1 – The Ardailhon itinerary
Our favourite for families! This bike ride with no hills is ideal for children who will have no trouble pedalling along and racing each other for 2 to 3 hours along the flat 15.5-km route. The itinerary starts at the foot of the old Pont Canal, the bridge built in 1676 across the new Canal du Midi, to link the village of Vias to the beach. The bridge also became the stopover point for Canal barges visiting Vias. Cycling along the towpath in the shade of the plane trees, you’ll notice the spillways – known as “passelis” here – and the dam that protects the Canal from saltwater intrusion. Finally, you’ll come to the “bridge with 3 eyes” built entirely of volcanic rock. The itinerary continues across the countryside, amid pastures where herds of bulls and horses from the nearby farms can be seen grazing in a lush green setting dotted with salt marshes and populated by birds. A real change of scene to recharge your batteries!
Find out more about the “Ardailhon” bike ride.
2 – An itinerary right by the water’s edge!
From Agde, this route takes you along the banks of the river Hérault, which takes its source on Mont Aigoual in the Cévennes region. On the cycle path that winds around the last loops of the river, right on the edge of its banks, you’ll reach the Grau d’Agde district and, from there, follow the Hérault to its mouth where it flows into the Big Blue. A beautiful and invigorating sight.
After a quick tour of the main square of this fishing village, where you can even visit the fish auction, your return trip promises a spiritual experience of refreshing charm, featuring the shrine of Notre-Dame de l’Agenouillade.
Find out more about the “Hérault riverbank from Agde to Le Grau d’Agde” bike ride.
3 – Mont Saint-Loup itinerary
Cycle to the top of Mont Saint-Loup for a breathtaking panorama of the town of Agde! Lava flow from the volcano towering over Cap d’Agde has given the town its iridescent grey colour. Mont Saint-Loup has been inactive for 750,000 years, offering visitors outstanding panoramic views over the Mediterranean Sea, the vineyard plain, the lagoon of Thau and all the way to Sète.
Smell the pleasant scent of the pines and marvel at the lush green vegetation!
Mountain bikers can take the “sentier d’Emilie”, a panoramic loop itinerary around the mount, while road cyclists will stick to the tarmac track leading to the top. The climb is short but quite steep (E-bikes welcome!). All the same, this highly recommended route is suitable for the whole family and features some superb photo spots.
Find out more about the “ancient volcano of Mont Saint-Loup” bike ride.
4 – The lime kiln itinerary
This easy 14-km route plunges you into a setting of garrigue and vineyards, across the volcanic soils around Nizas and Caux. From the picturesque “circulade” village of Nizas, the itinerary crosses a rolling terrain dotted with surprises: drystone cabins, a lime kiln and beautiful views of the region, between the plain and the foothills of the Languedoc mountains. The Pays de Caux vineyards produce generous, full-bodied wines that have a good reputation.
Caux is well worth a visit. The historic village centre takes you back in time, with its medieval enclosure, the impressive bell-tower porch of its church, and the narrow cobblestone streets lined with old stone houses.
Find out more about the “lime kiln” bike ride.
5 – The Grande Maïre itinerary
Go exploring a scenic patchwork of seascapes, lagoons, prairies and vineyards in the heart of the Grande Maïre protected Natura 2000 site.
Between the Canal du Midi and the sea, this route plunges you into a typically Mediterranean landscape of sandy beaches, dunes and pine forests stretching as far as the eye can see. You’ll then enter the unspoilt natural habitat. Here, nature rules. Herds of sheep, horses and bulls from the livestock farms rub shoulders with a whole wealth of wildlife, including ducks, wading birds like the famous flamingoes, and the amphibians and reptiles that take shelter in the reed beds.
Portiragnes is truly a green lung, a whole reservoir of plant and wildlife biodiversity!
Find out more about the “Grande Maïre” bike ride.
Image credits: Adobe Stock – Office de Tourisme
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