Cirque de Moureze, Herault: tourism & sightseeing
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The village is visited for the natural spectacle that stands at its feet - the Cirque de Mourèze. The Cirque is an extensive natural amphitheatre (it covers almost 1000 acres / 300 hectares) of dolomites - dolomites are the hard upright rocks that remain standing when water and wind erosion has worn away the softer rock around them.
Exploring the Cirque de Moureze
Start your visit at the Parc des Courtinals which has the best sweeping view of the cirque, and a 'table d'orientation' explaining the major formations and landmarks. There is also also a small museum explaining the geology and history of the people who once lived here, and a reconstructed iron age hut.
There are several marked trails that lead through the cirque, of varying length taking between one hour and three hours to complete. Be sure to explore one of these because it is close up that the landscape is most strange and fascinating, in the most intact 'cirque of dolomites' in Europe.
Strange standing rock formations, worn by the rain over millions of years, emerge from the undergrowth often seeming to take the forms of various animals and structures - many of the rocks have been given names by the more romantically inclined.
The region around the Cirque de Moureze has also been occupied since prehistoric times, certainly 9000 years ago, and there are remains of more recent iron-age dwellings.
Highly recommended for a visit, with scenery that is both fascinating and awe-inspiring. If you are visiting during the height of summer try to visit the cirque quite early in the morning, and always bring water - it gets very hot exploring and natural shade is hard to find.
Places close to Cirque de Moureze
The village of Mourèze itself, a small village of ancient houses centred around the 12th century gothic style Church of Sainte-Marie and with the ruins of a small ancient castle on a rock above the village, is in the heart of this picturesque setting and a pleasant village to stroll around.
The Lac de Salagou, a few kilometres north of the Cirque de Moureze, is a popular leisure lake for sunbathing, swimming and various water based activities.
The interesting village of Villeneuvette, built as a factory to produce cloth for the king and housing for the workers, is nearby.
Photos of Cirque de Moureze
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Map of Cirque de Moureze and places nearby
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Address: Mourèze, Clermont-l'Hérault, Lodève, Languedoc-Roussillon, 34800, France || GPS: latitude 43.62, longitude 3.3567
Plan your visit to Cirque de Moureze, Herault
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Cirque du Moureze: site of natural beauty
- Valle du Salagou: grand site of france (4 km)
- Céressou: site of natural beauty (9 km)
- Lodeve: recommended detour (13 km)
- Parc et jardin du château de Margon: remarkable garden (15 km)
- Grotte de la Clamouse: site of natural beauty (18 km)
- Pezenas: recommended detour (19 km)
- Saint Jean de Fos pont du diable (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (19 km)
- Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert: most beautiful village (20 km)
- St Guilhem le Desert ancienne abbaye (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (20 km)
- Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert / Gorges de l'Herault: grand site of france (20 km)
- Jardin des carrières de Saint-Adrien: remarkable garden (22 km)
The French version of this page is at Cirque de Moureze (Francais)