Cap d’Agde is THE holiday destination of the area – a kid resort par excellence. To start with, there are the phenomenal beaches – broad, sandy, with one beach rolling into the other, from Sète to Marseillan-Plage to Cap d’Agde – over 12km.
Part of Cap d’Agde is also a well known nudist centre – its Quartier Naturiste, the largest in Europe, may swell the population by 40,000 in July and August. There is a hotel, shopping mall, campground and apartments,as well as the legendary nightlife. You must pay an admission to visit for the day.
When you tire of sunning, swimming and shell collecting, you could try:
- The Aquarium (actually 30 aquariums), to discover the fascinatingly divers sea life;
- Aqualand, a waterpark with nine slides, wave pool and play areas for younger children;
- Luna Park, an amusement park with the requisite thrill rides and roller coasters;
- Dinopark – on the Ile des Loisirs – for a step way back in time;
- Boat trips to Fort de Brescou, along the Canal du Midi (see below), the Bassin de Thau, or the Herault River
- Golf at a first rate golf course
- Mini golf with the kids
- Gambling at the Casino
- Or a visit to the Musée de l’Éphèbe an interesting museum focusing on local archeological findings – showing the region’s importance as a port during Roman times.
Étang de Thau and Sète
L’Étang de Thau is one of the largest lagoons on the Mediterranean coast. A broad sandy beach runs for miles the length of its south side – stretching for miles.
At the east end of the étang is Sète, a busy fishing port bisected by several canals. The Quai de la Marine offers up lots of seafood restaurants with outside seating to watch the fishing boats while sampling the specialties – seiches farcies (stuffed cuttlefish), langouste à la Sètoise (crayfish with cognac, tomatoes and garlic) and of course its tielles Sètoise (little seafood pies).
Taking in the “water jousting” tournaments is always popular, and there are opportunities for sea cruises or glass bottom boat tours of the nearby mussel and oyster beds.
On the north shore of the Thau Basin, you’ll find Bouzigues – no better place to sample the region’s oysters and mussels, maybe after a visit to the Musée de l’Étang de Thau where you will learn how they are grown and harvested.
Also on the north shore is Mèze, another oyster farming town with its open air Dinosaur Park. Don’t forget to stop at Marseillan and the Noilly Prat Visitor Centre to sample their vermouth, and to see the exhibitions on the production process.
Balaruc les Bains is a pretty spa town where you can soak your feet in the healing waters of the fountain just outside the tourist office. Take in the large and lively market in the park on Tuesday or Friday.
Bézier’s cathedral, St. Nazaire, although fortress-like on the outside, has a graceful interior, whose stained glass creates a light airy feeling. Behind the cathedral, the Hôtel Fabrégat, in the Place de la Révolution houses Bézier’s Musée des Beaux Arts.
Bézier is also the nearest centre for large supermarkets and other big box stores – particularly on the D612 that circles east of the city.
Canal du Midi
The Canal du Midi runs from Sète to Agde, Béziers, Narbonne, Carcassonne and on to Toulouse. Boats are available for rent at Agde, Narbonne and Carcassonne. West of Beziers, it passes through lovely villages, with plane trees lining both sides.
This site was inhibited for 600 years starting in Roman times – and has extensive excavations of the foundations and ceramics from the 2nd century. The displays show how the villa evolved over time, with a trove of artifacts from the time period.