Located 16 km north east of Montpellier, Saint-Geniès-des-Mourgues, built on one of the first folds of the Cévennes range, is surrounded by vineyards, small woods and orchards. To enjoy: the Truffle festival (January) and the Camargue bull running of St. Louis (late August)

A bit of History

The founding in 1019 of an abbey dedicated to St. Géniès was the origin of the village.

The addition of ‘Mourgues’ (referring to nuns) formed the full name of the village. The village developed thanks to its vine growing, its surrounding stone quarries, its orchards and the rearing of livestock.

The historical centre, built on a hill, features the oldest houses, the castle and the church (originally the abbey) dating from the eleventh century; more recent dwellings are the houses of winegrowers. 

Camargue bull running and (bloodless) bullfights are organised on the occasion of the St. Louis festival in late August.

The Camargue bull running is a bullfighting tradition of the region but doesn’t result in bulls being killed! The aim of the ‘razeteur’ is to catch, using a claw, the ribbons attached between the bull’s horns.

During an ‘encierro’ bulls are released in a street which is closed at both ends. Young people of the village provoke the bulls before taking refuge behind gated side sections. Another tradition is the ‘abrivados’, which consists of riders – herdsman arranged in a V – guiding bulls to the arena.

These herdsmen have to prevent the catchers (‘atrapaïres’) allowing the bulls to escape.

For gourmets, don’t miss the truffle festival, organised in January – it’s at this time of the year that truffles are at their most fragrant!