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Saint Maurice-Navacelles

• Hérault (34520)   • Population: 119  • Altitude: 584 m

Gallery of 5 photos for Saint Maurice-Navacelles

A quiet little village on the southwestern edge of the Gorges de la Vis, in the land of Dolmens of the Larzac Plateau.

St-Maurice-Navacelles village is small and not at all touristic. It's on the route from Lodève to Ganges, and is the last village on the plateau before dropping down into the Gorges de la Vis.

There's no lodging in the village except a Gite d'Etape (there is a hotel at Navacelles hamlet, in the cirque). There's no dining here, except the "Snack" [Photo-04]. It's simple, but very pleasant, and fun to sit and watch the world going by.

The commune is a fusion of three previously-independent communes: the villages of St-Maurice (the current main village), Navacelles (at the bottom of the cirque) and Madières (another picturesque hamlet at the bottom of the gorge, 4 km east of the main village).

The name is spelled either Saint-Maurice-Navacelles or Saint-Maurice-de-Navacelles, depending on which map or document you're looking at. We're going with the first one, since that's what the commune uses on their website.

La Baume-Auriol, 5 km north of St-Maurice-Navacelles village, is a view point on the edge of the plateau directly overlooking the cirque and the hamlet of Navacelles below.

The Causse du Larzac, where the village sits, is a vast limestone plateau, roughly between Millau to the northwest and about half way to Montpellier in the southeast. It's an ancient land, with hundreds of Neolithic megaliths. Near the village is the Prunarede Dolmen (3 km north) and the Coulet Menhirs (5 km south).


IGN map of the Cirque de Navacelles

• GPS: 43.846621, 3.518292


IGN (1/25,000) #2642 ET "St-Guilhem-le-Desert; Cirque de Navacelles"

The GR 7 (Grande Randonnée) hiking trail goes north from St-Maurice-Navacelles village (585 m) just over a km to the edge of the canyon, then zigzags down to the bottom at Mas du Pont (264 m) before following along above the western side of the river north to Navacelles hamlet (330 m) in the cirque.

The GR 7 goes west from the village, then south to La Vacquerie-et-St-Martin-de-Castries, 9 trail km away.

Just 800 m southwest of the village, the GR 74 trail branches off from the GR 7 and heads south, passing a Gîte d'Etape at the hamlet of Le Coulet and continuing south through forests and hills to Saint Guilhem-le-Désert before looping SW and NW to Saint Privat. (See External Links, below)

A hiking trail called the GR de Pays, Tour du Larzac Méridoinal goes east from the village, about 6 km, then south to the edge of the plateau at the Cirque de la Séranne. From there the trail continues southeast to join the GR 74.

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