When it came to developing the Languedoc coast at the turn of the 1970s, several tourist centers were created between Montpellier and Perpignan.
A state mission gave birth to Port Barcarès, La Grande-Motte, Gruissan …
Corn Cap d’Agde remains the most successful example – if not the most aesthetic – of this intensive program.
50 years and many changes later, the station has become a “benchmark” for mass tourism.
Aqualand, nearly 200,000 annual visitors
Campsites, residences, holiday villages, rental accommodation, open-air hotels … attract a French (majority), German, Dutch, Belgian, British clientele in the summer …
Everyone benefits from the swarm of activities and nautical parks (starting with Aqualand and its nearly 200,000 annual visitors), restaurants and nightclubs.
Without forgetting naturism, of which the resort is an undisputed capital.
From 25,000 inhabitants per year, the city sees its population increase tenfold during the season!
Cafes, restaurants, nightclubs …
We can like these popular outbursts. Outside the Covid period, the festive spirit of Cap d´Agde is all the rage, spillovers included.
The profusion of shops and activities ensures that the most fashion of tourists the dose ofentertainment wanted.
It is not, however, forbidden for the same to take an interest in heritage.
Although we are aware that the bridge to build between the two is a real challenge … But if so, good luck!
Founded by the Greeks in the 4th century. Before Christ.
Because Cap d’Agde is located in the town of … d ’Agde, a two-thousand-year-old town founded by the Greeks in the 4th century. Before Christ.
The Hellenes imported vines there, made commerce and fishing prosper.
They also built houses with the stone found there: basalt, a gray material resulting from an ultimate reminiscence of the Massif Central on the shores of the Mediterranean.
Result: a dark, austere, collected city.
Air of Antiquity …
It has these narrow streets like all Mediterranean towns, but without that joyful air that limestone gives when it is golden in the southern sun.
Place de la Glacière, surrounded by roughly cut facades, we understand better what we mean when we speak here of an “air of antiquity”.
On the quays of the Hérault, which ends there before Mare Nostrum, the facades aligned at water level have for their part a false appearance of a Cretan port.
Former commercial prosperity
However, this city center bears the marks of a former commercial prosperity.
Private mansions (place de la Marine) recall the maritime fortunes of yesteryear.
But after the port was transferred to Grau d’Agde in the 1980s (going there to visit the auction and eat in the fish restaurants), Agde dozed off. And even pauperized.
A walk in the old urban core proves it. Occupied by an often inactive population, it accommodates a large gypsy community in difficult conditions.
Reopening of the Villa Laurens
But a wind of renewal has recently swept the beautiful Greek woman. Initiated by local institutions and artists, unoccupied doorsteps are now taken over by artisans.
There are nearly thirty of them, sculptors, visual artists, screen printers, jewelers … federated around the Galerie de la Perle Noire.
This momentum is symbolized by the reopening of Villa Laurens.
In an Art Nouveau style, the building of an avant-garde Agathois dandy is on the way to becoming a hotbed of contemporary art.
Nautical games on the Hérault
The focus on the old town of Agde must finish arousing curiosity.
From the top of the steeple of Saint-Etienne cathedral, the view covers the Hérault river (nautical jousts in summer) and the Canal du Midi.
We are almost at the end of Pierre-Paul Riquet’s work.
To stand out, the canal here offers a marina and a unique round lock in working order.
In Agde and Cap’Agde, history and entertainment come together in an astonishing tourist shortcut.
Located in the old center, this 3-star hotel with modern rooms is the newest in the city. Housed in a historic building. From 55 € per night. No restaurant.
– Wine Number Workshop : 24, rue Honoré Muratet, Agde. facebook.com/ateliernumerovin
The favorite place for new traders in old Agde. Planchas, Hérault wines … Good atmosphere.