26 Best Places And Things To Do in Sainte-Marie, France

Sainte-Marie is a beautiful city located in the southeastern part of France. Known for its rich history, picturesque landscapes, and charming atmosphere, Sainte-Marie offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Sainte-Marie:

1. Sainte-Marie Cathedral

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Start your journey by visiting the magnificent Sainte-Marie Cathedral. This stunning architectural masterpiece dates back to the 14th century and showcases a blend of Gothic and Romanesque styles. Explore the interior with its intricate stained glass windows and ornate decorations.

2. Old Town (Vieille Ville)

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Take a stroll through the charming streets of the Old Town, also known as Vieille Ville. Admire the well-preserved medieval buildings, narrow alleyways, and colorful facades. The area is also home to several boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants, where you can indulge in some local delicacies.

3. Château de Sainte-Marie

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Explore the historic Château de Sainte-Marie, a castle that dates back to the 13th century. Discover its impressive towers, fortified walls, and lush gardens. The castle often hosts exhibitions and events that provide insights into the region’s history and culture.

4. Museum of Fine Arts

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Art enthusiasts should not miss the Museum of Fine Arts in Sainte-Marie. This museum showcases a diverse collection of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, spanning various periods. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the world of art and appreciate the creative heritage of the region.

5. Parc de la Fontaine

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Spend a relaxing afternoon in Parc de la Fontaine, a picturesque park located near the city center. The park features beautifully landscaped gardens, serene ponds, and charming walking paths. Enjoy a picnic, go for a leisurely stroll, or simply relax and take in the tranquil surroundings.

6. Vineyard Tours

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Sainte-Marie is situated in the heart of the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region, renowned for its vineyards and wine production. Take a guided tour of local vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and indulge in wine tastings. It’s a fantastic opportunity to sample some exquisite wines and experience the region’s viticultural traditions.

7. Outdoor Activities

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Nature lovers will find plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in and around Sainte-Marie. The nearby Camargue Regional Nature Park offers opportunities for birdwatching, hiking, and horseback riding. Additionally, the city’s location on the Mediterranean coast provides opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

8. Local Cuisine

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Don’t miss the chance to savor the local cuisine of Sainte-Marie. The region is known for its fresh seafood, including oysters, mussels, and fish dishes. Explore the local markets, dine at traditional restaurants, and try regional specialties like Bouillabaisse (fish stew) and Ratatouille (vegetable dish).

9. Beaches

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Sainte-Marie is known for its beautiful beaches along the Mediterranean coast. Spend a day soaking up the sun, swimming in the crystal-clear waters, or engaging in beach activities like beach volleyball or kiteboarding. Plage du Rouet and Plage de Sainte-Marie are popular beach destinations in the area.

10. Water Sport

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If you’re a fan of water sports, Sainte-Marie offers plenty of opportunities for you to indulge in your favorite activities. Try your hand at windsurfing, paddleboarding, or jet skiing. Rental services are available along the coast, allowing you to easily access the equipment you need.

11. Festivals and Events

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Throughout the year, Sainte-Marie hosts various festivals and events that showcase the vibrant local culture. From music festivals and art exhibitions to traditional celebrations and gastronomic fairs, there’s always something happening in the city. Check the local event calendar to see if there are any festivities taking place during your visit.

12. Canal du Midi

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Explore the historic Canal du Midi, a UNESCO World Heritage site that passes near Sainte-Marie. Rent a bike or take a leisurely boat ride along the canal, admiring the scenic landscapes and charming villages along the way. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the region’s rich history and enjoy the peaceful ambiance.

13. Day Trips

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Sainte-Marie is ideally located for day trips to nearby attractions. Visit the vibrant city of Montpellier, known for its stunning architecture and lively atmosphere. Alternatively, explore the medieval town of Carcassonne, famous for its well-preserved fortified city and captivating history. Both destinations are within a reasonable distance from Sainte-Marie.

14. Local Markets

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Experience the local culture by visiting the vibrant markets in Sainte-Marie. The weekly market offers a wide range of fresh produce, regional products, and handicrafts. Explore the stalls, interact with local vendors, and perhaps even pick up some souvenirs or ingredients to enjoy during your stay.

15. Winemaking Workshops

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Take part in a winemaking workshop and learn the art of winemaking from local experts. Discover the vineyards, learn about the different grape varieties, and participate in hands-on activities such as grape picking and wine blending. It’s a unique and educational experience for wine enthusiasts.

16. Sainte-Marie Pottery

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Explore the local craftsmanship by visiting Sainte-Marie Pottery workshops. Discover the traditional art of pottery-making and witness skilled artisans at work. You can even try your hand at creating your own pottery piece under the guidance of experienced potters.

17. Les Halles Market

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For a taste of the local culinary delights, visit Les Halles Market. This bustling indoor market offers a wide variety of fresh produce, cheeses, meats, pastries, and more. Browse the stalls, sample regional delicacies, and interact with the friendly vendors who are always happy to share their expertise.

18. Guided Walking Tours

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To gain deeper insights into the city’s history and heritage, join a guided walking tour. Knowledgeable guides will take you through the streets of Sainte-Marie, sharing captivating stories, legends, and historical anecdotes. It’s a great way to discover hidden gems and get a local perspective on the city.

19. Photography Opportunities

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Sainte-Marie provides ample opportunities for photography enthusiasts. Capture the city’s charming architecture, the vibrant colors of the Old Town, and the stunning landscapes surrounding the area. Whether you’re a professional photographer or an amateur with a smartphone, you’ll find plenty of inspiring subjects to photograph.

20. Sainte-Marie Beach Club

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If you’re looking for a lively beach experience, head to the Sainte-Marie Beach Club. This beachfront establishment offers comfortable loungers, umbrellas, and a range of amenities. Relax by the sea, enjoy beachside drinks and snacks, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere.

21. Waterfront Promenade

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Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade of Sainte-Marie. Enjoy the refreshing sea breeze and admire the views of the Mediterranean. The promenade is lined with cafes and restaurants, offering the perfect opportunity to grab a drink or bite to eat while enjoying the picturesque scenery.

22. Golf de Sainte-Marie

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Golf enthusiasts can tee off at Golf de Sainte-Marie, a picturesque golf course situated in a beautiful natural setting. Test your skills on the well-maintained fairways and greens, surrounded by lush vegetation and scenic views. The course caters to players of all levels and also features a clubhouse and pro shop.

23. Cultural Events and Performances

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Keep an eye out for cultural events and performances happening in Sainte-Marie during your visit. The city hosts concerts, theatrical performances, art exhibitions, and more. Check the local event calendar or inquire at the tourist information center for information on upcoming shows and cultural activities.

24. Olive Oil Tasting

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Discover the flavors of the region by participating in an olive oil tasting experience. The area surrounding Sainte-Marie is known for its olive groves and high-quality olive oil production. Visit a local olive mill or specialty shop to sample different varieties of olive oil and learn about the traditional production methods.

25. Horseback Riding

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Embark on a horseback riding adventure through the scenic countryside of Sainte-Marie. Several equestrian centers in the area offer guided horseback tours, allowing you to explore the picturesque landscapes and enjoy a unique perspective of the region.

26. Spa and Wellness Retreats

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Treat yourself to a relaxing spa day or wellness retreat in one of the luxurious wellness centers in or around Sainte-Marie. Indulge in soothing massages, rejuvenating treatments, and therapeutic baths. Pamper yourself and unwind in a tranquil and serene setting.