The Good Life France

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Le Grau-D’Agde by the Sea in Languedoc-Roussillon

Street in Pezenas south of France

After my retirement in early 2016, France was on my radar; however, I longed for something a little off the beaten path. The Languedoc-Roussillon area of southern France fit this requirement perfectly. Agde is a beautiful little town between the Canal du Midi and the Mediterranean. Le Grau-D’Agde is located approximately 10 miles south of Agde, situated on the Mediterranean and the River Herault. Although not as ancient or historical as nearby Carcassonne, this little fishing village has the full flavor and authenticity of France in its town square, quaint bakeries, markets and cafes for the complete experience of tasting France. If you are thinking this sounds like an eating and wine drinking extravaganza you would be correct! But there is much more to love about Le Grau-D’Agde and the surrounding area.

Staying in Grau d’Agde

View over the Cap d'Agde harbour

We located our ideal accommodations at a cozy inn located on a quiet street easily accessible to the local bus line and taxis about 10 miles from the train station in Agde. The town has a boardwalk on the sea, canal boat rides, food, shopping and charming town square markets.

Traveling from the Midwest United States to Agde, France was no simple feat. Our journey started in St Louis with a connecting flight to Dallas and a nine-hour flight to Paris before catching a commuter flight to Montpellier. We then took a taxi to our final destination. Exhausting, yes, but this only added to our sense of adventure! After a 24-hour post air travel rest in our cozy apartment we were set to take on this 21-day tour. With our Eurail passes in hand we hopped trains, buses, subways and taxis to any destination we chose to see each day. I must say, I am very envious of the train system in France and Europe. We only experienced occasional delays (and a one-day strike!) but the convenience of traveling by train was amazing. Language was barely ever an issue. People proved to be amazingly friendly and helpful and responded very quickly to the confused look of foreigners!  For this too we were grateful.

Day trips from Grau d’Agde

People walking up a hill to the castle of Carcassonne on a sunny day

Carcassonne, Pezenas, Arles, Beziers, Narbonne, Avignon, Montpellier and the sea town of Sète were the day trips we managed from this location. Every location was more mysterious and romantic than I could imagine, true picture postcard scenery and ambiance. Pezenas may have been my favorite for the antique shops and winding alleys that led to all kinds of fabulous finds. Arles held a close second with the walk of Van Gogh, ancient architecture and cafes. Seafood in Sète and an unexpected viewing of the “tall boats” made for a great outing. We also enjoyed an overnight trip to Barcelona while maintaining our base in Le Grau-D’Agde. Always there were friendly people willing to share a meal and glass of wine. Each destination is a story on its own.

The beauty of our accommodation turned out to be that it was very much like vacationing with knowledgeable family that were always there to ask you about your adventures when you returned and recommend new explorations for the next day! Our hosts truly went out of their way to make our visit memorable by directing us to great restaurants and local sights, and even took us to a local winery!  We took a day trip through the gorgeous French countryside to Domaine de la Condamine l’Evêque located in Nezignan-L’Eveque.

Reluctantly, we departed from the Villa Mare E Sole where we stayed in Le Grau-D’Agde but we returned home with amazing memories.

Nancy Bateman currently lives in Florida and is an avid traveller. She blogs at sunrisetilsunset.com encouraging and inspiring all ages to live their best life now.

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