The 10 most beautiful walks around Narbonne

Vigie de la Clape

Narbonne, with its listed historic heritage and lively seaside resort, also boasts a beautiful natural environment: the many trails criss-crossing the Narbonnaise regional nature park are the perfect opportunity to discover the most beautiful walks around Narbonne.

Wetlands and large ponds, Mediterranean coastline lined with beaches, massifs covered with garrigue and pine forests – the area around Narbonne is a veritable invitation to hike! Protected for the most part by the Narbonnaise en Méditerranée regional nature park, this pretty region is criss-crossed by numerous well-developed, clearly-marked trails, perfect for outings suitable for all levels.

From a simple two-hour stroll to a full-day outing, always bear in mind that we’re in the south of France: the ideal season for hiking in Narbonne starts in spring, in April-May, and extends into the off-season, until October-November. On a fine winter’s day, with perfect visibility, the region is also idyllic for walking.

Be careful in midsummer, as temperatures rise and the sun beats down hard: water reserves and sun protection are a must. At this time of year, you should also check the day before your departure whether the trails are open: they are sometimes closed to limit the risk of fire.

While you’re waiting to get there, here’s some inspiration for future hikes around Narbonne:

1. Vineyards and ponds on the Chemin des Goules, Gruissan

randonnées Narbonne : Etangs sur le chemin des Goules

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 2 hours
  • Distance: 8.4 km
  • Height difference: 109 m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • See the route

Here’s a beautiful summary of the natural beauty of the Narbonnaise region, with an easy hike around Narbonne, with no particular technical difficulties. The hike starts in Gruissan, just 20 minutes’ drive from Narbonne, and follows the Chemin des Goules to Île Saint-Martin.

This itinerary, between land and sea, alternates between the banks of the Campignol and Ayrolle ponds, then crosses vineyards and garrigues to return to its starting point. Well-marked, the trail allows you to take your time, admire nature (and the occasional pink flamingo) and take photos without risking losing your bearings.

2. Breathtaking views over the trails of the Fontfroide massif

Massif de Fontfroide

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 2h30
  • Distance: 10.1 km
  • Difference in altitude: 213 m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • See the route

The Fontfroide massif, criss-crossed by numerous footpaths, is a popular hiking destination around Narbonne. Here, the limestone relief takes shape, reaching an altitude of 287 metres at the Roc de Fontfroide, above the abbey of the same name. This is the starting point for our walk.

It’s less than 20 minutes’ drive to Fontfroide Abbey, which you can visit before or after your hike: a beautiful loop through the massif, with superb views of the Narbonnaise regional nature park, the ponds, the Mediterranean, and to the south, the Corbières and the Pyrenees.

3. The Clape trail, in the heart of the Narbonnaise regional nature park

randonnées Narbonne : Le sentier de la Clape

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 4 hours
  • Distance: 14.8 km
  • Difference in altitude: 414 m
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • See the route

The difficulty level goes up a notch with this superb hike around Narbonne, more demanding in terms of number of kilometers and cumulative altitude difference. The effort is well worth it! This trail allows you to explore the Massif de la Clape, in the heart of the Narbonnaise Regional Park, through landscapes alternating limestone rock and woodland, with the scents and sounds of the garrigue as your companions.

Just 20 minutes from Narbonne, the start is not far from Gruissan. Along the way, take a look at the Hermite garden, the small marine cemetery and the Notre-Dame-des-Auzils chapel. Splendid from start to finish.

4. The pink flamingos of the Etang du Doul at Peyriac-sur-Mer

Les flamants roses de l'étang du Doul

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 1h30
  • Distance: 6.3 km
  • Height difference: 92 m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • See the route

Let’s stay in the pond area with this new hike around Narbonne, less than 20 minutes’ drive from the town center, starting from Peyriac-sur-Mer. The pleasant, easy trail crosses wetlands and salt marshes, presenting no major difficulties apart from a few wet stretches.

Numerous species of birds inhabit the area: birdwatchers and photographers enjoy the Doul pond, headlined by the local pink flamingos.

5. The Œil Doux chasm via the Oustalet sheepfold

randonnées Narbonne : Le gouffre de l'Œil Doux

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 2h15
  • Distance: 9.2 km
  • Height difference: 130 m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • See the route

This hike around Narbonne takes in an astonishing site, the source of many legends in the region: the Gouffre de l’Œil Doux. This unfathomable chasm, whose depth has long been unknown, has a water level that varies according to rainfall and the vagaries of the sea: from the limestone wall above, the view is breathtaking.

Allow half an hour’s drive from Narbonne in the direction of Saint-Pierre-la-Mer to reach the starting point of the hike, which takes place mainly in the woods and fields of the Massif de la Clape.

6. Around the Gruissan pond

Le tour de l'étang de Gruissan

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 1h30
  • Distance: 6 km
  • Height difference: 23 m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • See the route

Gruissan, a 20-minute drive away, is an excellent starting point for a number of hikes around Narbonne: here, the itinerary couldn’t be easier to follow, as it takes you all the way around the Etang de Gruissan.

The interest of the walk lies not in the altitude difference, which is absent, or the relatively short distance to be covered, but in the beauty of the scenery, with beautiful views over Gruissan. The village is organized in a « circulade » around the Barberousse tower, a typical Languedoc layout. Also worth seeing are the many species of birds that call the area home. A must at the end of the day, when the light is fading…

7. Superb panorama from the Vigie de la Clape

Vigie de la Clape

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 1h30
  • Distance: 6.1 km
  • Height difference: 130 m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • See the route

The aim of this hike around Narbonne is first and foremost to take in the magnificent panoramic views from the 187-metre-high Vigie de la Clape: the Mediterranean coastline, the Narbonnaise region, the Pyrenees… you’ll love the view!

The hike starts on a small road in the Massif de la Clape, less than 20 minutes from Narbonne. The trail, through garrigues and farmland, is quiet and not very difficult, making it accessible to all.

8. The Sainte-Lucie salt flats from Port-la-Nouvelle

randonnées Narbonne : Les salins de Sainte-Lucie

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 1h45
  • Distance: 7.7 km
  • Height difference: 65 m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • See the route

It’s a good half-hour’s drive around the ponds to Port-la-Nouvelle, the starting point for a new hike around Narbonne’s wetlands: on one side, the Sainte-Lucie salt pans, on the other, the étang de La Berre and the étang de l’Ayrolle. You’d think you were on an island!

After the Maison Eclusière de Sainte-Lucie, the route follows the Canal de la Robine to the beautiful viewpoints of the Roc Saint-Antoine and the Vigie. This easy, family-friendly outing can be rounded off with a dip in the sea at Port-la-Nouvelle beach.

9. La Capoulade circuit near Gruissan

Le circuit de La Capoulade

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 1h30
  • Distance: 6.1 km
  • Height difference: 64 m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • See the route

We’re back in Gruissan, 20 minutes from Narbonne, on a pleasant, easy trail called La Capoulade. Well laid out and signposted from end to end, the circuit is easy to follow, first running alongside the Canal Sainte-Marie, then through the vineyards and pine forests so popular with hikers around Narbonne…

There are many fine viewpoints along the way, all the more so if you choose your walking times carefully: early in the morning, or at the very end of the day, for variations in luminosity.

10. Variant via the beaches of the Œil Doux chasm

randonnées Narbonne : Plage de Narbonne

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 4 hours
  • Distance: 16.4 km
  • Height difference: 90 m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • See the route

A long seaside walk: this long loop allows you to discover the seaside side of Narbonne, while keeping in mind the objective of discovering the Œil Doux chasm. As the latter is off-limits to bathers, take advantage of the long stretches of sand at Narbonne Plage and Saint-Pierre-la-Mer to take a dip in the water!

This tour around Narbonne can be reached in 20 minutes from the town center, the same driving time it takes to reach the seaside resort of Narbonne Plage.