Places to see around Lodeve
Mouréze: At the edge of the village is a spectacular dolomitic limestone outcrop known as the Cirque de Mourèze. Amazing rock formations to wander around just 30 minutes drive away with a friendly café nearby.
Roquefort: 30mins drive north is this pretty village in the hills and the amazing caves where the of the famous blue cheese is made. A look around the town and a tour of the caves is worth the trip, there’s a nice restaurant serving lunch with meals using Roquefort.
La Couvertoirade is a must, the fortified crusader village, beautifully preserved with large car park just off the A75 near La Caylar, drive 20 minutes north on the auto route or on back roads 35minutes through Soubés, well signposted. The village has lots of unusual craft shops and an amazing restored streets and houses, cafés for lunch surrounded by open countryside.
Saint-Jean D’Alcas at the foot of The Larzac plateau is this little village fortified during the Hundred years war and well-preserved with circular towers with the Abbess’s house and impressive views of the cliffs of the Larzac.
Viaduct de Millau, if you didn’t cross this amazing bridge on the way, then a visit is worthwhile. Fabulous viewpoints of the masterpiece of modern engineering on the way there if you turn off before the bridge and a visitor center down underneath. There’s a lively town with market on Fridays and boat trips available to see the viaduct from below. http://www.tourisme-aveyron.com/en/discover/unmissables/millau-viaduct.php#cmTheme01
Pezenas: 30 minutes along the motorway towards Beziers. Beautiful town with delightful ‘lanes’ crammed full of craft shops, restaurants, bars and cafes, once the capital of Languadoc with many very grand buildings, palaces as well as the narrow streets. Shops open late and on Wednesdays and Fridays until midnight in July/August. MUST www.golanguedoc.com/best-languedoc-sites/pezenas-tourist-information.html
Narbonne: on the canal de la Robine beautiful cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace and Roman remains, excellent indoor and outdoor markets on Thurday and Sunday mornings. Just west of the town is the infamous Monastery of Fontfroide where much of the Inquisition took place, there are guided tours and restaurant on site. Further on is Lagrasse, the most beautiful village of this Corbieres highlands.
Seté: A busy port, but with a colourful old quarter with loads of cafés and restaurants serving freshly caught fish on the menu. Long sandy beach, lively nightlife and lots of pleasure port facilities with glass bottom boat trips and night cruises. Bouzigues is just 15 minutes along the coast between Marseillan and Sete. It is the tiny fishing village to view the spectacular oyster beds splaying out across the Etang, also, for the excellent seafood - and oysters that are said to be the best in France.
Aigues Mortes: A medieval walled city with lots of shops and cafés inside standing on the edge of the Med. Good stopping off point to include on a trip to the Camargue. MUST
Land of the Cathars: This is a whole day trip to see the amazing Cathar Castles. Visit Chateau de Queribus; peached atop a turret of bare rock famous as the Cathar rebels last stand, Lavaur the capital of Cathar land, Chateau de Peyrepertuse; largest and best preserved castle, Montségur; the stunning hilltop stronghold of the defiant Cathars, Minerve; breathtaking Cathar canyon surrounded village. The magnificence of these castles and scenery is stunning, but it is a full day out. MUST
Carcassonne: The famous walled city is well known, second most popular tourist site after the Eiffel Tower, so expect it to be busy. Lots of shops and cafés inside the city, takes about 1hr/30 on the motorway, so Gorges de Galamus is worth including if you make this trip out.
Beziers: Busy, friendly town on the river Orb with bull ring, grand cathedral and various shops and attractions. Beaches are nearby and resorts with wine tours. About 45minutes drive away.
Lamalou les Bains: An attractive spa town about 1hr drive through attractive scenery, calling off at Lunas and Olarges the medieval village.
Roquebrun: Attractive town perched by the Orb river, St Chinian a very pretty wine making village with wine tasting and tours available. Both are all great day out trips, seeing delightful villages and scenery.
Figueres is a whole day trip for a change of culture. This city just inside Spain is where the Salvador Dali museum is situated, a real whacky place to visit. About 2+hours drive.
Cirque de Navacelles is a nearby trip just 30minutes drive through stunning scenery. A mini-grand-canyon, with café and visitor centre at the top. If you dare, drive to the bottom of the canyon for a look at the waterfall and possible dip. MUST
Montpellier: a fascinating, busy city of shops, new and old. The tramway is useful and allows you to park and ride into the centre of the city. Follow the motorway to just outside turning right at the signpost La Paillade parking is signposted Le Mossan, in this car park you will also find a huge flea market on Sunday mornings and on Tuesdays a flower market. MUST