Grand Site de France

The Hérault gorges are forging a territory with a unique identity. The Grand Site de France approach is helping to protect this preserved spirit of place.

In the Hérault gorges, a listed site, the river has sculpted the landscape by carving through the limestone. With its many tributaries, this impetuous or seemingly gentle course offers an enchanting setting, rich in flora and fauna. A source of life, it has encouraged people to move around and settle here, and there are many traces of this presence, both past and present.

Between the Pont de Saint-Étienne d'Issensac and the Pont du Diable, a very specific identity emerges. A whole culture, a medieval history, permeates these places, punctuated by grandiose and varied landscapes and remarkable buildings such as the Romanesque churches.

Regis Domergue 2

The three communities of communes* on which the Grand Site is located, including the Grand Pic Saint-Loup, are raising awareness of the environment and preserving these landscapes...

The climbing guides and clubs maintain the routes in the area and have undertaken, for example, not to open any new ones in order to limit the number of climbers and the spread of human presence. They organise themselves to better manage the flow of climbers. Whether we are residents or visitors, we are all nature lovers, but we must be careful not to damage this unique and extremely fragile area.

* : Communauté de communes Vallée de l'Hérault / Communauté de communes des Cévennes gangeoises et suménoises / Communauté de communes du Grand Pic Saint-Loup

The "Grand Site de France" label

The Grand Site de France is also a lively area, with its winegrowers, artisan potters and livestock farmers...

Not forgetting its visitors! The national Grand Site de France label, awarded in 2010 and renewed in 2018, recognises the commitment of local players to preserving this unique area and promoting it in a spirit of sustainable development.

To find out more

Les Gorges de l'Hérault - Logo Grand SIte de France - Gorges de l'Hérault

Preservation and sustainable development.

The "Grand Site de France" designation is an official label, enshrined in the Environment Code and awarded by the French government to a listed site with a high profile and high visitor numbers.

The “Grand Site de France” label is a demanding process. Its award is subject to the implementation of a project to preserve, manage and enhance the site, in line with the principles of sustainable development.


Grand Site de France - Moulin de Bertrand - Escalade


The Ravin des Arcs is one of the jewels in the crown of the Grand Site de France. Here, the Lamalou, a tributary of the Hérault river, has carved out a narrow canyon bordered in places by high cliffs. The river bed, which often dries up in summer, is punctuated by gours and giant potholes, culminating in an impressive natural arch shaped by erosion.

Spectacular and wild, this listed site is home to many species, some of which are protected (birds, bats, dragonflies, etc.). From 15 January to 15 June, during the breeding season, keep to the marked paths and keep your dogs on a lead to ensure the tranquillity of the fauna and the development of the flora.

Grand Site de France - Ravin des Arcs

Located in the Causse-de-la-Selle commune, just a few metres from the Hérault river, this climbing spot offers around thirty routes in dolomitic limestone rich in form and colour. Come and learn or improve your skills with our professional climbing instructors on these cliffs all year round (except July and August).

At the height of the season, they can suggest other sites such as those in the Vallée de la Buèges. The cliffs are also home to protected species such as birds of prey and bats; climbers often act as sentinels to warn and avoid or close certain routes when they discover a nest!


Nestling in the heart of nature, overlooking the Buèges Valley and offering lovely panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, this 17th-century farmhouse is situated at the confluence of the Buèges and Hérault rivers. The river, which can be seen meandering below, is within easy reach for a pleasant, privileged bathing spot away from the crowds.

This ideal place to recharge your batteries is also a starting point for walks and hikes. The owners of Les Hauts d'Issenssac are great connoisseurs of the region and will be delighted to advise you.

Grand Site de France - Les Hauts d'Issenssac
Grand Site de France - Gorges de l'Hérault
Regis Domergue 1
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