Where is the Hérault department located in France?
Named after the coastal river that flows into the Mediterranean on its territory, the Hérault is a department in the Occitanie region in the south of France. Its maritime facade to the south extends from Vendres to La Grande-Motte. It is made up of long sandy beaches and picturesque ports like that of Sète. The Hérault is bordered by several departments: Gard to the east, Tarn and Aveyron to the northwest, Aude to the southwest. Nestled between the central massif and the Mediterranean Sea, the 34 is home to wine regions in the Languedoc plain, scrubland and a regional natural park (Haut-Languedoc). Its prefecture, Montpellier, is a dynamic and lively city all year round thanks to its student life and tourism in high season.
Which city to visit in Hérault?
Have you booked your comfortable stay in a mobile home at the Grand Sud Lac du Salagou campsite in Occitanie? Take advantage of your exotic vacation in the south of France to visit the main cities of 34:
With more than 100 sites listed as historic monuments, the city of Montpellier is home to a remarkable cultural heritage close to the Mediterranean. Admire the fountain of the Three Graces on the Place de la Comédie, the Porte du Peyrou and all the mansions which give the Hérault prefecture its glamorous air.
A homeland of Georges Brassens and Paul Valéry, Sète has an artistic wave that you can capture by strolling on the port or on the Corniche beach. The Venice of Languedoc has an elegant sea theater and a marine cemetery. A short walk to the top of Mont Saint-Clair gives a beautiful view of the city and the coast.
La Grande Motte
This is undoubtedly one of the finest examples of a seaside resort integrated into the environment. Listed as a “20th century heritage”, La Grande-Motte is distinguished by its large sandy beaches, its equipment and buildings with unusual shapes, notably by its famous pyramids.
Welcome to one of the most villages in France, where Prehistory coexists with the Middle Ages and modernity. Get lost in the alleys of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert. Marvel at the sight of stone houses and monuments. Unmissable visits: the abbey church and its cloister and the Grotte des Demoiselles.
A bullfighting town for generations, the sub-prefecture of Hérault is characterized by the joie de vivre of its inhabitants. Visit the Biterrois museum and the bullring, rent a bike to ride along the Canal du Midi and have your picture taken on the Pont Vieux which spans the Orb.
What are the must-see places of interest in Hérault?
This dam lake is 7 km long and 3 km wide. With a furnished beach and a nautical base, it is suitable for swimming and water sports such as windsurfing. Several hiking trails start from the lake. An exceptional natural site is nearby, the dolomitic circus of Mourèze.
Etang de Thau
Between Sète and the Bagnas nature reserve, the Etang de Thau is the largest body of water in Occitania. It is bordered by several cycle paths and places of interest such as the Dinosaur Park in Mèze, the pond museum in Bouzigues and the spa town of Balaruc-les-Bains.
It is the most complex structure on the Canal du Midi, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This set includes eight pools and 9 doors that allow you to cross a drop of more than 20 meters.
This Montpellier art museum was housed in a former private mansion built in the 13th century, the Hôtel de Massilian. It contains a rich collection of paintings from the 15th to the 13th century (1,800 paintings), 4,000 drawings, around 1,500 engravings and 300 sculptures.
Pic Saint Loup
The majestic Saint-Loup peak 20 km from Montpellier is an ideal setting for a hike in the countryside or a bucolic walk in the heart of the vineyards. From its summit (658 m above sea level), you will see the plain of Saint-Martin-de-Londres, the Séranne mountain, the Cévennes and Mont Aigoual.
What activity to practice in Hérault?
Cruises on the Canal du Midi
The excursions are made from several cities including Colombiers and Béziers.
Diving, water skiing, jet skiing
These thrilling water sports are offered in several Hérault seaside resorts such as La Grande-Motte, Vias, Valras-Plage and Cap d´Agde.
Climbing, caving, canoeing, kayaking and canyoning
To fill up on adrenaline, head to the Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert region. You can also descend the Orb by canoe at Roquebrun.
The Haut-Languedoc Regional Natural Park is one of the favorite places for hikers in the Hérault. Another natural spot that attracts hikers is the Hérault gorges.
The 34 is crossed by hundreds of cycle paths. The most popular are those along the Canal du Midi and the Thau lake.
Do you want to cross bridges and various obstacles between the trees, more than 10 m high? The Portiragnes tree climbing park awaits you to measure your composure and your taste for adventure.
Navigation and oyster farming
In Mèze, climb aboard a boat to sail on the Etang de Thau and approach the oyster beds.
Where to go for a walk in the Hérault?
Banks of the Hérault
This circuit at the gates of the central massif will allow you to see Mount Aigoual and the Cévennes. Possibility to combine hiking with a visit to the Demoiselles cave
- Distance: 14.1 km
- Duration: 4h50
- Average level
- Departure: Brissac
Wood of Paris
This circuit will take you through the scrubland, near the Pic Saint-Loup, between the Mediterranean and the Cévennes.
- Distance: 14 km
- Duration: 4:45
- Average level
- Departure: Garrigues
Mount Caylus balconies
A beautiful walk near Lake Salagou around Nébian, Clermont-L’Hérault and Villeneuvette, easily accessible from the Grand Sud Lac du Salagou campsite.
- Distance: 12.5 km
- Duration: 4h30
- Average level
- Departure: Nébian
Cirque de Mourèze
A positive elevation greater than 500 m makes this route demanding, but its short distance allows most hikers to enjoy the natural spectacle offered by the Mourèze circus with, as a bonus, a panorama of the Salagou lake.
- Distance: 9.6 km
- Duration: 4h20
- Level: Difficult
- Departure: Liausson
Salagou lake tour
A magnificent loop with, on the heights, a striking view of the lake and its contours. One of the most beautiful hikes in the Languedoc hinterland.
- Distance: 27 km
- Duration: 8h40
- Level: Difficult
- Departure: Clermont-L’Hérault
What are the gastronomic specialties of Hérault?
After a hike around the Salagou lake, a canoe trip on the Orb or a bike ride around the Etang de Thau, advice: recharge your batteries and immerse yourself in the local cuisine by ordering a Hérault specialty.
It is impossible to leave Sète without tasting THE local specialty. The tielle sétoise is a circular pie garnished with tomato, squid or pulp. A real treat in homage to the Mediterranean.
Pâté de Pézenas
This charming village (whose visit is highly recommended) is proud to have its specialty, a kind of coil filled with lamb meat, brown sugar, nutmeg and egg yolk. Add a zest of lemon and cinnamon, and you will get an excellent pâté of Pézenas.
Ragout of Scoubilles
A hearty winter dish made with sausage, meat, olives, celery, mushrooms and carrots. The Scoubilles stew is usually served with potatoes. A great classic of Occitan cuisine!
Direction the seafood with the cuttlefish with rust, decorated with tomato and cognac. Consume calmly, preferably on the terrace facing the sea.
Crunchy and light, earbuds are omnipresent in the Hérault during the holiday season. Look for them in the bakery during your sweet break.
Where to sleep in Hérault?
The Languedoc coast is dotted with hotels (all categories). La Grande-Motte and Cap d´Agde have a large hotel capacity, followed by more modest resorts such as Valras and Vias. If you prefer the privacy of an apartment, you will find a wide choice of lofts, studios, T2, T3, T4 and T5 for rent in Montpellier and in the main cities of 34 (in particular on the Airbnb website). Are you looking for a friendly atmosphere, a cheap fully equipped rental and a green setting near the Salagou lake? Book your high-end mobile home at low prices at the Grand Sud Lac du Salagou campsite.