We have so many lovely traditional wine-producing villages in the Languedoc region of the South of France, almost all with weekly street markets, and of course those sunblessed Mediterranean beaches. Narbonne Plage, Gruissan Plage and Valras Plage etc. are all within easy reach by car of Maison Cruzy. These superb, child friendly beaches are within a 30 minute drive, all with waterside restaurants and cafés.
Most villages have several fetes and festivals throughout the year, including the famous processions with floral floats. Don’t miss going to the lovely town of Narbonne.
The lively town of Béziers is especially vibrant in August for the annual Feria, a 5 day long festival. Perhaps the best flower market in the south of France happens on Fridays in the beautiful tree-lined main boulevard. Béziers is endowed with lots of fascinating shops in the little cobbled lanes of the old town.
There are lovely walks along the nearby Canal du Midi. This international (UNESCO) heritage site links the Atlantic and Mediterranean coast. Beautifully shaded tow-paths ideal for walking, jogging or cycling with many cafés and bars dotted along the banks or many opportunities to take a boat ride or rent one of your own.
Cycling and walking – whether you like an easy stroll in the countryside or something more adventurous there are walks nearby to meet your needs. This area is particularly well suited for cycling with plenty of flat paths but also many more challenging ones if wanted!
The Gorges d’Héric
The stunningly pretty ‘Gorge D’Heric’ is a must for walkers and swimmers, the micro-climate providing beaches and rock pools. Spend a day here, take a picnic, and take a hike up to the plateau. Horse riding, golf and kayaking are also available in the Orb valley. Nearby Olargues has been described as ‘one of the prettiest villages in the whole of France, and Roquebrun, with its renowned Mediterranean Garden, enjoys the nickname of ‘Petit Nice’.
There are plenty of places offering horse-riding in the area. Close by is Mirepeisset and L’Appaloosa just outside Montouliers. Closer to the beaches is the St Jean Ranch in Serignan Plage which offers a range of activities such as excursions, horse-drawn carriage rides, horse rides on the beach or at sunset, and even excursions for experienced riders.
Portiragnes Plage also has a horse riding stables – coming from Portiragnes towards Portiragnes Plage, you will see it on your left just before you get to the town.
This is very popular in the summer and is held on many canals in the area. Two specially adapted boats with a full crew of white clad men and a trumpeter race towards each other. One of the crew is balanced precariously atop a ramp holding a joust and a shield. The objective is simply for one man to knock the other into the water. Very funny especially when the audience are invited to join in!
Sigean African Nature Reserve
Safari lovers no longer need to travel to the other side of the world, here you have the opportunity to observe animals just a stone’s throw away from your holiday location. Unique in Europe, this park is home to almost 4,000 animals which roam free all year round. There are bears, lions, ostriches, all roaming free plus a great zoo area for smaller animals and a café restaurant. A personal highlight was seeing the pink flamingos take flight over the lake – breathtaking!
Béziers Adventure Park & O2 Adventure Park Carcassonne
In these Tarzan like adventure parks in the forest, there are courses of varying levels, an extreme course and two unique and special zip-wire courses. An adventure for everyone!
At Grau d’Agde on board the Millésime you can take a guided excursion along the Canal du Midi, Thau lagoon and the Hérault river. Boat trips are also available at Valras Plage, with trips up the coast, or even sea fishing excursions.
Haut-Languedoc Regional Nature Park consists of gorges, the Lac de Salagou and is a beautiful area only 30 minutes drive away. The gorges are really stunning and there is superb walking, hiking, river rafting, watersports and carp fishing.
Bassin de Thau is a calm inland sea teeming with fish. A breeding place for oysters and shellfish, producing over half the oysters consumed in France, it is also ideal for windsurfing and sail boarding. Villages such as Bouzigues and Meze, have many restaurants serving sumptuous platters of fresh shellfish.
Cap D’Agde and Gruissan – these two towns offer everything you might wish from the Mediterranean. Both have fun water parks and offer a range of water sports and sailing opportunities with lovely clean beaches nearby. Other quieter beaches are not far away for those who prefer some privacy.
There are Golf courses nearby at Béziers (St Thomas) and Cap d’Agde.
Spain is an around an hour drive to the border. Barcelona is approximately a 3 hour drive.
The nearest beach and our favourite is Narbonne Plage, around 30 minutes drive and both Narbonne and Béziers are about 25 minutes away.
The beaches at Narbonne Plage, Gruissan Plage, Valras Plage, and Sérignan Plage are all very suitable for children,they have sheltered bathing areas for children and Valras Plage has some great play equipment on the beach.
For ‘all the fun of the fair’, head to Cap d’Agde with the fabulous ‘Aqualand’ water sports park as well as plenty of water sports, boat trips, a beautiful harbour, golf, casino, fashionable shopping, nightclubs, waterfront restaurants and several children’s theme parks.
At Vias Plage, there is a funfair open during July and August called Europark which is very popular with teenagers.