The mountainous massif of Montagne Noire is within the Natural Park of the Haut-Languedoc region (Upper Languedoc), southwest of the Massif Central, in France. With an age of 360 to 300 million years, this mountain range presents two well differentiated slopes:
northern - predominantly area wooded, characterized by the presence of pines, firs and oaks. This density of vegetation is what gives the name of Noir (black) to the massif.
southern - more arid and with a typically Mediterranean flora (olive, chestnut), it contrasts with the former for its deep ravines, where most of the waters of the massif stop.
Without a doubt, the massif is an exceptional place where nature manifests itself in its most diverse and capricious forms. Lakes, streams, canyons and forests make up the elements of an ideal environment to enjoy with all five senses.
Places to discover
Mazamet - Charming city located at the foot of the massif, in the department of Tarn. It was founded by the Visigoths as Hautpoul in the year 413 and built as a fortress on a peak, under which the neighboring valleys were dominated. Centuries later, the settlement of Simon de Montfort, main protagonist in the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathars in Hautpoul (year 1212) caused the movement of its inhabitants towards the valley to build the new Mazamet.
Today, the medieval fortress de Hautpoul, constitutes the legacy of a history marked by bloody battles of religion. Its walls house artisans and workshops to preserve the history and heritage of the place.
At the foot of this medieval village, the Maison du Bois offers an exhibition of the beautiful art of wood, surrounded by a spectacular Botanical Garden with more than 54 different species.
To travel to the 19th century, the House of Memories recreates the wedding scene of its owners in a salon epoch. In addition, you can discover the history and the Cathar faith, in an exhibition located on the first floor of the house.
To enjoy leisure and sports in a natural environment, the Lake of the Mountains, has the most varied offer in activities: routes of trekkingtrack fitness around the lake (2.7 km), trails for cycling, areas of picnic with barbecue, area playful for children, swimming on the lake under supervision or mini golf.
Clermont l’Hérault – Capital of table grapes, this town also has the Gothic church of Saint Paul, the feudal castle and the Salagou Lake. In its vicinity you can also discover the spectacular circus of Mourèze, where ancient erosion has sculpted the rock giving rise to strangers reliefs ruininiform.
Les Matelles - Picturesque city medieval surrounded by walls and with a museum on the Prehistory.
Montolieu - Famous city of the Montaigne Noire where booksellers and bookbinders have installed their workshops. To visit the Museum of graphic arts and techniques.
Saint Guilhem le Désert - City medieval founded by Guilhem, Duke of Aquitaine. From his Gellone Abbey, built in the year 804, only the church, the portal and the 15th century bell tower are preserved. Romanesque interior, cloister and lapidary museum where the remains of Saint-Guilhem. In its surroundings are the Gorges de l’Hérault, with the Pont du Diable (11th century), the Gothic bridge in Saint Etienne d’Issensac and the Clamouse Grotto.
Lamalou les Bains – Thermal station at the foot of Mont Caroux and l’Espinouse. It has a small tourist train which goes from Bédarieux to Mons-la-Trivalle, passing through Lamalou les Bains and the Gorges d’Héric.
Viols le Fort - City medieval with castle of 13th century. In its vicinity is the prehistoric town of Cambous, with permanent exhibition on prehistory.
Solidarités : l'association Chalets de vacances en montagne (May 2021)
- history, mountains