Where to stay in the Parc Naturel Régional du Haut Languedoc?

Visiting the Parc Naturel Régional du Haut-Languedoc, straddling the Hérault and Tarn departments? Here are the towns and villages to stay in near Haut-Languedoc!

A nature park since 1973 in the southern foothills of the Massif Central, the Parc Naturel Régional du Haut-Languedoc covers 306,000 hectares in the two French départements of Tarn and Hérault, in the Occitanie region. Between the Montagne Noire, the Monts de Lacaune, the Sidobre, the Orb valley and the villages of Minerve, Olargues, Bédarieux, Lodève and Saint-Chinian, the park offers a wealth of outdoor activities between Castres and Béziers.

Whether it’s wandering through vineyards, lakes or forests of fir and oak, the Parc Naturel du Haut-Languedoc is a natural and sustainable tourism destination offering a wide range of activities. The park has a population of 90,511 and a highly diversified landscape. But where to stay near the Parc du Haut-Languedoc? Here’s a roundup of villages to stay in around this protected natural site.

Olargues

Olargues, Haut Languedoc

Photo credit: Flickr – Chris Bertram

Situated in the western Hérault region, 50 kilometers north of Béziers, Olargues is classified as one of the « Most Beautiful Villages in France ». The village lies close to the Orb river, south of the Espinouse mountains.

A number of activities can be explored in the surrounding area when staying at Olargues: the Olargues Devil’s Bridge over the Jaur river, the Héric gorges at Mons, canoeing and kayaking on the Orb river, hiking in the Espinouse mountains up to the Col de Fontfroide. You’ll be sheltered from mass tourism, in a land preserved from the ravages of time, satisfying both your desire for heritage and nature.

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Saint-Pons-de-Thomières

Why choose Saint-Pons-de-Thomières? Simply because it’s in the heart of the Haut-Languedoc Regional Nature Park! When you come to this little village from the Hérault, you leave behind the garrigue and Mediterranean lights to find deciduous vegetation and a more continental climate. Highlights include Saint-Pons Abbey, Saint-Pons Cathedral and the remains of the former parish church of Saint-Martin-du-Jaur.

Take advantage of your hotel/Airbnb accommodation in Saint-Pons-de-Thomières to visit the Prehistory Museum before setting off to explore the charms of the Haut-Languedoc: the Devèze cave in Courniou, a trip to the Vézoles lake, and there again, beautiful, rejuvenating walks. If you like wine, don’t miss the Saint-Chinian cellars, where the wine of the same name is the department’s fourth-largest AOC.

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La-Salvetat-sur-Agout

As you head north, you’ll find plenty of room to rent in La-Salvetat-sur-Agout. Not far away, the river Agout flows tirelessly into the Lac de la Raviège, providing an ideal backdrop for cycling or walking, before enjoying a quiet evening in a hotel near the village. Then it’s on to the Tarn to relax at Lac du Laouzas.

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Castres

Visiter Castres

The town of Castres lies on the western flanks of the Haut-Languedoc regional nature park. Staying in Castres, sub-prefecture of the Tarn region and birthplace of Jean Jaurès, means visiting a charming village – its houses hanging over the Agout river, the Jean Jaurès museum and the Goya museum.

There are a few bars and restaurants where you can stroll before setting off to discover the exceptional flora and fauna of the Tarn villages in the Haut-Languedoc Regional Nature Park: Brassac, Burlats, Montredon-Labessonnié, Lacrouzette, Roquecourbe, Lacaune or Lacaze.

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