Villages in Herault A-Z

The joy of living in or visiting Southern France is the wonderful diversity of the countryside, climate and cultures. These variations have formed hundreds of individual and unique communities.

The village Church of Montblanc in the Herault Languedoc

Most larger villages and all towns have regular market days

A-Z of local Towns and Villages



Surrounded by vineyards, the village of Adissan is well known in this part
of the world for its “Clairette”, a fine white wine with character.

The village itself is quiet and peaceful, perched among the vines. The gothic
church is twelfth century and the old “lavoir” – washhouse – is picturesque.
Not be missed is the pleasant walk on foot to the pretty Chapelle de la Roque,
overlooking the village in a grove of pine trees.

Every year in May, the village totem, the ” Poulain ” makes a traditional appearance
with a cortège of decorated floats for a lively and colourful parade through
the village (for info, tel. 04 67 25 01 12).



Summer visitors will discover the weekly popular “brasucades” on Saturday evenings.



A small but attractive village surrounded by pine trees and vines, the air
here is particularly pure and healthy. The clock tower dates back to the 12th
century, and the village developed around the 14th century church. The architecture
is typical of such small country communities unchanged by the passage of time.
The tourist office of Paulhan organises guided tours of the village every summer
(tel. 04 67 25 15 14).



Traces of Iron Age man have been found near Aumes on a promontory overlooking
the Hérault river valley. The more modern village still dates back to medieval
times. A XIIIth century church (with museum) overlooks the peaceful village
square with plane trees and delightful old ” mairie “. A pleasant 12 km footpath
starting from the village square has been recently marked out and cleared. Views
of the valley are beautiful from ” Pioch du Télégraph ” in particular.



Castelnau is an attractive fortified village overlooking the Hérault river.
There are no less than six producers of the local white wine, Picpoul de Pinet,
extremely dry and excellent with seafood. The feudal castle, traditional fief
of the Barons de Guers is still standing and is currently being restored. A
fine XIIIth century church and very old narrow streets and houses add to the
charm of this picturesque village

Various events and guided tours of the village are organised by the local
Cave Coopérative (tel. 04 67 98 91 72) and festivities and cultural events are
organised in the village every weekend from July 14 to August 15 by the municipality
(tel. 04 67 98 13 61).



here for long description

Caux is of medieval origin and again built in a
circular fashion typical of the “circulades”. The
listed church, tower and porch date back to XIIth
and XIVth centuries and there are some fine examples
of mullioned windows and elaborate woodwork on front
doors throughout the old part of the village.

An interesting walk from Caux through the ancient
volcanic area of the Baumes volcano has recently been
tracked and marked (12km). .



here for long description


The attractive market town of Marseillan with a harbour on the Etang de Thau
is said to have been founded in the 6th century BC by fishermen from Massalia
(the Greeks who also founded Marseille). During the 17th century Marseillan
became the gateway to the Canal du Midi which from there winds its way up to
Castelnaudary and the Garonne river. South of the town is the popular modern
sea resort of Marseillan Plage, with miles of sandy beaches stretching along
the Mediterranean coastline towards Sète on one side and Cap d’Agde on the other.

Today Marseillan is still very much a fishing and oyster-farming village with
a busy Tuesday weekly market. The surrounding vineyards produce mainly white
Picpoul and Clairette wines.

There are several restaurants and bars around the delightful little port where
you can enjoy a pleasant meal or taste the local wines in the sun. Just across
the harbour the Noilly Prat cellars, where the famous vermouth has been produced
since 1813, are open to the public and guided tours (French, English and German)
are available from March to December.

Every town in France has a statue of « Marianne », symbol of the republic and
Marseillan is proud to have the oldest Marianne in France dating back to 1878.

Boat tours of the lagoon among the oyster beds are organised during the summer.
The Etang de Thau is a wild-life paradise and visits are organised to the «
Bagnas Reserve » by the wildlife protection society « SPN ».

The « Halle aux oiseaux » in the centre of town (place 14 juillet) is worth
a visit for its vast collection of stuffed birds ; 400 species from throughout
the world are on view.

For further information, contact the tourist office

URL – email :

Maison du Tourisme
Avenue de la Méditerranée
34340 Marseillan Plage
tél. : (+33) 04 67 21 82 43
fax : (+33) 04 67 21 82 58


Known as Mesua, this little port on the largest lagoon on the Languedoc coast,
the “Bassin de Thau” was already a hive of activity in VIth century BC and remains
of Roman villae have been found here (see nearby Loupian). Then during the XIXth
century, golden age of the wine industry the port was again thriving. Today
it is an attractive but more sleepy little town. In summer you be lucky to see
jousting in boats here as in Sète during the town festivities throughout the
second fortnight in August (tourist office : 04 67 24 18 55).

Just outside Mèze, the discovery of dinosaur eggs has led to the establishment
of a dinosaur park and museum where children will enjoy life-size models of
many types of dinosaur and the excavation site can be visited.



Click here for full description

In the Middle Ages most visitors to Montagnac would have come for one of the
five annual fairs organised jointly with Pézenas, which attracted tradesmen
and buyers from far afield. Today Montagnac with a population of only 3000 is
nevertheless proud of its heritage and there are some fine relics of a glorious
past. The medieval church spire may be seen from afar – it is 54.50m high. The
village has in fact been traced right back to the IXth century. Fine examples
of XVI and XVII century façades and the fountain near the church are of particular

Like Pézenas, Montagnac has its own totem – a goat, brought out during carnival
and other festive occasions for the “Danse de la Cabreta”. Information at the
tourist office in Montagnac : 04 67 24 14 84.

Near to Montagnac (take the road to Valmagne Abbey) is Bessilles, a large,
attractive (and nearly free !) activity park. Take your picnic and/or barbecue.
Swimming pool and Tennis courts are reasonably priced :



Click here
our long description of Nezignan l’Eveque



A delightful example of a village built in a ” circulade “, the red roofs
of Paulhan wind round in circles on a small hill overlooking the river Hérault.
Parts of this village can be traced as far back a thousand years – visit the
XI century Chapel of Notre Dame des Vertus and a hermitage perched on a hill
– St. Jean de Vareilhes.

Although there is plenty of sun sweetened further by an excellent Clairette
white wine or the local honey specialities, your holiday here need not be totally
lazy : there is a public swimming pool and tennis courts and opportunities for
fishing, hiking, or mountain biking. There is actually quite a lot going on
in this village and the annual ” Foire aux couleurs ” fair (first weekend in
May) is a popular event for visitors from miles around. Find out more from the
tourist office (tel. 04 67 25 15 14).


As we felt Pezenas was too special to have a short description

Click here
see our long description of Pezenas.

_________to find holiday houses in Pezenas


A tiny village perched on a hill, St. Pons de Mauchiens is another typical
example of the “circulade” type villages dating back to the XI and XII centuries.
The castle there was built for the grand bishops of Agde in 1199 (see also Nézignan
l’Evêque). Just 4km from the village you may also admire a fine mill the : “Moulin
de Roquemengarde” on the river Hérault. To really escape from the modern world,
there is a fine footpath (17km) that has been recently restored and marked out
leading from the outskirts of the village right out into the hilly “garrigue”
countryside, perfumed with thyme, lavender and rosemary.

There is a legend around the long name of this very small village : one of
the lords of the castle owned a pack of ferocious dogs (“chien” in French) that
he let loose at nightfall. One day he arrived home late and the doors to the
castle were locked. The dogs did not recognise their master, savagely attacked
him at the throat and tore him to pieces !


A sleepy village among the vines, St. Thibéry can be traced back more than
4000 years of known history. In Roman times, this settlement at the junction
of the rivers Hérault and Thongue was called Cessero, and no less than 39 Roman
villas are said to have been built within the immediate area. The ancient town
of Cessero today gives its name to the local wine.

Saint Thibéry was named in the 9th Century by the Benedictines, in memory
of the son of a governor of Agde who was condemned to death by his father because
he refused to worship the emperor. The present abbey and church date from the
14th Century and many of the houses in the village date back to the 14th, 15th
and 17th centuries. Just outside the village, look for the splendid medieval
bridge crossing the Hérault river beside an XIth century mill. Time seems to
have stood still for centuries in this peaceful spot.

A Roman day takes place in August with Gladiators, Son et Lumière and a banquet
in the market square for over 300 people The village boasts 2 bakeries, a butcher,
a poissonnerie, a small supermarket and a couple of bars.

Click Here

A large village of Roman origin, Servian is a noted wine producing
village. The town was also marked by the Cathar phenomenon when its fortifications
were breached and the village taken by Simon de Montford.


our long description of Sete


Grapes to produce heavy, luxurious Muscat wines are grown on the
rich plains around Vic. Beautiful beaches on the « Etang de Vic », a typical
and splendid « pinède » of Mediterranean pine trees and the « Massif de la Gardiole
» hills for walking or bike-riding ; Vic has much to offer for a family holiday.

The first settlement in Vic la Gardiole dates back to pre-Roman
times and the old village developed around the fine XIIth century fortified
church, built directly on the rock. It is one of the oldest fortified churches
in the whole of the Languedoc area.

Guided tours and walks are organised during the season. For further
information, contact the Tourist Office – Boulevard des Aresquiers – 34110 Vic
la Gardiol
tél : (+33) 04 67 78 94 43 fax : (+33) 04 67 78 92 55


Founded in 1138 by Raymond de Trencavel, Viscount of Béziers,
Valmagne Abbey is one of the best-preserved Cistercian abbeys in France. The
impressive Gothic church, reminiscent of the cathedrals of northern France,
was built in 1257 and measures 83 m long and 24 m high.

The Abbey has undergone a chequered life and after an initial
period of wealth, suffered from the effects of the hundred year war and following
religious wars.

The magnificent church was used as a wine-cellar for many years
after the French Revolution, but has lost none of its aura, although the massive
wine barrels on either side of the nave at first seem incongruous in such architecture.
The cloister and chapter house have remained intact and the fountain of fresh
and pure spring water is quite beautiful. The medicinal herb garden has been
reconstructed according to the original plans and is well worth a visit.

Even when the Saint-Bernard order of monks inhabited the abbey,
vines of excellent quality were cultivated around Valmagne and today the wine
enjoys an excellent reputation.

Visits from June 15th to September 15th : every day from 10-12am
and 2-6:30pm ; out of season : every day from 2-6pm. . Halls may be
let for seminars, conferences, weddings, etc.
Tel. 04 67 78 06 09, fax 04 67 78 02 50