I always love visiting towns during the Christmas season, even though this year is very peculiar to say the least… So, this year I have limited my visits to my three favourite ones: Narbonne, Béziers and Montpellier. On a quiet day, I quickly took some pictures behind my mask to give you an impression. This way, I hope to virtually bring the South of France to you, despite the travel restrictions. Happy Christmas to all of you and stay safe everyone!
In Montpellier, the yearly ‘Les Hivernales’ have been replaced by festive illuminations and decorations only. Like every year, the Place de la Comédie is the beating heart of the city. However, this year the Christmas landmark of the huge illuminated globe has been replaced by a giant, 7 metre high heart. Every evening at eight o’clock, this colour changing heart starts to beat to honour the health care and other essential workers who are doing such an amazing job during this COVID19 pandemic. From the Place de la Comédie, I walked through the decorated streets of L’Écusson on to the Promenade du Peyrou. Right at the entrance of the park, two enormous Christmas trees welcomed me. And the wooden chalets with magical Christmas scenes, safely behind glass, added to the festive feeling.
Office de Tourisme, 30 Allée Jean de Lattre de Tassigny
Since the renovation of the Place Jean Jaurès a couple of years ago, there is a lively energy flowing through the town of Béziers. For Christmas this year, only decorations and illuminations like every other village or city, from December 4 till January 10. But they have done an excellent job in turning the Place Jean Jaurès into a Winter Wonderland. Giant luminous stars are dotted over the square, together with winter animal figures, (fake) snow-covered Christmas trees and a huge sparkling Christmas tree at the feet of Paul Riquet’s statue. At night, the pathway that leads from this statue to the musical fountains glows thanks to an LED-lit arch. I always take a peek at the Townhall square, with its almost roof high Christmas tree. It was an extra pretty stroll through the little streets, because of the hundreds of white umbrellas lighting up the town centre.
Office de Tourisme, Place du Forum
Every year, charming Narbonne turns into a magical Christmas destination during ‘Les Féeries de Noël’. Usually, this includes an ice rink right in the middle of Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, a Christmas market on the Cours de la République and a funfair at Cours Mirabeau. Due to the COVID19 pandemic, all of these activities obviously haven’t taken place. The town decided to illuminate the town centre from December 1 till January 3. As every year, the tower of the Palais des Archevêques is decorated like a giant present. And when night falls, all the lights shimmer and shine even more. As Narbonne was the last visit of the day, I headed back home feeling all Christmassy while loudly singing ‘Petit Papa Noël’.
Office de Tourisme, 31 rue Jean Jaurès