This guidebook details 32 walks in the Languedoc region of France, north of Beziers. Much of this area forms the Parc Naturel du Haut-Languedoc, at the heart of which is the stunning Espinouse massif, rising abruptly some 850m from the valley floor. Close by is the valley of Lac du Salagou, an enormous man-made lake surrounded by impressive hills. A little further east is the valley of the river Herault, which provides the explorer with wonderful limestone gorges, caves and cliffs. All three of these areas are well provided with footpaths on which it is rare to see another human being; and, because this is France, a fine dinner awaits you at the end of the day. The Languedoc has for too long been in the shadow of Provence. Sharing the same Mediterranean climate and vegetation, it is a quiet, beautiful place which retains more than a hint of the old France. This book is the fruit of 10 years' exploration of the central part of the Languedoc, and aims to provide walks into these areas for hikers of all standards; some are very straightforward, others are for the very fit and experienced. All the walks described are circular.
Preface to Second Edition; Map Key; Map: Languedoc Region; Map: Starting Points for Walks on Caroux Espinouse Somail; Map: Starting Points for Other Walks; Introduction; Climate, Geology, Wildlife; Getting There; Where to Stay; What to See; Food, Markets and Money; Weather, Clothing and Equipment; Maps; Using this Guide; Hunting; Recommendations; Walk 1 Around Roquebrun; Walk 2 La Fort des Ecrivains Combattants; Walk 3 Les Gorges de Madale; Walk 4 Les Gorges de Colombires; Walk 5 Saint Martin de lAron; Walk 6 Circuit of the Caroux Plateau; Walk 7 La Cabrire; Walk 8 Tour du Roc Noir; Walk 9 Valley of the Vialais and the Montagne dAret; Walk 10 Caroux Table dOrientation; Walk 11 Circuit of La Gleizo; Walk 12 Les Gorges dHric; Walk 13 Circuit of Cambon; Walk 14 Summit of Mont de lEspinouse; Walk 15 Circuit of Montahut; Walk 16 Les Sagnes; Walk 17 Circuit of Coustorgues; Walk 18 Circuit of Cassagnoles; Walk 19 Le Saut de Vzoles; Walk 20 Le Priou; Walk 21 Circuit of Villemagne; Walk 22 Pic de la Coquillade; Walk 23 La Maurelle; Walk 24 Les Trois Tours (The Three Towers); Walk 25 Tour of Mont Liausson; Walk 26 The Mont Liausson Ridge; Walk 27 St Guilhem le Dsert; Walk 28 Lac du Salagou; Walk 29 Around Le Puech; Walk 30 Pic Saint-Baudille; Walk 31 Le Caylar and La Couvertoirade; EnglishFrench Glossary; Summary of Walks
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Having spent many a family vacation trudging the damp footpaths of the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales, John Cross decided in 1989 to buy a holiday home in the Languedoc, near Beziers. For the next ten years he spent much of his spare time exploring the Languedoc hills and mountains on foot and by bike. Finally, in 1999, he and his wife, Sarah, gave up their jobs as headteachers to live in the Languedoc full time. John is now working as a freelance translator.