Do you need to breathe, to reload your batteries? With Gruissan, you have chosen the ideal destination because it is known for its natural spaces. Gruissan protects this environmental wealth as one protects a treasure.
So let's also make our contribution to the preservation of this common treasure by adopting an eco-responsible behavior, as precious as this exceptional nature.
Gruissan and La Clape, wild by nature!
The natural landscapes of la clape in figures
- 15 hectares of unspoiled nature
- 5 ponds, or "étangs" synonymous with exceptional environmental wealth and diversity. Natura 2000 sites, under the “Birds” and “Habitats” directives, they also hold the Ramsar label and are recognized as wetlands of international importance.
- 1400 plant species
- 350 birds, Gruissan is one of the largest migratory corridors in Europe
- 234 plants of heritage interest
The Clape massif
From the Occitan word "Clapas" which means "pile of stones", this little gem between land and sea is a preserved area of 15 hectares, about 000 km long, 15 km wide, which culminates at Pech Redon at 8 m altitude.
It is a site classified since 1973 for the quality of its landscapes and recognized as a Natura 2000 site. The French Conservatoire du Littoral (Shoreline conservancy) has bought a large part of it.
In La Clape, formerly called Insula Leci since the massif was originally an island, the cultivation of vines dates back to the Romans. In 2015, La Clape obtained the recognition of an “AOC la Clape” for its red and white wines, unique and quality wines.
How about sharpening your plant culture during botanical outings? Like Sherlock HOLMES with his magnifying glass, you try to unravel the mysteries of the cotton cistus, the Montpellier aphyllante, the arbutus and the endemic Centaurée de la Clape which only blooms every 5 years.
You walk along the Kermes oaks and make a detour through a cliff to find ferrules. Last stop in front of a fig tree where the history of its pollination by a small insect makes it possible to underline the close association between the animal and plant world.
Program of outings: City of Gruissan culture department 04 68 49 21 13
Did you know ?
The Clape massif is known to shelter rare species of orchids such as Ophrys bombyliflora or Ophrys speculum.
In hiking mode
Whether on foot, by bike or on horseback, you will enjoy exceptional panoramas, breathtaking views of the Pyrenees, the Black Mountain and the Mediterranean.
You will also discover a fauna and flora of great diversity. Inhale the scents of broom, cistus, honeysuckle, thyme, Aleppo pine, kermes oak or even wild olive trees. 6 hiking trails and 110 km of mountain biking trails wind through the heart of this abundant nature.
Our favorite: the Goutine trail
It is a difficult but magical course for all nature lovers, wild and intoxicating with its Mediterranean scents. Be careful not to slip when descending the plateaus, but the sight deserves your efforts.
The view is spectacular. Our favorite: along the stream of the rec (drained river) from where you can see the entrance to the Crouzade cave (prehistoric site) and his "marmites" or potholes. During rainy episodes, they fill with crystal clear water.
We recommend a break nearby and off the marked trail in one of the most sheltered and surprising places in Gruissan: the Rec d'Argent, an emerald green reservoir.
The Regional Nature Park of the Mediterranean Narbonnaise
Fifty types of natural environments coexist between scrubland, pine forests, scattered solid masses of holm oaks, ponds and marshes…! Millennial vineyards complete the landscape. Beautiful ! Land of contrasts, this park is home to fauna of heritage interest: fish, bats, amphibians, reptiles, insects ... You may be lucky enough to come across an ocellated lizard, the largest European lizard or an eagle owl, the largest nocturnal raptor in the world. A cradle of biodiversity!
These species contribute to the richness of our territory. Like so many others in Gruissan, these are protected species. It is forbidden to hold them in captivity, to move them or to destroy them. We are counting on your nature spirit to ensure that all these little people can live peacefully in their natural environment.
Good to know
If you see a wild animal in distress, the closest wildlife conservation center is located in Hérault: 04 67 78 76 24. The caregivers will explain the procedure to you. If the condition of the animal requires care and you cannot move around, carpooling can be set up. Also, the Sigean veterinary clinic, Véto Faune, can accommodate certain species free of charge.
Meadows, salt marshes, sansouïres, reed beds and natural dunes adjoin the many hectares of water. This plurality of environments is the work of fluctuating salinity as well as direct contact between ponds and scrubland which create a mosaic of exceptional natural habitats.
The flora is remarkable there. The Great statice (Limoniastrum monopetalum), observed only in France on part of the Mediterranean coast, thrives in the heart of these salty steppes. In the lagoons, the abundant seagrass beds and natural graus help maintain an abundant fish population.
Ornithologist for a day
The Aude coast is one of the densest passageways for migrating birds in France and Europe! The Roc de Conilhac is the most favorable point for observing this phenomenon. Wetlands are home to many passerines, waders and other water birds. The Salin de Gruissan and the Ayrolle pond welcome shorebirds, laridae and terns. The seaside allows the observation of sea birds. The scrublands of the neighboring massifs are also home to a procession of birds such as the sultana talève, the falcinelle ibis, the Audouin and mocking gull or the calandrelle lark, to name a few. So, grasp your binoculars!
The LPO Aude invites you to join the observation of migratory birds. The team welcomes you to Roc de Conilhac every day with a north to northwest wind, moderate to strong.
Meeting from July 15 to November 15 from 9 a.m. to 17 p.m.
Consult the LPO agenda:
Zoom on Bird Island
Discover this natural space in the outer harbor which hosts the main colony of yellow-legged gulls.
Opposite Grazel beach, observe the aerial ballet of this emblematic coastal bird.
And no, it's not a seagull, which is much smaller than its cousin! We strongly advise you not to approach because the gulls will defend their young. It is also a protected species.