This former fishing village with its traditional Mediterranean architecture of Languedoc, is also a seaside resort offering a host of watersports jetski, sailing, windsurfing, funboard… ) and beautiful fine, sand beaches for families to enjoy. Even deep-sea fishing fans will find what they’re looking for here…
A listed “20th-Century Heritage” port: inspired by the work of architect Le Corbusier, the first buildings emerged in 1973 in the form of a new marina. In order to break away from the “concrete coastline” appearance, architects banished repetitive rows of buildings.
Volumes and heights were to vary, giving way to recesses and supple lines and never going beyond seven storeys. Architect Raymond Gleize, who had travelled in North Africa, was inspired by the traditional architecture of the Maghreb, where many buildings have rounded roofs that are more suited to local weather conditions. Gruissan welcomes the famous “camels”.
The famous beach of des Chalets
The beach’s stilted chalets built in the early 20th century were haphazardly constructed from wooden planks by temporary inhabitants. With sparse furniture and no water or power supply, they served as weekend getaways and holiday homes. The first examples were built by local retailers and winegrowers.
Live in beach of des Chalets
Decades later, made famous by the shooting of the famous film by Jean-Jacques Beineix, “Betty Blue”, the beach of Les Chalets became an institution close to the hearts of the people of Gruissan as well as the resort’s loyal fans.
Nowadays it is considered to be one of the most unique beaches of Aude. It is first and foremost a family destination, where several generations have met up in the numbered rows (10 in all) that stand along the 2-kilometre sandy beach.
The Massif de la Clape
This is nature in all its splendour, with pine forest, garrigue and vineyard as far as the eye can see, exceptional plant life, especially in spring, and a wonderful array of pine, thyme, rosemary and other fabulous fragrances! The Massif de la Clape also offers an abundance of hiking routes, bridle paths and mountain bike trails…
Along the way you’ll come across steles and cenotaphs to the memory of sailors lost at sea, and a beautiful garden with a stone house, the so-called Maison de l’Ermite (hermit’s house). Take the time to read the names on the steles and ponder on all those families torn apart by the harsh cruelty of life at sea!
The Gruissanais Saunier
On Gruissan’s salt marshes, the white gold unveils some of its secrets on a visit to the Museum devoted to its history where you can also try some deliciously savoury dishes.
Besides salt harvesting, oyster farming is another local activity. A variety of oyster species, like Barberousse, Casanova, Fleur de Sel and the Spéciale from Saint-Martin Island are all gems to delight the palate of even the finest connoisseur.
At La Cambuse du Saunier, you’ll find succulent pleasures to treat your tastebuds while feasting your eyes on the pink-tinged views over the Gruissan salt marsh.
Vieille Nouvelle beach
This is probably Aude’s most unspoilt beach. The “Vieille” (old) as it is known is a vast stretch of sand. From one year to another, the wind transforms it from a despairingly flat beach to a range of rolling dunes.
Difficult to reach via its 2 km track, this beach is also heaven for windsurfers who have all the space they need to build up some impressive speeds.
Part of this beach is set aside for naturists.