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Saint-Chinian, France

It All Started With A Monastery

In 825, Saint Anian founded a monastery in the hills of the Languedoc region of France.  The monastery thrived and a town sprang up around it.  This town is what is now known as Saint-Chinian.  The abbey is no longer functioning as an abbey, it is now the village hall and is the venue for all sorts of events such as dances, meetings, exhibitions etc. 

Saint Chinian is made up of 20 communes, the vineyards cover over 3100 hectares. The Saint Chinian region has come a long way when it comes to wine.  Initially the main economic activity was textiles, but that petered out after the 19th century.  After textiles came grains and olives and wine.  The wines of Saint-Chinian were of the cheap table-wine variety.  When demand for this type of wine decreased the region had to change its approach to wine making.  Today, Saint-Chinian is well known for its excellent wines ranging from robust reds to sweet whites to dry rose wines. 

The hills and valleys of Saint Chinian are perfect for spending a day either hiking, cycling or horseback riding. There are several winding paths that cut through this calm, breathtaking region.

Mont Caroux, or as it is locally known, the lying woman is located in the eastern end of the Espinouse Mountains and protects the grapes from harsh weather.  The region enjoys a Mediterranean climate with infrequent rain.

Thursdays are market day where locals and tourists gather to buy cheese, clothing, produce, souvenirs, etc. In the summer, after Bastille Day, summer markets pop up, open air-cinemas under the stars are arranged, picnic season is in full swing, a variety of live concerts ranging from jazz to classical to world music can be found.  There are also special days where free guided visits of the Chapel of Notre Dam de Nazareth or the abbey, among others, take place.

There are so many places in the area to visit, the beaches of the Mediterranean are only 20 minutes away, there are rivers in Roquebrun and Bize.  You can easily find places to fish, rock-climb, golf…you name it. 

Monthly Budget For A Couple Living In Saint Chinian, France

ExpenseMonthly CostNotes
Gas€150Bundled with electricity, water and garbage collection
Telephone€25Bundled with internet and cable


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Featured Image Source: iStock/ChrisAt

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