The secret stretch of coastal France that’s nicer than Nice

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(CNN) – Think of the south of France and Tony Spot – postcard images of the lavender fields of Provence and yachts – Nice, Cannes and Saint Tropez – probably spring to mind.

But take a look at the map of France and look down a finger from Paris to the Mediterranean Sea and you will land in the region of Occita, where the section of Odd and the coastal city of Narbonne and the surrounding areas are very different, more relaxing. South view of the country.

Here, along the coastal plain, which is part of France’s largest wine-producing and vineyard region when it comes to surface area (Languedoc-Roussillon, which recently became part of the Occitan region created in 2016), ranges from beaches and shallow lagoons. To Wooden limestones in pockets with lakes.

Dilapidated forts and majestic forts, which was once a cathartic country. This dissident and ascetic religious group, then considered heretical, gathered in this part of Europe during the 12th century.

Visitors today come to the region for a study-filled and wonder-filled atmosphere, where you can dine on hyperlocal seafood right from the lagoons and drink a variety of Languedoc wine with a backdrop of the Pyrenees Mountains stretching towards Spain. The coastal villages you visit here, about 225 miles to the east, seem more distant from the world than the more arrogant and crowded C ડીte d’Azur – by trend and geographically.

Narbonne is a town of Roman descent in the Ode region of the Occitan region of France.

Narbonne is a town of Roman descent in the Ode region of the Occitan region of France.

JackF / Adobe stock

A city with a Roman heart – and one of the best markets in France

Less than an hour from Narbon on the Odd River, the impressive mountain fortress town of Caracason initially brings most tourists to the region. An outstanding example of a medieval fortified town, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has pre-Roman origins.

But history goes even deeper into and around the often neglected city of Narbonne, an ancient port city dating to 118 BCE and the first Roman settlement to be established in Gaul.

Gallo-Roman antiques from the town’s original city walls and structures, many of which have been collecting dust in the collection for decades, are on display. Narbo Via MuseumWhich opened in May 2021.

Designed by Foster + Partners (Norman Foster Fame), the stunning museum features an industrial-style stacker crane that uses a robotic mechanism to constantly change the vast display of more than 700 ancient carved stone blocks inside the “Lepidary Wall” at its center.

The Canal du Midi – a 17th-century canal connecting the Mediterranean and the Atlantic – flows through the heart of Narbonne, carrying thousands of barge cruise passengers each year on a journey between Sete and Toulouse.

But few landed to explore the boundaries of the canal and beyond the Carcassonne. They are missing.

On the banks of the canal in Narbon is the city’s famous covered market, Les Hales, where the morning bustle subsides at noon when vendors selling local seafood, products and Languedoc’s famous goat cheese begin to close their stalls and the restaurant is filled with wine-drinking dinners. His lunch.

“The market is a place where people in Narbonne prefer to develop their social life on a glass of wine,” says winemaker Gerard Bertrand, whose white, red and rose wines are the benchmark of Languedoc’s sustainable biodynamic and organic winemaking heritage, CNN said. .

In 2016 Languedoc-Roussillon became part of Occitan.  Vineyards cover part of the landscape.

In 2016 Languedoc-Roussillon became part of Occitan. Vineyards cover part of the landscape. Stock

The evolving history of winemaking

While vines have been native to the Languedoc region for thousands of years, Narbonne was the first port through which wine was shipped throughout the Roman Empire. Bertrand says the region eventually “lost its nobility, often in favor of volume rather than quality.”

Regions such as Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux came under discussion.

But since the 1970s, says Bordeaux-based oncologist Serra Goto, great care has been taken to replant the specific microclimate and soil-adapted variety of Languedoc-Roussillon vineyards that “maintain a great deal of respect for the natural location and environment.”

She says the region is a “multi-colored, textured, vibrant area with a variety of clays, varieties and wine styles,” and is one of the most important organic wine-producing areas in France.

“At one time it was the only source of mass-produced wines for the tables of the ancient Greeks, Romans, and later Gauls,” says Goto.

That Bertrand, a former professional rugby player who took over his father’s business in 1987 and incorporates fully biodynamic farming methods into his 16 vineyards across the region, thanks to the practice of visionary winemakers.

Château l'Hospitalet is a seaside winery and boutique hotel located within the vines of La Clap Appellation.

Château l’Hospitalet is a seaside winery and boutique hotel located within the vines of La Clap Appellation.

Giles Deschamps

Chetau L’Hospitalit Grand Win Rouge 2017 was named the world’s best red wine for its blind taste of 6,000 wines during the 2019 International Wine Challenge.

“The future of our region looks bright,” says Bertrand. “There has been a shift to a new generation of winemakers who are totally dedicated to evaluating the wonderful nature that is here.”

When it comes to human nature, you can develop your own social life with wine from the region with lunch in Les Hales in Narbonne. Chase BabelWhere the table is arranged only in the market.

They often just settle in as locals, ordering shopping bags full of fresh products, chin-chin glasses and specialties like steak tartar and duck breasts to discuss the latest rugby matches and other important town processes.

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Vineyards and lagoons where you can stay, sip and slurp

For investment among biodynamic vines near Narbonne, Bertrand Chateau l’Hospital There is a quiet solitude inside the vine of La Clap Appellation.
The Coastal Winery and Boutique Hotel, located in the former 11th Century Hospital, has a new gastronomic restaurant, L’art de vivreFeaturing seasonal and organic products as well as Obrak beef and eel from the nearby Itang de l’Airol in Gruisan.

In addition to rooms in the Chateau, Villa Soleilla has 11 suites and a new spa in a collection of contemporary style buildings refurbished by the original walls of an ancient winery. Rooms with private patios and terraces are open to the surrounding vineyards and views of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea.

During the warmer months, the hotel’s seasonal beach club and seaside restaurant, a few minutes away in nearby Gruisan, unfolds a bit of Cote d’Azur’s Belle Vie Sun-and-Sea Vibe – without any of its pride.

The beach club and seaside restaurant in nearby Gruisan are part of the Chetau L'Hospitalate's summer offerings.

The beach club and seaside restaurant in nearby Gruisan are part of the Chetau L’Hospitalate’s summer offerings.

EO Creative @FlorianVidot

Throughout the year in this region, you can stroll along the uncrowded sands of Gruisan, wander through the vines in the vista overlooking the more sailing beaches than the super yachts, and go for unexpected views at the emerald-colored pool Gouffre de l’Oeil Doux. In a karst massif that looks like a Mexican senate.

At Salin de Gruisen, near the fishing village of Gruisan, lagoons assume a pink color due to the presence of algae reacting to sunlight where sea salt is cultivated. Flamingos stalk on the shallowest pool closest to the ocean and Flare de Cell is collected by hand and sold in small boutiques on site.

On the edge of the lagoon, a gentle massage and salt sock treatment is offered Roulette – A small wooden stage coach-like cart that looks like a portable sauna and overlooks a salt production basin. Set-up with no-frills, what-more-what-you-really-need an atmosphere of well-being.

Oysters, velk, shrimp and couteux – Spoon razor clams with thick garlic and parsley sauce – Prepared on a rustic driftwood table in a restaurant with zero pretzels and what exactly is one of the freshest seafood in France.

La Cambus du Sounier, near Gruisan, makes a dish of fresh seafood on a rustic driftwood table by the water.

La Cambus du Sounier, near Gruisan, makes a dish of fresh seafood on a rustic driftwood table by the water.

Terry Ward

Nearby, in the medieval village of Bagas on Itang de Bages, kite surfers leave the chopped surface of a windy lagoon famous for harvesting silver eels. They can be sampled in a variety of preparations at a restaurant built from the former fisherman’s residence. Le Portanel.

Fans of oysters travel from Narbonn to the northeastern coast of Harold’s neighborhood and the coastal village of Marseilles.

Special tarborich (or “pink oysters”) are grown on ropes taken in and out of the waters of Itang de Thau, France’s largest lagoon. This process allows growers to adjust the salinity level of the oyster in an area where there is almost no tidal variation between the salt water.

A plate of bivalves served with a crisp glass of Alfresco roses, overlooking the lagoon. Tarbouriech le St. Barth Distills the mouth feel of the region in its essence.

And the best part? That “no pose” thing.

You can come to any of these spots as you like, wearing whatever you wear that morning for a day out.

The town of Gruisan is located nine miles southeast of Narbonn on the Mediterranean coast.

The town of Gruisan is located nine miles southeast of Narbonn on the Mediterranean coast.

Boris Strojko / Adobe Stock

Search area – it is being searched

“You only have to open one door in the region, and then another,” says Giles Sansa, whose private chauffeur company, Quadrigas, guides tourists. Scenes from the Hollywood crew (“The Last Dual” were recently filmed Abbey de Fontfried of the 11th century) and any other area is eager to know the trails and secrets behind it.

“When Americans come here, they have a purpose, a goal,” says Sansa. “They know there’s good wine and food, first. But then they really discover the essence of the place and something different.”

For many Europeans, the region’s attractions are less secretive – and both foreign and French interest in real estate has boomed during the epidemic, says Nathalie van Venendal, regional manager of the French real estate agency, Selection Habitat-Hamilton.

She described the housing market as an “environment for returning to the country” that draws more interest from the French and other parts of Europe to an area that has traditionally attracted many Brits.

“It’s the combination of the sea, the mountains and the countryside with the quality of life that draws people here,” says Van Vinendal.

“It’s less about showing your big property here than C ડીte d’Azur and it’s more about these other things.”

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