AGDE - PÉZENAS
15 centuries of history
Why visit Agde and Pézenas?
- The UNESCO Canal du Midi site in Agde.
- Château Laurens and the Ephèbe Museum in Agde.
- Molière's legacy in Pézenas.
- Agde and Pézenas both approved by the "Ville et Métiers d'Art" accreditation.
- Pézenas approved by the "Pays d'art et d'histoire" accreditation.
START WITH THE CANAL DU MIDI'S ROUND LOCK
And step into Agde, the "Mediterranean's black pearl"
Visit the last working round lock in France, built in 1676 in the Canal du Midi in Agde. Boats come here from 3 sides all at once!
Next head to Château Laurens, a fabulous example of Art Nouveau, then visit Agde: one of France's oldest towns of Greek origin. Its old town is built out of black volcanic rock from Mont Saint-Loup and is remarkably uniform.
Wander through its maze of picturesque lanes and stop at its artist studios.
Whilst you're in Agde, go as far as the Grau d’Agde fishing port and gaze out to sea at Brescou Fort.
43km of bike paths await! Plus it's all flat along the Canal du Midi that runs through Agde or the Hérault to Cap d'Agde's beaches.
THE MUST-SEE MUSEUM
The Greek Ephebe Museum
Cap d'Agde's Greek Ephebe: a local lad. He was found on the Hérault riverbed opposite the cathedral. His origins remain unknown. You can see him for yourself at the Ephèbe Museum in Cap d’Agde. He's joined by the best French collection of ancient bronze pieces gathered from the ocean depths.
As for the Ephebe, it's the only bronze from the time of Alexander the Great to be discovered in French waters.
Take a boat trip on the Canal du Midi
The Canal du Midi starts a few leagues upstream from the Agde round lock at the Pont des Onglous on Thau Lake: two large stone piers mark the start of the voyage.
Fancy an adventure? Do you want to listen to the crickets sing you a lullaby as you gaze at the stunning vineyards along the Canal? Hire a boat in Agde for a day or two, a week or a fortnight.
If you'd rather someone else took the helm then go on a cruise for a few hours setting off from Agde.
The sea resort of Cap d’Agde appeared in the 60s and is listed as 20th century heritage because of its Saint-Martin neighbourhood and large port looking out to sea. See everything it has to offer on a self-guided walk.
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CONTINUE YOUR ADVENTURE IN PÉZENAS
And follow in Molière's footsteps in the lanes…
And follow in Molière's footsteps in the lanes… Ask for the treasure hunt at Tourist Information to see another side to Pézenas. Solve the mysteries as you explore the streets and squares lined with beautiful mansions. Molière spent his youth here. He stopped here, at his friend the barber's shop, now home to the little Boby Lapointe Museum.
Molière regularly stayed in Pézenas with his touring theatre company, l’Illustre Théâtre, between 1646 and 1655. Close your eyes and you'll see his cheerful gang in front of the Vulliod-Saint-Germain Museum which is home to his favourite chair.
"Jean-Baptiste Poquelin was born in Paris, Molière was born in Pézenas." - Marcel Pagnol.
PÉZENAS IS ALL ABOUT ART
Visit master craftsmen and luxury homes
Wander through Pézenas' little lanes brought to life by countless craftsmen. Meet the wood turner, milliner, ironmonger, jewellers, potters... They have their own home: the Maison des Métiers d’Art based in the stunning chamber of commerce in the town centre.
During your trip you can gaze at the courtyards and fabulous staircases at 17th century mansions that haven't changed much since Molière's time.
The Mirondela dels Arts presents street shows, entertainment, exhibitions, dance, music and theatre all summer long in Pézenas. Molière is on the agenda, naturally!
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Your heart will skip a beat between land and sea
In a few incredible images, the atmosphere, lifestyle and heritage of the Cap d’Agde, Agde and Pézenas trio. Age-old roots, artisan creativity and traditions based on the sea and Hérault vineyards set the scene for your next holiday. Video 1:12 © Cap d'Agde Méditerrané Tourist Information.
Pézenas is 30 mins north of Agde on the D13 or the D612.
- By car: take the A9 Lyon/Barcelona (Agde-Bessan exit) or A75 Paris/Béziers (Pézenas exit).
- By train: Béziers (25km) or Agde train stations.
- By coach: direction connections by Hérault Transport to Pézenas from Montpellier and Béziers.
- By plane: from Montpellier (60km) or Béziers airport (25km).