|Octon - Carcassonne||208km|
|55.5km off-road||April / October|
Quick GLR 12 overview
The GLR 12 Motorcycle Adventure Route leads you for over 208 kilometers through the Hérault and Aude regions of Southern-France. 56 of those kilometers will traverse over off-road sections. If the going gets tough, The Back-up Tracks will support you with 7 different sections. With a total of 4 connecting GLRs to this GLR 12, you’re able to continue to Adventurise the region. Let’s get going!
GLR 12 Route info
You start your GLR 12 motorcycle adventure near Lac du Salagou in a local town called Octon. From there, it’s south towards Carcassonne. Due to the environmental protection laws in the region, the first 40 kilometers to Aigues Vives are on-road. From there your off-road motorcycle Adventure really starts! You surround yourself with the beautiful landscapes of the “Parc Naturel Régional du Haute Languedoc”.
After your adventure in the Natural Park, you’ll head in the direction of Carcassonne. Again a 30 kilometers long on-road section will guide you to the endpoint of the GLR 12.
GLR 12 Region
You’ll Adventurise two Mediterranean departments of Southern-France with the GLR 12. This route will cross Hérault and Aude. Read all about the region down below!
Don’t expect any mountainous climate. With an average of 227m in altitude, Hérault is pretty close to sea level. You find its highest peak at an altitude of 1181 meters at Espinouse.
Hérault originates as one of the first 83 departments created during the French Revolution of 1790. The department has been known for its wine and olive growing industry. Unfortunately due to agricultural diseases and frost, many of the farmers closed business in the mid-twentieth century.
Montpellier is the regional capital, with over a million inhabitants. The region saw a major increase in its population during the second half of the 20th century. Nowadays it is Frances’ 8th largest city.
Nowadays Aude is known for its winemaking and tourism around its rich history. But Aude has so much more to offer! Aude has a variety of landscapes in its natural regions. In the east, you find the lagoons and coastal lakes. More inland you find scrub dominated drylands. To the north and west, the Black Mountain region is densely wooded with oak and beech. In between those regions the rolling hills are shaped to accommodate grain farming.
Besides the diversity in natural regions, Aude is also known as one of the windiest departments of France, with 300 to 350 days of wind per year! Although the climate is under the influence of the Mediterranean, autumn is characterized by its short and violent storms. The best time of year would be spring and early summer. The summer can be hot and dry, so it is not advisable to ride during the warmest months.
Adventurising isn’t only about getting as fast from A to B! A Region has so much more to offer! That’s why I give you some suggestions about things to do while Adventurising the GLR 12.
In the heart of the Haut-Languedoc Natural Park, you find Mont Caroux. A plateau reaching an altitude of 1091m. To the west you find the Gorges d’Héric, to the east the Colombières gorges and in the south the Orb valley. In short, a perfect location to spend a day hiking and other sporty activities. Note: it’s not accessible by motorcycle!
Take a swim in the beautiful Gorges d’Héric. These gorges are located near Mons-La-Trivalle and provide a beautiful sight and also a welcome refreshment in the summer. With repeating basins and waterfalls you’ll find a nice spot to spend half a day, not on your iron horse.
Spend a day off your bike and enjoy the local nature on foot! Part of the Massif Central is the Massive Caroux and Espinouse. The Caroux-Espinouse is the southernmost Massif and closest to the Mediterranean coast. Enjoy the Natural park and its wildlife with the most scenic views.
Cité de Carcassonne
Although the Cité de Carcassonne is located in the department of Aude, it is a site worth visiting while exploring the GLR 13. In the city of Carcassonne, you’ll find this medieval citadel. The citadel has an amazing historic story of a siege lasting 5 years, which resulted in the naming of the city.
Thank you for downloading the GLR 12! Good luck with Adventurising Europe. Speaking of Adventurising Europe, to keep the project going and free, we’re relying on a mix of sponsored advertisements and Adventuriser donations. Do you like what we’re doing and you want to support the project? Please consider a donation. You can read more about donations and support here.
The Adventurising Europe project is all about documenting Europe through the eyes of adventure riders. Do you want to contribute to this mission? Become an Adventuriser! As an Adventuriser you’re part of our community and you enjoy the benefits of accessing the back-up tracks of the GLR-Network. Also you receive our regular updates on the project. It’s completely free, so enlist now!
Continue your GLR 12 Adventure by connecting different GLRs. To make your life even simpler, I’ve put together all the options down below!
Connections in Octon
Take the GLR 10 to continue your journey up north! With a higher percentage of off-road sections than the GLR 12, you’re going to enjoy this one! After a total of 326 kilometers and 116 km off-road you end in Montfalgaux.
Do you want to continue your journey to the east? Take the GLR 11 towards the Camargue region! With a total of 118km, it’s not the longest, nor the most adventurous, with 29 kilometers off-road. Take this GLR if you’re aiming to ride in the Camargue Natural Park!
Connections in Carcassonne
At Carcassonne, you have two options to continue your GLR Motorcycle Adventure. First, it’s the GLR 13, which continues further down south following the Mediterranean Sea. Over a total of 168 kilometers, it leads you towards Sournia near the Spanish border. With over 1/3th of the route off-road, it’s the best GLR to reach the Pyrenees.
Your other option is GLR 14. This functions more as a connection route to the French Pyrenees. Due to the local environmental laws, only 13 of the total 152 kilometers are off-road. Take this GLR if you’re going to explore the French Pyrenees!
Exploring Europe through the eyes of an adventure rider. Making Europe a better place for adventure riders by creating the GLR Network.
As an Adventuriser you get access to our special Back-up Tracks for the GLR-network. These routes function as a back-up when the going gets tough. In the event you need to circumnavigate a piece of the original GLR, the Back-Up Track will lead you via paved road to the next section.
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The GLR 48 motorcycle adventure route leads you for over 361 kilometers through the Goriška Coastal–Karst regions of Slovenia and the Istria and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County regions of Northern Croatia. 113 of those kilometers will traverse over off-road sections. If the going gets tough, The Back-up Tracks will support you with 13 different sections. With a total of 5 connecting GLRs to this GLR 48, you’re able to continue to Adventurise the region. Let’s get going!
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