The must-sees of Frontignan
Between vine cultivation and natural areas as far as the eye can see, Frontignan is full of treasures to discover during your stay: the municipal museum of Frontignan; the old salt marshes... To help you with your programme, we've put together a list of the must-sees with a little bonus!
There is the Lido of Paris and, in a slightly more natural genre, but just as surprising, the lido of Frontignan, this sublime strip of land which separates the sea from the ponds, which you will love to cycle around. We warn you right away: underwater adventurers will not be able to resist a little diving, and then rest on its 7 km of beaches.
In Frontignan, you can also explore the splendid muscatel vineyards and fill your lungs with the fresh air and the delicate scent of Aleppo pine, a very common species in the region.
The Frontignan discovery tour
On this tour through the heart of the town of Frontignan, you will find traces of its history in the urban landscape: archaeological remains, fragments of ramparts... The small streets of the original pentagon intersect and intertwine around the town hall.
Among the stops, don't miss the municipal museum which will take you back in time; the old ramparts where the view is breathtaking; or the canal from the Rhône to Sète.
The museum of Frontignan
While exploring Frontignan and its main monuments, be sure to visit the museum of Frontignan (free of charge). Classified as a Musée de France, it reveals its riches behind the doors of the former chapel of the Pénitents Blancs, built in 1642, including five semi-permanent collections.
Wind your way through the aisles and floors to (re)discover Frontignan in a new light with the exhibition :
- "Frontignan, la maritime" where archaeological objects from the plateau des Aresquiers are presented, including the only two Napoleonic wrecks in France, as well as a selection of 19th century wrecks.
- "Frontignan, la viticole", where you will be immersed in the adventure of the Frontignan Muscat winegrowers since Antiquity.
- "Frontignan, the jouster" where you will be told the whole history of the Languedoc jousts since their first appearance on the Ingril pond in 1627.
- "Frontignan, l'industrielle" (Frontignan, the industrial town) which tells the story of the Pielles district, the sulphur industry district in Frontignan from 1888 to 1989.
- "Frontignan, la pénitente" which presents documents and objects from the daily life of the lay White Penitents, attested to as early as the 16th century.
The church of Saint-Paul de Frontignan
Not far from the museum of Frontignan stands proudly the church of Saint-Paul de Frontignan since the 12th century. Restored on several occasions, this historical monument is one of the must-see places in the area for the breathtaking view it offers.
Indeed, the building has the particularity of being flanked by a watchtower and sentry boxes which ran along the roofs and allowed surveillance. Today, two of them allow you to enjoy a panoramic view of the whole of the Muscadière town.
The old salt pans of Frontignan
The salt pans of Frontignan offer a beautiful panorama of remarkable aquatic and salty environments full of surprises. Starting from the Bois des Aresquiers in Vic-la-Gardiole, the magnificent hike "Les Aresquiers" (9 km / 3h), offers hikers and mountain bikers the opportunity to explore these special settings formerly exploited by man.
We are here between land and sea. There are the salt pans, of course, but also the string of ponds (Vic, Pierre Blanche, Ingril) classified as a Natura 2000 zone. It is thus in the middle of these flooded lands that we walk, astonished by this so particular nature which surrounds us.
The water is often only a thin layer in which long-legged birds come to wade to fish for their meal. The path winds over thin strips of land inhabited by reeds or pampas grass that dance lightly in the sea breeze. As we pass, the herons take flight.
A few wooden footbridges allow us to straddle the incredible fauna of these marshes without damaging it. The sansouires, or "salt meadows", reveal their saltwort, saladelles ("sea lavender") and other vernacular plants growing on these salty wetlands which crackle nicely on hot days. On the way back, the majestic pines of the Aresquiers wood offer a pleasant shade and a delicious smell of resin.
The Gardiole massif
A little further south, the Gardiole massif, nestled between Montpellier and Sète, continues to charm hikers with its scenery combining canyons and hills in the heart of which the paths blend into the vegetation.
The Saint-Félix-de-Montceau abbey awaits us and marks the start of the "Autour de l'abbaye" trail. During the walk, we discover these reliefs that shape the landscape. Under our feet, the limestone rockery accompanies us, in the middle of this sparse scrubland.
The Gardiole massif is classified as a natural zone of ecological, faunistic and floristic interest" (ZNIEFF) for its remarkable character. So listen carefully, you will surely hear the chirping of warblers or the rustling of green lizards in the grass...
Open your eyes wide, you will also enjoy the panoramic views of the Thau lagoon or the sea.
The highlights of Frontignan
Famous for its Muscat wine, Frontignan honours this divine nectar in July with the Muscat festival and three important events: the Muscat tables, a chef in the vineyards and the Musc'Halles.
But not everything revolves around Muscat! The city continues to perpetuate its traditions through the Fête de la Mer, the Fête du Port de plaisance and the jousting tournaments; to highlight the local produce of the destination during the Estivales de Thau or to reveal authors during the Festival International du Roman Noir.
Find all the highlights of Frontignan in our dedicated article.
Nature and adventure are on the agenda for your day in Vic-la-Gardiole and its surroundings. There is no shortage of ideas for walks from the old village.
You can choose to walk or cycle 9 km along the Vic and Ingril ponds, enjoy hiking in the magnificent pine woods of Les Aresquiers or swap your walking stick for your swimming costume on the beach of the same name.