make any decisions. Almost everything is covered under insurance."

    Peugeot has recently entered the long-lease (or buy-back) car business as well. We have a Peugeot and love it.




    Having arrived in France:

    From Paris, Montpellier, Toulouse, Perpignan or Barcelona, the quickest way to get here by car is to take the Autoroute (before you leave, try to purchase a detailed map (1 cm = 2km) of this area, showing Oupia and the entire region in good detail.


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    Driving from Paris:

    • much easier since completion of the A20 autoroute (via Cahors)
    • and the opening of the wonderful new viaduct at Millau (worth the drive just to see it), on the A75 autoroute (via Clermont Ferrand)
    • 8 to 10 hours from Paris to Oupia
    • autoroute rather expensive, but alternative route would take MUCH longer



    See below for detailed directions from:

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    Taking the train:

    It's also possible to get here by train from Paris, Montpellier or Toulouse and then rent a car in Narbonne, about 25 km./15 mi. away. The Europcar agency is just across from the station and the small staff there is very kind and helpful.

    • The SNCF provides excellent service and the trains are usually on time.
    • Check schedules and make bookings at http://www.sncf.fr/indexe.htm   Click on the U.K. flag at the bottom on the left for the English-language site.
    • You can take the TGV directly south from Charles de Gaulle terminal 2 in Paris.
    • Tip from one of our guests - book TGV online in advance on the TGV to:
      • save money
      • print your own tickets
      • avoid lineups at CDG (Charles de Gaulle) or the Gare de Lyon

    The problem, from both Narbonne and Lézignan-Corbières (closer, but with fewer trains), is getting to Oupia if you don't have your own transportation, as bus service is almost non-existent. In any case, you need a car or a bicycle to tour the area.




    Arriving by bicycle:



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    View Larger Map



    Oupia is 3 km. east-north-east of Olonzac. If you don't see it, click twice on the + sign in the upper left corner of the map.


    Coming from Olonzac:
    • If in centre of Olonzac, look for sign to Béziers
    • At roundabout (traffic circle) by Centre Commercial at east edge of Olonzac, take cut-off sign-posted 'Béziers'
    • After about 1 km, take first paved road to left, sign-posted 'Oupia'
    • After about 1 km, you're in Oupia
    • At "T" intersection, turn left
    • Pass post office on left, then church square with grocery shop on left
    • Immediately after, follow sign for Beaufort
    • Continue to intersection at bottom of hill (edge of the village)
    • Turn right onto Route de Mailhac
    • Continue about 50 metres/yards (careful at next corner; amazingly, cars coming from the little road on the right have priority over you)
    • Our home is on left side of road opposite high stone wall, topped with tall, old cypresses
    • Our house has dark teal-coloured shutters, is set back from road & is last older house on Route de Mailhac (see photograph above)
    • If staying in L'Ancien Pressoir, park on road by the high stone wall
    • If staying in Lou Recantou, take laneway at side (see photo above) and, if large gate is open, turn right & park in space directly in front of Lou Recantou

    Once in Oupia, if you can't find us, ask for "Suzanne et Tim, les Canadiens"; most people know us, but many don't know our last name.

    Or you can phone us, from anywhere in France, at:   04.68.91.12.69

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    A photograph of our own house, with entrance to Lou Recantou via laneway immediately before our house, so that you'll recognize it, as Lou Recantou is not visible from the road. L'Ancien Pressoir is in the first barn, attached to our house.




    Coming from Narbonne:
    • Head west out of Narbonne in the direction of Lézignan-Corbières & Carcassonne, on the N113
    • In about 9 km, turn right at traffic light at eastern edge of village of Villedaigne, where you'll see a sign for Olonzac
    • Follow this road as it curves left, to get onto the D11
    • After 8 km., there's a roundabout (a traffic circle). Take first exit, the D611, signposted Olonzac
    • Continue to follow signs for Olonzac until you reach the "T" intersection & turn right.
    • After about 1 km, take first paved road to left, sign-posted 'Oupia'
    • After about 1 km, you're in Oupia
    • At "T" intersection, turn left
    • Pass post office on left, then church square with grocery shop on left
    • Immediately after, follow sign for Beaufort
    • Continue to intersection at bottom of hill (edge of the village)
    • Turn right onto Route de Mailhac
    • Continue about 50 metres/yards (careful at next corner; amazingly, cars coming from the little road on the right have priority over you)
    • Our home is on left side of road opposite high stone wall, topped with tall, old cypresses
    • Our house has dark teal-coloured shutters, is set back from road & is last older house on Route de Mailhac (see photograph above)
    • If staying in L'Ancien Pressoir, park on road by the high stone wall
    • If staying in Lou Recantou, take laneway at side (see photo above) and, if large gate is open, turn right & park in space directly in front of Lou Recantou

    Once in Oupia, if you can't find us, ask for "Suzanne et Tim, les Canadiens"; most people know us, but many don't know our last name.

    Or you can phone us, from anywhere in France, at:   04.68.91.12.69

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    Coming from Carcassonne:
    • Follow signs out of airport to autoroute (A61)
    • Look for signs to any of these destinations: Montpellier, Perpignan, Barcelona and/or Nice, to head east on Autoroute
    • Take cut-off #24, toward Trèbes & La Cité (you'll go through Trèbes)
    • As you come into Trèbes, you go under a railroad overpass
    • Very shortly afterwards, turn left to centre ville (for downtown Trèbes) & Marseillette
    • Wind your way through Trèbes, toward Marseillette
    • That puts you on the D610, through villages of Marseillette & Puichéric
    • Continue past turn-off for Homps & Olonzac
    • Just past road to right to Lézignan-Corbières, go over Canal du Midi again
    • Turn left onto the D52E3 heading towards Olonzac (also signposted 'Minerve')
    • At "T" intersection, turn right
    • After about 1 km, take first paved road to left, sign-posted 'Oupia'
    • After about 1 km, you're in Oupia
    • At "T" intersection, turn left
    • Pass post office on left, then church square with grocery shop on left
    • Immediately after, follow sign for Beaufort
    • Continue to intersection at bottom of hill (edge of the village)
    • Turn right onto Route de Mailhac
    • Continue about 50 metres/yards (careful at next corner; amazingly, cars coming from the little road on the right have priority over you)
    • Our home is on left side of road opposite high stone wall, topped with tall, old cypresses
    • Our house has dark teal-coloured shutters, is set back from road & is last older house on Route de Mailhac (see photograph above)
    • If staying in L'Ancien Pressoir, park on road by the high stone wall
    • If staying in Lou Recantou, take laneway at side (see photo above) and, if large gate is open, turn right & park in space directly in front of Lou Recantou.

    Once in Oupia, if you can't find us, ask for "Suzanne et Tim, les Canadiens"; most people know us, but many don't know our last name.

    Or you can phone us, from anywhere in France, at:   04.68.91.12.69

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    Coming from Toulouse:
    • At airport, follow signs to Toulouse & then Toulouse & autoroute (A61-62)
    • Next sign to watch for is Toulouse & Autres directions
    • Then Toulouse & Montpellier
    • Then Montpellier, which will have you headed east on the autoroute
    • Stay on A61 until AFTER Carcassonne (don't take Carcassonne cut-off #23)
    • Take cut-off #24, toward Trèbes & La Cité (you'll go through Trèbes)
    • As you come into Trèbes, you go under a railroad overpass
    • Very shortly afterwards, turn left to centre ville (for downtown Trèbes) & Marseillette
    • Wind your way through Trèbes, toward Marseillette
    • That puts you on the D610, through villages of Marseillette & Puichéric
    • Continue past turn-off for Homps & Olonzac
    • Just past road to right to Lézignan-Corbières, go over Canal du Midi again
    • Turn left onto the D52E3 heading towards Olonzac (also signposted 'Minerve')
    • At "T" intersection, turn right
    • After about 1 km, take first paved road to left, sign-posted 'Oupia'
    • After about 1 km, you're in Oupia
    • At "T" intersection, turn left
    • Pass post office on left, then church square with grocery shop on left
    • Immediately after, follow sign for Beaufort
    • Continue to intersection at bottom of hill (edge of the village)
    • Turn right onto Route de Mailhac
    • Continue about 50 metres/yards (careful at next corner; amazingly, cars coming from the little road on the right have priority over you)
    • Our home is on left side of road opposite high stone wall, topped with tall, old cypresses
    • Our house has dark teal-coloured shutters, is set back from road & is last older house on Route de Mailhac (see photograph above)
    • If staying in L'Ancien Pressoir, park on road by the high stone wall
    • If staying in Lou Recantou, take laneway at side (see photo above) and, if large gate is open, turn right & park in space directly in front of Lou Recantou

    Once in Oupia, if you can't find us, ask for "Suzanne et Tim, les Canadiens"; most people know us, but many don't know our last name.

    Or you can phone us, from anywhere in France, at:   04.68.91.12.69

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    Coming from Montpellier:

    From downtown, watch for these signs:
    • Toutes directions or Autres directions. These get you out of the centre of the city.
    • Most important one: blue with white lettering; says A9 - indicates way to autoroute A9
    • Head toward any of the following: Béziers, Carcassonne, Toulouse, Barcelone or Sète.
    From the airport, watch for these signs:
    • Toutes directions until you see blue & white sign for autoroute, the A9.
    • Follow signs for Béziers, Carcassonne, Toulouse, Barcelone or Sète.
    Once on the autoroute:
    • Continue west, past Sète
    • Take exit #36 (Béziers-Ouest) toward Castres/Mazamet/Saint-Pons/Vendres/Beziers-Ouest (Toll road)
    • At roundabout, take 1st exit onto D64
    • Take D11 ramp to Montady/Capestang/Colombiers
    • Turn left onto Route de Capestang/D11
    • Continue to follow D11/D5/D11 (road number changes as it goes through departments Hérault, Aude & back into Hérault)
    • Veer right, following sign for Olonzac
    • After about 1 km, turn right, following sign for Oupia.
    • At "T" intersection, turn left
    • Drive through village, passing post office on left, then church square where grocery shop is.
    • Immediately after, follow sign for Beaufort.
    • Continue to intersection at bottom of hill (edge of the village).
    • Turn right onto Route de Mailhac.
    • Continue about 50 metres/yards (careful at next corner; amazingly, cars coming from the little road on the right have priority over you).
    • Our home is on left side of road opposite high stone wall, topped with tall, old cypresses.
    • Our house has dark teal-coloured shutters, is set back from road & is last older house on Route de Mailhac (see photograph above).
    • If staying in L'Ancien Pressoir, park on road by the high stone wall.
    • If staying in Lou Recantou, take laneway at side (see photo above) and, if large gate is open, turn right & park in space directly in front of Lou Recantou.

    Once in Oupia, if you can't find us, ask for "Suzanne et Tim, les Canadiens"; most people know us, but many don't know our last name.

    Or you can phone us, from anywhere in France, at:   04.68.91.12.69

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    Coming from Barcelona:
    • Get on autoroute heading north to France. Once in France, you'll be on the A9
    • Take exit #38 (called Narbonne Sud), the first exit for Narbonne
    • Follow signs toward Lézignan-Corbières & Carcassonne
    • After a couple of tricky turns, you'll end up on the N113, which has a few stretches of impressive scenery, once out of Narbonne & past the suburban wasteland
    • In about 9 km, turn right at traffic light at eastern edge of village of Villedaigne, where you'll see a sign for Olonzac
    • Follow this road as it curves left, to get onto the D11
    • After 8 km., there's a roundabout (a traffic circle). Take first exit, the D611, signposted Olonzac
    • Continue to follow signs for Olonzac until you reach the "T" intersection & turn right
    • After about 1 km, take first paved road to left, sign-posted 'Oupia'
    • After about 1 km, you're in Oupia
    • At "T" intersection, turn left
    • Pass post office on left, then church square with grocery shop on left
    • Immediately after, follow sign for Beaufort
    • Continue to intersection at bottom of hill (edge of the village)
    • Turn right onto Route de Mailhac
    • Continue about 50 metres/yards (careful at next corner; amazingly, cars coming from the little road on the right have priority over you)
    • Our home is on left side of road opposite high stone wall, topped with tall, old cypresses
    • Our house has dark teal-coloured shutters, is set back from road & is last older house on Route de Mailhac (see photograph above)
    • If staying in L'Ancien Pressoir, park on road by the high stone wall
    • If staying in Lou Recantou, take laneway at side (see photo above) and, if large gate is open, turn right & park in space directly in front of Lou Recantou

    Once in Oupia, if you can't find us, ask for "Suzanne et Tim, les Canadiens"; most people know us, but many don't know our last name.

    Or you can phone us, from anywhere in France, at:   04.68.91.12.69

    Return to top of page


     

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