TO DO | NATURE
The hinterland of the Haut Languedoc hides many natural treasures, like the unspoiled lake of the Lac de Vésoles. This dam lake is one of the four lakes you can visit on the ‘Route des Lacs’ in the Hérault and Tarn departments. The lake is perched on a plateau in the Somail mountains with their varied landscape. These beautiful surroundings invited my family and me to go on a lovely walk around the lake. And we couldn’t refuse!
Hike or bike
We visited Lac de Vésoles in summer and, well, because it is a lake, we expected some nautical activities. We didn’t see much action going on though, apart from a lonely SUP surfer and some swimmers. As a dam lake, it is dangerous to swim near the dam, so you should keep a safe distance of at least 200 meters. That’s why we decided not to go swimming, as well as the temperature being cooler inland compared to the Mediterranean coast. The Vésoles site is perfect for doing a hike or going on a bike tour though. At the parking lot we saw an overview map, which clearly indicated several numbered trails.
We began our first exploration of Lac de Vésoles with a hike around the lake. The lake itself isn’t too big, about 50 hectares, and it takes 6.5 kilometres and 2 hours to walk around it. The first part of the trail provided us almost immediately with a stunning view over the lake, including a carpet of abundantly flowering purple heather in the foreground. The boys claimed that I had already taken my best picture so we could turn back. Not a chance, I made them complete the hike to see if this truly was the best view.
Variety of landscapes
So on we went, following the yellow marks. Right after crossing the dam, we entered an enchanting pine forest. Because of the fallen pine needles, the path had a springy step. After walking along the lake for a little while, the variety of landscapes surprised us. We walked on paths surrounded by ferns, crossed vast meadows, admired the honeybees and butterflies in the heath flowers, and even walked on boardwalks. My girl started to take pictures as well, so we stayed a little behind the boys to appreciate all of the many captivating moments.
Flock of sheep
From a distance, we heard the clinking of bells. Every year from the first of July to the end of September, shepherds bring their flock of sheep to the fertile shore of Lac de Vésoles. Keep this in mind when you walk with your dog, as only leashed ones are allowed. In the end, my girl and I, of course, took many more pictures. Although I had to admit that the view at the beginning of the hike was one of the best… Back home I asked the kids if they would be up for the more challenging ‘Sentier des Milles Marches’ or the ‘Chemin des Légendes’, which should give a fantastic view over the Jaur valley. But as this hike is about 11 kilometres and 5 hours long, I think I will have to wait another few years…