The Grand Site Of France
This Classified Site, “Gorges of Hérault" is situated in the valley of the river Hérault approximately 40 km west of Montpellier.It consists of 5 municipalities situated within its perimeter, namely: St Guilhem le désert, Aniane, St Jean de Fos, Montpeyroux, Puéchabon.
Within this area, where the hills of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert join the Hérault Gorges and Languedoc Piemont (the vast agricultural zone characterised by vineyards and olive groves) you can see remarkable landscapes and architecture. You will not only find the famous medieval village of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, but also the famous Pont du Diable (Devil’s bridge) on the Herault and the classified Clamouse caves...
Being a popular tourist destination frequented every year by 650-700 000 visitors, the local authorities decided, to set up a 'Classified Site plan’ about twenty years ago to limit the impact of such a large number of visitors and to improve facilities for them.
So each year, the organisation has put in place improvements such as a welcome centre at the Pont du Diable, a shuttle system connecting the bridge with the village of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert during the summer, and restoration works on the alleys and village,squares, following guidelines for the management of open air activities and care for the countryside.
In 2010, the Hérault Valley municipality, administrators of the Site since 2002, received the accreditation 'Grand site de France' (Classified Site) from the government. A long-term management plan has been put in place to ensure that "Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert – Gorges of Hérault" is a site managed sensitively, being both welcoming for its visitors and protective of its heritage.
You will find many examples of remarkable architecture within this Classified Site, including the Abbey of Gellone and the Pont du Diable, both classified as World Heritage sites by UNESCO in conjunction with the "St James' Way to Santiago de Compostela" in France.
The Grands Sites de France network was created in 2000 and today brings together 37 Grands Sites that include exceptional, fragile, protected and listed cultural landscapes that are both well-known and emblematic. All the site managers share their belief in sustainable development and transmit "the sense of places" that is specific to each Grand Site.
Tourism Office Saint Guilhem le Désert - Vallée de l'Hérault
Tél. 33(0)4 67 56 41 97