Haut-Languedoc

Unknown, unspoilt and probably under-watched, the Haut Languedoc regional park, not far from the Mediterranean coast and half-way between the Pyrenees and the Cévennes, is worth a visit for the scenery alone. Steep-sided limestone gorges, lake-topped plateaux and low mountains are home to a wide range of southern species with birds of prey being of particular interest. The list is long, here we give a few of the more interesting: Griffon vulture, Bonelli’s eagle, Eagle owl, Blue Rock thrush, Crag martin, Hoopoe, continental Dipper, and many of the Mediterranean warblers.

The area can be very good for raptor migration (particularly Honey Buzzards) in early autumn.

Other wildlife is also of great interest and butterfly enthusiasts will enjoy southern species such as Provence Orange Tip and Cleopatra, to name just two of many.

A visit here can easily be combined with the nearby Narbonnaise regional park, the Cévénnes national park or even the Eastern French Pyrenees and the cultural heritage interest of the Cathar country.

What to see and where

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Top birding sites

Minervois

Massif du Caroux 

Causse de Caucalières 

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Top bird species

Griffon vulture

Bonelli’s eagle

Eagle owl

Alpine accentor

Blue rock thrush

Lesser kestrel

Bee-eater

Download the Haut-Languedoc
“Which birds when” list

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Other wildlife

Orchids

Drosophera

Bats

Butterflies

Ocellated lizard &
other reptiles

Moufflon
(a Corsican mountain sheep!)

 


Getting there

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Travel by plane

Carcassonne

Béziers

Montpellier

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Travel by train

London – Lille – Montpellier

London – Paris – Béziers/Narbonne

Other train stations nearby:

Castres

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Local transport

Car rental from:

Narbonne or Béziers train stations

Carcassonne, Béziers & Montpellier airports

Local bus network

Bicyles for rent
Extensive cycle routes
along the Green way

Useful tips

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Plan to stay a week

London – Avignon direct

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Allow 30 - 40 km/day

Nearest airports:

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Combine with Narbonnaise for a 10-14 day stay

Car rental:

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Tourist information

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Local food

Cow and ewe’s milk cheeses, Lacaune charcuterie
Brown trout
Minervois wines: St Chinian and Faugères
Chestnut honey, sweet chestnut purée

 

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