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A Working Holiday
Chapter 1: We Leave for France
Chapter 10: Looking for Mr. Goodstone
Chapter 11: A mission to la Clape
Chapter 12: Dinner at Château de Lignan
Chapter 13: Antiques and plunder
Chapter 14: The vintner next door
Chapter 15: The rooftops of Nézignan-l'Évêque
Chapter 2: Comes the crusade
Chapter 3: The 13 colonies
Chapter 4: Our curtains are dreadful
Chapter 5: Naked beaches
Chapter 6: A visit to Château des Estanilles
Chapter 7: A pilgrimage to Toulouse
Chapter 8: Remembering Collioure
Chapter 9: The priest and the mayor
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A Day Trip Itinerary...print this out   print the content item
La Couvertoirade: a fortified Templar town
High on the windswept Causse du Larzac is the photogenic walled village of La Couvertoirade, fortified first by the Templars around 1200. A few fine craftspeople (notable leather goods, ceramics, Laguiole knives) and snack shops make a living from a stream of tourists who come to admire the medieval stone houses huddled inside an intact curtain wall. There is a small fee for entry to the town's museum, but not to the town itself.

When you come off the highway at Le Caylar, stop and turn into the fueling station. The best bakery we know is located right up the road 100 yards. And the fueling station has a notable boutique selling products of the region.

Time to destination: 1 hour.

NOTE: you can easily extend this day trip to include an outing to the cheese town of Roquefort. See the Roquefort day trip for details.
From the house in Valros, take the N9 toward Pézenas. Stay on the N9 through Clermont-l'Hérault. There the N9 widens to become the A75-E11, a major highway. (Still under construction in places, the A75-E11-N9 will eventually link the Languedoc to the north of France over one continuous high-speed route.) Stay on the N9-E11 through Lodève. You're climbing steeply to the Larzac plateau. The terrain changes, and the climate. A hot day in Valros can be windy and 15 degrees cooler on the causses (French for plateau or mesa).At the Aire du Caylar, exit the highway. There's a large gas stop and diner at the exit. Follow the signs to La Couvertoirade, left onto D9, then right onto D55. Parking for the town is in a gated lot on the outskirts. The automatic gate requires a 10f piece when you leave (euros in 2002). There are clean unisex restrooms at the parking lot.
Hikers: the GR71, a marked footpath, passes through the town of La Couvertoirade. This is glorious, empty country.
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