HomeVisiting and discoveringGrand Site, the Salagou and Mourèze

Grand Site of the Salagou and Mourèze


The lake Salagou was classified only recently in 2003 whereas the Cirque de Mourèze was classified back in 1941.

The Salagou valley and the Cirque de Mourèze have been part of the Grand Site plan since 2010, with the aim of protecting and developing the sites.

Let’s take a small detour by the three “Grand Site” locations of the Cœur d’Hérault.

The Grand Sites, key spots in the landscape, are protected sites that have a sustainable development commitment (organization of visitor reception and preservation of the site and the environment).

The Grand Site network in France has brought together 37 sites to date, all labelled or in the process of being labelled. 10 sites are situated in the Languedoc Roussillon, 3 of which are in the Cœur d’Hérault.

  • Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert and the Gorges de l’Hérault, classified Grand Site of France
  • The lake Salagou and the Cirque de Mourèze
  • The Cirque de Navacelles and the Larzac Méridional

What is a Grand Site ?

Grand Sites have 3 characteristics in common:

- 1) They are classified according to a law, passed in 1930, for “the protection of natural monuments and sites which are artistic, historic, scientific, legendary or picturesque”.
- 2) They are emblematic landscapes of France that attract a wide public.
- 3) Their officials are engaged in a sustainable development approach to tourism.

Administrators with multiple objectives

- 1) They control tourist frequentation and the flux and flow of automobile circulation.
- 2) Bring out the best in the site, the national heritage, the landscape, etc.
- 3) Protect and restore the natural surrounds and buildings.
- 4) Improve the reception facilities for tourists.
- 5) Encourage local people to take part in the different projects and developments to do with the site.
- 6) Continue sustainable and responsible development initiatives.

The ‘Grand Site of France’ label is awarded when the planned organization of facilities is completed. Each Site has a language unit, built to welcome visitors who do not speak French.

More info about Grand Sites