Gard is a French department of Occitanie region that is positioned southwest of France and its name comes from the river Gardon (or Gard).
Town property guides
Gard is situated in the East of Languedoc. It is bounded to the west by the river Rhone, to the north by the Cevennes, to the west by the River Vidourle and to the South by the Camargue and a 10km stretch of coastline with beautiful beaches at Espiguette and Le Grau-du-Roi which is an important fishing port.
It’s named after the river Gardon. The centre of the department is a world of dry limestone, the garrigue, of vines and olive trees and the perfumes of the Mediterranean.
The main and most charming towns of the Gard: Nimes, Uzes, Aigues Mortes, Anduze Sommieres, Aimargues, Ales, Bagnols sur Ceze, Barjac Bellegarde, Goudargues, Le Vigan, Lussan, Quissac, Remoulins and Rochefort Du Gard.
The Gard benefits from the Mediterranean climate with 300 sunny days per year.
The summers are hot and dry and the winters are mild. The average temperature is the summer is of nearly 30C.
The rainfalls are usually in autumn months. During this period there are heavy rains for few 3-5 days and then it clears up for another few weeks.
Nimes is the capital of the Gard and is also the reason that jeans are made of denim. The material came from Nimes, ‘de Nimes‘ in French, hence ‘denim’. The Romans who came to the region 2000 years ago built at the end of the 1st century AD, the arena in Nimes which is the best preserved of Roman amphitheaters. Its 34 tiers provide seating for 23,000. Originally the site of gladiatorial combats, today the arena is the site of bull fights and popular music concerts. There is a wealth of rich and varied resources around the town, with the town centre an inviting and relaxing ambience for the evenings.
Sommieres, located 28km from Nimes is a well preserved, atmospheric medieval town. On the hillside 3km above Sommieres is the castle of Vieilleville, owned by the same family for nearly eight hundred years, it is full of antique furniture. The village has also a Roman bridge, a fortified gate and a medieval centre.
Uzes is a remarkable medieval town, a labyrinth of narrow streets and shaded squares with arcades bordered by elegant 17th and 18th century private residences. The impressive castle La Duche has 4 medieval towers, of which the oldest part – Bermonde tower (12th century) has a beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. The 12th century Fenestrelle tower, was built in the style of the Tower of Pisa, and is the only one of its kind in France. Still standing straight, it is the only remnant of the former Romanesque Cathedral destroyed in 1563.
The delightful walled town of Aigues-Mortes was established by Louis IX as the point of departure for the Crusades. It used It used to be a port but is now land locked .Aigues-Mortes is also a good base for discovering the surrounding Camargue and its fragile eco-system.
Ales is delightful town with some great attractions nearby and more importantly it acts as the gateway to the Parc National des Cevennes with over 2250 plant species, eco museums and animals including red deer, beavers and vultures. Ales is the second largest town in the Gard. As it resides in the Gard river, it’s a perfect place for canoeing, kayaking and fishing. In the past it was an important centre for coal mining when monks cut into the hillside establishing a long tradition which only came to an end in 1986.
It’s impossible to admit visiting Gard without seeing :
Camargue- area of marshes, canals and saltwater lakes is home to the bulls, wild horses and a great variety of birdlife including the pink flamingos. Wild horses are domesticated and used by the guardians raising the bulls. There are also 10 000ha of salt flats as the culture of salt in the Camargue dates back to Roman times.
The second place not to be missed is the Pont du Gard, situated 25 kilometres from nimes. This bridge constructed by the Roman Empire is the largest aqueduct the Romans ever built. Restored in the 18th century, the Pont du Gard crosses the Gardon Gorge. Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1985, the Pont du Gard is visited by more than 1,250,000 tourists every year.
With more than 160 kilometres of navigable waterways, the Gard is one of the premier destinations for river tourism. Other nature attractions include Cirque de Navacelles (300m deep crater), impressive caves like grotte de la Cocaliere and de Trabuc and the dune Barrier.
For the sport activities there is a large choice between : paragliding, horse riding, fishing, kayaking, water skiing, canoeing, mountain biking, hiking, diving, kite surfing, sailing and of course swimming.
Regarding cultural events, each month there is something for every taste and age. The most popular are for example: “Rencontre de la Pierre”- concert, “Fete Nationale” with parade, bal and fireworks, “Fete de la Lavande et de l’Olivier” –street festival and a bal, philharmonic concert in Aubais, “Festival Les Rocktambules” and medieval festival in Aigueze.
The Gard, with its long tradition of agriculture and winemaking, can always offer a good meal. There is a great choice of mouth-watering local specialities, many of them with an AOC, which are available all the year round.
The most popular regional products are: Nimes Olive Oil, tellines-delight for seafood lovers, picholine-olives variety, local cherries, figs, Reinettes du Vigan-apples, Camargue rice and fleur de sel, Perrier water, Pelardon-goat cheese, Sweet Cevennes onions, gariguette strawberries, truffles, asparagus and pastry specialities like Fougasses with bacon.
It’s impossible neither to leave the Gard department without tasting the brandade de Nimes (emulsion of desalted cod, milk and olive oil) and the chestnuts of the Cevennes.
Tourism office in Gard
Travel from the UK
By air: Ryanair flies to Carcassonne, Montpellier, Nîmes and Perpignan from London Stansted. British Airways gand GB Airways fly to Montpellier from Gatwick.
Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in Gard. We have a large network of estate agents in Gard. All of them are registered French estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: villa, farmhouse, longere, barn, gite, B&B, country house, mill, castle or chateau, we will do our best to find a property in Gard matching your requirements. To find out more about our properties for sale in Gard do not hesitate to contact us.