St Pons de Thomières is named after its patron saint, St Pontius and is a market town. Each year in the autumn it hosts the chestnut fair, which is great fun to visit. It has some interesting historical buildings and is surrounded by very diverse and stunning countryside. Hamlets are hidden away in the Chestnut groves, beautiful lakes can be found in the pine forests and breathtaking views await you on every hilltop.
There is a large market every Wednesday morning which is so popular that people come from the many surrounding towns and villages to make their purchases.
St Pons is not a particularly big town but it does have sufficient shops, bars and restaurants to provide all the essentials in life. Béziers is about an hour's drive away and the Mediterranean beaches another half an hour on top of that.
There is evidence that the area around St Pons de Thomieres has been inhabited as far back as the Stone Age and caves near the source of the river Jaur show that cave man lived there over 6000 years ago. There is an interesting museum of prehistory in the town that is well worth a visit.
The Abbey of St-Pons was founded in 936 by Raymond, Count of Toulouse, on the left bank of the river Jaur and over the next three centuries it grew in importance, however, during religious wars in the 16th Century, it was sacked. This is why the Cathedral as seen today is a mix of Romanesque and classical styles.
The climate and weather in St Pons de Thomières due to its situation near the Mediterranean, offers one of the best and sunniest climates of the whole of France - there are more than 300 days of sunshine per year! St Pons de Thomières and its region are attractive all year round, although often cooler and wetter than down on the coastal regions.
Route de Narbonne
34220 SAINT PONS DE THOMIERES
Tel.: 04 67 97 02 57
Quiet and comfort in this little paradise set amidst lush greenery, the 17th century farmhouse offers an unmatchable beauty. Your host is a former art gallery owner who has decorated each room with subtle taste and elegance.
The cooking, like the place itself is delicate and flavourful, featuring fresh products from this fertile region.
Hotel le Somail
2, avenue de Castres
Tel : 04 67 97 00 12
Situated on the banks of the River Basse, this restaurant specialises in local fish and seafood dishes. Friendly service amid an attractive maritime-themed decor.
St Pons de Thomieres is very proud of its local produce and cuisine, with specialities such as "Ragout de chataignes" (Chestnut stew) and "Confiture de chataignes" (Chestnut jam).
St Pons has its share of historic sites, and these include the Tower of St Benoit, the Bridge of Our Lady, and the Convent of the Fountain of Récolets.
For a great local experience, try to attend the festivals of the pig and the chestnut... both are local specialities and the yearly celebrations are an excellent taste of French life.
There are white water sports in the rushing waters of the River Orb, and walking, mountain biking and horse-riding trails in the forests above the town and you can fish, swim, sail and windsurf in the calm waters of the Lac Raviège.
The course at Saint-Thomas, set in the wild scrubland known as the 'garrigue', has a typically Mediterranean feel. The 18-hole course (par 72, 6130 metres) will suit all levels of player, from beginner to expert. Every hole has its own character: wooded, hilly, lakeside or straightforward.
Very close to the historic city of Carcassonne, a world heritage site, this 18 hole, par 71 course is gently undulating, with technical challenges to keep the best players interested, but nothing too daunting for the beginner. The stream that crosses the course, the water obstacles and carefully sited bunkers add spice to the game. The 9th hole has been named by several golf magazines as the most original in Europe. While you're in the area, try the great wines of the Corbières, Fitou or Minervois and the culinary specialities of the Cathar region.
Lamalou les Bains golf course has a fabulous setting at the foot of the Caroux mountain in the foothills of the Cévennes, with the river Orb running by. The wooded course with its three lakes is a pleasure to play whatever your level.