Take the D908 towards Lamelou and after about 20 minutes turn left at Tarassac* onto the D14. The road follows the River Orb which meanders through dramatic steep sided, forested hills (almost mountains). The D14 skates high above the river and then descends to pass beside little villages, like the picturesque Vieussan or Ceps before ascending again. Every so often you will catch a glimpse of bright orange canoes below negotiating their way through the rapids or quieter stretches of the Orb.
Roquebrun itself is a delight, particularly the Mediterranean Gardens, with their orange and lemon trees, mimosa and lots of exotic plants spreading all along the hillside. The little town – nicknamed the ‘Nice of Herault’ – enjoys a microclimate which enables all of these plants to flourish. The Carolingian tower stands above the gardens on a rocky crag. From the gardens and the tower there are spectacular views over Roquebrun, the River Orb and beyond. After you visit swim or relax beside the river or have a bite to eat at one of the many cafés or restaurants.
If you wish to continue to St Chinian from Roquebrun it’s about a 20 minute drive. Cross the river (D14), pass through the hamlet of Lugné and after a couple more miles, just before Cessenon-sur-Orb, take a right turn on the D20 to St Chinian. Tastings are available at the Cooperative just on the outskirts of the town and the Maison des Vins in the centre.
*Canoe hire available here