27 September 2018 – Les Rives

2016-03-24 11-05-14This is a circular walk on the plateau to the west of Les Rives.

The walk is quite long, about 8 km, but quite easy, all on country roads and good tracks. It is mostly level, with a few rolling sections, and a total climb of about 50m. The terrain is varied, with open views across fields and the more distant plateau, and wooded and scrubby sections. The forecast is for mostly full sun, but with a continuation of the recent lower air temperatures, and not much wind.

As usual, we will meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to set off at 10:00. The walk will start at 10:30 from the parking area in Les Rives. We should be back in Lodeve by 14:00.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 8 km
Bring: Snack, sun protection.


Walk near Salasc

This week we will have a walk starting in Salasc. The walk is called Le sentier des béals. It is a 5 km marked walk, which ascends in total about 300 m. But after this climb you will have a nice view on the Lac du Salagou, the castle of Malavieille and the vineyards, says the leaflet. The walk is marked as easy to medium difficult, but can be quite taxing in places. Bring your walking sticks, as the descend is sometimes a bit steep, with loose stones.

The forecast is mostly sunny with a very (30%) small chance of rain or thunderstorm in the morning. Hardly any wind and good temperatures.

We meet at Luteva before 10 o’clock to leave at 10 am. The walk itself will start from the parking lot near the school in Salasc. We intend to start the walk between 10:30 and 10:40 am.

Leader: Dorine
Distance: 5 km. Medium difficult. Climb: 300 m.
Bring: walking sticks, water, sun protection.


30 August 2018 – Lunas

This week we will walk the streets and paths around Lunas, including the ascent to the Virgin statue, from where there are excellent views down the Gravezon valley.

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This is a short walk around the back streets and paths in Lunas, including the steep climb up the the remains of the old castle, overlooking the town. The descent is by a gentler path, visiting the ruined chapel of St George. It is forecast to be sunny but not too hot, though with strong winds.

We will meet at 8:50, outside the Luteva Cinema, ready for departure at 9:00. The walk will start from the bridge over the river near the church in Lunas, at about 9:40. We should be back in Lodeve by 12:30, but as the walk is short there will be time to stop for a coffee in Lunas. There are also two restaurants offering lunch on a terrace overlooking the river, for anyone who would like to seize that opportunity.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: ~ 4 km, climb ~ 70 m

28 June 2018 – St Martin de l’Arçon

This is an all-day walk in the hills to the north of the Orb/Jaur valley, below the heights of Le Caroux and L’Espinouse, on the eastern flank of the Heric gorge. At about 8 km it is not a particularly long walk, but a hard one, with a long ascent up a steep hillside, rising over 500 m, and a long descent on a stone path.

This week we propose a fairly hard walk in the hills beyond Lamalou-les-bains. It is about 8 km long and will take about 3 hours of good walking, ascending about 500 m to a peak at about 700 m. Much of the ascent involves scaling the steep sides of the Gorges d’Heric, on a proper marked path that zig-zags up the hillside. We will stop for a picnic at the top!

The forecast is for a mostly sunny day with some wind, continuing the recent pattern. So make sure that you bring sun protection and sufficient water.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The walk itself will start from the car park at the Mairie in St Martin, at about 11:15. We should be back in Lodeve by 16:30.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 8 km, climb ~ 500 m, hard
Bring: Water, sun protection, snack, binoculars

21 June 2018 – Le Caylar and Roc Castel

This week we propose a relatively short and easy walk from Le Caylar, followed by the opportunity to climb to the top of the Roc Castel.2014-11-13-12-14-09.jpg

From Le Caylar we set off in the direction of Le Cros, and then make a loop to return by a different path – we have done most of this walk on various previous occasions. It is largely flat, though stony underfoot in some sections. We should get back to Le Caylar early enough for those of a more sporting disposition to do the climb up to the top of the Roc Castel, behind the town. There is a good path all the way up, and the view from the top is excellent!

It is forecast to be sunny this week, with the wind having dropped, so be prepared for a hot day.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00. We walk will start from the car park beside the church (at the eastern end of the town) at about 10:30. We should be back in Lodeve by 13:30.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: ~5 km
Bring: Hat, Water

10 May 2018 – Mont Liausson

This week we propose the long-threatened ascent of Mont Liausson, to the south of Lake Salagou. The walk includes a steep and strenuous ascent (and descent) of about 300 m on well-worn, stony tracks, so it is important to come with good footwear and stamina!

The climb up Mont Liausson is a well-loved walk in the area. It is measured at 7 km, but feels significantly longer, involving nearly 400 m of climbing and taking at least 3 hours before breaks. The forecast is for sunny periods but strong winds, with the air temperature reaching about 20°. It will be particularly gusty at the summit.

Starting from the village of Liausson, we walk through vineyards for about 1 km, before starting 3 km of climbing, all the way to the ridge at the top of the mountain. From here there are magnificent views, to the north across Lake Salagou, and to the south across the Cirque de Mourèze towards the Pic de Vissou and Cabrières. Near the top we will pass by the the ruins of l’hermitage de St-Jean-d’Aureillan, just before the eastern end of the ridge. From here we descend by a similar path, passing the Grotte de Liausson.

For those interested in birdlife we might see or hear some interesting birds, notably the Dartford warbler (la Fauvette pitchou) or the blue rock thrush (la Monticole bleu).

As usual the we will meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The walk itself will start at about 10:30 from the car park opposite the mairie in Liausson. We should be back in Lodeve by about 15:00.

Leader: Ben
Distance: ~7 km, ~400 m climb
Bring: Snack, water, good shoes, binoculars, stamina

26 April 2018 – Cantercel



With the arrival of Spring, it is time to go looking for wild flowers. This week we will visit the Cantercel area, above La Vacquerie, which is one of the best places for jonquils. Also, the asphodels are starting to flower, and there is a good chance to see wild irises and some early orchids.

This is a fairly long walk of about 8 km, rising a total of about 150 m. Most is on tracks (some loose and stony) or on footpaths. The higher levels give excellent views across to Mont St Baudile to the south and Navacelles to the north.

Dog owners, take note: there are lots of Austrian Pines in this area and is very likely that there will be processionnaire caterpillars on the move.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to leave at 10:00. The walk itself will start from the reservoir above La Vacquerie at about 10:45. To get to this point you drive through the village (on the D9 towards Arboras) and up the hill. Immediately after the top of the hill there is a small turning sharply back on the right, with a no-through-road sign, and the parking point is 100 m up this road. If you get to the hamlet of La Trivalle (on the D9), you have missed the turning!

This is a fairly long walk, so bring a snack. We should be back in Lodeve by 14:30.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 8 km, 150 m rise
Bring: Snack, dog lead