Agde, France...like a romantic old French movie.
Agde, France, is a small village, with a population in 22,487 (2008) and includes Cap d'Agde, the seaside resort, which is just a mile south on the Mediterranean Sea. It’s in the department of Herault, lined by the River Herault and in the Languedoc-Roussillon Region.
Agde (525 B.C.) is one of the oldest towns in France, right behind Béziers (575 B.C.) and Marseilles (600 B.C.). Agde was a 5th-century B.C. Greek colony settled by Phocaenas from the ancient city of Massilia (modern Marseilles).
To be clear, Agde includes both a village as well as the resort. As a result, you can have the best of both worlds: the quiet village and the tourist area.
I had just spent a glorious week in Madrid and Barcelona, touring and over eating and over drinking with a friend from St. Petersburg, Florida. Jaci and I had a wonderful time and I would love to do it again. Yet, I was also looking forward to some down time. Fortunately, I found Agde.
I’m staying in an 800-year old petite house (Airbnb) in the quiet village portion of Agde. Well, it’s quiet, at least, until the farmers’ markets open up in the center of town. The Wednesday market has a nice offering of clothes, shoes, collectable and antiques. The Thursday market is huge with everything, including amazing foods, both prepared and raw. The stalls, tents and bins are chock full of cheeses, meats, sausage, vegetables, and fruits. People come from miles around to this Thursday market. I fought through a massive crowd all day long. It was a blast.
The village enjoys a handful of ethnic restaurants, including Mexican and Indian. All close daily between 1:30 and 4:00-5:00...although, I'm not positive this timeline is completely accurate. Rather, owners can close on any day at a whim. More upscale restaurants attached to the dock actually float on the River Herault which leads to the Mediterranean Sea. I found only two grocery stores, but quite a few vegetable stands. And, only three ATM’s, all clustered on one side of the village.
Few people speak English and I speak no French, I’m embarrassed to say. But, it’s easy to get along. And, the people are very friendly here, especially compared to those in Paris. That’s a nice change.
The old stone buildings and side streets are decorated with vines, trees and colorful flowers, especially pink, white, and magenta orliander. I also saw a community theatre a couple of blocks from my little house. I hope to see a play before I leave.
Agde is a wonderfully peaceful setting and when you want to go to the beach to visit the touristy Cap d'Agde, you can take a taxi, the boat cab, a bike on the bike trail along the River, or, do what I do: walk. An hour's stroll is a great chance to see everything along the River, including hundreds of boats, all sorts of birds, colorful homes, and at least two camp sites.
I love it here, especially when the church bells ring. I walk to the bakery every morning for my daily bread and stop for a pastry and coffee on my way home.
I feel like I’m in a romantic French movie. Maybe, the 1958 "La Piscine." Do you know it? With only four characters, it's described as a "deliciously languid, slinkily unsettling affair... includes a Mediterranean villa, and sun, sex and...suspicion. Actress Romy Schneider is all feline elegance and sphinx-like intelligence as the girlfriend of brooding wastrel Alain Delon. Their erotically charged St Tropez sojourn is interrupted by the arrival of flamboyantly smug Maurice Ronet with teenage jail-bait daughter Jane Birkin in tow. Little is said, but past indiscretions hang in the air." (TimeOut Paris)
Sounds yummy and full of intrigue, especially with Mediterranean Sea, sun, sex. Alas, I digress. (I wonder if I can see it again...maybe Netflix. Do you know of other French movies that reflect this area of France. If you do, send me suggestions, please.)
I’m so happy that I rented my three-story stone house for two weeks, until July 24. I will take the train three hours to Marseilles and be there until August first. Then? Not sure yet. Aw...what a life, eh?
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Check out the Agde, France Gallery to see the pics I took of the village and the resort area of Agde.