La Maison d’Ulysse is set north-east of Nîmes in the Gard region, where the Lavnguedoc meets Provence, close to the Cévennes mountains and just a few kilometres west of Uzès.
The nearest airport is Nîmes, 40 kilometres away and served by flights from European destinations such as London Luton, Liverpool, Rome, Palma and Belgium. The airport in Montpellier is an hour away by car; to Marseille International, it’s a 90-minute drive.
The closest train stations are Nîmes (30 minutes) and Avignon (45 minutes), both of which are served by the high-speed TGV trains (www.sncf.com). In late spring and summer, direct Eurostar trains go from London to Avignon (www.eurostar.com).
You'll want a car to make the most of your stay, for foraging missions and for popping in and out of neighbouring towns. La Maison d’Ulysse is 30 kilometres from the centre of Nimes and 50 kilometres from Avignon. Other nearby towns include Uzès and Alès. From Uzès, take the D981 and head in the direction of Alès for 12 kilometres, then take a left after you pass Foissac to reach Baron. You’ll find the hotel opposite the village’s town hall. There’s free parking.
Worth getting out of bed for
The Languedoc offers travellers rolling expanses of lush green hills, golden-hued ancient towns and, to the south, the wild landscape of the Camargue. La Maison d’Ulysse is close to Uzès, a small, attractive mediaeval town with a 15th-century Capuchin chapel and a fantastic weekly food market, and the verdant Cévennes mountains. Pont du Gard, the famed triple-decker aqueduct built by the Romans to deliver drinking water from Uzès through the hills of the Uzège to Nîmes is a feat of engineering to be marvelled at. There’s an excellent visitor centre, and plenty of hiking trails nearby.
You're also within easy reach of some of the region's most fascinating towns, including the former papal seat Avignon (with the remnants of its famous-from-the-song Pont); unique Arles; and original denim producer Nîmes.
Foodies could head to olive-oil producer J & B Soulas in Collorgues (+33 (0)4 66 81 21 13) to see how the tasty golden liquid is made, then stock up on a load to take home; oenophiles will do well at almost any local vineyard, but Domaine Lous Grezes in Ribaute les Tavernes (+33 (0)4 68 46 93 775) offers a tasting tour with information on how the fruit of its vines are cultivated into some of the region's finest wines.
Saddle up like a Camargais cowboy at the Ranch Lou Seden (+33 (0)4 66 51 74 75) then spot flamingos, white horses and bulls on a horse ride through the rugged wetlands of the south.
Be surprised by the inventive cooking at local institution La Table 2 de Julien at 12 routes d’Uzès in Montaren-et-Saint-Médiers (+33 (0)4 66 03 75 38) and, if you’re there during the Uzès Truffle Festival, don’t miss the restaurant’s tasty truffle menu.
The open kitchen at Le Tracteur on Avenue du Stade in Sanilhac-Sagries (+33 (0)4 66 37 19 31) serves a simple three-course menu that changes daily depending on what the chef finds in the local markets. The two choices for each course include seasonal comfort food such as velouté of squash with cep mushrooms and duck’s liver. Look out for the vintage tractor that acts as roadmarker for this set-in-a-barn eaterie.
For low-key lunch, snacks and drinks (or a relaxed supper), head to Uzès and take your pick from the brasseries, bars and bistros surrounding the main square and side streets leading off it.