The Monts d'Orb
Les Monts d'Orb en français

First mentioned in the year 806 in a charter of the abbey of Gelone, Lunas is situated on the confluence of three valleys, by the banks of the Gravezon and up against the rockface of the Redondel which appears to offer the town its protection. Its history is counted in millennia, a great many archaeological finds having established that as long ago as 3OOO BC the region was already well populated.

To discover:

Prehistoric caves of the Mas Colombier (5km) - Sacrifice-stone (5km into the forest) monolithic stone partly incorporated in an oil-press. - Visigothic sarcophagi (5th/6th century) - Chapelle St-Georges (5th/6th century) built on the site of a Gallo-Roman villa - Medieval seigneural dovecotes - Renaissance house - Chapelle N.D. de Nize (3km) with twelfth-century bell-tower - Romanesque church of Caunas (5km) dating from 11th/12th centuries - Parish church of Lunas (12th-15th centuries) - La Chapelle St Amans (7km), summit of the Escandorgue (700m)

Prade leisure-camp
: boating-pool, Pédalo, play-pool, cycle hire, playground

Further information from the Mairie: 04 67 23 81 42

Wild Passion:

Discover nature

Telephone: 04 67 23 69 33
34610 Saint-Geniès de Varensal



Le Bousquet d’Orb is a village tucked away in the upper reaches of the Orb valley, overlooked by the plateaux of the Escandorgue and the Monts d’Orb. This wild and beautiful country offers all facilities for a delightful break for those who come in search of peace and quiet or with a spirit of adventure.

Well-shaded municipal park - Tennis - municipal sports stadium - Footpaths for walkers - cycle-routes - trout-fishing, crayfish - mushroom-picking.
Shops - municipal camping site beside the river Orb

Further information from the Mairie: 04 67 23 80 39
Office du tourisme (July and August) 04 67 23 70 75

Overlooking the valley of the river Gravezon, the old vllage of Joncels, a maze of narrow cobbled streets beneath antique porticos, has practically not strayed beyond the original fortifications behind which its houses were built. It contains the remains of an eighteenth-century Benedictine abbey which was, in medieval times, one of the most important in Languedoc and which served as a rest-stop for the pilgrims on their way to St Jacques de Compostelle.

Two sites devoted to the spiritual and meditative life: - La Fleyssière (Compagnons de la Communauté de l’Arche founded by Lanza del Vasto) and La Dalmerie where the monks from the monastery of St Nicolas came to complete the construction of their magnificent Eglise de la Dormition.

Superb countryside and remarkable megalithic sites criss-crossed by well-marked footpaths.

Further information from the Mairie: 04 67 23 80 60

Already in 1736, Avène-les-Bains was known for its mineral-spring Ste Odile, a therapeutic tonic also used for skin-problems. Today it is a modern, well-equipped "thermal" resort with plenty of high-class accommodation available for visitors: a 3-star hotel, furnished accommodation, gîtes and chambres d’hôtes. It has all facilities required for a relaxing break: swimming-pool, tennis-courts, children's playground, boulodrome as well as plenty of available excursions along well-tended routes for walkers, riders or cyclists.

Further information from the Mairie: 04 67 23 40 25

34260 AVENE - Telephone 04 67 23 43 38

The village of Roqueredonde takes its name from that of a "catellas" (old castle) situated on the crest of the Escandorgue. Close also to the Cami Farrat, this protected location provided a vantage-point from which its owners, the Abbés of Joncels, could control their lands. Having a rude climate in winter, the sole economic mainstay of the region is sheep's milk used in the production of Roquefort. Not naturally fertile, its richness lies in the splendour of its landscape, its majestic views and many footpaths and streams that wend through the valleys and up over the hill-crests. Its peaceful isolation is perhaps naturally conducive to the meditative spirit for the area has long been a haunt of disciples of the Dalai Lama.

Further information from the Mairie: 04 67 44 09 81

If you are seeking calm, isolation and wild beauty, Romiguières, by the spring-waters of the Orb, is the perfect spot. Romiguières, victim of rural depopulation, has retained all the charm of a village of long ago. Along its footpaths once can relish the forest flora (groves of chestnut and beech) and the silent, vigilant observer will also be rewarded by a sight of its fauna (deer and mountain-goats).

Further information from the Mairie: 04 67 44 30 83

On leaving Bousquet d’Orb and following the Col de Dio, one comes to the "ruffes rouges" against the white dolomite cliffs, the three small hamlets that make up this commune: Dio, Valquières and Vernazoubres.

Beyond a series of canyons that recall the landscape of Arizona lies the Château de Dio, a listed building of considerable historical interest and a veritable fortress looming over the village, it dates from the 12th century but was owned during the 17th century by the family of the Cardinal de Fleury. Valquières itself nestles around its twelfth-century church, roofed in authentic lauze (distinctive local slate). Walks and cycle-rides - Cultural events during the summer (concert and son et lumière at the chateau) - Accommodation: gîtes, chambres and tables d’hôtes.

Further information from the Mairie: 04 67 95 0 9 6 4 or 04 67 23 00 65


Tucked away on the banks of the Orb which at this point, close to its source, maintains the fierce, capricious current of a Mediterranean rapid, Ceilhes and Rocozels are made in the image of the environment that surrounds them: a beauty that is striking without hyperbole, tranquil yet very much alive. A rich historical heritage, still only partially explored, can be glimpsed in the course of any walk round the village and its environs. The romanesque church of St Jacques de Rocozels, twelfth-century church of St Jean Baptiste (enlarged and fortified during the 14th century), ramparts, vaults, lintels, the fountain of the Griffoul (18th century)...all await the curious visitor. Well-marked walks and cycle-routes. Reservoir of the Bouloc: swimming and fishing.

Further information from the Mairie: 04 67 23 40 89

1 The Natural Regional Park of Upper Languedoc
2 The Sidobre
3 The Montagne Noire (Dourgne, Sorèze...)
4 Mazamet and region
5 The Monts de Lacaune - Brassac du Tarn
6 The Lakes and the Salvetois
7 The Valley of the Thoré
8 The Montredonnais

  9 The Valleys of the Orb and the Jaur
10 The Saint-Ponais
11 The Monts d'Orb

Following the wine trail:
12 The Faugérois
13 The Minervois
14 The Saint-Chiniannais
© Photography, Thomas Hallbert
© English translation, David Bond.
© 2000-2008 vivrehautlanguedoc