Cities


 

Narbonne

Narbonne was an important Roman city and was capital of the Narbonensis, the largest province of Roman Gual.  Roman fragments remain in the city including the Via Domitia, the oldest of the Roman roads built in Gual.

Today Narbonne is a lively Mediterranean city, where its architecture, historic remains, museums, narrow winding streets, and the romantic banks of the Canal de la Robine make it a pleasant place to visit.

The city’s main attractions, including the Archbishops Palace, Basilica of Saint-Just and the Via Domitia, can all be found in the city centre.

Narbonne is also home to Les Halles, a wrought iron and glass indoor market-hall which is open from 7am to 1pm each day.  The market stalls offer a plethora of local fruit and vegetables, fresh fish, cheese and local wines.


 

Beziers

Beziers holds many festivals throughout the year and the Feria d’Eté (summer festival) gives the city a Spanish flavour.

In 1209 the Crusaders laid siege to the city and the Cathars were eventually routed.  There then followed a bloodbath where all the inhabitants were butchered, including the old and young, and then the city was set on fire to ensure that no living creature remained.

In the centre of Beziers is the Allées Paul-Riquet, a broad long promenade, shaded by plane trees that is home to numerous restaurants and cafes. The promenade is the setting for the weekly (Friday) flower market as well as an antiques fair held on the first Saturday of the month.
Le Jardin du Plateau des Portes is a huge garden, designed so that visitors coming to the city by train, could reach the city centre through a pleasant park. 

The people of Beziers are fanatical about rugby and it is possible to go to watch the team play at stade de la Méditerranée.  For forthcoming fixtures visit the clubs official website


 

Montpellier

The historic city centre has been pedestrianised and the Place de la Comédie should not be missed, with its many street cafes, it’s the perfect place to take in the sunshine and watch the world go by.

Radiating out from the Place are the car-free lanes, passages, squares and mansions dating from the 17th and 18th century. The streets never seem crowded and the city has the feel of an overgrown village.

The Rue de la Loge is the place to head for shopping and, if you can tear yourself away from the shop windows, it also lined by beautiful houses.  Nearby is the Polygone shopping centre that contains all the big French stores from Galeries Lafayette to 1-2-3.

Montpellier is also proud of its modern architecture, particularly the Antigone. With its Place du Nombre d'Or, composed of smooth curves and setback features, was designed just over twenty years ago as a modern forum in the neo-classical style.

The city is renowned for its long established Medical University and has many museums.  The tourist office organises a guided tour of the town centre on foot, lasting two hours, that often includes some of the mansions normally closed to the public.