My first love affair with Gruissan was a climb to the top of Redbeard's
(Barbarousse) tower. The sun baking the ground, and the views across the
etang and the Med. That was 25 years ago. The village has expanded
- slowly growing from its role in the 10th century protecting entry to
Narbonne, to the progressive village it is today with a myriad of facilities.
Its a village full of contrasts - from the small village streets to the
60s modern marina, half tat and half cream. Its a village enjoying reinventing
itself, with many events, venues, clubs, new homes existing side by side
with the beauties of nature.
Old industries of is seen in the sea salt farms,
with giant hills of salt - "Camelles", in differing shades of brown and
white, and the flat "fields" of salt water. Visit the salt museum
at Les Salins du Midi (March 1 - Oct 31 open) - museum guided tour, walks.
The present salt works produces
about 30,000 tons of salt a year.
For wine, vineyards, and the
future of viniculture in and around Gruissan - visit Pech Rouge with its
City of Wine, and discover the life of the vine from soil to vine, from
to wine. Trace traditional methods to the cutting edge. Pech Rouge is
instructive and eye opening for young and old alike. If you seeking film
glamor visit actor (Le Grand Blond avec une chaussure noire) Pierre Richard's vineyard, at Château Bel Evèque,
on Route des Salins. If you are seeking fine dining and wine tasting,
sometimes in a jazz atmosphere, go to Chateau Le Bouis.
On June 29 Fete de St Pierre (*Patron Saint of Gruissan and fishermen),
see the blessing of the boats, the parades, the processions, that herald
this long tradition that still lives on in the village. There are 23
fishing enterprises that catch fish - with a variety of mackerel,
sardine, sea bass, mullet, sea bream and flat fish including sole, turbot
brill, as well as "farming methods" that bring in oysters,
and mussels. As a holiday maker you could perhaps help land fish - pulling
from the sea. For pleasure from big yachts to small boats - all can be
seen at the large marina.
In reverence of the fishermen, and sailors world wide, as well as experience
a lovely walk amongst pine trees, visit chapel Notre Dame des Auzils,
atop the Massif de la Clape. Walk a path, with cenotaphs - memorials
to sailors lost at sea, gradually climbing the hillside, past a herb
garden, a hermits cave, to the chapel. Here there is a lovely view of
the coast line, as well on entering the chapel you will find an interesting
collection of paintings, ships models, memorials to the turbulance and
solitude of the sea.
Great beaches at Gruissan
View of Pyrenees
Beautiful village church of Gruissan