Colombiers is a commune of the Herault, Occitanie region, 8 km southwest of Beziers which it borders.
The locality developed in ancient times when inhabitants of the nearby Ensérune oppidum came to settle in the plain along the Domitia Way that connects Rome to the Iberian Peninsula via Gaul. Then a fortified castrum is built during the High Middle Ages, and Colombiers becomes a prosperous lordship. Its territory of 10 km² is enriched during the drying of the pond Montady in the thirteenth century. The development of viticulture and the creation of the Canal du Midi support the good economic health of the village.
In the twentieth century, the proximity of Béziers allows the establishment of a commercial and industrial area but the town retains its charm, between the Mediterranean and the first foothills of the Cevennes.
Now with more than 2400 inhabitants, with its marina on the canal and its pleasant environment, Colombiers is an interesting stopover for anyone who stays in Languedoc.
In terms of architectural heritage, a discovery of Colombiers can begin with the church of Saint-Sylvestre and Sainte-Colombe, whose oldest foundations date back to the fifth century: testifies a Visigothic altar still housed in the building that it was remodeled in the twelfth, nineteenth (stained glass) and finally in 1986. There are also visible ancient sarcophagi, baptismal fonts of medieval times and a painting on New Year's Eve.
In a very different kind, the old wine cellar of the Colombiers castle, built in the 19th century, is worth a visit. It symbolizes the prosperity of the local vineyard and the great owners of the time. Covering an area of 1000 m², the winery is still endowed with ancient tools and owes its celebrity to its huge frame that evokes a ship overturned. Acquired by the municipality, the winery is now dedicated to cultural and artistic activities, hosts exhibitions and houses the Tourist Office. Open all year. Entry with guided tour: 2 and 3 euros. Information on +33 4 67 37 00 90.
Outside the village proper, but still on the municipal territory, several sites are unavoidable. Such as the Canal du Midi, made in the seventeenth century and now listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, which borders the village from one side to the other. A river port was built there in the 1980s. Boaters can stop there. For other tourists, a houseboat is based in the year which offers all year round (except in March, November and December) cruises commented, with or without meals, and sometimes even in the evening. Price: from 6.50 € to 44 €. Information on +33 7 68 93 09 38. It is also possible to rent electric boats without a license for a few hours or a few days. Contact +33 3 85 53 76 74. The opportunity to discover the tunnels and works of art punctuating the canal such as the channel tunnel du Malpas dug in 167 to pass the canal under the Ensérune hill, to the west of Colombiers.
Other places to discover, the pond of Montady, classified in 1974, 400 hectares wide, drained in the XIIIth century by drains in the form of rays leading the water from the periphery to the center, from where a particular landscape aspect, and the lawns of Ensérune, typical of the Mediterranean scrubland. The flora is remarkable (wild orchids).
The old Domitian Way, which descends from Malpas and runs along the village is also still visible.
All these sites, as of course the banks of the Canal du Midi, can be the subject of many hiking or mountain biking. Some routes will include the former Ensérune oppidum on the neighboring town of Nissan-lez-Enserune or will extend to Béziers or the coastline. Brochures, maps and information at +33 4 67 37 00 90 or +33 4 67 67 71 71.
Note also, sports and leisure, that the town has a city-stadium, a bowling alley, playgrounds for children and tennis fans can reserve a court at +33 6 31 84 18 43 or +33 6 78 06 53 51.
To fish from the banks of the canal, learn about the regulations from the local association at +33 4 67 37 06 70.
Finally, on the cultural side, the media library regularly offers exhibitions and literary events. Information on +33 4 67 11 86 09.