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Biterrois Country

Biterrois Country

Pedestrian, By car, 23 km, 2 days

Perched on a small bluff overlooking the river Orb, bombarded with steps and crowned by a cathedral, Béziers is the capital of the Languedoc vineyards. It’s an excellent starting point to appreciate the Biterrois, the beaches and the surrounding villages. A hothouse of Occitan culture, the city ignites each August with its Feria de Béziers and harbours a passion for rugby.

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1

Allées Paul-Riquet  

Allées Paul-Riquet 34500 Béziers
Architecture, castles and historic districts

A wide promenade shaded by plane trees along its 600m-length, bustling with many cafés decorated with posters for the féria and where the discussions usually centre upon the performance of AS Béziers. At the heart of the Allées stands a statue of Pierre-Paul Riquet by David d'Angers.

These paths are at the heart of the city: take a seat at a table outside for a drink while enjoying the warm ambiance. A beautiful flower market each Friday.
2

Theatre  

Allée Paul-Riquet 34500 Béziers
Architecture, castles and historic districts

At one end of Allées Paul-Riquet, this 19C theatre has a façade decorated with allegorical bas-reliefs by David d'Angers.

3

Plateau des Poètes  

R. de la Rotonde 34500 Béziers
Nature and gardens

This attractive undulating country park was created in the 19C by the brothers Bühler. It is planted with species such as Caucasus elms, Californian sequoias, magnolias and Lebanese cedars. The park takes its name from busts of Béziers poets lining its paths. Fountain of Titan by Injalbert and monument to a famous son of Béziers, Jean Moulin.

Once you reach the station, head for the city centre and its magnificent park, decorated with numerous statues of poets. Caution: the walk may not be that long but the slope is very steep!
4

Church of the Madeleine  

R. Cassan 34500 Béziers
Religious buildings

This Romanesque building was modified during the Gothic period and again in the 18C. The church was a principal site of the 1209 massacre perpetrated by Simon de Montfort's troops.

One of the most moving places in Beziers, marking the massacre of 1209. Continue your journey in the direction of the Town Hall (Hôtel de Ville): the "rue du 4 Septembre" is an ideal place to go shopping.
5

Old Cathedral of Saint-Nazaire   Interesting

Pl. de la Révolution 34500 Béziers
Religious buildings

Perched on the cliff overlooking the River Orb, the cathedral was the symbolic seat of power for the bishops of Béziers from 760 to 1789. The rose window at the west end is 10m in diameter and stands between two fortified 14C towers. The chancel, remaining from the Romanesque cathedral, has 11C sculpted capitals. Beautiful sculptures in the cloister galleries. From the terrace, view over the Béziers plain, the Canal du Midi and Oppidum d'Ensérune.

6

View from the Terrace of Béziers Cathedral   Interesting

Pl. de la Révolution 34500 Béziers
Nature and gardens

The terrace abutting the cathedral provides an interesting view over the region (the River Orb, the Canal du Midi weaving among the vineyards, the Cévennes ridge and the Espinouse mountans).

7

Biterrois Museum   Interesting

Rampe du Quatre-Vingt-Seizième 34500 Béziers
Museums and art

Housed in the old barracks of St Jacques, this museum has major collections devoted to the region, taking in archaeology, ethnology and natural history. Terrestrial and aquatic fauna, Greek, Iberian and Roman amphorae, plus Gallo-Roman artefacts such as ceramics from La Graufesenque and military milestones from the Via Domitia.

8

34440 Colombiers (France)

34440 Colombiers
This pleasant little port village is a starting point for many cruises along Canal du Midi.
9

Oppidum d'Ensérune   Worth a detour Worth a detour

D 162e 34440 Nissan-lez-Enserune
Archaeological and historical sites

This site on the Béziers plain appears to have been occupied since the 6C BC. It grew into a proper fortified town, prospering through trade with the Massaliots. Sacked in the late 3C BC, it was restored to prosperity with the arrival of the Romans in the Narbonne region before being abandoned during the 1C AD.

10

Montady Lake   Interesting

34310 Montady
Nature and gardens

Montady Lake was drained in 1247. The best viewpoint from which to admire it is the Ensérune hill fort. From the viewing tables, the plots of land radiating from the centre become obvious: this is due to the ditches draining the water off into a collector. From there, an aqueduct passing under a hill takes the water to the bottom of the old Capestang Lake, which was drained in the 19C. The panorama can be absolutely splendid, depending on the crops and time of year.

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