The Mourèze circus
1 hour from the Montaud 34160 “A shadow of an olive tree” lodgings, via the A750. The Mourèze cirque is an extraordinary landscape, completely different from our scrubland. Indeed, it looks like a western site with 340 hectares of dolomitic rocks with new shapes. And if you do this walk in the morning, “fresh”, you can then head to the nearby Salagou lake and take advantage of its beaches for swimming or its water sports: canoeing, sailing, etc.
The limestone rocks of the Mourèze cirque formed 160 million years ago. At this period, the site was covered by the sea. The sea has obviously eroded the rocks throughout these millennia because different climates have followed one another.
Fauna and flora
Until the 1970s, the vegetation in the Mourèze cirque was low. Goats grazed there. Pastoralism was therefore important. But today, Aleppo pines have developed there and are gradually closing the circus. They start to hide the rocks. In the Mourèze cirque, you can find snakes from Montpellier, scorpions from Languedoc, eagles from Bonelli, owls, Grand Dukes and other animals.
The Parc des Courtinals allows you to discover another part of the circus, starting from gigantic limestone cliffs. And after a few minutes of walking, you reach a belvedere. The view covers the village of Mourèze but also the entire circus: on Mont Liausson, a natural barrier between the Salagou and Mourèze valleys. There is an orientation table.
Different hiking trails allow you to discover this unique, unusual and strange natural heritage of 340 hectares. In Clermont l’Hérault, take the D908, towards Bédarieux. Drive approximately 6 km and take the D8E4 towards Mourèze. At the entrance of the village, parking on the right or a little further, parking on the left before the small bridge. You can access the circus through the center of the village. DESCRIPTION: POSITIVE LEVEL 422 m NEGATIVE LEVEL 422 m DISTANCE 7.5 km DURATION 7.5 km MAP IGN IGN 2643 OT LEVEL Medium BEACON Yellow PR
1. At the end of the parking lot, go up the path on the right. Pass to the left of the refreshment point, climb the stairs and enter the Parc des Courtinals. On the left, access to the Courtinals belvedere (magnificent view of the Mourèze cirque and the Liausson mountain).
2. Enter the circus, by a narrow path (be careful to locate the markup!) Then continue by the path better indicated on the right. It winds its way through the circus through a vegetation of rosemary, heather, juniper, arbutus and many other flora. We come to a fork.
Separation with the PR The Courtinals trail. You have to take a right, opposite Pic Saint-Jean and pass at the foot of the cliffs. When you are facing the Brunel rock, you must follow the Chemin des Charbonniers on the right and continue straight. The path goes on the mountainside. We arrive at an intersection. It is necessary to take on the left (Not the Combasses chimneys) The path climbs in the holm oaks and one arrives on the crest of Liausson (one finds PR Le Mont Liausson) It is necessary to take on the crest on the left (one sees the lake of Salagou ). We pass near the ruins of the Saint-Jean-d’Aureilhan hermitage. You have to continue on the ridge, go down then turn right towards the col de Portes. Go down the path on the left for about 700 m. We leave PR Le mont Liausson. Take the path on the left to find the circus. You have to go under the Organs. The winding path arrives in rue du Cirque (junction with the Courtinals path) Continue towards the center of the village, pass in front of the church and descend to the left. At the plot, turn right, then take the D8 on the left to reach the starting point.