We came to Bussas after a week with friends in a much more expensive luxury gite complex near Carcassonne and I was a tiny bit worried that the second week would not compare favourably to the first. After six hours in the car with two small children and a final hour of twisting winding roads, followed by a rather hair-raising drive through the estate itself, including a narrow, unrailed concrete bridge, I was immediately overwhelmed by the beauty and magical atmosphere of the house and its grounds. The pictures on the website, I immediately realised, had not done the place justice. All thoughts of the expensive gite complex we'd left behind, quickly fled my mind.
Bussas, as well as being welcoming, magical and tranquil, also worked extremely well on a practical level for housing the five families that made up our group. I'm not sure I'd want to come here solo and riisk sharing the hosue and pool with strangers, but that's more my personality than a reflection on the house! It was great having our own bit of space, our own front doors, and then all coming together to share meals and spend time by the pool.
We took leisurely impromptu walks through the breath-taking grounds, ate homepcooked meals on the terrace, overlooking the wooded valley, and our children were free to roam wherever they wished. It was a brief experience of another kind of life and I'm already yearning to go back.
We have just had a week in the most peaceful beautiful setting on earth. We rented a cottage at the Chateau de Bussas in the Cevennes area of France. The owners are British but don't live there all the time, but they bought the 12th century chateau 18 years ago and refurbished it themselves. Now they rent out four apartments and one cottage, and have a French couple on site who look after guests and the property. It is set in 200 acres of grounds and is in a valley surrounded by mountains all covered in pine forests. A river runs right by the property which is warm enough to swim in during July. In the early evening sunshine you can sit out and listen to the crickets and the bees buzzing around the lavender and roses and feel as if you are miles from civilisation. But you are not. A short 10 minute drive takes you to local St Jean du Gard, a typical small French town, with a weekly market and excellent restaurants. There's a swimming pool on the terrace and cooking facilities in each apartment. If you're very active you can spend all week walking, river walking or even boating, but if you just want peace and quiet you can have that too.
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