The charming town of Béziers is located at a 45 minute drive from Le Fort Pouzols-Minervois (21 miles, 34 km). Not only does it have a long and fascinating history, but it is also the second largest conversation area in France – after Paris.Bullfighting is still a thing in this part of France, with the annual festival (Féria) in August attracting over a million visitors over 5 days. More appealing perhaps to the general public are Les Halles, the huge indoor food market in the centre of town.
Béziers was founded in 575 BC, making it one of the oldest cities in France. Its history includes the Romans and Moors. A dark chapter was the Béziers massacre of 20,000 people in a single day in 1209 as part of the Pope’s crusade against the Cathars.
At Béziers, the Canal du Midi has several points of special interest. The canal spans the river Orb as an aqueduct called the Pont-canal de l’Orb, claimed to be the first of its kind. The Fonserannes locks are a flight of oval staircase locks.
Béziers has all the shops, restaurants, museums and entertainment options you would expect from a city of 77,000 residents. Beautiful buildings in the centre reflect the success of the region’s wine industry in the 19th century.
No visit to Béziers would be complete without seeing the Saint Nazaire Cathedral and the Jardin des Evêques (Bishops’ Gardens). The Pont Vieux (Old Bridge) dates back to the 12th century and is listed as an Historic Monument of France.
There is more than enough to see and do in Béziers to fill a day. But if you are still looking for a nice place to combine your visit with, a stroll on nearby Valras beach may be a good choice.
Or you could opt for a delicious seafood meal anywhere along the Mediterranean coast or the Étang de Thau, such as Marseillan or Mèze. If you’re heading back towards Le Fort Pouzols-Minervois, Capestang on the Canal du Midi is quite nice and has restaurants, bars and supermarkets.