9 May 2019 – Mont St Baudille

This week we propose the climb to the top of Mont St Baudille. This is a hard walk of about 12 km, starting with a steep climb of 500 m over the first 3 km.

We have talked for some time of the possibility of doing the circular walk to the top of Mont St Baudille (alt. 848 m). The walk entails four sections, each about 3 km long. The first includes all the climbing, rising about 500 m, on stony paths, some of which are quite steep. The second and fourth sections are both gently downhill, one on tracks, the other on a road. The main descent section is again on paths, often stony and occasionally steep. There are excellent views from many points on this walk, particularly at the summit. The plateau section can have a good display of spring flowers, jonquils, tulips, orchids and ornithogalums.

The last half kilometer of the ascent is the steepest and most difficult, with a lot of clambering up stone steps. It is also the most exposed (being on the ridge just below the summit) and can feel quite dangerous in high winds, so it is not advisable to undertake this walk in storm or gale conditions (unless you are very experienced).

The weather is expected to be mostly sunny (after overnight rain) and quite windy. The air temperature is around 15 degrees, so it will feel warm out of the wind but with a significant chill factor in the exposed sections, particularly on the top of the mountain.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to leave at 10:00. The walk will start from the Font du Griffe on the D122 beyond Arboras, at about 10:45. We should be back in Lodeve by about 16:00.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 12 km, 500 m climb
Bring: Good shoes, wind and sun protection, snack


6 December 2018 – Pic de Vissou

This is an excellent though fairly hard circular walk of about 9 km, climbing from the vineyards of Cabrières to the top of the Pic de Vissou, more than 350 m above.

2017-03-05 15-53-49.JPGThis is a way-marked circuit that includes the whole of the ridge between the two peaks of Vissou. Starting in the valley it ascends to the north end of the ridge, from where we turn south and climb to the main peak (excellent views). We then follow the ridge south-west past the lower peak, before descending back to the valley. It is the central section of the ‘Crêtes de Vissou’ walk, for which a brochure is available from tourist offices in the area. The walk is mostly on good tracks and paths, but there are some steep, stony sections, both ascending and descending, where good shoes will be important. The walk takes about 4 hours, so we will stop for a picnic break (hot drink?) somewhere at the top.

The weather is forecast to be mostly cloudy, and perhaps a bit windy at the top, but with no rain and a comfortable temperature for walking.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 09:50 ready to leave at 10:00. We should start the walk at about 10:40, from the walkers car park on the D15 just after the bridge over the Boyne river, before you get to the village itself. We should be back in Lodeve by 16:30.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 9 km
Climb: 550 m
Bring: Good Shoes, Picnic

Walk near Salasc

This week we will have a walk starting in Salasc. The walk is called Le sentier des béals. It is a 5 km marked walk, which ascends in total about 300 m. But after this climb you will have a nice view on the Lac du Salagou, the castle of Malavieille and the vineyards, says the leaflet. The walk is marked as easy to medium difficult, but can be quite taxing in places. Bring your walking sticks, as the descend is sometimes a bit steep, with loose stones.

The forecast is mostly sunny with a very (30%) small chance of rain or thunderstorm in the morning. Hardly any wind and good temperatures.

We meet at Luteva before 10 o’clock to leave at 10 am. The walk itself will start from the parking lot near the school in Salasc. We intend to start the walk between 10:30 and 10:40 am.

Leader: Dorine
Distance: 5 km. Medium difficult. Climb: 300 m.
Bring: walking sticks, water, sun protection.


30 August 2018 – Lunas

This week we will walk the streets and paths around Lunas, including the ascent to the Virgin statue, from where there are excellent views down the Gravezon valley.

2018-02-15 12-33-22 c

This is a short walk around the back streets and paths in Lunas, including the steep climb up the the remains of the old castle, overlooking the town. The descent is by a gentler path, visiting the ruined chapel of St George. It is forecast to be sunny but not too hot, though with strong winds.

We will meet at 8:50, outside the Luteva Cinema, ready for departure at 9:00. The walk will start from the bridge over the river near the church in Lunas, at about 9:40. We should be back in Lodeve by 12:30, but as the walk is short there will be time to stop for a coffee in Lunas. There are also two restaurants offering lunch on a terrace overlooking the river, for anyone who would like to seize that opportunity.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: ~ 4 km, climb ~ 70 m

18 January 2018 – Les Fenestrettes

Les Fenestrettes is a marked walk from St Guilhem le Desert, a hard walk of about 11 km with a steep climb of over 450 m.

2017-01-15 12-02-15 s

The weather this week is ideal for walking (cold but sunny, with no rain and not much wind), so we will undertake the hard walk designated ‘Les Fenestrettes’, starting at St. Guilhem. Although not so long (about 11 km) this is a hard walk, with the first third all uphill on steep paths, eventually rising about 450 m, to the top of the steep cliffs to the south of the village. There are excellent views at various points on this climb, back down into the village and its valley, across the Herault Gorge, and eventually across to Mt St Baudile and even south to the sea. From the highest point we start a long but gentle descent which eventually emerges from between the cliffs at the far (western) end of the valley behind the village. The paths (and sometimes tracks) are all in good condition, though some may be wet after the recent rain.

2017-01-15 Fenestrettes

Les Fenestrettes

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The walk itself will start at about 10:50 from the main parking area (payant) at the top of the village. The walk takes about 4 hours, and we will stop for a snack at the top of the climb. We should be back in Lodeve by 16:30.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 11 km, 450+ m of climb
Bring: Snack, good shoes, fortitude.

12 October 2017 – Pont du Diable

This week we propose a choice of two walks, both starting from the Pont du Diable at St Jean de Fos. There will be a flat walk of about 7 km to the St Sylvestre church and back, and a much harder circular walk of about 16 km up on the plateau to the east of the Herault river. Both walks will start and end at the Pont du Diable car park. The weather is expected to be sunny, starting cool but warming up towards midday.

The first walk follows a way-marked route along a good farm track along the foot of the escarpment and beside fields and vineyards, to the small St Sylvestre church, set in trees and looking down towards Aniane. This is a good spot to have a rest and a snack. We then return by the same route. This walk should take about 2 hours,

The other walk is a hard circuit of about 16 km. It starts with one of the most difficult sections we have ever walked, a climb straight up the side of the escarpment, rising 250 m in less than 1 km. There is a proper path, but it involves clambering in places, and is rather exposed, with excellent views down steep drops to the river valley below – not for the feint-hearted! The main part of the walk on the plateau is generally easier, but there are several extended sections where we walk over loose stony scree, which can be difficult on the ankles. From the plateau there are excellent views, including a proper lookout point across the river to St Guilhem. We pass the Montcalmes hamlet before continuing on to the St Sylvestre church. The walk will take about 5 hours, including a stop for a picnic.

As usual we shall meet outside the Luteva Cinema at 9:50, ready to depart at 10:00. The walks will start from outside the visitor centre at the Pont du Diable car park, at about 10:45. Those on the flat walk should be back in Lodeve by 13:30, on the hard walk not until 16:30.

Flat walk
Leader: Jenny
Distance: 7 km, rising 50 m
Bring: snack.

Hard Walk
Leader: Andrew
Distance: 16 km, climb 300 m
Bring: Sun protection, good shoes, water, picnic.

13 July 2017 – Les Balcons de Lauroux

This is an excellent but hard, all-day walk starting at Lauroux and extending up into the Escandorgue forest. It is officially described as ‘difficile’, 16 km and taking 5 hours.

This walk is in three sections. Firstly, we walk up the valley from Lauroux, passing the Grotte de Labeil, and continuing up the escarpment to the Escandorgue forest, a rise of about 550 m. Parts of this ascent are difficult and a bit scrambly, with some intermediate descents to get past side valleys. Then we walk through the forest in the direction of the Col de Pertus, before starting the descent back to Lauroux. Some of this descent is on good tracks, but other parts are rather steep and stony, and much is rather exposed.

The forecast for Thursday is for full sun, continuing the temperatures of recent days. The walk has some shaded sections, but has other sections in full sun, particularly on the descent.

As usual we shall meet at the Luteva Cinema at 8:50 for departure at 9:00. At Lauroux we will park in the designated Walkers Car Park (just before the village), but the walk itself will start from the main bridge in the village, just after the church, at about 9:30. With a stop for lunch we should be back in Lodeve by 16:30.

Leader: Andrew
Distance: 16 km, difficult, climb ~ 800 m
Bring: Picnic, copious fluids, sun protection, strong shoes