First of all, do you want a mid sized town with a village feel (like medieval) or a true village ? For villages around Béziers there are obvious choices : Saint Guilhem le Désert, La Couvertoirade, Olargues, Minerve, Lagrasse... All historic villages with a medieval atmosphere. Not many shops or restaurants, some don't even have mobile reception. Out of all of those, Olargues feels the most authentic. It hasn't been run over by tourism, while Minerve and Saint Guilhem can be really busy in summer.
Mid sized towns in the area don't really have a village feel, like Nîmes or Narbonne. Only a few towns have that feel, and they're mostly around Dordogne : Sarlat, Figeac, Albi... People always want that authentic village feel but also want plenty of restaurants and shops. It's not easy to find.
Pézenas might be an interesting option for you.
Small villages in the South of France are certainly quaint and idyllic but I am not sure 5 weeks is a good idea...unless you need time and space to write a novel ..and can live on a diet of red wine and goat's cheese.
Matthew K- you mention town and village - much different things ro me.
You might consider Uzès, a small town; it now seems to be firmly fixed on the tourist trail, but it has just about everything needed for everyday living. Plenty of shops, cafés, restaurants, boulangeries plus cinema, lots of medieval buildings, 2 markets each week. Buses to Nîmes and Avignon and other smaller places, so not too far from other places to explore. Best outside high season, otherwise hot and crowded in the summer months - July and August.
I view the term “village” to apply to smaller places with a couple of main streets and maybe one or two restaurants and a boulangerie.
I view “towns” as bigger, maybe a couple of dozen restaurants and cafes, some pubs/bars with some amount of nightlife.
Look at the town of Aups. Very real feel but you won’t get bored after 5 weeks.
We once stayed two weeks in a gîte in Saint-Jean-de-Buèges, doing lots of day-trips (including to Cirque de Navacelles, Saint Guilhem, Nimes, Montpellier and to the Cévennes) . There was an 18km drive along a narrow, windy road to the nearest supermarket in Ganges, which was also the way to the "main road" to do most of those day-trips. I'm not sure if that is the kind of place you are looking for? https://www.escapadeslr.com/lieu-saint-jean-…
I have to say that after that experience, when looking for holiday rentals (eg in the Black Forest) I always checked that there was more than one easy way to get to the village, rather than always having to do the same route!
We were in Sarlat a couple of weeks ago, and it is absolutely delightful but definitely a big tourist spot. Figeac was a lot quieter (and also attractive). Cahors on a Sunday was pretty dead. But none of them are villages.
A friend of ours used to live in Sorède in Roussillon, quite near the coast (at Argeles).That is fairly untouristy, but not as quaint as some of the other places in the area (probably the two things are related!)Edited: 11 June 2018, 00:03
Is this some NZ word I’ve not come across before? Can’t find it in the dictionary so please tell us what it means.
Stuart..I did interpret this word as "idyllic".But "idealic" seems a good word, if not in the Oxford English Dictionary.
EdEdited: 11 June 2018, 03:07
How incredibly fortunate to have five weeks to station in the south of France. Truly, you'll be able to take in so much by giving yourself the time! Well done! You want to be near Beziers? Its a busy city, and not so small... Personally I'd head just west of Toulouse in a wonderful town called Mirepoix. On THAT side you'd be stumbling upon all manner of historical material with the Cathars. It has everything, plus medieval. Check it out. Or closer to Beziers I'd vote for Arles - even over Avignon (which I love). The area is superb. There are countless gites that could house you throughout the region. And, St Maximin Ste Baume is a wonderful town, and home of the Basilica of Mary Magdalene and the Grotto - Much awaits you:)