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Myths and legends of Languedoc-Roussillon: a motorhome road trip

Come and open the Pandora's box of Occitania

Discover the Languedoc-Roussillon region through myths and legends

Strange creatures, unusual places... This region is a land of legends. Based on rumours or mythological tales, these stories have shaped the popular imagination. Today, they continue to entertain us and arouse our curiosity. Every département in the region has a place with its own legend. Take advantage of the festivals to discover them.

Stage

Bram
Bram

Recommended route(s) : N165

  • Carcassonne saved by Dame Carcas and her trick of the fat pig:

 

  • When Carcassonne was invaded by Charlemagne during the reign of the Saracen king Ballak and the latter died, his widow, Dame Carcas, succeeded him at the head of the Cité.
    The siege lasted 5 years, and famine was already making itself felt.
  • With only a small pig and a ration of wheat left in the town to feed the population, Dame Carcas stuffed the pig with the remaining wheat and threw it off the ramparts.
  • On seeing this, Charlemagne decided to lift the siege, believing that the city had so much wheat that it was being fed to pigs.
    Before the great army disappears, Dame Carcas rings the town bells to announce the liberation.
  • It was then that one of the men is said to have said to Charlemagne "Sire, Carcas is ringing"!

Stage

Pézenas
Pézenas

Recommended route(s) : A75

  • The vengeful stones of the Saint-Félix cross

 

  • During the Revolution, the cross was destroyed and the stones taken to the village of Montarnaud to build a drinking trough and a manger. Strangely enough, the stones took their revenge and, in the same year, around fifteen horses died after drinking from the trough.
  • The priest, called in to remove the spell from the building, spoke of the wrath of the gods and demanded that the cross be rebuilt immediately.
  • Today, this cross is just one of many replicas, the original having been stolen and replaced five times in a row without attracting a divine curse.

Stage

Clermont-l'Hérault
Clermont-l'Hérault

Recommended route(s) : N165

  • The sunken city of Etang de Thau

 

  • On a clear day, fishermen can see the top of a bell tower in the water of the Etang de Thau. On foggy days, the bells of this drowned church can be heard. Divers report seeing the remains of buildings. It is said that an entire town lies at the bottom of the lake.
  • Despite these legends, during the Bronze Age, the Gauls settled here in huts that sank to a depth of 2 to 3 metres.

Stage

Le Grau-du-Roi
Le Grau-du-Roi

Recommended route(s) : N75

  • Legend has it that long ago, Lunel was a hamlet of eel fishermen lost in the middle of a wild and inhospitable marsh.

 

  • Fishermen invented a fishing method to prevent this voracious animal from swallowing the hook.
  • They came up with the idea of baiting the bottom of a basket that they would lower, attached to a rope, onto the marsh bottoms. Eels like to hunt in the dark of moonless nights, so the fishermen took advantage of this to catch eels only on the darkest nights.
  • As the weather was frequently obscured by clouds and the moon made itself increasingly inconspicuous, we deduced that the people of the marshes had simply kidnapped her in their trap.
  • Thus was born the legend of the moon fishermen, which in Occitan became known as the Pescalunes.

Stage

Mende
Mende

Recommended route(s) : N165 and A83

  • The Beast of Gévaudan

 

  • La Bête du Gévaudan is the nickname given to one or more canines responsible for a series of attacks on humans in the Lozère region. Most often fatal, these attacks mobilised large numbers of military troops and gave rise to all sorts of rumours and beliefs at the time. Many believed they were dealing with Satan's dog.
  • But while the Beast of Gévaudan did exist, its true nature remains a mystery 300 years on.

Stage

Chambon
Chambon

Recommended route(s) : N112

  • The legend of the "flying ox" or "volo biòu

 

  • One year, all the wine from the harvest went mouldy. To get rid of it, the consul of St Ambroix had an idea inspired by mythology: he promised the inhabitants that he would have an ox stolen in St Ambroix to attract the crowds. He said, "At the next fair, it will be a feast, the Caïet ox will fly and, on the word of the Consul, our wine will sell".
  • Thousands of curious onlookers turned out. After much excitement, Caïet paraded in his superb wings, followed by the entire populace. When he reached the top of the Guisquet Tower rock, he was launched into the air to applause and cheers.
  • Some will say that it immediately fell back into the void and crashed. Others will tell their children and grandchildren that he unfolded his wings and flew away like an arrow.

Stage

Bonnieux
Bonnieux

Recommended route(s) : A6

  • Legend of the Ochres of Roussillon

 

  • The legend of the ochre cliffs of Roussillon dates back to the Middle Ages. It tells the story of Dame Sermonde, the neglected wife of Raymond d'Avignon, the local lord, who fell in love with a young troubadour. Raymond d'Avignon killed the troubadour and had his wife serve her lover's heart at dinner. 
  • On hearing the news, Dame Sermonde threw herself off the cliff, her blood spilling out and staining the earth on the hill forever.

Staging areas on your roadtrip

Bonnieux
338 Rte de la Gare
Vaucluse
Motorhome stopover FREE PARKING
2
1 hour of electricity
Bram
Lieu dit La Gabache
Aude
Reception area PAY PARKING
20
parking spaces
9.4EUR
Overnight stay
Clermont-l'Hérault
4-star Camping Municipal du Salagou
Hérault
Campsite service area
24
parking spaces
Package
depending on the season
Chambon
Palanqui
Gard
Campsite service area
24
parking spaces
12,4EUR
per night
Le Grau-du-Roi
Rue du Commandant Marceau
Gard
Motorhome stopover FREE PARKING
25
parking spaces
2EUR
10 min water + 55 min electricity
GrauduRoi
Parking Fanfonne - Guiillerme
Gard
Reception area PAY PARKING
6
parking spaces
1EUR
The 24h
Mende
Rue du Faubourg Montbel
Lozère
Motorhome stopover FREE PARKING
20
parking spaces
2EUR
10 min water + 55 min electricity
Pézenas
Rue Louis Audibert
Hérault
Campsite service area
20
parking spaces
3,5EUR
Services
en_GB