Swimming / Water sports
Of course you have come here for the renowned Mediterranean beaches. Languedoc beaches are larger, sandier and less crowded than those of the Riviera. And there is such a choice. Cap d’Agde, and the 12 km stretch to Sète. Continuing to the west, there are beaches at Vias, Portiragnes, Serignan and Valras. This site reviews each of the beach areas, with ratings from OK to Excellent.
- Lake Salagou for fresh water swimming is about 30 minutes away – Click on #10-11-12 below the map on this page.
- There are closer fresh water beaches. Barrage des Olivettes is about 5 minutes from Neffiès – and is where the locals swim. Click on #7 on the same page.
- There is also a river beach on the road between Pézenas and Castelnau-de-Guers – just on the east side of the A75 interchange.
There are 7 golf courses in the area. One in Lamelou-les-Bains (9 holes) is about half an hour northwest of Neffiès. Golf du Cap d’Agde is championship standard, and the Saint-Thomas course near Béziers is impressive. There are four courses around Montpellier.
Hiking and cycling
Languedoc is full of cycling and hiking trails – some of which go through Neffiès. The eastern part of the department of Hérault alone has a 73 maintained and marked hiking trails.
- Le Faigaras is an 8km hiking trail that starts at the Neffiès Mairie – see photo. Here is a map and description of the trail in pdf format. Other trails (with links to their pdf maps) close to Neffiès include Fos, Fouzilhon, Laurens, Margon, Pouzolles, Roquessels, Saint-Geniès-de-Fontedit and Vailhan.
- GPS tracks for many hiking trails in the area are available here.
- The Fédération Française de Cyclisme‘s Larzac- Méditerranée trail runs through Neffiès on its way from Le Caylar to Agde and a shorter Les Crozes trail just north of Neffiès
- Hérault-Vailhan Lac des olivettes: a 14km trail about 5 minutes away near the Barrage des Olivettes
- Hérault-Cabrieres Pic de Vissou: another 14km trail about 10 minutes north, near Cabrières
- Hérault-Faugères: les 3 tours: a 13km hiking trail, a little further northwest
- A 50km cycling Route des Vins: a little west of Neffiès
- Salagou mania 2011: a 52km cycling trail around Lake Salagou
Another suggestion for a fascinating hike is the Chaos de Montpellier-le-Vieux, a little east of Millau. Covering hundreds of acres – the chaos of eroded dolomite formations resemble, according to various sources, a vast ruined city, the devils haunt, and individual rocks have names such as the Crocodile, the Bear, the Camel, the Eyes of the Badger etc.
La Grotte de Clamouse (3km south of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert), the Grotte des Demoiselles (a bit further north off D986), l’Aven Armand (further north). If you’ve never been in a really big cavern full of stalactites and stalagmites (stalactites tombent, et stalagmites montent) you must visit one of these sites that offer guided tours of the magical formations and stunning beauty. Take a jacket or sweater when you go.