The Salagou Valley: What is Ruffe ?

Mar 27, 2021

So where exactly is Country Kids resort?  What is the Salagou?  What is a ruffe for that matter? 

To get to us by air or train, the most popular way is to get to Montpellier.  Head a little north east of the city for about 15 minutes and you’ll find yourself dipping into the Hérault Valley.  It’s a patchwork of hundreds of acres of vineyards and countless charming terracotta roofed villages.  It’s framed by the breath-taking Séranne and Causse du Larzac mountains, the southernmost point of the Massive Central.  All cobbled together to give you that classic southern French scenery.

If you want to travel to us flight free, take a look at this handy guide we published for you

So, what about this ruffe business?  Well, nestled in the middle of all this picturesque gorgeousness is one of Southern Frances best kept secrets:  The Salagou lake, or Lac du Salagou as the locals would say.

It’s a reservoir, created in the 60’s amongst a curious undulating landscape of extinct bright red volcanoes.  The soil all around is also bright red and is dotted with the odd patch of vineyards and small forests.  Contrast all of this with the greenish blue hues from the lake and you have a palette of colours that seem to change hourly with the sun, creating a truly unique landscape.  It’s impossible not to stop and take a photo whilst driving around it’s 30km shoreline. 

It’s a wild and rugged landscape, picking up nicknames such as the French Colorado and Planet Salagou, as reference to its almost Martian appearance.  It’s an outdoor paradise and absolutely perfect for family holidays.  That’s where you will find Country Kids, nestled above all of this unique beauty, with everything you need on hand to enjoy it.

As parents ourselves, we know that not every day goes according to plan with young kids on holiday.  We give you the chance at something rare and special.  The ability to choose at the last-minute whether you want a wholesome family day out or an exciting couple’s adventure out into planet Salagou…the kind we all took for granted before the kids came along.   

You can leave the little ones with us, secure in the knowledge that they will be safe, happy and engaged with our kids club team members and their new besties.  Letting you venture out for an off-road bike adventure into the ruffes or a lazy shoreside lunch together. 

Each of the small villages dotted around the lake has something different to offer.  The local village of Octon has different restaurants to suit each taste and for those visiting us. During our Absolutely Everything Included summer season” you will have the chance to enjoy the night market where local artisans come to showcase their wares around the central fountain. 

The nearby village of Moureze is the access point for some of the strangest rock formations you will ever come across.  Hikes for all levels are possible to discover this ghostly collection of dolomitic figures, that the kids absolutely love to climb all over.

A trip to the hamlet of Vailhes is the best place to jump on an electric boat for a family trip out onto the lake together.  Take a picnic and stop off on the shores of Celles, an abandoned village on the shores of the lake.

A short trip to Liausson is the access point for its namesake mountain with its short hike to the top, that is not without its rewards!  It’s the absolutely only way to grab a panoramic view of planet Salagou and the aforementioned rock formations of Moureze. 

Our whole team is local (and bi-lingual of course) so we get all the up-to-date tips on the best new restaurants or a newly discovered secluded swimming spot.  Giving you the chance to experience the area like a local.

Our bespoke holiday planning service does everything for you, from reserving boat trips on the lake, booking that romantic dinner table with a lake view (yes, we have on site babysitters for you), to recommending the perfect hidden shoreline picnic spot for the whole family. 

Many families spend a week with us and never leave the Salagou valley (or even the resort in some cases).  The lesser-known nature of the area means it’s a safe and secure outdoor holiday environment, away from the crowds of other southern French holiday hotspots.

So, we never did get around to explaining what a ruffe is.  Well, we think it’s best you discover for yourself when you join us for your next family holiday in the south of France! Pop us an e-mail or give us a call to find out more about your next truly unique family holiday experience in the south of France.