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Puimisson - a perfect circle

The village of Puimisson can be found lying peacefully among the vineyards of the Hérault department in Languedoc-Roussillon in the centre south of France, a short way inland from the Mediterranean Sea. Dependant on wine for its economy, as are so many villages in this part of France, Puimisson is small and tranquil, and interesting historically as it is a mediaeval circulade village, of which there are a good number in the Languedoc. The region was once beset by invaders, both in the crusades against the Cathars and because of its position not far from the Spanish border, so Puimisson and other villages such as this were constructed in the shape of a protective circle around a central chateau, to boost their defences.

Whispers of the past

There is plenty of charm to be found in Puimisson, with old stone houses and ancient streets where you can hear history whisper if you listen carefully enough. There is little in the way of tourist interest, which spares the village the fate of certain other towns and villages in the vicinity, and it remains an oasis of calm where you can lose yourself in the special beauty of the Languedoc. Puimisson does have one or two features worthy of note, however, and as well as its chateau it has several lovely mediaeval buildings, and houses actually forming a part of the defensive walls.

The church bells always ring twice!

The village church is typical of the region, with a bell that chimes the hour not once but twice! The reasoning behind this strange custom was to allow a second chance for the labourers in the surrounding vineyards to hear the chimes and know when it was time for that all important part of a Frenchman's day... lunch time!

Village amenities

The village lies within a few kilometres of the major town of Béziers, so access to a full range of amenities and services is never going to be a problem. There are some local shops within Puimisson itself, though, with a "boulangerie" for that wonderful fresh baguette every morning, a "charcuterie et boucherie" that sells cooked and uncooked meats, a "tabac presse" for newspapers and cigarettes, a small but friendly bar and a post office. Various travelling shops visit the village, and throughout the summer regular street markets are held.

Around the region

The views from Puimisson's slightly elevated position are lovely, with the productive vineyards of the region spreading out in all directions. It can be a very informative and enjoyable day out to visit the wine makers, to learn about the age old processes by which grapes are transformed into the delicious wines produced here, and of course, to sample them for yourself. Other places to visit in the region include Béziers, with its tragic Cathar history, the fairytale city of Carcassonne, and don't forget that the Mediterranean beaches are just a short drive away.

Activities on offer

If you are looking to keep fit and active in the village, you can play tennis, petanque or boules in the main square with the locals, or access the many sporting opportunities (pony trekking, cycling, hiking, sailing and swimming) to be found just a short way from Puimisson.

How to get there

Getting to this part of France from the UK is really easy, and possibly about to become easier still, as the local town of Béziers is rumoured to be about to offer flights to and from the UK with Ryanair. Other accessible airports include Carcassonne, Toulouse, Montpellier and Perpignan. Carcassonne is served by Ryanair; Toulouse by British Airways, easyJet, bmi, Jet2 and flybe; Montpellier by easyJet and Ryanair; and Perpignan by Ryanair, bmibaby and flybe. If you prefer the train, there is a train station at Béziers which links to the excellent TGV network, so you can travel all the way from England by rail with just a couple of changes.

Property prices and availability in and around Puimisson

Prices in the Hérault can be on the high side, as the area is popular with foreign buyers. Prices are not yet as high as those just to the east in Provence, however, and it is certainly worth keeping an eye on the market as bargains can and do turn up.

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Puimisson AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Puimisson?

Puimisson is situated in the centre south of France. It lies in the south-west of the Hérault department.

Puimisson Property Map

IN THE REGION OF LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON

Languedoc-Roussillon Guide

Languedoc-Roussillon Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF HÉRAULT

Hérault Guide

  Hérault Map


Population: 800


Access: By air: You can fly to Carcassonne, Perpignan, Montpellier or Toulouse. By rail: The nearby city of Béziers has a station which links to the TGV. By road: The village can be accessed from the N9, and is situated very close to the D909.


Economy: Wine is the main source of income for the village.


Interesting fact: The village is a traditional circulade, common in this region, built to form a defensive circle against invaders.

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