Beaucaire, a town of Art and History famous for its old fairs which drew crowds in the 17th and 19th centuries located Occitanie region of Southern France.
Perched on the banks of the Rhone, Beaucaire gained the UK’s attention when it renamed one of its roads ‘Rue du Brexit’ following the 2016 EU Referendum. Like its neighbour across the river, Tarascon (home to the mythical Tarasque), the Gard town has its own legendary beast -the Drac, another dragon-like demon.
Don’t worry, you’re unlikely to bump into him – unless you come face-to-face with his sculpture in the Place de la Republique!
WHAT CAN I SEE AND DO?
There are plenty of beautiful buildings to see in Beaucaire, but one of the most unusual must be the troglodytic abbey, just north of the town proper. The Abbey of Saint-Roman, parts of which date back to the 9th century, is hollowed out of a limestone hill and was abandoned for years until it was bought by the town in 1988. Following the trail from the town to reach it, you can admire the monks’ cells, the chapel and eventually soak in the view over the Gard countryside from the scenic terrace.
In the town centre, the ruined Chateau de Beaucaire makes for an interesting diversion. Enjoy the scenery from the ramparts and don’t miss the accompanying small museum.
South of the town, Le Vieux Mas offers a traditional French farm experience, suitable for all the family – some French knowledge helps (vieux-mas.com).
WHERE CAN I EAT AND DRINK?
In Beaucaire’s port district, Le Vintage is known for its generous portions and canalside views (the Canal du Rhone a Sete passes through Beaucaire). Try the AOP Camarguais beef (mains from €16, levintagebeaucaire.fr). The town is well known locally for its craft beer made from Camargue rice – a taste sensation. The brewery, Brasserie Artisanale de Beaucaire, also concocts unusual beers made from chestnuts of the Montagne Noire region.
WHERE CAN I STAY?
Stay at the family home turned hotel, the Domaine des Clos, set amid an 18th-century winery. This boutique address has its own on-site massage and wellbeing centre, so the perfect place for a relaxing break after a day of sightseeing (rooms from €100, domaine-des-clos.com).
GET ME THERE!
Fly to Montpellier from London with easyJet; from there, Beaucaire is a 1 hr 15min drive away.
For more information, visit provence-camargue-tourisme.com