- Travel Instructions
- Us and the Hameau de Basse...
By train travel via Montpellier or Béziers / Bédarieux.
By air land at Béziers/Vias Airport (BZR/LFMU) or Montpellier - Mediterranée Airport (MPL/LFMT)
By car take the A9, which connects Orange with Barcelona. Exit at Montpellier West and follow the signs to Millau or Lodève; this takes you to the A75 – continue till you reach exit 55 Lac du Salagou. Take the road to Octon, and from there a further 4 km in the direction of Brenas to arrive in Basse where a warm welcome awaits you.
To be picked up, please arrange with the hotel secretary.
Car rental can be easily and cheaply arranged.
This is how you can get in touch with us:
We thank you for your interest in our hotel La Palombe, and we are pleased that you wish to contact us.
In these times of modern media we can offer a number of ways to make contact: By telephone, mobile phone, fax, e mail or by our website contact form.
...You can reach us at the following addresses:
Hotel La Palombe
Hameau de Basse
Tel:+33 4 67 95 40 07
Fax:+33 4 67 95 41 24
Restaurant : 06 08 35 53 20 (Christian RAVINEL)
3665 Wattenwil BE
Tel:+41 79 598 95 07
This region has centuries of changing and formative history behind it. The Mediterranean coast of Languedoc was already settled in antiquity by the Greeks, Phoenicians and Romans, and was later conquered by the Alemanni, Vandals, Westgoths and Saracens.
In the late Middle Ages, the Languedoc was the center of the religious movement of the Cathars. In the beginning, the followers belonged to the upper classes. Later, in the 13th Century, it became the underground church of the common folk. The Roman Catholic Church declared them heretics and sent out crusaders against the Cathars. On July 22nd 1209 the crusaders massacred all the inhabitants of Béziers.
The Languedoc remained a poor region for a long time: not much could be cultivated on the dry hills, and the people kept goats (the poor man’s cow). This didn’t prevent them from producing a famous cheese, now prized and trademarked. Apparently Pliny the Elder noted that the Languedoc cheese was a delicacy in ancient Rome. Still today the popular Pélardon is made the traditional way, and the world famous Roquefort, the tasty blue-mould cheese, is an indispensable item on every cheese board.
Olives grow well in Languedoc too, but it is the wine that has emerged as the particular speciality. Languedoc-Roussillon is one of the oldest and biggest wine growing regions in the world. After the Greeks started vine cultivation in the 8th century BC, this spread quickly along the Via Domitia in the Roman occupied area. Later on, monasteries and abbeys played a supporting role in wine production, developing a wide range of wines, which most critics agree can compete with the best Bordeaux wines. Enjoy these treasures directly from the cellars of the vintners or in our restaurant, to accompany our regional specialities.
The past is still present in the medieval villages, towns and castles. Tradition is still alive in the Languedoc region and shows up in arts and crafts; you can visit the traditional textile manufacturers and potters.
Our little hamlet Basse has not been spared from the troubles of history. It sheltered Cathar refugees, was the summer residence of the Parisian taxman, and also the working place of the writer Mr. Vigne. In his books he described a lot of the traditional customs so for example today we know that cloth was woven out of broom. In 1966 the hamlet was abandoned and almost disappeared into the mists of time…
Beat Roth, the first foreigner to visit this unspoiled region, brought the attention of his friends Sylvia and Roland Zihlmann to the ruined buildings. In 1994, together with a group of friends, they started a skillful reconstruction in the traditional building style. Soon life came back to this little hamlet, Many projects were started, some of them were discontinued, concerts were given and people from everywhere visited Basse. In short: it became a meeting place.
After a job related re-orientation, we have gladly taken over the management of La Palombe from Roland and Sylvia Zihlmann. As we have been closely engaged with this project from the beginning, it was an easy decision for us. France is our second home.
We would like to follow and develop the idea of “creative meeting”. It is very important to us to respond to your individual necessities and wishes.
It is our intention to create a place of joy and gathering, to encourage meetings between local French inhabitants and our guests, maybe even inspire the guests to stay.
We are looking forward to your visit
Managing Director and Business Manager