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Hôtel Le Pavillon - Béziers

Visit Béziers

Unmissable sites near the Mediterranean

Béziers is a place which doesn’t give too much away at first glance. Saint-Nazaire Cathedral and the Jardin des Evêques may stand out due to their elevated position, but the Canal du Midi is arguably the real star, all under the cool shade of the trees.

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Hôtel Le Pavillon - Béziers

The Canal du Midi, the cathedral...

Béziers, the second largest protected sector in France after Paris

Yet no matter what you say, the Canal du Midi is the town’s biggest attraction. The entire South West of France and the rest of the country for that matter can salute Paul Riquet, native engineer of Béziers who was the master craftsman of this technical and human tour de force (it was worked on by 12,000 workers!). Over 350 years old, the canal has taken on a second life. Instead of beasts of burden, its old towpath now sees cyclists and walkers, while its gentle waters see happy canoers and the calm sailing of canal cruises, notably along the nine Fonserannes Locks, a major work of the Canal du Midi and the site of many activities.

Now, while the name Saint-Nazaire may make you think of the Atlantic Coast, here the name sums up one of the most eminent monuments in town – its cathedral. A majestic giant above the old city, it has often been called the Acropolis of Béziers. Founded on the ruins of a Roman temple and the cinders of a former Romanesque building that was victim in the crusades against the Cathars in 1209, it is a familiar and unforgettable part of the fabric of Béziers. Its cloister, unfinished due to a lack of resources, nevertheless inspires calm and meditation. If you like solitary walks, head to the Plateau des Poètes park. Meanwhile, if you’re more athletic, you can cross over the River Orb via the aqueduct either paddling or boating; since 1858, water has straddled water here. You’ll also love the “féria”. Every year in August, the air is filled with the sweet aromas from the “plaza de toros” and the sounds of flamenco.

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