The Voie Verte "Passa Païs" of the Haut-Languedoc
What is it ?
Named « Passapaïs » (pronounced « Passopaïs »), which, in Occitan, means « Passe-Pays », the Voie Verte of the Haut-Languedoc. It crosses the watershed between Courniou-les-Grottes (Hérault) and Labastide-Rouairoux (Tarn), at the Col de la Fenille, its highest point.
It is a transition from the Tarn to the Hérault department, from an Atlantic to a Mediterranean climate, in the heart of the Occitanie Region.
It is located on the former Mazamet/Bédarieux railway line.
Over a distance of about 75kilometres (46.6 miles), it offers a protected area for cycling, running, walking, horseback riding or accompanied by a pack donkey.
The must-sees of the Voie Verte: Enjoy the view!
The Greenway follows more or less 3 valleys, those of the Thoré, Jaur and Orb... and thus crosses the mosaic of landscapes that characterises the Haut Languedoc Regional Natural Park.
Bordered by ash trees and oaks in its Tarn part, the route crosses hedged farmland dominated to the south by the Montagne Noire (Black Mountain) and to the north by the Anglès plateau.
In the Hérault department, chestnut groves, holm oak forests, garrigue and vineyards take over... all the way to the palm trees of Lamalou-les-Bains!
Pass close to the foot of the Montagnes de l'Espinouse, then the aiguilles du Caroux, this "mountain of light" having the shape of a lying down woman.
It passes very close to heritage sites such as the bell museum in Hérépian or the textile museum in Labastide-Rouairoux, the remarkable natural site of the Gorges d'Héric in Mons-la-Trivalle, crosses the Eiffel-type bridge and makes a stop at Olargues, the medieval town labelled one of the "Most beautiful villages in France".
On the Eiffel-type bridge of Olargues
Along the way, discover the source of the Fréjo, in Olargues:
Many sites are easily accessible, such as the Palais de la Fileuse de Verre (Cave of the Glass Spinner) in Courniou or the cathedral and the museum of regional prehistory in Saint-Pons-de-Thomières.
- 1- Former railway line, the Voie Verte Passa Païs allows for cycling with a limited difference in height. The highest point is about 450m above sea level (Col de la Fenille), 26km (16.1 miles) from the start in Mazamet, which is situated at 250m above sea level. A very gentle climb... Be careful however, near Olargues, the former railway line had to be bypassed and the slope can be surprising!
- 2 - Secure itinerary, outside the road network. However, be careful when crossing the departmental road, which might happen several times.
- 3 - The good width of the track allows two or even three people to cycle side by side. An appreciable comfort to enjoy the trip!
- 4 - A road covered of special compacted sand, which is very pleasant.
- 5 - The departure and arrival points allow you to arrive by train! Ask the SNCF for more information.
6 - Tunnels that light up as you pass through. Enjoy the coolness when it's hot!
- 7- The landscapes! Varied and changing with the seasons, they are full of fabulous views and panoramas. Often exceptional engineering structures (Eiffel-type bridge, etc.).
(Crédits photos : E. Brendle et G.Delerue, M.Barral, Fileuse de Verre)
- Download the map and the discovery guide of the Voie Verte
These documents are available for free in the reception areas of the tourist offices.
- To find out more about the Voie Verte, visit the Nature Park website: http://www.voiesvertes-hautlanguedoc.fr/ .
- The professionals of the greenway network created an app to download on http://www.voieverte-passapais.pro/ . It contains the GPS track of the route and will guide you throughout your journey on the Voie Verte Passa Païs: water points, tourist stops, accommodation, opening hours... all the information you need are on your smartphone.
- SLEEP/EAT :
Download the list of accommodation and restaurants between Mazamet and Bédarieux.
Find more details (photos, prices...) in the "WHERE TO STAY" section of our website.
- You can take the Voie Verte in any direction and return to your starting point by bus.
(Bike pictogram on the timetable).
Bikes are accepted in the hold (maximum 2 bikes per bus and luggage priority!).
- Download the timetables:
- Bus + Bike - Summer
From July 4th to the end of September 2020. Every day of the week, including Sundays, the coaches of line 682 will be equipped with bicycle racks. Pick-up and drop-off of bikes will be possible at the stops:
Ø Saint Pons de Thomières / Foirail
Ø Olargues / Mairie
Ø Bédarieux / Gare SNCF
Ø Lamalou les Bains / Casino
- 4 return trips per day (2 on Sundays)
Hérault : Bédarieux -> St Pons de Thomières
- Bus + Bike - Summer
- : St Pons de Thomières -> Mazamet -> Castres
- : Castres -> Valras (even week-ends)
- LUGGAGES, BAGS, PEOPLE:
- New in 2020!
- Transport for up to 8 people and/or bicycles and/or luggage for cyclists and hikers.
On request, please contact LA MALLE POSTALE +33 (0)4 71 04 21 79 +33 (0)6 67 79 38 16
Decreasing rates according to the number of people on board. Example of Bédarieux / Mazamet or Mazamet / Bédarieux rates: 21€ per person (if the vehicle is complete with 8 people on board)
You will find water and toilet facilities in the communes you pass through.
The tourist office of Mons-la-Trivalle, labelled Accueil Vélo, is located directly on the Voie Verte, as it is situated in the gatekeeper's house of the former railway line.
Bike racks, toilets and a water point are at your disposal just next door, accessible 7/7.
Bike pump and small repair equipment are at your disposal during opening hours.
RENT OUR BIKES:
Several bicycle hire companies are located near the Voie Verte, offering half-day, full-day or longer rentals....
BIKE TYRES INFLATION STATION:
Courniou : 43.473231, 2.714314 (https://goo.gl/maps/pH5J3DwStRt)
Olargues : 43.556777, 2.918503 (https://goo.gl/maps/gAcHFjqWjME2)
Lamalou-les-Bains : 43.587814, 3.080333 (https://goo.gl/maps/PdNztEvK5F12)
Hérépian : 43.594783, 3.112271 (https://goo.gl/maps/Lyfae5mEaUp)
TOURIST OFFICES :
On your route, two tourist offices with the "Accueil vélo" label welcome you:
Mons-la-Trivalle Tourist Office, avenue de la gare. Directly accessible on the Voie Verte.
Bike pump and small repair equipment at your disposal
Saint-Pons-de-Thomières Tourist Office, place du Foirail (town centre about 2km (1.2miles) from the Ponderach exit).
Bike pump and small repair equipment at your disposal.
LA VOIE VERTE: WITH FRIENDS OR FAMILY
Find the good tips and suggestions to enjoy a weekend together in the heart of nature in complete safety on our dedicated article: Plan your family trip.
With friends and family, we have concocted a special programme for you to fully enjoy a weekend away in the heart of the Haut-Languedoc Regional Natural Park (subject to availability) - contact us!
Book your stay on the Voie Verte
The Voie Verte is a development of the Departmental Councils of the Tarn and the Hérault. It is promoted by the Haut Languedoc Regional Natural Park.
The communes of la Voie Verte: Mazamet, Bout-du-Pont de l’Arn, St Amans Valtoret, st Amans Soult, Albine, Sauveterre, Rouairoux, Lacabarède, Anglès, Labastide-Rouairoux, Courniou-les-Grottes, St Pons de Thomières, Riols, Prémian, St Etienne d’Albagnan, St Vincent d’Olargues, Olargues, St Julien, Mons La Trivalle, St Martin de l’Arçon, Colombières sur Orb, Le Poujol sur Orb, Lamalou les Bains, Hérépian, Villemagne l’Argentière, Bédarieux.
To extend the ride, discover the road bikes or the greenways of the region:
The Voie Verte Passa Pais extends from Bédarieux to Béziers (42km - 26miles) by small roads with little traffic. The route is signposted to the entrance of the Biterrois agglomeration. You can then join the Canal du Midi which leads, in a westerly direction, towards the greenway as far as St Chinian or continues towards the Minervois... and in an easterly direction, towards the Etang de Thau (Eurovélo 8).
Consult and download the map of cycling routes in the Hérault.
Extract from the map of the departmental network :