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The Pyrenean Foothill Way

Vue de Saint-Lizier (Ariège)


This Way links Montpellier to Saint Jean Pied de Port, covering 700 kms. At the foot of the Montagne Noire, between the Hérault and the Aude, old maps speak to us of the pilgrims who gave their name to this itinerary : le Camin de Sanct Jaume (the Way of St. James) or le Camin romieu (Pilgrims' Way), a unique example of this in France. The Codex Calixtinus makes reference to it in recommending that one should honour Tibère, Modeste and Florence in Saint Thibéry.

The still relatively little-known Pyrenean Foothill Way is charming, with its serene landscapes and lovely churches, abbeys and small villages.

Leaving the city of Carcassonne, the itinerary goes via the villages of Fanjeaux and Montréal in the Aude, St. Lizier in the Ariège, Saint Bertrand de Comminges and the basilica of Valcabrère, the world-famous sanctuary of Lourdes, and leads to Oloron in the Béarn and to Saint Jean Pied de Port, serving the valleys and passes of the Pyrenees. Distinguished by the presence of sumptuous Romanesque buildings as in Rieux-Minervois, Vals or l'Hôpital St. Blaise, the Pyrenean Foothill Way is a path full of character which delights users with its peaceful landscapes providing views over the mountains. Somewhat less used than the others, it is a quiet route which can favour reflection and introspection.

The section of the path between Montpellier and Carcassonne is at present undergoing the process of official approval as a GR®. From Carcassonne, GR®78…

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