Running alongside the Mediterranean, between Narbonne, Gruissan and Saint-Pierre-la-Mer in the Aude region, the Clape mountain range is a vast, protected nature site in Languedoc. The Clape has been listed as a nature reserve since 1973. It is famous for its striking landscapes, heritage sites and as a historic wine region. Not to be missed during your holiday in Occitanie !
A secret gem between Narbonne and the Mediterranean Sea
To reach the limestone mountain range covering 15,000 hectares, you need to take the panoramic road linking Narbonne and the beaches and go up into the heathland, at the heart of the Narbonnaise Regional Nature Park, 35 km away from our holiday residence in Saint-Pierre-la-Mer. From your holiday residence between the Massif de la Clape and the Mediterranean, it is easy to get to the nature sites that have made the reputation of this beautiful spot, which is listed by the coastal conservation agency. The site includes the Coffre de Pech Redon, the highest point in the mountain range (214 metres), the Gouffre de l'Oeil Doux with its emerald green lake and the Notre-Dame des Auzils chapel, built above the Saint-Salvaire cave in Gruissan.
Back to nature
The Clape mountain range is home to a remarkable natural heritage and is well known for its biodiversity, varied landscapes and natural environments. The limestone cliffs, heathland plateau, forest valleys, lakes and salt marshes have fostered the diversity and development of plants and animals, including bats, woodlarks, Dartford warblers, Bonelli's eagles, ocellated lizards and Clape knapweeds (a plant that is native to the Clape range). To find out more, head for the Maison de la Clape in Vinassan, a nature interpretation centre where you can follow the changing landscapes down the centuries and the human activities that have shaped the region. You will also learn that the Clape range was densely covered with trees in Roman times! The centre is the starting point for some great hikes at the heart of Aude landscapes and traditions.
Hiking in the Massif de la Clape
The Clape mountain range is also a vast playground for fans of sport and nature lovers. The Narbonnaise Regional Nature Park has set up a number of hiking trails leaving from Fleury d'Aude, Vinassan, Armissan and Gruissan. They are all easily accessible from the Neptune holiday residence. On the way, you will see wooded hills covered with vines, almond trees and olive trees, old farming areas known as "Les Cayrols", salt marshes and pastureland, canals and marshland. For wine-loving visitors, there are plenty of wine estates in the region, where the makers of AOC de La Clape wines will welcome you to find out more and taste their vintages. If you want to get a view from the top, you will need to climb the summits of the Clape range. The Aude mountains have some wonderful cliffs to climb and are popular with amateur and professional climbers. With sport, nature, culture and gastronomy, there really is something for everyone!