The week of the Feria in August sees the city at its most frenetic, but it can be difficult to find accommodation or flights to Beziers at a reasonable price during that time. The Feria is the biggest event of the year in the Languedoc- Roussillon region, attracting one million people annually. There various things to do and events to attend such as bullfights, music and parties that will keep you entertained until the early hours of the morning. The Feria is to Béziers what the carnival is to Rio.
The peak season in July and August can be uncomfortably hot, but the Mediterranean climate is at its most idyllic in May or September, when the streets are also less likely to be thronged with tourists. Prices drop significantly out of season, in February, March, October and November, but direct international flights become less frequent. However travellers on a budget will be able to benefit from cheap flights to Beziers during these periods.
If you are a fan of fine wine, you will be pleased to know that once arriving on your flight to Beziers you will have landed in the hub of the Languedoc wine country of southern France. An ancient city that can trace its origins back to the 5th-century BC, its history has always been entwined with the famous vineyards. The locals exported white wine to Rome under the empire and the wine trade remains the dominant business in the region. The centre of the small city features an atmospheric warren of medieval lanes, some notable examples of Gothic architecture and the striking 14th-century cathedral of Saint-Nazaire looming over the city from the top of a steep hill. The Orb River forms a natural boundary to the old town, with the Pont Vieux bridge a picturesque point of entry and photo opportunity for visitors. When the city was enjoying its commercial heyday in the Belle Epoque in the mid-19th century it laid out the elegant English-style park, the Plateau Des Poetes, with statues, ponds and stylish avenues lined with lime or palm trees. It makes an ideal refuge when the old town gets too hot or crowded. Diners congregate in the old quarter’s cluster of unpretentious restaurants, many of which serve traditional Languedoc dishes, savoury pastries and rich fish stews. Tourists come mostly for the wine, although the five-day Feria de Beziers in mid-August attracts around a million visitors to see bull-fighting. It’s the French equivalent of Spain’s Pamplona fiesta, with the streets full of impromptu entertainment, all accompanied by vast amounts of the local wine. Rugby is the other local sporting passion. Beziers is home to one of France’s most famous clubs, with matches at the Stade de la Mediterranee.
The compact old centre of Beziers is best explored on foot, although the climb up to the cathedral can be a little invigorating. A variety of themed walking tours are available from the tourist office, and it is also possible to take boat trips on the Orb or along the canals. Outside the central area, the Occitan metropolitan bus service is convenient for connections to the train station, inter-city bus station and the out-of-town retail malls.
Visitors taking flights to Beziers Cap D’Agde airport (BZR) will find a shuttle bus service is timed to coincide with flight arrivals. The journey time to Beziers is around 30 minutes. Taxis are available immediately outside the arrivals hall. Fares are charged at a standard rate so the driver should be able to give a close estimate of the cost before the journey.