St Guilhem-le-Désert

St Guilhem, according to the legend, was a cousin of Charlemagne and the spot where an abbey was built bearing his name was “désert” due to all the vegetation in the vicinity having been eaten by overgrazing animals.

The village was, and still is, a stop-off on the famous Pilgrim Trail of St Jacques de Compostelle. There is a feast of Romanesque art for such a small place and the village itself is set against the magnificent backdrop of the Languedoc national park. After a morning wandering round the village enjoying the little medieval streets with their shops and restaurants, you can go for a swim at any spot you choose in the nearby Gorge de l’Hérault, or visit the Grotte de Clamouse for a touch of speleology, or head up to the Cirque de Navacelles an extraordinary geological formation about 20 minutes to the north.

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