Marseillan Village - imagine yourself in a portside paradise
Marseillan Village - imagine yourself in a portside paradise

When to come

Whatever the season

...Join us in Marseillan

In July and August, take your place by the port as the boys and young men of Marseillan compete in the eccentric local sport known as Lou Capelet or the cours de la bigue.

Dating back to an obscure naval recruitment ritual, the event is charged with as much pastis as testosterone as competitors are obliged to drink a Ricard in every bar in town before the games begin.

A ship's mast is liberally greased, swivelled across a barge and suspended over the water.

The lads compete to race up the slippery pole and grab a hat perched at the very end. The town band plays, the mayor salutes the sportsmen, carnival queens flutter their eyelashes at their champions and an excitable running commentary keeps the crowds informed as prize money rises higher throughout the afternoon.

Of course, they all end up in the water. Whilst, for spectators, the wine flows freely at cafe tables. This explosion of estival exhuberance talkes place on the 14th of July (the afternoon after the fireworks and bastille Eve ball, and before the Bastille Night ball) and again on Marseillan's summer festival on August 16 (sandwiched between another two nights of partying and dancing in the streets).

Throughout the summer, live concerts are staged in the squares of the village and port with dancing until late. Live music too at the Oyster and big name music festivals right by the waterfront.

In October and November, villages across l'Herault celebrate their Vin Primeur, the first new wine of the year. Join the winegrowers, their families, friends and neighbours on the October evening that the bottles are finally uncorked on the quays of Marseillan port. Gather in the wineries as local bands play, food is served, the first bottles are blessed by the parish priest and the fresh fruity tipple is poured liberally into each upheld glass. Stay a while and dance in the streets, munching and sipping the night away.

Each evening a different commune or village celebrates its autumn flavours. Look out for brightly painted wine bottles in local shops - and join in tastings along the vineyard route into the village. arranges special long weekend and off-season breaks for wine-lovers to take advantage of the autumn wine parties. And year round we can offer tips and trails for exploring wine country.

At the begining and end of Summer, Harley and Goldwing bikes reflect the sunshine during weekends of music and celebration of dazzling chrome and customised leathers. The main event is the Brescoudos gathering at Cap d'Agde.

In May and November as we pay tribute to the fallen of two World Wars, we also remember the heroes of the French Resistance. Legendary Jean Moulin, hailing from nearby Beziers, died at the hands of Klaus Barbie. His extraordinary heroism and work as the pioneer of the Underground movement is recalled each time a wreath is lain at the extraordinarily moving war memorial. When the bugle sounds at the end of the Remembrance procession, listen to the survivors of a remarkable generation tell their stories. In late August, the townsfolk of Beziers remember the city's noblest son with a heart rending son et lumière presentation.
If If you play an instrument, bring it with you when you visit us in June. If not, don't worry. For there will be plenty of others more than willing to entertain you on the weekend of National Music Day. Marseillan's squares and quaysides will resound to the sound of free concerts, and musicians from Jazzinade - the local jazz group - will play outside the restaurants of the port from early evening. Hardened partygoers head for Sete and the cities to boogie on down into the small hours with fantastic concerts in every open space.
Flamingos in February and March. Our most glamorous ne
ighbours are the spectacular pink flamingos who live on the etang. They are the highest profile residents of Marseillan's Bagnas nature reserve, a truly protected wetlands environment home to egrets and herons, kingfishers and sandpipers. Marseillan is a birdlover's paradise. Since the protection of wildlife is paramount, the Bagnas Reserve may only be visited with an official guide, and visits take place on selected mornings in the Spring and evenings in Summer.
Of course, each September sees the hirondelles' farewell as they leave our shores for another year. The nightly flying circus of swallows, swifts and housemartins shrieking through their half hour aerobatic displays as they swoop and loop through the air and around the roofs in dazzling formation at speeds of 60 miles per hour. Sitting on our terrace, we have a birds eye view of the enchanting entertainment.

Visit us in July & August for the Jousting season, here in Marseillan, at nearby Agde and across the lagoon on the canals of Sète. They take this water battle very seriously here.


The St Louis trophy fought for by Sète's finest is as big here as a rugby international. Imagine the World Cup and Grand National, with just a touch of It's a Knockout! Sometimes a travelling circus pitches tent in the port of Marseillan, the festival de Thau brings world music and jazz to the waterside and on other days a classical concert may be held in the cool shade of the village church.

After a day's heady excitement, wind down at Marseillan's Summer midnight craft market on Thursday, with hand-made treasures sold under a summer moon. December sees a gastronomic preparation for Christmas with Foires au Gras, marchés gastronomique and mouthwatering markets in the towns and villages around the Etang de Thau.

Living Nativity Scenes in country churches. Hand made figurines and delicious sweets amongst the seasonal treats, and plenty of excuses for delightful self indulgence.

In Marseillan, lambs, donkeys, ponies and farmyard fowl spend Advent in the nativity scene in the market place, and parades and parties punctuate the Christmas Market. Join us outside the church for the children's carol service, wander along the silvery sands of the deserted 12-mile beach in the amber glow of midwinter sunshine or go up into the wilds of the Languedoc Natural Park to discover the majesty of the winter's landscape.
In January, the Pyrenean ski resorts of Ax-Les-Thermes and Camurac are a comfortable drive away, with snows over a metre deep, whilst Marseillan wallows in winter sunshine.
In April, take a picnic to the top of the Mont St Clair to see from Catalonia to the Cevennes.

Remember that Marseillan has its weekly Tuesday village market - the place for fresh fish and piquant olives, not to mention secret combinations of herbs and spices. Admire the rotisseries turning roasted corn-fed chicken on spits, dripping their juices on barquettes of potatoes and onions. You may come to the market to buy clothes, pottery olive oil and lavender soap, but only the strong-willed or hard-hearted will leave without something special for lunch!
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(UK) 07522 507 915
(France) 06 06 75 65 59


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Bienvenue à Marseillan en Languedoc