‘Must do’s’ when staying at the Couvent in Hérépian:
1. Relax in the gardens and swim in the pool at the Couvent.
2. Walk up the Gorges d’Héric (17km west of Hérépian on the D908) Spectacular gorge. Stunning views. Countless waterfalls. Swim in the rock pools. Take a picnic. There is a café when you reach the hamlet of Héric.
3. Go for a cycle ride along the old railway track. The track passes through Hérépian and continues for miles – to Bédarieux in the east and through countless towns and villages along the River Orb and then the River Jour to the west. The Couvent has bikes you can use.
4. An easy walk from the Couvent: up to Notre Dame de Capimont. Lovely views over Hérépian and surrounding countryside. See link for details.
5. Car Tour of Villages: pick up the leaflet ‘Upper Languedoc: A day, a route, a local terroir’ from Hérépian tourist office. Try the car tour which passes through Hérépian, Bédarieux, Boussagues, Camplong … and Combes.
6. Canoe down the River Orb: tackle the rapids, swim, picnic, relax! (20 minutes west of Hérépain at Tarassac)
7. Visit the picturesque village of Olargues – (20km west of Hérépian on the D908) or Roquebrun with its fascinating Mediterranean Gardens. (A 40 minute scenic drive from Hérépian.)
8. Taste the local wines in Faugères (9km from Hérépian: D909A south, then D909, left turn onto D10 towards Pézanas) or St Chinian (45km from Hérépian) : see link
9. Visit Pézanas (32km west of Hérépian: D909A, D909, D13) for their massive Saturday market or Lamalou-les-bains: (4km west of Hérépian on the D908) for their Tuesday market 8am – 1pm.
10. Canal du Midi: If you want to arrange boat hire ask at the tourist office in Hérépian. One option is to hire a boat from Villeneuve-les-Béziers (D909 south from Hérépian). It’s a pretty town to visit afterwards. Don’t miss the fascinating mural of a house in the centre of town!
‘Must Visit’ Restaurants when staying at the Couvent in Hérépian:
• Have lunch at the Auberge de Combes*: (10km from Hérépian. Take the D908 from Hérépian to Lamelou, continue as far as Poujol-sur-Orb and then turn right onto the small and windy D180 which leads to the village) excellent restaurant in a beautiful hilltop village. 3 course lunch with a glass of wine costs 25 Euros on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
• Have lunch or dinner at L’Auberge de l’Abbaye (Villemagne-l’Argentière): (3km north on D922 from Hérépian) Lovely restaurant/ beautiful setting (poppy fields).
• Ocre Rouge: in the square beside the Couvent. Excellent food.
• The Table d’Hôte at the Couvent is excellent value.
The centre of the small town of Hérépian is full of narrow streets so parking in these roads can be difficult.
On arrival at the Couvent Boutique Hotel (see above) in the rue du Couvent, we suggest you unload your car outside the hotel and then park your car in one of the following locations:
– In the small square a few metres uphill from the Couvent, next to the Ocre Rouge restaurant (a dozen or so spaces available)
– Further down the rue du Couvent, away from the square (four or five parking spaces available)
– In the large car park in the Avenue René Cassin (D922). From the Couvent continue uphill (square and Ocre Rouge to your left) on the Grand Rue. At the top turn right and immediately left into the Avenue René Cassin. (D922) The car park is on your right after 50 metres.
4 bicycles are available at the Couvent for guests to use and in just a couple of minutes you can join this excellent cycle path along a disused railway. It’s an easy, flat route which will take you miles in either direction!
To the east the path leads to the beautiful old village of Villemagne l’Argentière and then on to Bédarieux. To the west you’ll pass through the market town of Lamalou-les-bains, the villages of Le Poujol and Colombières on the Orb and on to Mons la Trivalle for the Gorge d’Héric (a ‘must visit’ – see separate article) and beyond. The cycle path – 75km in total – continues all the way to Mazamet in the west. Check out this link to the French website www.voiesvertes-hautlanguedoc.fr
To reach the cycle path turn left out of the Couvent and left at the square, passing the Ocre Rouge on your right. Turn right at the bottom of the road onto the high street. At the roundabout take the third exit and almost immediately take a left turn on the D922 signposted Villemagne l’Argentière. The path starts just a few hundred metres along this road.
Hérépian is a small town of barely 1500 people. However, it has its full quota of specialist shops, a few restaurants and, on the approach to the town from the Bédariaux direction, a large Intermarché hypermarket. Continue reading →
• Budget airlines offer cheap flights from as little as £65 return if you can be slightly flexible on dates and book in advance.
• Car hire starts at around £25 per day (Don’t automatically take the car hire service offered by your airline / travel agent. There are several comparison sites. ( e.g. kayak.co.uk or carrentals.co.uk ) Continue reading →