Le Fort Pouzols-Minervois is a 30 minute drive from Narbonne, a charming town of 47,000 inhabitants with lots of shops and restaurants. Ensure that you arrive early, because the famous indoor market is not open after lunch (and lunchtime is strictly noon till 2pm in this region!).
Other sites worth visiting in Narbonne include the unfinished cathedral, the Bishop’s palace, the Horreum – an ancient Roman grain storage, and the famous Patisserie Combot.
Narbonne is a very pleasant place to wander around, with a medieval centre and lively shopping streets around the Canal de la Robine. This former capital of the Languedoc region is right at the heart of the regional wine-making industry.
There are lots of interesting little bars and restaurants in Narbonne. Check out the eateries in the indoor market or explore the ones just outside the market hall – with booking highly recommended. There are plenty more along the lovely canal too!
Narbonne was built by decree from Rome in 118 BC as a trading post along the newly constructed Via Dolmitia. Then known as Narbo, the town grew to become the capital of the Roman province of Narbonensis and one of the most important cities in southern Gaul. Following the departure of the Romans, it became the capital of the Visigoths when they moved in during the 6th century. Narbonne saw a series of disasters during the late Middle Ages, from which it only really improved during the mid-1800s with the arrival of the railway.
There is plenty to see and do in Narbonne. But if you do want to combine it with other delights in the region, a seafood meal in Gruissan is an excellent choice.
The Collegial Church of St Etienne in Capestang (on the way home to Le Fort Pouzols-Minervois) was built by the same team that constructed the cathedral in Narbonne. Both remained unfinished. There are bars and restaurants around the church or you could go for a stroll along the Canal du Midi.