"Le Domaine de l'Espitalet"

The Montagne Noire

The regional park of the Haut-Languedoc, between the Tarn and the Hérault departments, where the Montagne Noire is part of, is marked by the diversity of vegetation due to the influence of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. You can observe at a distance of a few miles completely different vegetation and completely different climatic influences. In the Orb valley, you have a Mediterranean influence that makes the mimosa bloom. A few miles west, due to a more wet climate influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, beech trees and epiceas are growing.


in the Orb valley

Only the Haut Languedoc can offer such a diversity. You have limestone just near schist, maples of Montpellier are growing near beech trees and, with a little bit of luck, you can see in the sky a royal eagle flying over the territory of a Bonelli eagle. The borderline of the two climatic influences is coinciding with the watershed and is situated approximately on a line from Saint-Pons-de-Thomières to Labastide-Rouairoux. It is in the Montagne Noire that you can best observe this duality. North of Castres the landscape reminds you that you are on the last foot-hills of the Massif Central, but when you are moving south to the Aude department, the mountains change her appearance and you begin to perceive the scents of rosemary and thyme.

After Hay-on-Wye (GB) and Redu (B), Montolieu is the third European village dedicated to the book. You can find here specialized libraries, bookbinder, engraver, calligraphist, copyist, printer, typographer...

Everything to make handcrafted books is gathered in Montolieu.

  Midway between Carcassonne and the Pic de Nore, the caves of Limousis and the giant abyss of Cabrespine in the Clamoux valley are a must on your visit to our region.