A bloody history
www.beziers-mediterranee.com. Despite wine, rugby and a bloody history, Béziers is somewhat short on attractions. Reached by a network of steep, medieval streets, the Cathédrale de Saint-Nazaire replaced an earlier edifice destroyed during the sack of Béziers in 1209. During the Albigensian crusades, Simon de Montfort’s troops destroyed the city and slaughtered its people after they gave refuge to a handful of Cathars. In nearby place de la Révolution, the Musée des Beaux-Arts – Hotel Fabregat (www.beziers-in-mediterranee.com) offers a collection of Greek vases plus paintings including works by Goya, Delacroix and Dufy.
Near the rail station, the Musée du Vieux Bitterois (meaning inhabitant of Béziers), avenue de la Marne, www.beziers-in-mediterranee.com, does an eclectic line in local nicknacks from costumes and crafts to relics rescued from the ships’ graveyard around Cap d’Agde (closed Mon).
Take a stroll in the attractive Plateau des Poètes with its leafy paths and literary busts; or sample café society on plane-tree dappled allée Paul-Riquet. Riquet was the local visionary responsible for building the Canal du Midi (link). The local tourist office has information on canal trips which cruise slowly past the serried ranks of vineyards.
Winter sun: Beziers and Languedoc-Roussillon have some winter sunshine.
Find more in: Winter sun