The Herault department is part of Occitania, a region in the very south of France. This region is better known as the Languedoc-Roussillon, but since 2016 merged with the Midi-Pyrénées and is now called Occitania. Sun, sea and beaches is the motto here, because who does not know the Mediterranean coast with its many tourist attractions.
The rolling countryside with a wealth of natural beauty, cultural treasures, endless vineyards and picturesque villages is therefore often forgotten. The blue sky, the clear light, the scents of lavender, rosemary and thyme and the scent of pressed grapes during the grape harvest. The magic of the Herault is in the variety. Not only geographically but also historically and culturally.
The Herault is a mecca for sports enthusiasts. Water sports, waves, walking, cycling, motorcycling and climbing: it is all possible. Gastronomes and wine lovers will also be well catered for in the Herault.
Parc Naturel Haut Languedoc
The beautiful Parc Naturel Regional Haut Languedoc, in which partly the fast-flowing Orb river winds through the landscape, is formed by the Monts de l'Espinouse in the northeast, the Monts de Lacaune in the north and the most southwestern foothill of the Central massive, the Montagne Noir. Whimsical, impressive rock formations of the Massif du Caroux and the Montagne Noir, cut through by the many rivers and interspersed with extensive vineyards, characterize the landscape. It is good for walking, cycling, horse riding and you will certainly enjoy yourself here on mountain bike. A visit to the Gorges d’Héric is definitely worth it.
For more information: www.herault-tourisme.com
Babeau-Bouldoux is a sleepy village with about 300 inhabitants, nestling comfortably at the foot of the Montagne Noir, the edge of Parc Naturel Haut Languedoc. It was created by the merging of two old residential centers, Babeau and Bouldoux. The rivers Ilouvre and Vernazobre have their source in two side valleys. The source of this last river can be visited.
Saint Chinian is the most important place in the Vernazobre valley, just 4 kilometers from Babeau-Bouldoux. The American news channel CBS has named Saint Chinian and its surroundings the number 5 in the world where life is good. The town owes its name to the Benedictine monk Anhan, founder, in 794, of the monastery of Saint-Laurent, on the left bank of the Vernazobre. He was beatified in 1102 and the monastery got its name: Sanch Anhan, which became Saint-Chinian in the Middle Ages.
Saint Chinian, is a typical wine village that which has the AOC / AOP status since 1982 and is located in the largest wine region in France. In the valley there is a special microclimate, which, together with the diversity of its territory, has ensured that Saint-Chinian has been able to develop a range of AOC wines, which have since gained a great reputation.
In Saint Chinian it is generally quiet but cozy. Especially on Thursday and Sunday mornings, when between 8 and 1 p.m. the colorful local market lands on the central square in the shade of the plane trees. It is then very busy. There is everything to be found. From delicious cheeses, sausages, tapenades and olives to ready-made roast chickens and paella. But also clothing, caps, bags, pans, ... well you name it!
By the way, the typical Brocantes and Vide Greniers (antiques and flea markets) are held almost all year round in many villages and towns in the area. Also in Saint Chinian. The many terraces invite for a cool glass of wine, pastis or just a cup of coffee and there are several restaurants where an extensive lunch or dinner is served.
The headquarters of the Canal du Midi and St Chinian Tourist Office is in nearby Capestang, but you can go to the local office for anything you want to know about this area. You will find it near the market square.
Adress: 8 Allée Gaubert, Saint Chinian
T. +33 4 67 37 85 29
More information: www.tourismecanaldumidi.fr