Owing to its strategic position, the commune of Anduze has been inhabited since a very long time. A Gallic Oppidum and a Roman Castrum were both built at the top of Saint-Julien’s rock, attesting the human occupancy of the region. In the 16th century, the city counted more than 7,000 inhabitants! Today Anduze is highly touristic and it is well known for the charm of the city, its pottery and the Bambouseraie.
When I was a teenager, I used to go with friends almost every summer at Générargues (5 kilometres from Anduze), the city of the Bambouseraie Prafrance. We would walk to the River Gardon to do activities such as swimming and cycling. I went there again this year during the summer and even though everything had changed, the charm of the region still lingered.
The narrow streets of Anduze are fascinating. Walking around in the centre, you will discover the Pézène tower, the Château neuf, the church of Saint-Etienne and the temple, one of the biggest in France. As you can see, built in the 13th century, the clock tower has the same architecture as Aigues-Mortes, while the Pagoda fountain, constructed in the 17th century, has an oriental style.
You can also take a look at the typical Anduze pots and bring back nice pottery, maybe as a Christmas gift for your family (my boyfriend did). Unfortunately, the pots are too heavy to be transported, but you can find smaller versions in the boutiques.
After the visit of Anduze, an excursion at the Bambouseraie is essential. This is the single bamboo forest in Europe, giving the region a worldwide reputation.
The Bambouseraie has been created in 1856 by Eugène Mazel, who was passionate about horticulture. The bamboo forest hosts around 200 bamboo species and 800 species of others plants. Unfortunately, numerous species planted in the 19th century have now disappeared, as they could not adapt to the climate. During your visit, you will of course see bamboos but also a reconstruction of a Laotian village, a water garden, the glasshouses as well as a Labyrinth. At the end of your visit, you will run into a gift shop. There, they sell lots of different plants. I bought a lemon tree and brought it back to Switzerland. It is still alive! So maybe you can also choose some bamboo or citrus plant!
Natacha’s tip: Many visitors are fooled, like us last time. It is no longer permitted to bring food with you, such as a picnic, in the park. So better eat before or wait until the end of your visit to go to the river and have lunch.
If you choose a warm summer day for your visit, chances are that you will need to refresh. So, before leaving the bamboo forest, ask the staff where you can go swimming.
If you are still in the mood, you can also stop by the silkworm museums: Saint-Hippolyte-du-Fort or Saint Jean-du-Gard.
If you want more information, please visit the website of the Anduze tourisme office and the Bambouseraie website and if you are interested in booking a hotel in Anduze or around, such as in Générargues, Corbès or Gaujac, then visit Escargot Holiday!