Marseillan is an old fortified village, sitting on a large lagoon surrounded by vines, giving it a rich heritage with fishermen and winegrowers. It is said to be one of the oldest villages in France, dating back to around 535BC. It is the southern entry point of the Canal du Midi. The Canal du Midi is the world’s oldest canal and a UNESCO world heritage site. It is popular with visitors who can hire a barge and travel the length or even part of the waterway, stopping in at villages along the way to eat local fare, drink wine and explore. The local speciality is not to be missed, a barbecue of mussels and shellfish known as a ‘brazucade’.
Marseillan is situated on a saltwater lake, the Etang du Thau, famed for its delicious fresh oysters, beautiful pink flamingos and other striking birdlife. There are some lovely little shops and restaurants and the village has all the necessary amenities. Each Tuesday a large market is held where you can purchase fresh produce such as vegetable, fruit, meat and fish as well as locally produced souvenirs and crafts. There is a protected 17th century harbour, not over commercialised and with modest sized boats and yachts. Beautiful apartments with wrought iron balconies overlook the port and surrounding vistas.
Marseillan is only a few minutes’ drive to some of the Mediterranean’s most picturesque, sandy beaches where you can take part in water-sports such kite surfing, snorkelling, spearfishing, diving, kite sailing and swimming. You could visit the Church of Saint John the Baptist, a 17th century church that still retains parts of its 11th century predecessor. If you enjoy wine, you should tour the Noilly Prat centre where you can sample the NoillyPrat wine, more commonly known as vermouth.
The village is within easy reach from 6 different airports and Montpellier is located just 30-minutes’ drive away. The local train station is only 10 minutes from the village.