Town of Sete - South of France
Lac du Salagou in France
MBA-06439316 - © - Rene Mattes
RDC-AD-303319 - © - ARCO / J Moreno
Le cloître de l’abbaye de Valmagne.
Grotte des Demoiselles
A region of ochre and sea blue
The Mediterranean is not far away as the ambiance of each stage of your visit will confirm! From Montpellier to Béziers, from the hinterland to the port of Sète, you will find a relaxed rhythm of life: over the water, along the Canal du Midi, as well as the cities of art and history you pass through. Lend an ear to hear these places tell their past of the men who built and shaped them. The vineyard routes lead you to the depths of the gorges, whilst the lakes guide you to the sea. Canoe or mountain bike, on horseback or by boat, explore all sides of this Languedoc region!
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Montpellier offers all the charms of a Mediterranean city, with an energy specific to student cities. Breakfast on the terrace in Place de la Comédie to soak up the city’s ambiance that sits between the ancient and the modern. The guided tours may offer some privileged access but you can go it alone to explore the narrow lanes and the splendid facades of the townhouses in the old centre. You can enjoy the hottest period of the day at the fascinating Musée Fabre, while the soft light of the end of the day is best appreciated at the Place Royale du Peyrou.
Leave Montpellier by the east to enjoy a morning in one of the ‘Grands Sites de France’, St-Guilhem-le-Désert. An enchanting medieval village with blonde stones containing architectural treasures. After a picnic at Pont du Diable, head up to the villages scattered along the left bank of the Hérault: Viols-le-Fort with its fortifications, Viols-en-Laval and the amazing archaeological site of Cambous, the medieval town of Laroque… After the incredible Grotte des Demoiselles, head down along the Gorge of Buèges for a gentle evening around St-Guilhem.
Begin your day with a visit to Lodève, a town of art and history with a rich religious heritage stemming from its past as an episcopal city. Take in the brand new Lodève Museum and the monumental Le Faune by Paul Dardé, the genius local sculptor. Spend your afternoon exploring Lake Salagou or the Cirque de Mourèze for a walk through the landscape of ‘la ruffe’. This red rock gives an incomparable style to the landscapes. Lodève promises a pleasant evening.
Head south to reach Valmagne Abbey nestled in the heart of the Languedoc vineyards. Its pink stones contain a long and complex history dating back to its foundation in the 12th century. Try out its gourmet restaurant or picnic in its surroundings before reaching the lively Pézenas. A town of arts and crafts, where Molière found his audience and the native Boby Lapointe, his inspiration! Its narrow lanes are crammed with splendid buildings such as the hôtel de Lacoste or hôtel de Malibran, and, during the summer months, local artisanal and artistic creations. You won’t want to leave!
As told at the Musée du Biterrois, Béziers has overcome more than one event during its long history. The result is multiple sites and buildings ranging from Roman arenas to Allées Paul-Riquet through the Chapelle des Pénitents bleus. After exploring the historic centre, head to the refreshing coastline to visit the Regional Museum of Contemporary Art in Sérignan. After a swim in Valras-Plage later, enjoy a lively evening in the streets of Béziers.
The Canal du Midi, a fantastic 17th century piece of work that links Toulouse to the Mediterranean, is a must for your stay. From the famous nine locks of Fonséranes to the Port of Capestang 16 km away, enjoy the gentle Occitan way of life by relaxing on its tranquil waters. Whether it’s a boat cruise or a bike ride, all options are open for families through to romancing couples. Arrange your tour so that you discover the beautiful port of Sète at dusk.
Spend a morning visiting the surroundings of the ancestral Bassin de Thau. Admire the panorama from the ancient St-Félix-de-Monceau Abbey before visiting Loupian, with a Villa-museum that offers an ingenious account of everyday life in the 5th century. The ports of Meze and Marseillan offer wonderful opportunities to enjoy oysters for lunch before a visit to Sète. Dive into the 20th century at the amazing Miam Museum, before a trip to Mont St-Clair followed by a stroll through the picturesque Quartier Haut. The evening must, of course, be spent on the busy docks of the old port.
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