Do you enjoy walking?

and I mean any kind of walking?  If you do then now is a very good time to come to Languedoc for a holiday.  The weather is great, the almond trees are in full bloom  and there are hikes and walks and strolls for any level in all directions, and best of all, hunting season is over!  All you need is a pair of sturdy shoes, and you can be off into the vineyards, watching the vines being pruned as you walk or exploring hidden countryside.

A map will be helpful and France has the equivalent of Ordonance Survey maps issued by the Institue Geographique Nationale, IGN, which show great detail.  You can of course find IGN on the net and access their maps

For the area around Saint Chinian a book of marked walks has been published:  Balades en Terres d’Orb, which has over 60 marked circular walks in 26 villages.  The walks range in difficulty from facile to difficile and from 1 to 3 and a half hours in duration.  You can buy the book in the Maison de la Presse in Saint-Chinian.

As the year progresses the aspects of each walk will change and you’ll find something different in flower each time you re-visit a walk.  There’ll be wild tulips later in the spring and orchids and a multitude of other blooms.  Even at the height of summer there’ll be something braving the hot sun.  Autumn brings a different kind of colour with the wine leaves changing to flaming red and orange, and in the winter the geometry of the vineyards provides a great backdrop.