Pezenas Travel Guide

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Freshwater pool at Le Couvent, Roujan

Freshwater pool at Le Couvent, Roujan

Liz Betts-Gosling

Pézenas Shopping

The Michelin brochure "Les Plus Beaux Détours de France" calls Pézenas a "Not-to- miss" town. Much more than a summer city, this place is alive all year around.

The town, which is situated on the River Peyne, has a population of about 7,000. As each summer begins, Pézenas paints her face with special care and, in courtly robes, assumes her role as the Doyenne of Culture in this place of Molière.

For 36 seasons, the Mirondela de l'Arte has descended upon the city with its music, its energy, and its excitement - to remain En Résidence in Pézenas for the summer - offering musical spectacles, theatre and endless street animation. When walking over into the old-city, you cannot help but feel the pulse of life from a bygone time.

Plus - all the surrounding domains and villages point to Pézenas as their focal point. Everyone’s favorite city, Pézenas is where it’s at. Offering a fabulous all-day Saturday street market of sights, smells and pleasing taste-testing, Pézenas has temptations enough to fill that other suitcase on the trip home. 

Pézenas is cited by the Official Preservation Registry as a Ville de Métier d’Art for its widely varied family of artisans, createurs and antique restoration craftsmen. It is a center of the Antique Trade, and is well known for its Bric-a-brac selections.

The Cultural Walking Tours start at Place Gambetta, and then go through the 16th- to 17th-century city streets of old Pézenas. Old-fashioned cafes abound in this city, which remains virtually untouched by the drive of modern development. And all because the French Rail Road made a decision many, many years ago to bypass the city! Pézenas truly offers a different holiday than other French cities.

From Pézenas, it’s fun to visit the beach at Cap d’Agde for its fun activities, pulsing electric music, and surrounding excitement. But then again, it's also nice to be able to retreat to the more measured couth of Bijou.

Pézenas is between Montpellier (with its museum and university-cosmopolitan lifestyle) and Béziers (renowned for its Féria in August, as well as its flower markets). To the east are the seemingly endless beaches of the Mediterranean, from Sète to Marseillan Plage to Cap d’Agde (20-25 minutes). To the north and west, and within easy reach, are the hills of St.Chinian, Faugères and Minervois - all regions known for their excellent wine.

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