Between its establishments dedicated to well-being and its rich past, Balaruc-les-Bains is full of treasures, both cultural and recreational. Its historic centre, its promenade, the famous thermal baths, the O'Balia thermal spa, its squares, the Mediterranean Antique Garden, the Piano Tiroir or the Cure Gourmande, there are so many things to discover. That's why we've put together a top 14 list of Balaruc-les-Bains must-sees... With a little bonus! So don't wait any longer to explore this charming resort.
The thermal baths of Balaruc-les-Bains
Whether or not you have booked your 18-day cure in Balaruc-les-Bains, come and discover one of the town's must-see buildings during your stay: the thermal baths!
Like an ocean liner moored with a view of the Thau lagoon, the Balaruc-les-Bains thermal baths attract thousands of visitors every year who come to enjoy the benefits of the thermal water, which is renowned for its rheumatological and phlebological properties, making it the leading spa in France.
But you don't necessarily need a medical prescription to take a dip in the pools. The thermal baths also offer spa breaks of a few days or you can always admire the unique architecture during a walk.
The O'Balia thermal spa
If you wish to test the benefits of the thermal water of the town during your stay in Balaruc-les-Bains, go to the O'Balia thermal spa.
The first thermal spa in the Mediterranean, it first invites you to bask in its pools where the water in the bubbling baths, swan necks and waterfalls is heated to no less than 34°C.
Then let yourself be tempted by the spa area called "La Magie des Mains" where you can be "pampered" with a Monceau treatment, a Bloomea treatment, a Tui Na massage...
If you want to know more about the O'Balia thermal spa, we invite you to read our dedicated article.
The Mediterranean Antique Garden
If you prefer to combine the calm of nature with the discovery of the history of Balaruc-les-Bains, plan to visit the Mediterranean Ancient Garden during your stay.
Designed according to the different archetypes of Antiquity and dedicated to the knowledge of Mediterranean plant essences and their uses, it invites you to travel in each of its seven areas dedicated to agriculture, horticulture, the sacred, medicine, magic, cooking and cosmetics.
Wind your way through the pergolas, arbours, fountains and small amphitheatre that dot the gardens and take a leap in time from Roman times to the present day.
The Georges Brassens and Laurent Spinosi promenade
Another place to take a walk while immersing yourself in a part of the history of Balaruc-les-Bains: the Georges Brassens and Laurent Spinosi promenade!
Paying homage to the Balaruc fisherman Laurent Spinosi, known as "Lolo", and to the singer and poet Georges Brassens from Sète, this walk runs along the Balaruc-les-Bains peninsula on one side and the Thau lagoon on the other for about 2 kilometres.
It is ideal if you are looking for an unobstructed view of Sète and its Mont Saint-Clair; Mèze, the first small fishing port in the Mediterranean; Bouzigues, the cradle of shellfish farming; Agde, the Greek city born at the foot of the Mont Saint-Loup volcano; or Marseillan, made famous for its Noilly Prat cellars.
Don't miss the "Brassens and Lolo Spinosi" trompe l'oeil along the way, or the plunging view of the Vise, a funnel 100 metres in diameter, at the end of the route.
As far as green spaces are concerned, there is the inevitable Sévigné Park. It was here that the Sévigné pavilion was built in 1753 to offer more comfortable treatment conditions to the curists, at a time when the resort was booming.
Nowadays, this building, which owes its name to the Marquise de Sévigné, houses the Balaruc-les-Bains tourist information office, but has kept its foot bath where naturally hot thermal water gushes out at 45°C.
All around, there are several shaded areas where you can relax when the weather is hot, as well as several bowling greens, a playground for children, benches, fountains...
Tip: During the summer months, the Sévigné park hosts numerous events and activities in its open-air theatre.
The church of Notre-Dame de l'Assomption
Not far from the Parc Sévigné, you can see a beautiful religious building. It is the church of Notre-Dame de l'Assomption. Completed in 1858, it is prized by visitors for its mosaic paving from a Roman villa and for its reproduction of the Annunciation by Guido Réni (1575-1642).
The Piano Tiroir
Would you like to spend an evening at the theatre? Then come and discover the cultural centre Le Piano Tiroir during your holidays in Balaruc-les-Bains.
Rich in quality cultural programming, it offers to admire culture in all its forms: theatre, music, dance, painting, cinema... In its 202-seat theatre. You will also find a gallery for exhibitions and a residence room created to support artistic creation.
Come and discover the thousand and one treasures of Balaruc-les-Bains in a fun way! Through several riddles (from 4 years old), this walk of about 4 kilometres will take you back through the history of the spa. Randoland booklet on request at the reception desk.
The markets of Balaruc-les-Bains
What better way to discover the soul of a town than to go to its market?
Balaruc-les-Bains offers you the chance to wake up all year round in the heart of the alleys of its open-air market, in the Charles de Gaulle park. On market days, lovers of stalls, curiosities, fresh produce and local specialities are invited not to forget their shopping bag. In this colourful atmosphere, you will find regional food products, flowers and hawkers, among others.
The spa town also features many craftsmen at its craft market. On site, you can find all sorts of creations: jewellery, ceramics, paintings, decorated glasses... To bring back in your suitcase!
The Gourmet Cure
Did this morning walk at the Balaruc-les-Bains market awaken your senses? Then be sure to visit La Cure Gourmande!
Founded in 1989 by Christian BERLAN and Edouard HENNEBERT, it is here, in Balaruc-les-Bains, that the adventure began over 30 years ago. Indeed, the specificity of the thermal cures of the city inspired the creators to give birth to this biscuit factory which has become a must.
If you have a thirst for delicacies or if you are simply looking for a 100% local gift, let your steps guide you through the old railway station of Balaruc-les-Bains and taste: navettes, madeleines, chocolates, nougats...
The Manuréva water sports centre
With your family or friends, come and try out different water sports on the Thau lagoon with the Manuréva water sports centre. Whatever your age, you can rent a windsurf, paddle and/or catamaran. Or prefer a course of 1 to 5 days to learn/improve your windsurfing, catamaran, optimist, paddle, canoe...
For a more gentle outing on the Thau lagoon, come aboard the Baroulaïre, an Echo 90 (sailboat) where you can learn to manoeuvre, handle the helm or find out more about the flora and fauna of the Thau Archipelago.
Balaruc-les-Bains by bike
To discover the Balaruc-les-Bains peninsula in a gentle way, rent a bike from one of our partners and follow one of the cycle routes. For example, you can cycle along part of the Thau lagoon before reaching the town centre and its shops; or you can take a trip to the Usines district.
If you have the soul of an adventurer, don't hesitate to escape to Balaruc-le-Vieux via the Angle creek; to Sète before joining Marseillan-Plage thanks to the Lido greenway; or, for the more sporty, to make an escape to the Camargue from Sète with the Via Rhôna.
Find all the practical information in this dedicated article.
Oyster farms by boat with Bleu Marin
Every Tuesday morning, from April to the end of October, take a boat trip with Bleu Marin and spend nearly an hour in the heart of their mussel and oyster farms in Bouzigues.
After docking on a specially equipped oyster table, your captain will present you with the strings of oysters and mussels at different stages of maturity, while sharing a few anecdotes about their trade, which they have been practicing for four generations. The visit will be followed by a tasting. Departure can be from Bouzigues or Balaruc-les-Bains.
Bus and mini-bus trips
If you want to discover the surroundings of the Thau Archipelago, get on board one of the buses and mini-buses leaving from Balaruc-les-Bains and go on an adventure:
in the Camargue, along the Vermeille coast, on the Millau viaduct, in Roquefort or in Béziers every Sunday with Littoral Voyages.
to the abbey of Valmagne, in the heart of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, near Arles, Pézenas and Agde every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday with Buscapade Languedoc.
You can also prefer a typical tour of Sète and the Thau lagoon on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with Sète Grand Tour.
The Archipelago of Thau
This top of the must-sees had a taste of too little? Here is a little bonus to extend your escape in one of the 14 communes of our destination: Balaruc-le-Vieux, Balaruc-les-Bains, Bouzigues, Frontignan, Gigean, Loupian, Marseillan, Mèze, Mireval, Montbazin, Poussan, Sète, Vic-la-Gardiole and Villeveyrac...