Set on the banks of Lake Thau, Balaruc-les-Bains is a small commune and spa town south-west of Montpellier. It’s renowned for its unique microclimate, with warm temperatures and fresh sea breezes, and the golden beaches of the Mediterranean are just a stone’s throw away.
Things to do in Balaruc-les-Bains
Spend an afternoon wandering the narrow streets of Balaruc-le-Vieux, a traditional village surrounded by ramparts dating from the medieval period. Don’t miss the 14th-century Church of Saint Maurice with its impressive bell and stained glass windows. In the summertime, Balaruc-le-Vieux hosts the Medieval Festival, which features costumed parades and period demonstrations.
If you’re interested in the use of plants in times gone by, head to the Jardin Antique Méditerranéen, which is planted with species from the Greek and Gallo-Roman worlds. Learn about ancient planting techniques and the use of Mediterranean flora in medicine and cooking, as well as its role in mythological beliefs. The garden is laid out chronologically, with educational stations detailing the relationship between man and the natural world.
Balaruc-les-Bains makes an ideal base for visiting the Espace Georges Brassens, which offers an insight into the life and legacy of the French singer and poet. In addition to its audio tours led by Georges Brassens himself, the museum features personal memorabilia and film clips from his concerts. You can combine your visit with a swim at Plage Baleine, which stretches for kilometres west of Sète.
Getting around Balaruc-les-Bains
Balaruc-les-Bains is around 35 minutes’ drive from Montpellier and 30 minutes from Montpellier-Méditerranée Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe and North Africa. Buses connect to Balaruc-les-Bains, although renting a car will give you greater freedom to explore the area.