Gruissan, Aude: tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Gruissan in Aude

Visit Gruissan (Languedoc-Roussillon, France)

Gruissan is a small town situated north of Leucate on the Languedoc coast toward Cap d’Agde, in a position that is largely surrounded by the water of the étang du Grazel.

Exploring Gruissan

This is a guest article for France This Way, contributed by one of our visitors.

The small town of Gruissan has a pretty old historic centre to the village, dominated by the Barbarossa tower, part of a ruined castle that stands on on a hill in the village centre and was built in the 13th century.

View of village of Gruissan

The streets of the town centre form concentric circles around the castle. It is here that you can see the Church of the Notre-Dame of the Assumption, a fortified church dating from the 14th century that has several interesting characteristics including a wooden ceiling and an imposing altar with marble columns.

The old town is in turn surrounded by a lagoon which has sea access to the Mediterranean. There is also an extensive pleasure port here, and several beaches are close to hand both within the sheltered waters of the étang and facing out to sea. The main beach is at Gruissan Plage, a short distance east of the town.

An unusual feature you will notice at the beach is the chalets that are built along the edge of the beach supported by wooden posts in the sand. These chalets originally were 'in the water' at high tide but unfortunately over the last few decades they have been protected and the land raised, and other development has taken place between the chalets and the beach, so they have lost a great deal of their original charm.

Windsurfing on the coast at Gruissan

Gruissan is a popular windsurfing destination. Windsurfing here requires squeezing between two posts and driving on to the beach itself. You must then pretend you are a 4x4 and drive along a track that winds around a lagoon before reaching the sea. Sort of romantic, but can be a bit stressful. We once had to help an over confident man covered in mud, wearing suit trousers and executive shoes, push his citroen out of the muddy puddle he had wedged it in to. Beware!

This is a great place to windsurf if you enjoy a prevailing off shore wind, it’s the place to bomb it up and down on flat water and try freestyle, whilst enjoying beautiful wild surroundings. There are also kite schools in the area.

The beauty of this coastline lies in the fact that few people have cashed in on it. It couldn’t be further from the whirlwind of bars, clubs and restaurants of the Cote d’Azur. So, if you want some chill out beach time, with a mix of water sports and culture - here’s your spot!

View from Barbarossa Tower to the port in Gruissan

Attractions nearby

While Gruissan is perhaps not quite as colourful as Leucate, it makes up for it with its marina and night life. See more of the popular Languedoc beaches and resorts.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Aude guide and the Languedoc-Roussillon guide.

See also:

Map of Gruissan and places to visit

Visit near Gruissan with France This Way reviews

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Aude

Address: Gruissan, Coursan, Narbonne, Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon, 11430, France || GPS: latitude 43.1078, longitude 3.08889

Plan your visit to Gruissan, Aude

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Narbonnaise en Méditerranée: regional natural parc (7 km)
  • Narbonne: secteur sauvegarde (11 km)
  • African reserve of Sigean: zoo or wildlife park (12 km)
  • Gouffre de l'Œil Doux: site of natural beauty (12 km)
  • Forêt de Fontfroide: site of natural beauty (16 km)
  • Abbaye de Fontfroide (Narbonne): religious monument (17 km)
  • Enserune: national monument (23 km)
  • Beziers: secteur sauvegarde (28 km)
  • Étang de Leucate: site of natural beauty (30 km)
  • Minerve: most beautiful village (39 km)

Market days in Gruissan, France

Regular market(s) are held in Gruissan each every day except Thursday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Gruissan (Francais)