When we were in England we used to sail a lot, mostly we would race. We had a sailing and skiing business which kept us very busy, so racing and regattas were our thing. We could dash down to the yacht club at the weekend, enjoy two good days of racing, two good evenings with the other crew members and be back at work on Monday morning. We also used to compete in regattas, Cork was my favorite, but we used to compete at Cowes and Scottish Week as well. Most of this activity took place in the Irish Sea. There’s nothing quite like a freezing cold wave down the back of your ‘oilies’, in a force six, on a November Sunday morning, while peering through the fog looking for a racing mark, after a good night in the yacht club the night before!
Now we live in the South of France. Oh how things have changed. We are often asked to sail with friends, sometimes at La Grande Motte or Port Grimaud, but last weekend we were asked by some friends who used to run a superb restaurant at Vezenobres to sail from Frontignan.
The small town of Frontignan lies between the Mediterranean Sea and the Gardiole massif, between Sète and Montpellier. Frontignan is rich in history; it was built during the Gallo-Roman period. The town boasts historic facades, the remarkable 12th and 14th century Church, a classified historic monument, the local museum where one can trace the town’s history, sub-marine archaeological discoveries, and the history of wine-making.
Frontignan lies in a winegrowing area. Well known to connoisseurs all over the world, the Muscat de Frontignan is a subtle naturally sweet wine, full of golden glints and sweet aromas. The wine is produced by a rigorously controlled method known as mutage. The Muscat de Frontignan was one of the first wines to obtain the Appellation d’origine controlée (AOC) label in 1936.
Frontignan is separated from the Mediterranean by the lakes of Ingril, La Peyrade, and les Mouettes which form an amazing ecosystem where rare flora and fauna are found in abundance. Pink flamingos, wading birds, teal, shovelers and seagulls nest around these lakes. The birds can been seen in their natural habitat while walking or cycling, especially early in the morning.
The marina is situated on the narrow strip of land between the lakes and the sea and is surrounded by houses and apartments and has a similar feel to Port Grimaud. It has a perfect holiday atmosphere for taking in the sun, enjoying the marina or relaxing on the beach. There are also some marine side restaurants where you can watch the world go by while enjoying fabulous fresh local food.
Of course we couldn’t resist checking out the properties that were for sale. The apartments around the marina are very sought after as they are in an ideal place to relax and unwind and they can are produce a good rental income during the summer months.
We discovered an ideal duplex apartment of 56 sq mts with sea views that is for sale for €195,000 and could bring in a rent for about €700.00 per week in the high season.
On Saturday we had fantastic days sailing on a flat sea, in a force 3-4 with a perfectly clear blue sky and in the evening we found a superb restaurant for anyone who enjoys oysters and sea food. The ‘etangs’ or lakes in the area are home to some of the worlds best oyster farms and we found ‘La Ferme Marine’ in Marseillan, was owned by one of the farms. As much as you can eat for €24.00. A perfect end to a fantastic day or as our French friends described it “extraordinaire”.
Later that evening when we was tucked up in our quarter berth I thought about our sailing in the UK . I have to admit that perhaps the beer didn’t match up but I remembered dreaming about these conditions when I was in the Irish Sea!