During summer, the French beach resort of Cap d’Agde is host to one of the most loved traditions in the whole region: nautical jousting.
Many tourists come to the city and book hotels Agde to witness these events. Nautical jousting is performed using special boats that carry opposing “knights” and oarsmen that do battle on sea. These events are coupled with fabulous music and festivities and it is a must-see for all the visitors to Cap d’Agde.
It is thought that the jousts date back to Antiquity as there is some historical proof that Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians practiced the same spectacles in order to imitate some of their naval combats.
While nautical jousting is practiced presently in many cities throughout the region, some local records reveal that the first ever nautical jousts happened in Agde to celebrate the first arrival of the famous Duke of Montmorency in the year 1601, and all of the current jousting competitions in the city still continue to mark this valuable tradition in history.
While many come to the resort to indulge in the fabulous Cap d'Agde weather, touring around the historical sites and enjoying Agde’s heritage and history should not be missed.
The famous Canal du Midi runs into the resort. The canal was nominated as a world heritage site in the 1997 is noted for its brilliant engineering. It was completed during 1962 and serves as a connection between the Atlantic (through the River Garonne) to the Mediterranean (through the Sete and Etang de Thau).
The Canal du Midi’s inland harbor which is found in Agde is a valuable beginning point for many boat cruises, and the beautiful tree-lined towpath gives people a great walking route and cycling path. There are many self drive boats that are for hire along the harbor and mini cruises on several passenger boats can also be accessed.
An important highlight of the Canal in Agde is the one-of-a-kind round lock which was built in 1676, specifically designed to permit boats to turn right on themselves and go to three outlets: the Etang de Thau through the River Herault, to Beziers (and eventually Toulouse), and the heart of Agde through the Canalet.
So, as you can see, there is more than just beach side fun to be had in Cap d’Agde.