The Hautes Corbières, between ocean, mountain …
Continue on the GR36 after the Orbieu valley and Mayronnes, and you’ll enter a universe which is different from the typical Corbières landscape called the Hautes Corbières. This stretches out from the Lacamp Plateau to the plain of Mont Tauch. This area in itself is very eclectic and full of surprises, influenced by both the oceanic and the Mediterranean climates, but also by the mountainous geography.
There is a climatic frontier that can be traced through the villages of Dernacueillette, Laroque-de-Fa and Vignevieille, corresponding to the area where the olive tree grows. To the west, the oceanic Corbières, more humid, are situated and to the east, the dryer Mediterranean Corbières. Furthermore, owing to the altitude of the Mouthoumet plateau (550 m), this area has a colder climate. It is not unusual for the snow to be present here during the winter months. On this plateau as well as on the other side of it, you will be charmed by the grassy moors.
The beautiful meadows of Bouisse, which you’ll notice if you take the hike “L’alpage des Corbières” (‘The pasture of the Corbières’), underline the pastoral character of this part of the region.
In Salza, the cattle farmers may be added to the list of other regional breeders, the sheep and goat farmers. This area is also characterized by its forestry sector. Reafforestation has clearly marked this part of the region: black pine/pin negre, cedar/cèdre, spruce/fals avet and Scots pine/pin roge but also many different broad-leaved trees, common beech/faus, chestnut trees/castanhs and of course the omnipresent holm oak/ausina. In Albières, you’ll discover the upper levels of the immense Rialsesse national forest, by taking the hike “De branche en branche” (‘Jumping from branch to branch’); whereas in Massac, you’ll be invited to stroll in the national forest ‘de l’Orme mort’/l’Òlme mort (‘dead elm tree’) on the slopes of the Milobre, by following the GR36 in the direction of the col de Cedeilhan. You will then leave the mountainous area of the Corbières and renew with the realm of the Mediterranean.