Let yourself be drawn into an extraordinary universe, a place where nature surpasses the imagination and dazzles you at every moment. The Mourèze Circus in the heart of the Hérault in the Occitanie region will not leave anyone indifferent.
Mourèze does its Circus…
Just a stone’s throw from the Lac du Salagou, the charming village of Mourèze and its 12th century church, but it is above all its dolomitic cirque that you should not miss during your holidays in the Hérault. The Mourèze Circus, a vast chaos of rocks eroded by time, offers its visitors a simply magical natural spectacle. Welcome to another world that will take you either light years away from Earth or to the Wild West. The 300-hectare area, now wooded, on the southern side of Mont Liausson, is home to surprising mineral formations with varied contours. 160 million years ago, the Cirque area was at the bottom of the Jurassic sea… Limestone sediments were deposited there and when the waters receded, the soils eroded to give these atypical chimneys. These ruiniform dolomites even have names, it’s up to you to find the Sphynx which watches over the place, the High Furnaces, the Cerberus, the Organs…
A walk to discover the Mourèze Circus
A network of signposted footpaths allows you to walk between the monoliths in this surprising open-air natural museum. The Mourèze Circus is well protected from the wind and the cold and offers beautiful walks in all seasons. Leave time to time, wander around as you please to admire every corner of this incredible labyrinth, without forgetting to look up to the sky. The rocky desert soils sometimes give way to shrubs and broom, which provide an extra touch of light during the flowering season. All your visits, walks and hikes must be done with respect for the biodiversity of the places you pass through. Beware of the Languedoc scorpions, a rare species found in the heart of this unique setting. You have nothing to fear as long as you don’t step on their nests, which they usually make under the stones of the path.
And for the practical side…
You can only drive up to the visitors’ car park in the village of Mourèze (3 € to be paid in cash, ticket valid for 1 year). And whatever the season, wear good walking shoes and don’t forget your camera or smartphone. Don’t feel like climbing to the Cirque? Enjoy the view from the Belvedere in the Parc des Courtinals. The orientation table between the village and the cirque of Mourèze already offers a magnificent 360° view.
The region also promises beautiful and safe hikes for the more sporty, who can, for example, climb Mont Liausson (7 km loop). Also worth discovering are the paths starting from typical villages such as Villeneuvette (an old cloth-making town) or Octon (with its Notre-Dame de Roubignac chapel) as well as the Sentier des Béals starting from Salasc. The Hérault region, which has been awarded the “Grand Site de France” label and is home to numerous Natura 2000 sites, promises some very beautiful escapades with incredible views.
After all this sightseeing or hiking, why not enjoy the Mediterranean Sea? The ideal place to stay is the campsite in Vias, Le Cayola, just a stone’s throw from the beach of Vias, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Languedoc-Roussillon. The secure 4-star campsite, only 50 km south of the Cirque de Mourèze, promises an unforgettable stay with family, friends or lovers in a green setting. It is up to you to organise your programme according to your desires for rest, entertainment around the swimming pool or excursions (Etang de Thau, Canal du Midi, Narbonnaise National Park in the Mediterranean, Cap d’Agde, Sète, Montpellier, Sérignan, Pic Saint-Loup, Lodève…).