so much on the doorstep……..
transport / A9 and A75, airports at Beziers, Montpellier, Carcassonne, trains at Agde and Beziers
art and history – from Pezenas, a modest sized historic market town with famed buildings and streets from its its 16th / 17th century heyday, to Carcassonne with its world famous castle, plus Roman sites of Arles and Nîmes and our favourite, the grandiose Pont du Gard. Art exhibitions at Lodeve and Montpellier, as well as many smaller galleries that seem to pop up everywhere
shopping – our nearest towns of Pezenas and Beziers have a wonderful range of bars, restaurants and shops. Beziers offers everything from Galeries Lafayette in the main avenue, Paul Riquet, to tiny jewellery and clothes shops tucked into to the winding streets of the old city. Pezenas is famous even in France – which has a great tradtion of ‘artisans’ shops – for its wealth of individual creators who all take part in the summer ‘nocturnes’ – evenings when the whole of the old town stays open and busy until midnight.
food – so much to eat ! so little time ! The fresh food available here is truly amazing thanks to the sunny climes, and the French tradition of good food means that small growers are still to be found here and supply the supermarkets as well as running their own stalls and outlets. This applies to fruit and veg and also to oysters which are raised locally here on the Etang de Thau which is bordered by a host of restaurants and shops selling the owners’ own goods. Cheeses and cheesemaking are also important here with many smallholders still running their own goat and sheep flocks – mainly in the cooler temperatures of the ricky hinterland – and their produce can be found in the great weekly food markets eg Pezenas, Saturday morning, and Clermont l’Herault, Wednesday morning
wine – yum! more about this later …..
scenery – sandy Mediterranean beaches, our favourite is La Tamarissiere, small and friendly and from here you can take the little passenger ferry over the river Herault to wander around the old fishing town of Grau d’Agde. Cap d’Agde is nearby if you like busy modern marinas, or we like the ‘French’ resort of Valras Plage with some nice beach shops and one of our fave restaurants. From Montblanc you can travel inland through gorgeous scenery to explore lakes and rivers which also offer swimming and watersports. A recommended place is Roquebrun on the river Orb,a very attractive town with a famous hilltop Mediterranean garden, well worth the climb, and on the Herault you can swim by the Pont du Diable – a Unesco wolrd heritage site, as is the nearby St Guilhem de Desert – a very pretty village that has grown up around the abbey founded here in the 9th century
official website of towns mentioned in the text;