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Lodève - a riverside market town

Lodève is a stunning riverside market town set in the hills of the Hérault department in the south of France. Some 80 kilometres inland from the Mediterranean Sea, it is surrounded by a typically Mediterranean landscape of olive groves, vineyards and rocky crags. Lodève itself is both historic and attractive. Lying on the Lergue River, the town has a rich heritage and a vibrant atmosphere. Its buildings have an air of slightly shabby elegance, and the overall effect is charming.

About town

Lodève has plenty of handy shops and services, so staying or living in the town makes for an easy lifestyle. Market day is Saturday, and the best of the action takes place early in the morning, so don't lie in bed too long before grabbing your basket and heading downtown to browse. The market here is typically Mediterranean, offering local produce (plump olives, ripe peaches, delicious wines) as well as crafts and fabrics. There are a couple of supermarkets as well for those days when convenience takes place over tradition. Lodève has all the usual essentials such as schools, medical and dental services, banks, hairdressers too, so there's no need to leave town unless you want to!

Cultural events, as well as fairs and festivals to enjoy

Lodève is a lively town, especially in the sun-baked summer months. There are fairs and festivals to enjoy, concerts, exhibitions and numerous other cultural events to attend. The town carries the title "city of art and history", and it certainly lives up to its billing. An event to catch if you can is the International Poetry Festival, "Voices of the Mediterranean".

Heritage to explore

Lodève is a good sized town that offers quite a few interesting things to see. The dominating feature is the Gothic Cathedral of Saint Fulcran. Dating from the 13th century, the cathedral has many interesting features and definitely warrants a visit. The adjacent Bishop's Palace is also well worth a look. Further heritage in town includes a fifteen-metre high tower that was once part of the old fortifications of Lodève, and a monument to the dead created by the town's famous son, sculptor Paul Dardé.

Sports and outdoor activities to try

Lodève offers many different sports and outdoor activities to suit all tastes and ages. Canoeing and kayaking are available both on the River Lergue and on nearby Lake Salagou. Other adventurous sports are possible, with caving, climbing and canyoning all available nearby. Then there are several good golf courses within easy reach, horse-riding stables, swimming pools and walking trails.

Places to visit near Lodève

The Languedoc is an incredible region in so many ways. Follow the Cathar trail, exploring places like the mysterious Rennes les Châteaux as mentioned in the Da Vinci Code, and of course, the historic and beautiful cities of Béziers and Carcassonne. Montpellier is a fabulous city to explore too, and one of the liveliest in the region. The Mediterranean coast is near enough for days at the seaside, and offers lots of activities like scuba diving and sailing as well as simple swimming and sunbathing.

How to get there

With airports and TGV stations at both Béziers and Montpellier, travelling to the area from the UK is really easy. If you're driving, follow the A75 auto route, exiting at Junction 52, marked for Lodève.

Property prices and availability in and around Lodève

So, you would think property in an historic town of art and history in the south of France, set close to the Mediterranean, is going to be out of reach financially. Think again! Right now in Lodève, you can pick up a lovely little house, right on the river, for as little as 77,000 Euros. Although, of course, if you are seeking property at the higher end of the market, Lodève can also offer a fabulous chateau for a cool 1,100,000 Euros.

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Lodève AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Lodève?

Lodève lies in the north of the department of the Hérault, in the south of France.

Lodève Property Map

IN THE REGION OF LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON

Languedoc-Roussillon Guide

Languedoc-Roussillon Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF HÉRAULT

Hérault Guide

  Hérault Map


Population: 7,638


Access: By air: Fly to Béziers or Montpellier direct from the UK. By rail: The TGV runs to both Béziers and Montpellier. By road: Lodève is located just off the A75 auto route.


Economy: The economy involves viticulture, soft fruit growing and carpet manufacture.


Interesting fact: The name of the town doesn't really do it justice at all. It translates as "The Muddy Place", or "Swamp City". But rest assured, it's not a fair description these days!

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