Tag Archives: Béziers

Day out in Béziers

5 Jan

Today we went to Béziers for the day, to explore more of this beautiful area.

Béziers is a sub-prefecture of the Hérault department in the Occitanie region of Southern France. Béziers hosts the famous Feria de Béziers, centred on bullfighting, every August. A million visitors are attracted to the five-day event.

The town is located on a small bluff above the river Orb, about 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) from the Mediterranean coast and 75 kilometres (47 miles) southwest of Montpellier. At Béziers, the Canal du Midi spans the river Orb as an aqueduct called the Pont-canal de l’Orb, claimed to be the first of its kind.

Béziers is one of the oldest cities in France. Research published in March 2013 shows that Béziers dates from 575 BC, making it older than Agde (Greek Agathe Tyche, founded in 525 BC) and a bit younger than Marseille (Greek Massalia, founded in 600 BC).

The 9 écluses de Fonseranes

https://goo.gl/maps/k4tXvwsPJxxBejb96

Fonseranes Locks (Frenchécluses de Fonseranesles neuf écluses) are a flight of staircase locks on the Canal du Midi near Béziers.

They consist of eight oval-shaped lock chambers, characteristic of the Canal du Midi, and nine gates, which allow boats to be raised a height of 21.5 metres (71 ft) over a distance of 300 metres (980 ft). The flight was originally built as an eight-rise, which together with the ninth lock (the écluse de Notre-Dame, 710 metres (0.44 mi) to the northeast) allowed boats to cross the Orb river on a level and re-enter the canal further downstream. The “nine locks” name dates from this time.

Visiting in January does not give any indication of how busy these lock are during the high season! We were able to park right alongside. We had a mooch around but we didn’t walk up the hill to the top lock. After 30 minutes we left and drove to Ceres for lunch.

Lunch

The Bistrot Cersois is a favorite of ours; we have now lunched there four times and each time the food was excellent and the welcome warm. The last time we went was before Covid and we wondered what changes we would find. The waiter had left just after the first confinement started in France and the owner/chef’s wife took over front of house. It turns out she is English from Kenilworth! So for once we could order in English!

After a very nice lunch of pork and pasta & beef and chips, topped up by a sweet of Tiramisu (and a glass of Pastis for Trish and a Muscat for Richard), we paid the bill of 45€ and left to drive to a DIY shed nearby called Leyroy Merlin. Here Trish purchased a wooden frame of a map of the Languedoc Roussillon wine region that I had bought at Christmas.

The port of Béziers

We then drive to the coast on the Mediterranean, to the port of Sérignan. This is a small leisure port where the river l’Orb flows into the sea.

The town of Béziers

The town is in two parts, seemingly. The lower, adjacent to the river and the canal, and the upper, which is dominated by the cathedral.

We toured around the upper town but once again failed to find our way to the cathedral entrance. We weren’t worried as we’ve seen lots of churches in our region already, and after a while they all look the same – cold, gloomy and old!

So we decided to look at the other temple – the shopping area! it’s very upmarket with bijou shops. Then we found a tea shop – Le Monde du Macaron!

Le Monde du Macaron

All in all, an interesting day. We then drove home on the motorway, arriving one hour later, to find one of the hens had escaped from the enclosure, yet again! Ah well, there is always something to do here!