Costa del Sol
Narbonne sits in the heart of the region’s wine land on the Canal de la Robine, a striking centrepiece of this elegant Roman city. Don’t miss the the Cathedral of Saint Just, a 13th century Gothic relic that notably, was never finished. The city has many restaurants and cafes where you can soak up the atmosphere and enjoy long lunches accompanied by local wine. For more culinary delights, try the market of Les Halles, perfect for stocking up your villa. Set in a pristine wrought iron and glass building and dating back to 1901, it’s open every day and is brimming with seafood, cheese and delicious patisserie goods. Visits to fascinating places including wondrous Carcassonne and the stunning Abbaye de Fontfroide are easily accommodated from Narbonne. For beach lovers, the seemingly endless stretch of golden sandy coastline can be reached in around a 25 minute drive from Narbonne.
Les Halles market is at the centre of Narbonne, a covered market set in a beautiful wrought iron and glass building. It is brimming with treats and a delight to visit. Experience the heady wafts of delicious cheese, meat, fresh pastries and much more as you peruse the stalls. It is open everyday from 7am to 1pm. There are also plenty of supermarkets and smaller convenience stores dotted in and around the town, ideal for stocking up your villa.
As you promenade the wide boulevards that straddle the central canal, you’ll find laid back cafes and restaurants, likely offering menu du jour, a fixed price set menu often excellent value for money. The central square ‘Place de l’Hotel de Ville’ also has a plethora of cafes where you can sit and watch the world go by. If fine dining is more your speed, then La Table Saint Crescent, awarded 2 Michelin stars, is sure to impress. The smaller villages near Narbonne also have a good selection of local cafes and restaurants, where you’re sure to find local French cooking at its best.
Nearest to Narbonne is Gruissan Plage, a huge expanse of golden sand that stretches for miles. It’s set in a small seaside resort that has a few bars and restaurants along its marina. Head south and you’ll reach the ‘Parc Naturel Regional de la Narbonnaise’ – a vast protected area of vineyard, lagoons, islands and wild sandy beaches that are rarely crowded.
Narbonne sits on the Canal de la Robine, an offshoot of the Canal du Midi that spans the region. There are plenty of dedicated cycling routes along the canal which takes you via bridges, ancient aqueducts, locks and pretty French towns. Older children may enjoy a segway tour around Gruissan where you can whizz along the lagoon and marina. A little further afield in Cap D’Agde, you’ll find a waterpark perfect to keep kids smiling.
No visit to the Languedoc would be complete without a visit to Carcassonne, an awe-inspiring citadel that inspired Walt Disney’s castle. Kids and grown ups alike can marvel at the drawbridges, turrets and impressive castle. You can join a tour or take it all in at your own pace.
At the heart of Narbonne is the Cathedral of Saint Just, a 13th century Gothic relic that fascinatingly, was never completed. It does include a a soaring choir, chapel and treasure room that you can visit. A short drive from Narbonne is the breathtakingly beautiful Abbaye de Fontfroide. A former monastery, the immaculate grounds are open to visitors. Take a wander through the cloisters and monks’ dormitory before making your way to the fragrant rose garden. You can also sample the wine produced here in the shop or alongside a meal to remember in the vaulted restaurant.
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