One of the most appealing villages in the South of France is undoubtedly Bize Minervois. On the bank of River Cess, this French commune lies in department of Aude in the Occitanie region. Alike other villages of Occitanie, Bize Minervois has so much to discover and its magnificent terrain with a natural swimming pool within the bed of the river Cesse, consisting both a grassed area and a pebbled ‘beach’ secured with a lifeguard, visitors have a great time. Also, if wine is your interest, there are many producers around the village who are happy to offer you free tastings.
The history of Bize-Minervois village is quiet old and tracing its inheritance to the nearby Les Grottes du Moulin cave. It was here in 1827 that the 22-year-old chemistry student Paul Tournal of Narbonne found the first-ever fossilized human bones and introduced this caves to the world. Most parts of these caves are now closed since 2007 to preserve bats that inhabit them.
Between the caves and the village you can see some ruined walls on a rocky outcrop. It is the Tour de Boussecos which adds to the natural beauty of this region. It is believed that a bronze arrowhead was collected as evidence of a human presence from the Bronze Age. But, in the region, Boussecos is best known for having been a tower of the Visigothic era that locked the passage of Cesse Valley.
The village of Bize-Minervois was built in the escargot form around the ancient church. The church of Saint-Michel built in the 18th century is a masterpiece with marble decorated interior and impressive altar. Also, La Porte Saint Michel, the main gate in to the village coming from the direction of Narbonne and a second gate, La Porte St Croix - the entrance from the direction Argeliers showcases the rich ancient history of this magnificent place.
Coming to what the village is most known for is the way they celebrate occasions. In February the village celebrates in the form of a colorful carnival followed by “Fête du l’Olivier”, a weeklong celebration after Bastille Day happens in July. At this time of the year tourist and locals celebrate the olive festival in Bize-Minervois and at Oulibo Cabezac, where the olive cooperative organises an open-day. The village holds various stalls of food, wine, local art and of course olives. The evenings are filled with music and dance.
So once you are in France, plan your trip to this land of wonders where you will get to see history, passion, discoveries, feasts and olives for sure.