Hérépian is well-placed to offer the visitor an excellent centre to base his or her holiday. Set just inside the first ring of hills after you leave the coastal plain of Béziers, Narbonne and Pézenas, it is a great little village to start your explorations of the hinterland and hillsides of Languedoc.
From Hérépian it is easy to get out and about as the village falls on a crossroad between St Pons, Bédarieux and Béziers. These are ancient routes that nowadays, offer fast and efficient links with neighbouring towns.
While in Hérépian, it is worth tracking down the old foundry that now operates from the site of the old train station. The Granier family have been making bells in and around Hérépian since the 16th century. Originally these would have been for flocks of sheep, but these days bells are commissioned for churches or for individuals who wish to replace the existing ones in their private château or domaine.
Bédarieux, which is only a few miles up the road, is an excellent centre for all types of out-of-doors activities. The town’s proximity to the High Languedoc National Park means you can easily access off-road biking, rock climbing and river exploring, trekking by foot or on horseback, fishing and paragliding. Even a simple hike in the hills can become an experience to treasure if you choose to go on a ‘balade gourmande’ - a guided walk for foodies.
In the opposite direction lies Lamalou-les-Bains, another very good trekking centre, but which is better known for its excellent 'centres de réeducation'. Originally a spa town, Lamalou has developed and become a centre of excellence for physiotherapy and rehabilitation.
If you want to go further afield, then why not start with the stunning Millau Viaduct? This is about 45 minutes up the A75 and people flock to this magnificent bridge, not just to cross it, but to admire it. It really is beautiful. Designed by an Englishman— Sir Norman Foster and engineered by a Frenchman—Michel Virlogeux, it is a splendid example of ‘l’entente cordiale’.
From there it is a short drive to Roquefort-sur-Soulzon where the famous blue cheese comes from. This is an entire village given over to the glories of the smelly blue stuff. The big manufacturers invite you to their ‘caves’ where the cheese is produced (bring a sweater or jacket with you, the caves are quite chilly!) , and then you can visit the restaurant where - guess what! - Roquefort cheese forms the centre of the menu. If you thought cheese was only to be slapped between two slices of bread, then a visit to this interesting little town will awaken your tastebuds and make you reconsider the place of cheese in your life.
Other trips could include Béziers—good shopping and three different markets on a Friday morning; Narbonne - a mini Avignon with its own Bishops’ palace and genuine Roman road; or the Cité de Carcassonne, World Heritage Site—not just a castle, more a way of life. Add to that the Canal du Midi, also a World Heritage Site and you can see that Hérépian is an excellent point from which to see and enjoy the riches of the Languedoc.
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