Located in the heart of the Hérault, near the breathtaking gorges, is the Medieval village of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert. One of the most beautiful towns in France and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Saint-Guilheim-le-Désert is a must-see place in France. A pilgrimage center, the famous Abbey of Gellone within the city, continues to attract pilgrims as well as thousands of tourists every year.
HOW TO GET THERE
Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert is located close to the A75 motorway, near the Gellone Valley. To reach this beautiful village, you will have to travel to either Béziers or Montpellier first.
From Montpellier, route 668 will take you to the village center. A short ten minutes walk, and you’re in Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert. Alternatively, you can take a train from Béziers to Observatoire and a bus from there to Montpellier. After that, take the 668 bus line to reach the village.
A taxi or a car ride to Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert from Bezièrs takes around 41 minutes.
History & Culture
The history of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert is closely linked to the Abbey of Gellone. The story goes that around 806 AD, Guilhem reached the valley where this village is located. There, he retired. Until he reached the area, the place was a desert mostly visited by the local shepherds. But Guilhem turned the area into a thriving destination for locals. The presence of two relics – Saint William and the True Cross, gave Saint-Guilheim-le-Désert a prominent place in front of families. This continues to this day.
TOP THINGS TO TRY
Once you’ve reached this beautiful place on Earth, you must visit:
- The Abbey of Gellone
- The Cirque de L’Infernet is a natural site located near the village.
- The Museum of the Village of Anton
- The Lapidary Museum
- The Devil’s Bridge
ACTIVITIES TO TRY
When you’re in Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, you’ll be immersed in wandering through the village, full of old stone houses and cobbled streets. Some popular activities to try in the area are:
- Hiking in the surrounding landscape
- Canoeing in the gorges
- A Medieval festival is held every June.
- A fireworks festival is held on July 14th every year.
- Celebrate the Day of Patrimony in September
EAT AND DRINK
Enjoy local cuisine made from freshly sourced produces. The food in Saint-Guil-hem-le-Désert is traditional, delicious, and comfort-inducing.
Gites and house rentals are available for people who want to find a place to stay while on vacation south of France.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best time to visit Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert is during the summer months. Pilgrims frequent the village during this time as well. Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert is a popular place to see in France in the summer.
Walking, hiking, and cycling are the best way to get around in Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert. The cobbled stones make the village more conducive to walking. A rented car can help you get to many of the tourist spots near the village.