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Postcard from Beziers in the Herault
Today’s postcard comes from Béziers in the Hérault. A town with a population of around 70,000 it lies snuggled between the Mediterranean and the mountains. This is a completely stunning part of the world and we absolutely love it. A town that’s simply steeped in history, it boasts not far short of 3,000 years of historic interest.
With a great transport network, it’s easy to see why Béziers is so popular. Now with an enlarged airport, there’s even a regular flight from Bristol; a flight service that’s run by Ryanair. What this ultimately means is that the area has seen a real hike in British tourists and some figures quote around a 130% increase since the flight started. In fact we took the flight from Bristol and bagged a real bargain at well under £150 for the two of us (albeit we only had hand-luggage). We also found a little gem of a chambre d’hôte only a short stroll from the city centre but with a lovely garden which, when we were enjoying our aperitifs there felt like it could have been in the middle of nowhere – a real corner of paradise!
A town that’s known for its bull fighting, we’ve missed the Feria de Béziers this year, but apparently when it takes place in August it attracts around a million visitors over the 5-day period. Whether you’re for it or against it, bull fighting is huge in this neck of the woods and the Ferias or Fêtes that take place around them have something to offer for everyone. A time of the year, when even sleepy little towns come to life day and night, if you’re planning a summer trip to Béziers, it’s probably worth catching at least part of the Feria, just to make the contrast between the town in its normal day to day life and during party-time.
As one of the oldest cities in France, Béziers boasts records dating from 575 B.C, putting it just behind Marseille, which has historic roots going back to 600 B.C. And funnily enough, wine has been at the core of this neck of the woods since the very beginning and continues to be one of the jewels in its crown today. Particularly renowned years ago for it’s white wine, it’s better known today for a host of reds, although some of the vineyards are re-working their whites to appeal to today’s wine lovers. Some of the more common grapes in this area are Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay and Viognier. Not surprisingly, the abundance of local wine has given rise to a significant number of trendy wine bars appearing on the scene in Béziers; and that’s something we appreciated and enjoyed immensely.
In our view, there are a handful of “must see spots” in Béziers and these include:
- The Cathedral A 13th century Romanesque affair, Béziers’ cathedral is quite a sight. It’s well worth taking a tour and taking time to look out over the landscape from this spot.
- The Museum La Musée des Beaux Arts in Béziers is also well worth a visit while you’re here and has resident exhibitions from Rubens and Delacroix as well as changing local artwork on a regular basis.
- The Summer Festival As we’ve already mentioned, the Feria de Béziers is well worth incorporating into a visit – just make sure you can keep up with the pace!
- The Canal du Midi Renowned worldwide, the Canal passes through a whole host of lovely villages and is only a stone’s throw from Béziers. If you have time, it might be worth considering spending some time on the water while you’re here.
- Roquebrun This stunning little village seems to defy gravity as it clings to the cliff face above the Orb River. Again, only a short drive from Béziers it’s celebrated locally for its wine and river swimming.
When it comes to thinking of whether or not this part of France might be attractive to us if we were thinking about either a whole new life or a holiday investment, then we have to say a big “Yes!” From a climate point of view, from a communication point of view and from a beauty point of view, this part of the world ticks pretty much all of our boxes. If you’re interested in exploring the property offers we have in this area, here's a large selection of properties for sale in the Beziers area get your taste buds going.