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1 HOTEL IN Narbonne


Steeped in its Roman and medieval past, Narbonne captures the sun-drenched beauty of Southwest France

Tucked away in the lush heart of the Occitanie region, eight miles from the Mediterranean coast, Narbonne is an undulating tapestry of vineyards, salt marshes and lagoons. Once a major river port during the Roman era, there’s plenty to satisfy wine, art and archaeology lovers. Stroll around medieval cobbled streets and along the Canal de la Robine that slowly meanders through the city. Visit palatial museums, or simply relax in a charming bistro with a glass of full-bodied, fruity Fitou.

Things To Do

Founded in 118 AD, Narbonne was named after Narbo Martius – Rome’s oldest colony in Gaul. Today, you can gaze up at the extraordinarily high ceilings and intricate carvings of the ‘unfinished’ 13th century Cathedral of Saint-Just. Watch the sun glint through the stained glass windows of Fontfroide Abbey, founded in 1093 by Benedictine monks. And discover how the Romans stored their food and drink in the tunnels and chambers of the Horreum Romain which stretches for hundreds of metres underground.

Fill up on all the sights, sounds and delicious aromas at the famous Les Halles de Narbonne. In this 19th century, Baltard-style indoor market, everyone from bakers and butchers, charcutiers and cheese makers, to fishmongers and florists, gather to sell their locally produced gourmet fare. Explore art collections, old and new, at the Palais-Musée des Archevêques. And for an oasis of calm in the centre of town, the Archbishop’s Garden, with its citrus fruit trees and centuries-old cedars, will make you smile with its amusingly oversized park bench and a fountain that’s also a sundial. 

Like its characterful wines, Narbonne’s climate is perfectly balanced. Mild winters follow hot, sun-drenched summers. And fresh sea breezes cool the vines overnight which helps prevent the grapes from ripening too fast. Whether you’re a connoisseur or novice, there are plenty of wine-tasting tours of the Languedoc-Roussillon vineyards to choose from, including a private visit to the acclaimed Château l'Hospitalet that specialises in biodynamic farming.

Top Tip from SLH

Narbonne’s ancient origins are right under your feet. Spot the grooves made by chariot wheels in an excavated section of the Via Domitia Roman road.