The paths of Saint-Jacques de Compostelle

The destination of the Canal du Midi in Saint-Chinian is an open window on History. Thanks to its exceptional geographical location in the heart of Occitania, at the crossroads of the Saint-Jacques de Compostelle paths, the Canal du Midi and the Domitian way, it benefits from a great wealth of heritage.  

The destination also enjoys a remarkable geographical and climatic location, which gives rise to a veritable mosaic of landscapes, between the foothills of the Cévennes and the Mediterranean Sea.  

Discover our typical Languedoc villages, the beauty of the landscapes tinged with scrubland and wine-growing hills, explore the territory in the footsteps of the pilgrims of Saint-Jacques de Compostelle.

The way of the Pyrenean Piedmont 

Route of Piedmont Pyreneen

700 km between Montpellier and Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

From the Latin "CAMPUS STELLAE" meaning "Field of the star", the path of Saint-Jacques is symbolically the path on the ground corresponding to the direction of flow of the Milky Way in the sky. 

Saint Jacques Le Majeur, apostle of Galicia, appeared in a dream to Charlemagne to show him the starry path leading to his tomb. According to Christian tradition, the apostle was taken to Compostela in Spain, from Palestine, by a stone boat guided by the hand of God. The king of Asturias had a first sanctuary erected there at Santiago de Compostela and The tomb quickly became the goal of a pilgrimage at the beginning of the 9th century. 

Among the many paths crisscrossing Europe and leading to Compostela and especially in France: the Voie d'Arles - GR653, the Voie du Puy-en-Velay - GR65, the Voie de Tours - GR655, Voie de Vézelay - GR654, as well as as the Voie des Piedmonts Pyrenees, which links the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, and the Alps to the Pyrenees from east to west. This last route crosses our villages, notably via the GR78-7 and the Chemin Romieu.

Little known and little treated in the crowd of history books and testimonies devoted to the mythical "Ways of Compostela", this route nevertheless testifies to a circulation linking Italy to Spain, Santiago de Compostela and Rome. . Often presented as a secondary option of the Arles route, it is actually a full-fledged route connecting Montpellier to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port over 700 kilometers, offering a diversity of landscapes whose beauty enchant pilgrims and hikers.  

At the crossroads of the Voie d'Arles and the Voie du Piémont Pyrénéen, la destination from the Canal du Midi to Saint-Chinian is a major place of passage for pilgrims. Throughout the circuit, visit our villages steeped in history and cross the ages by discovering our sites and monuments! 

Warning : Between Montpellier and Carcassonne, the route is under study and pending approval (future GR®78-1). From Carcassonne, GR®78, lThe trail is marked as a trail hiking and developed as far as Saint-Jean Pied de Port.

For more information :  

The Fontcaude ramp

Fontcaude ramp

66 km between Saint-Gervais-sur-Mare and Capestang

Red and white markings  ( Find all the hiking signs )

The route is taken in both directions and can be broken down into 3 sections: 

  • Section 1: Capestang - Cessenon sur Orb (23 km)
  • Section 2: Cessenon sur Orb - le Poujol (23 km)
  • Section 3: the Poujol - Sain Gervais sur Mare (13 km)   

Lthe GR®78-7 trail is the connecting route between the Voie d'Arles and the Voie des Piémonts. Traced between the vines and the scrubland to link the mountain to the plain, this mule track "Camin Nostre" as it is commonly called in the country, crosses many small Languedoc villages but also the Abbey of Fontcaude, a XNUMXth century Romanesque building. affiliated with the order of Prémontré. 

The Jacquaire Brotherhood holds its annual chapter on Saint James's Day, every July 25, in the majestic setting of the ancient Fontcaude Abbey, since 1986. It is the occasion of a great Party during which the celebrations are varied: distinctions for those who have completed the famous pilgrimage to Compostela during the past year, procession of brotherhoods, concerts, shows, conferences, meal under the stars…  

The Fontcaude ramp is an admirable juxtaposition of landscapes, vineyards, scrubland, forests, archaeological sites (prehistoric places, chapels, fortified villages, Jacques-Cartier houses, etc.).  

Subsequently the route will be extended to Narbonne, the former political and religious capital of Languedoc. 

To discover along the way

  • Cessenon: THESaint-Pierre-Saint-Paul Church, The keep and its panorama of the Orb river, the cobbled streets, the voluntary nature reserve of the Coumiac quarry (cultural heritage. geological) and the marble quarry, its shops and restaurants (link), the wine estates

  • Cazedarnes : The Saint-Amans Church and the frescoes by Nicolas GRESCHNY (open only by appointment), the fountains and shaded alleys, its small shops, the wine estates (link)
  • Puisserguier: the Saint-Paul church, the St Christophe priory, the castle, the Mémoires resource center, its shops, restaurants, and wine estates (link)
  • Capestang: the collegiate church of Saint-Etienne (19th century), the painted ceiling of the archbishops' castle and the museum dedicated to it, the beautiful facades of the XNUMXth century residences. Its shops, restaurants and wine estates (link) Visit us at the Tourist Office on the banks of the Canal du Midi for a visit.
  • Montels: The landscape of the pond between Capestang and Montels

For more information :

  •  ACIR Compostela: The Pyrenean Piedmont path
  • Topoguide GR® de Pays “Tours in the Haut-Languedoc and Vineyards” FFRP - Publication June 2014 It presents several walking routes in the heart of the Languedoc and Vineyards. The GR®78-7 route “Chemin de Fontcaude” is included.
  • ACIR Compostelle: https://www.chemins-compostelle.com/voie/la-liaison-par-labbaye-de-fontcaude

A question ? A demand ?

Contact the tourist office, our holiday advisers are at your disposal to guide you and compose your stay from the Canal du Midi to Saint-Chinian by phone or email.

By phone +33 (0) 4 67 37 85 29 (type 1)

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