Feel our top 5 sensory experiences in Nîmes…

See the resplendent Maison Carrée, a jewel of Roman architecture and one of the best preserved examples of a temple façade. It inspired Paris’ neo classical Église de la Madeleine.

Hear the cries of a torero in the Roman amphitheatre. Bullfights are popular spectator events in Nîmes and other towns close to the Spanish border; the first one was held here in 1863.

Smell local produce at the covered market of Les Halles. Stalls of gleaming Picholine olives and tapenade rub shoulders with petits pâtés Nîmois (small pies) and Pélardon, goats’ cheese from the Cevennes.

Taste salt cod. The local dish of brandade de morue is a popular favourite and sums up Nîmes’ geographical location, fusing the coast with both Spain and neighbouring Provence.

Touch denim. The hard-wearing twill fabric known as serge de Nîmes was traditionally worn by agricultural labourers before gaining its universal reputation of today.

A southern French town between the Cévennes and the Camargue, Nîmes (External link) is all about contrast: today a lively commercial centre, but rooted in 2,000 years of history. The amphitheatre (External link) and Maison Carrée (External link) – a majestic, recently restored temple – are just two of the numerous Roman gems to be found here; there are also splendid mansions and grand gardens, notably the Jardins de la Fontaine (External link) which were laid out on a Roman site in the 18th century. Museums and markets line the palm-fringed streets and the city comes alive with festivals (External link) in the summer months.

Getting to NîmesBy air: Nîmes-Alès-Camargue-Cévennes, Marseille or Montpellier-Méditerranée AirportsBy train: 2h50m from Paris, 1h20m from Lyon and 1h from Marseille by TGVBy road: A9, A54

Further information:Nîmes Tourist Office6 rue Auguste30020 NîmesTel. +33 (0)4 66 58 38 00 http://www.ot-nimes.fr (External link)