Would you like to visit Béziers but are wondering what you can see? Béziers has a rich history: it is said that Béziers was built in the 7th century BC by the Greeks, which makes it the oldest city in France. Today it is one of the largest municipalities in the Hérault department.
At the foot of the Haut-Languedoc Regional Natural Park, it stands between the Orb River and the Canal du Midi. The heart of the city contains many monuments steeped in history.
To the heritage of the past is added a more recent style, century after century: Béziers has a beautiful heritage to explore, between the arenas, the Pont-Vieux dating from the 12th century, the Canal du Midi, the Chapel of the Penitents, the Cathedral of Saint-Nazaire… Go and discover its many unmissable tourist sites.
VISIT OF THE CITY CENTER OF BÉZIERS
In the water, relaxation is guaranteed!
The historic heart of Biterrois has many beautiful streets to stroll through. You can walk to the Allées Paul Riquet, where all the buzz of the city is concentrated. This is where the festive events take place and it is also where you will find many shops to do your shopping and bring back nice souvenirs from your vacations. This large 650 meter long pedestrian street linking the theater and the Plateau des Poètes is often compared to the Ramblas, an emblematic Barcelona avenue.
In the center of the promenade, you can admire the statue of Pierre-Paul Riquet, the founder of the Canal du Midi, created in the 19th century. Sit on a terrace and enjoy a good glass of wine.
In front of the statue, the vast 2 hectare Jean-Jaurès square shows two water mirrors. Every evening, one of them is transformed into a musical jeyser that lights up with a thousand colors, a beautiful and magical show to watch with your family.
Less than 15 minutes walk from there, you can admire the medieval Pont-Vieux, typical of the Romanesque style, which spans the Orb. It has been classified as a historical monument since 1963.
Discover also the Plateau des Poètes, a superb and vast garden of the city center realized in 1867 and erected to the rank of historical monument since 1995. Its 5 hectares of greenery, stones, ponds and statues of poets, offer to the eye harmoniously combined spaces and beautiful botanical arrangements.
RELIGIOUS BUILDINGS IN BÉZIERS
Béziers has many religious buildings: Saint-Nazaire cathedral, Saint-Jacques church, Penitents chapel, Saint-Aphrodise basilica and the Madeleine church.
Of Gothic architecture, the cathedral of Saint-Nazaire was built in the Middle Ages, between the 13th and 15th centuries, on the ruins of a religious building that burned in 1209 during the Crusades. It is part of the historical monuments since 1840.
You will not be able to miss it: it will appear in your field of vision even before crossing the limits of the town of Béziers!
The Saint-Jacques church is one of the oldest in the city of Béziers with its apse classified as a historical monument at the beginning of the 20th century. It offers a splendid view on the Saint-Nazaire cathedral.
The chapel of the Penitents has a 15th century gothic style entrance, which is not common in the Languedoc. Many paintings and an ex-voto are to be seen inside.
Enter the Saint-Aphrodise basilica, which dates from before the Romanesque period, and admire its magnificent stained glass windows.
The church of the Madeleine is Romanesque and dates from the 11th century. Erected as a historical monument in 1987, it was the witness of a massacre in the 13th century during the Crusades.
MUSEUMS TO DISCOVER IN BÉZIERS
The Biterrois museum presents collections to better understand the natural history and the evolution of the territory of Béziers and its surroundings, to know everything about the life of Béziers from prehistory to today.
The Fayet museum, for its part, groups together the works of the artist sculptor Injalbert, originally from Béziers. There are many sculptures and bronzes to admire. A pretty garden adjoining the museum is to be discovered, where concerts are held in June.
Afficionados can visit the bullfighting museum, which opened in 2015. You will learn all about the culture of bullfighting, very important in Béziers. Discover also paintings representing the Spanish bullfight between the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century.
Are you a fan of bullfighting and like to participate in ferias? Then you will definitely like the bullring. Called “Arènes du Plateau de Valras”, they were created in 1897. The Béziers bullring is an essential part of the Occitan tradition and has made the city the leading bullfighting commune in France. Throughout the year, various cultural events take place there, and part of August is devoted to the feria.
THE CANAL DU MIDI AND ITS LOCKS
The Canal du Midi: Designed and built in the 17th century by Pierre-Paul Riquet, the Canal du Midi is a beautiful masterpiece and an outstanding technical achievement. It revolutionized the commercial transport of the time by linking the Garonne in Toulouse to the Thau lake in the Hérault, a distance of 241 km!
The Canal du Midi is the ideal place for family walks or bicycle rides along its banks. You can also rent a boat to go for a trip on the calm waters of the canal from Béziers, a new way to discover the area!
The locks of Fonseranes: They are 8 locks which belong to the Canal du Midi. This “Octuple” which includes a succession of 9 basins, covers a difference in level of more than 21 meters over a distance of 300 meters. 350 years after the construction of this site, the prowess that constitute the locks dazzles so much the visitors, that they constitute today the third most visited site by the tourists in the Languedoc region.
The archaeological site of Ensérune and its museum
In Nissan-lez-Ensérune, a commune situated about 13 km from Béziers, there is a superb site to visit. Ensérune is a Gallic village that was uncovered after archaeological excavations in the 19th century and is said to be one of the most notable in the Midi. It seems to have been continuously inhabited from the 6th century BC until the 1st century AD. This village was a prosperous oppidum occupied by the Greeks between the 3rd and 5th centuries BC, before being inhabited by the Gauls while continuing to develop. Discover the remains of this fortified city, its urban layout and the streets and houses of the Gauls of the time. The view from the site is breathtaking, with a panorama over the Languedoc plain to the coast. To find out more about our Gallic ancestors, the Ensérune museum offers you the chance to discover how they lived on a daily basis through a collection of period objects.
HOW TO GET TO BÉZIERS ?
Béziers is easily accessible by train, bus, car and even by plane, thanks to the Béziers-Cap d’Agde airport located about 15 kilometers away. Buses and cabs can take you from the airport to the center of Béziers.
As for the train, it takes you to Béziers itself, which has a station in the city center. The easiest way to get to Béziers is by car, which gives you more freedom of movement to visit the surrounding area.
WHERE TO FIND ACCOMMODATION IN BÉZIERS ?
Only 15 km from Béziers, the Paradis Le Cayola campsite offers a variety of comfortable accommodations close to the beach. The ideal place for a carefree tourist stay in Béziers!