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Sigean - salt lakes and safari parks...

Sigean, a small market town which lies in the Aude department of the south of France, is blessed with several unusual features. Firstly, it has a great location, being close to the Mediterranean Sea and even closer to the amazing salt lakes, or inland seas, known locally as the Étangs de Sigean. Then, to add to its natural advantages, Sigean has a superb man-made attraction, that of an excellent and extensive safari park or "Réserve Africaine".

Sigean at work...

Sigean is a colourful and bustling little town, typically Mediterranean, with a good range of shops and services and a thriving economic life, mainly based around tourism. There are schools, doctors, banks and cash points, a cinema and two general markets held every week, giving you a chance to shop the traditional way.

Sigean at play

Sigean is not just about every day facilities, however, as it has the joyful spirit of all Mediterranean towns, perhaps nurtured by centuries of hot sunshine, salt air and happy holiday makers. Sigean is very definitely a place to have fun, to make the most of the wonderful gifts that God bestowed upon the south when he created France, and a place where you take life at a pace dictated only by your own desires.

Dining out in Sigean

In Sigean you can choose where to eat and drink from a good variety of restaurants, cafés and bars, and you can choose whether to sample the locally caught seafood from the Étangs, or to opt for something more traditionally French, such as cassoulet, also famed throughout the region.

Activities on offer

Sigean has many more promises to make you, such as that you will enjoy great facilities for tennis, swimming, fishing, horse-riding, walking... in fact, Sigean promises that you will never regret coming to the town!

L'Oppidum de Pech Maho

Three kilometres from Sigean is an ancient archaeological site which is worth a look, L'Oppidum de Pech Maho, which dates back to 3BC. You can find artefacts from here in a small archaeological museum in Sigean itself, near the tourist office.

Réserve Africaine - Sigean's safari park

Whatever you do in Sigean, you really should set aside a day to enjoy the superb safari park that brings thousands flocking to the town every year. The Réserve Africaine is huge, with vast areas of park set aside for bears, lions, hippos, giraffes and other fascinating species. You enter each area and drive through in your own car and in your own time, so you can really enjoy the experience of seeing animals free to roam and to enjoy life in a natural environment. The weather is usually so good in Sigean that many of these animals probably don't even realise they have left Africa! The park has children's play areas, picnic spots and tea rooms, and there is even a shop where you can purchase cuddly reminders of the animals you have seen.

Out and about

Spending time in the open air is a fact of life in Sigean, whose climate is one of the best and sunniest in France. The salt lakes, or étangs, offer a chance to see a way of life that has taken place in the south of France for centuries, a life based on the unique ecology of the lagoons, and the catching of the delicious shellfish that live in these inner seas. Spend some time there... you won't be disappointed.

Other parts of the region worth exploring

The rest of the region is also more than worth exploring. The tragic Cathar history of the Aude awaits discovery with the gorgeous Cité of Carcassonne, the historic and once besieged city of Béziers, and the Templar mysteries of Rennes les Château. There are subterranean caves to explore, Roman ruins to see and some amazingly attractive walks and cycle tracks to follow. Then of course there is Spain, which is near enough to do in a day trip.

How to get there

Reaching Sigean from the UK is remarkably inexpensive and easy, thanks to the budget airlines who serve the local airports. Ryanair fly into Carcassonne, Montpellier, Perpignan and NÓmes, while Toulouse is served by British Airways, easyJet, flybe, Jet2 and bmi. Trains also run to the area, with Narbonne having a TGV station making rail travel all the way from the UK swift and straightforward. Drivers can access Sigean from the A9 auto route. It is well signposted... just look for the safari park posters which seem to be everywhere!

Property prices and availability in and around Sigean

Sigean is situated in a very desirable area, hence prices for property are not low. The area is unlikely to lose popularity, though, so buying a property here should still prove to be a wise investment.

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Sigean AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Sigean?

Sigean is located in the south of France, near the Mediterranean coast. It lies in the east of the Aude department.

Sigean Property Map

IN THE REGION OF LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON

Languedoc-Roussillon Guide

Languedoc-Roussillon Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF AUDE

Aude Guide

  Aude Map


Population: 5,200


Access: By air: Fly to Carcassonne, Montpellier, Perpignan or Nîmes. By rail: The TGV runs to Narbonne. By rail: The A9 auto route will get you close to Sigean.


Economy: The economy is based on tourism.


Interesting fact: Sigean has an excellent safari park, known as the Réserve Africaine.


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