The Village of Bize-Minervois


Village of Bize-Minervois - looking down from the PechBize showing its autumn colours and a view of the pool. This is looking down from the Pech, one of the hills / ridges that surround the village.
I am a full-time resident of this beautiful village in France. More information about life in the village and the region can be found on my blog.
See more photos of the village and the region in the slideshow below.
About the Village
Bize-Minervois is arguably the prettiest village in the renowned Minervois wine growing area. It is situated on the River Cesse – the house is only a 2 minute stroll from the river pool which provides unique safe swimming.
A natural swimming pool has been created within the bed of the river. There is a grassed area and a pebbled ‘beach’ with a life guard on duty between 1.30 pm and 7 pm every day during the summer months. The water is tested by the local authorities and is constantly being refreshed as the river flows downstream.
The village is very well serviced. It has:
• 3 restaurants • small supermarket • 2 hair salons • wine shop  • post office • café/bar • 2 bakeries • pharmacy • beautician • local cinema in the village hall • medical centre • small local market each Wednesday
All are within a few minutes’ walk of the house.
At one time, the hills surrounding Bize were famous for growing garlic. Now these terraces are overgrown, returned to woodland or put to use as vineyards.
The river was used to power the mill at the Logis de Colbert – a factory that produced flags and textiles for Louis XVII. At the centre of the walled village is the church that dates back to the 13th century.
The Surrounding Area
2 kilometres from Bize, just off the main road between Beziers and Carcassonne, you will find l’Oulibo, a cooperative that produces some of the best olives and olive oils in France.
Bize is part of the Minervois region that includes the village of Minerve 10kms to the north which was the site of a famous siege by Simon de Montfort and the consequent martyrdom of the Cathars.
Nearby are Beziers (35 minutes) and Narbonne (25 minutes) with cathedrals, excellent markets, shops, museums, and much more.
Ten minutes drive further are the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean that run from Cap d'Agde to Gruissan, and further north and south. Bize Minervois is situated just south of the Black Mountains and the Languedoc Regional National Park, on the edge of the flat plain of the Minervois wine region. It is only a few kilometres from the Canal du Midi which meanders through the countryside until it reaches the Mediterranean at Sete.
The Pyrenees Mountains and the Spanish border are less than a 2 hour drive. The new bridge at Millau is under two hours away.
The Languedoc is an ideal area for bird-watching – one of the most diverse regions in Europe. Details of bird varieties and locations can be found here.
There are more photos of the village and surrounding region in the slideshow below – move cursor to the right-hand side of the frame and click on the arrow:
More information about the village can be found on the Bize Maire's website (in French and English).