Once the 13th-century port from where Louis IX departed at the head of the ill-fated 7th crusade, time has proved the town's name meaning "dead waters" to be entirely apt. The retreating sea has left a small town of about 5000 inhabitants surrounded by medieval walls, canals, marshland and salt mountains. The town offers a perfect day out from Montpellier but can equally be used as a base for exploring the Camargue. The functional medieval layout of the town with its impressive ramparts, dominated by the Tour de Constance, is remarkably preserved. Within the walls, the airy church of Notre Dame des Sablons with its contemporary stained glass windows is worth visiting and the central Place St-Louis is the perfect spot to relax. Many shops and galleries welcome those seeking more contemporary pursuits. Beyond the medieval town, one can follow the canals on foot or by bike or take one of the many boat tours. If the natural beauty of the Camargue beckons, sign up for a trip on horseback or by four-wheel drive. Finally, one should try some of the distinctive vin des sables from one of the many local producers. The Office de Tourisme (at la Porte de la Gardette) has an excellent little guide giving opening times, addresses and telephone numbers for all these and many other activities.
Attractions & Landmarks, Beaches/Bodies of Water