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Vue sur l'Orb, le pont suspendu et les toits de Cessenon

© Office de tourisme du canal du Midi au Saint-Chinian

Whether you are exploring the Saint-Chinian AOC vineyards or sailing down the Orb in a canoe, your gaze can’t help but be drawn to the keep of Cessenon-sur-Orb on the rocks above. Nestled between the Orb and the mountains, this village is both steeped in history and the ideal spot for leisure activities.

Cessenon-sur-Orb is one of the oldest settlements in Languedoc. Every street corner is a melting pot of Prehistoric, Visigothic, Saracen and Roman eras. Highlights include its medieval centre which features fortifications, a 12th century church and a 13-metre-high keep, and which you can explore via two routes that will transport you back through the ages. Key landmarks along the way include the town hall, the oil mill, the Fontaine Sucrée water fountain, the pilgrim house, the medieval house, the sarcophagus and its numerous chapels (Notre Dame de la Barthe (or La Capelanie) chapel, Saint Roch chapel, Sainte Anne chapel or La Capellette).

Fancy a snack or a drink? Stop by one of the terraced cafes or restaurants, which will welcome you with open arms.

The gush of the River Orb sets the pace as you walk around. This 145 km river stretches the length of the city walls, becoming narrower downstream at Réals. Let yourself be guided down to the suspended bridge crossing the river in the direction of the town campsite, where you can have a dip at the nearby white water beach. For even greater thrills, head to the Réals Canoe and Kayak base to experience the river’s alternating rapids and peaceful spots.

Outside the village, you’ll be enchanted by the undulating landscape where Saint-Chinian AOC vineyards snake through imposing green hills. Don’t miss visiting the Coumiac quarry, an example of the area’s rich geological heritage. And did you know that you can find a replica of the Statue of Liberty not far from Cessenon? It was made from a resin-based material by the Bartholdi de Colmar museum. The replica adorned the bow of a luxury cruise ship, the crème de la crème of the sea, which sailed across the Atlantic Ocean. The captain of the ship, Albert Abelanet, who was originally from Lugné, brought the 2-metre-high statue back to the village and placed it on a small square under the cover of the age-old nettle trees. Make sure you head to the charming hamlet of Lugné for an unmissable photo opportunity!

Cessenon is a dream come true for seasoned walkers! From the playground car park on the other side of the bridge, enjoy a 13 km stroll along the banks of the Orb towards the blockfield of Réals or a 13 km trip around the Coumiac quarry. The footpath plunges you into the unspoilt vegetation bordering the Orb. If you head 3.5 km to the north east by the D14, you will find a short walk towards Cessenon’s woods and its eucalyptus plantations.

Cessenon-sur-Orb boasts a number of small shops and is the main attraction for the surrounding villages. There are a host of places to stay, regardless of whether you are just passing through or staying for a little longer. Less than 20 km away, stop off at Capestang or Béziers, which border the Canal du Midi, before heading to the Mediterranean beaches.

Its history:Coming soon

Don’t miss:

  • An energetic canoe/kayak outing on the banks of the Orb
  • A stroll around the old town to visit the keep
  • The oil mill, and the Fontaine Sucrée water fountain
  • A visit to the Coumiac quarry
  • A dip at the white water beach on the banks of the Orb
  • A wine-tasting session in the wine cooperative or directly on the wine growers’ estates
  • A souvenir photo in front of the Statue of Liberty in the hamlet of Lugné
  • A 13 km walk along the banks of the Orb towards the blockfield of Réals (no.34 “les Bords de l’Orb” footpath) or within the Coumiac quarry (no.35 “Coumiac” footpath).
  • A walk among the eucalyptus plantations.








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