Looking for stunning views and a warm climate? The ancient fishing port of Marseillan offers this and more

 

MARSEILLAN, Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon

Sitting on a shimmering lagoon, just 50km from the city of Montpellier in the Hérault département, Marseillan has all the sepiatinged charm of Saint-Tropez circa 1960, without the prohibitive prices.

The ancient fishing port in sun-dappled Languedoc is not only steeped in history (it was founded in 6BC), but ticks many boxes for savvy house-hunters keen for a slice of the good life in the south of France. It certainly has a few aces up its sleeve. The picture-perfect nook boasts stunning views and an enviably warm climate with mild winters and summer temperatures reaching the mid-30s. It is criss-crossed by a maze of enchanting narrow streets and is also the centre of production of the well-known Noilly Prat vermouth.

The Etang de Thau on which it sits is the largest of a string of salt-water lagoons along the Languedoc coast and covers about 7,500 hectares. Teeming with marine life, the vast Etang is a protected environment and leisure activities are strictly controlled to safeguard this eco-sensitive zone. Despite this, it has plenty to offer water sports enthusiasts, with nautical activities available from sailing, sea kayaking and windsurfing, to kitesurfing and scuba diving.

The protection of this unspoilt stretch of water is good news for foodies, as its well stocked and unpolluted waters ensure a constant supply of the area’s famous oysters and fresh shellfish. It’s hardly surprising then that Marseillan has gained a reputation as a gourmet hotspot with throngs of tempting seafood restaurants lining its quais. Nearby Marseillan Plage is a popular seaside resort, with a long sandy beach and a bustling port with plenty of attractions – just the spot to nab a holiday home.

While property on the Mediterranean coast is notoriously pricey, you can snap up a piedà-terre in Marseillan for a lot less than you might expect. Studios and small apartments are very reasonable at around €80,000. Villas with coveted views over the Etang de Thau start from just €300,000.

There is convenient access to the area with regular flights from the UK to Toulouse, Montpellier, Perpignan and Carcassonne airports. The TGV high-speed train service also runs to Montpellier and Toulouse.

With thanks to our partner agencies in Marseillan

 

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