The huge advantage of riding the waves of the Mediterranean Sea via the boat tour is that we had a great view at the entire coastline of France. The tour took us from Gruissan all the way to Narbonne Plage and returned in a huge U turn back to the harbour of Gruissan. During the boat tour we saw the Clape massif covered with fragrant pine forests, the shoreline with its beaches of golden sand, some beautiful beaches with sea lagoons and some of the AOC vineyards. It truly is great fun.
During the trip it is also very nice to simply enjoy the sunshine once you’re on the deck. Sitting at a bench, enjoy the view and getting a tan is one of the most used pleasures at the trip. Once we returned at the Étang du Grazel area the boat slowed down and one final surprise for us up in one’s sleeve. Someone of the crew went to the boarder of the deck and threw some bread high in the air. Within a matter of a few seconds there were sea-gulls all over the place that started picking the pieces of bread out of the air. Some very spectacular diving flights of the birds as a result. But anyway, we returned save in the beautiful marina and loved the great experience we had.
However don’t expect too much of this boat trip. It’s not like you’re going to stop at pretty ports, have a stop at beautiful deserted beaches, stay at magnificent islands. So, don’t expect an unique experience that reveals the secret gems of the Mediterranean and its islands to you. So, what to expect from it all? Well, that is quite easy: the trip is leaving the port, navigate all the way to Narbonne Plage, turn around and in one straight line back to the port of Gruissan. It’s quite straight and plain!
But even though it was this straight forward we did enjoy the trip. For starters it is just great to sail through the beautiful marina. It gives a nice view at this magnificent harbor from the water instead of the land. After that the trip through the Étang du Grazel area gave us more than enough to see. We saw a huge ferris wheel, some ship wrecks and people waving from the land to us. We just kept on following the walls of the jetty all the way to the small light house that was on the end of it. By passing the light house we entered the rough sea water of the Mediterranean. Hold on and enjoy the ride!
If you want to discover the truly Mediterranean character of this area, don't miss a stop at Gruissan. This is what was told us in advance before we had a visit planned to Gruissan. Going to Gruissan means discovering a Mediterranean port, a spectacular part of the country, people and their history. The resort also offers a marina and sailing school, beach volleyball, game fishing, a casino and … boat trips. Before we decided to visit Gruissan we had no idea that we were going to do this, but once in the marina we could not resist the temptation of booking a trip and enjoy the sun and views from the water. We were not sorry for it.
Do keep in mind that Gruissan is a major yachting centre of the western Mediterranean. The marina is particularly attractive, with many waterside restaurants where you can sample the local seafood. We walked our way round the quays and admired the yachts belonging to the rich and famous. Of course you’re able to hire a boat and learn to sail, but we booked an excursion that is available throughout the season, it took us along the coast. Booking the tickets was easy via a kiosk at the water side and the prices were mild. The boats leaves every 30 minutes, so booking in advance is not necessary.
Walking in the marina is quite a pleasure. The weather was good, the sun was shining, it gave us an ultimate holiday feeling. There are small restaurants dotted around the harbour offering a variety of types of food from Spanish Tapas to French dishes. There is plenty of sea food on offer because the French are very partial to all kinds. Numerous small boutiques offer the sort of clothing and mementos that tourist like but they are not tatty, merely a bit pricy. The area is a very pleasant place to walk round looking at the new and modern houses, some of them built in the local stone.
Our main goal at the marina was to book a trip on a boat tour, which we did. But even though it was this straight forward we did enjoy that particular trip. For starters it is just great to sail through the beautiful marina. It gives a nice view at this magnificent harbor from the water instead of the land. It is also fun to pass a nice part of the harbour. Passing the light house is fun, but there is right in the middle of it a stage on which artists do perform during the evening, giving a very nice effect to the marina. So our conclusion is that for those who like active holidays on the water Gruissan has developed into a very useful location.
We walked our way via the water side over the Boulevard de la Corderie and enjoyed the views we had over the harbour itself. By the way, don’t forget to watch into the water, because it reveals some nice secrets to you. Because of the bright water we saw a lot of small and big fishes swimming around. Highlight of viewing the water was for us finding a “water snail”. I am not sure whether this is the correct English word for it, but do have a look at the picture and you know what I mean. It truly was huge and moved in the water slowly, making it easy to have a picture made of it.
For those who would like to carry out maintenance work or need to repair their boat, the marina Port Gruissan has a lift for boats up to 45 tons. We saw that the basic needs are well met, because it has water, electricity and a gas station. The marina also has nautical services available. After reading about this we continued our walk over the boulevard and were able to cross the marina by a beautiful bridge which is lighted up during the evening giving the marina something special.
Gruissan was originally a fishing village on a small island surrounded by marshland. The narrow streets of Gruissan village encircle the ruined 13th century castle tower. In recent years a modern yachting marina, with holiday apartment buildings around the palm-lined quays, has turned it into a nice destination in the Languedoc. For us the main goal for visiting Gruissan was a boat trip over the Mediterranean Sea starting at the harbor of Gruissan. We truly had no idea what the expect of the marina at all. At first we had a rather short visit to the old town of Gruissan and after that we headed towards the much modern part of this village. The contrast is high, but makes it maybe even more interested to visit Gruissan in the first place. It is good to know that there is a large parking lot at the Cap Gruissan where we could park the car for free. This is situated very near the harbor and therefore easy to get there by foot.
Once we parked the car we hiked our way via the Boulevard de la Corderie along the waterside. We sometimes stopped walking just to have a good view at the marina, which is beautiful from this spot. At a sign we read that this marina is a so called large-capacity marina. It has room for so called medium size boats. The largest boats are of a maximum length of up to 30 meters and a maximum draught of 3 meters. Good to know, isn’t it ? LOL
Gruissan truly has a beautiful and picturesque old town built in concentric circles round a Barberousse fort that dominated the entrance to the etangs-lagoons. Driving towards Gruissan just makes you simply want to visit the old town. I can make this tip more interesting by maybe stating a lot of facts, but to be honest we just visited the old town for less than 30 minutes, because our main goal for visiting Gruissan was the new modern marina and a nice boat trip over the Mediterranean Sea.
But like I said, driving towards Gruissan make you want to visit this old historical part of the town. We just did it, but less than 30 minutes. A quick drive to the central square, taking two pictures and heading over towards the marina was exactly the time we spended here. Of course a true shame, but it was simply a fact. We immediately noticed that despite the ongoing development the old village maintained a truly lively spirit with an unique atmosphere of an old fishing harbour. We appreciated the numerous sea food restaurants.
Over a total surface area of 392 ha between the sea and the island of St Martin, you'll find the salt-works. A old agricultural technique makes it possible to gain 30000 tons of salt every year. The harvest, in September, in entirely mechanised and is calles "Fleur de sel"...
It's a short steep climb to the top... With a nice view : at one side the sea and the new village, at the other side the vineyards and the mountains...