A fantastic year-round walking destination with a combination of mountains, river valley’s and the Mediterranean coast all within easy reach. Mountains and Maps provide a varied programme of walks covering the best of the mountains and rolling hills of the area, plus the chance for cooling off in the river or trips to the Mediterranean. Come and enjoy the varied landscape, pretty villages and history of this interesting area. Short-breaks can also be provided.

Examples of typical days

1: As an introduction to the area we go to the popular Sunday market at St Chinian to sample the local produce and take in the atmosphere. Later we drive to the small village of Ceps on the banks of the River Orb and begin our walk. We climb initially through wooded areas along an old mule track then out into vineyards. We reach a col with views of Le Caroux (1050m) and the village of Vieussan before descending via a wide track above the river back to Ceps. There will be an opportunity to swim in the river at the end of the walk. Distance: 8km/5m, Ascent: 150m.

2: We start at the village of Colombiers sur Orb (215m), in the Haut Languedoc Natural Parc. This is the first of two spectacular gorge walks in the week. We follow a rocky footpath along the edge of the gorge, passing many waterfalls, as we ascend to the gite d’etape at La Farge (760m). This is part of the GR7 long-distance trail. After a break by the river, a good track takes us to our highest point (820m) we leave the GR7 to traverse on a good footpath above the gorge before descending through shaded woods back to our start point. Distance: 11.2km/6.9m, Ascent: 600m.

3: We drive through the spa town of Lamalou to the pretty village of Combes in the Haut Languedoc Natural Parc. Our objective for the day is the plateau of Le Caroux (1000m), the highest point in the Parc. The ascent is on good paths and then across the plateau with stunning 360 degree views across to the Mediterranean, the Pyrénées, and the Gorge D’Heric. We walk part of the GR7, one of the longest distance paths in Europe spreading from Spain to Hungary via France. From the viewpoint we take paths down to the picturesque village of Douch for our pick-up. Distance:12km/7.8m, Ascent:700m

PLEASE NOTE: The programme is designed to provide the most varied, challenging, but enjoyable walking routes. However, weather conditions may necessitate a change to the order of the programme. Safety is our primary concern so sometimes other routes may be used which are equally enjoyable and challenging, but more suited to the prevailing conditions.

Arrivals and Departures

We provide a group pick-up and drop-off at Beziers or Montpellier airports or train stations. For those travelling by other means, please let us know where you will meet the group. Other airports which service the area include Perpignan, Carcassonne, Castres and Toulouse.

Accommodation and Meals:

Our comfortable chambre d’hôte (B&B) is in a small but lively village with a bar/restaurant and caves nearby for wine tasting. The trip price includes 7 nights’ accommodation based on two people sharing. All rooms have ensuites. Please contact us regarding single supplements if required. All breakfasts are included plus 5 packed lunches and 4 evening meals (3 courses plus wine).

Grades

This trip is for all types of walkers but is rated as a gentle/easy grade. It is suitable for regular as well as occasional walkers as the terrain, although steep and rocky in some places, follows good trails. The pace of the walks will allow plenty of time for refreshment breaks, photos, swimming etc.

Equipment:

Lightweight boots are recommended although modern cross trainers could be used, but they will not offer the same protection as walking boots. Poles are recommended although not essential. Protection from the sun is essential: sunhut, sunscreen, sunglasses etc. Normal walking clothes for summer conditions: shorts/lightweight trousers and T-shirts tend to be the norm but a good waterproof should be carried at all times along with a thin fleece. One litre (minimum) water container.

Insurance:

Insurance is compulsory. Evidence of insurance will be required. Please check with your insurer that helicopter evacuation is included and that there is no restriction to the height you can ascend. Many insurers now have restrictions at 2000m. Please check that repatriation is included in your insurance and there is cover for all activities you may undertake.