Located between Nimes and Montpellier, the village of Saussines has a quite exceptional heritage: a listed 12th century church, a castle, beautiful mansions, old washhouses.
The gorse scrubland is close by with six capitelles (1), a nature trail, a picnic area with tables and is close to a spring at the high point of the circuit, plus there is a beautiful view of the Pic Saint Loup and the Cevennes.
Important note: Ignore the numbers marked on the ground and stick to the VisoRando instructions instead
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(S) Beginning of the hike: the car park in front of the schools.
Take Avenue de Montpellier to the left of the statue of the Virgin Mary. You will pass the town hall and the church of Saint Etienne.
Turn right on main street, continue for a hundred metres or so, and then turn left into Rue du Château. At the end of the road turn left and take the RD135 for about 200 m. Turn right onto the small road that leads to the old washhouse. Continue on this path to the small road that we cross heading opposite over the meadows. At the end, turn left to reach the edge of the stream. Follow the wide path for about 700 m ignoring all others.
(1) Turn left on to a narrow trail on a shelf with a beautiful view of the village. As you head out of the scrubland, turn left on the path leading to a small paved road taking this to the right for 500 m. (2) Upon arrival at the coast, go to the right into the woods on a beautiful trail through scrubland to reach the first capitelle. Follow the track on the right to reach the river Bénovie then head to the left along an old drovers’ path: the path to Montredon known as “de la monnaie” which leads on for a further 600 m. At the exit, turn right along the plot and take the virtually opposite path that leads through the scrubland in the direction of the second capitelle. 100 m after this capitelle, turn right and walk along the river Bénovie. At the end of this narrow trail, turn left to go up to an cross through a grove. It runs along the old drovers’ path on the right into a beautiful underwood, reaching the third capitelle, then head by this on the right. We cross a small wall and take the drovers’ path for 200 m to reach the fourth capitelle. At the end of this path there is another small wall to cross (3). Follow a beautiful alley lined with low walls, head out of the gorse to the left and then immediately take a right along a wide path to the fifth capitelle. 150 m after this capitelle you get to the point (4) (two options: go straight ahead for a 14 km hike following the signs with yellow dots or turn left along the stony path which is the normal, 10 km circuit), and at the end turn right and follow the road for 500 m. Then, start the botanical trail with a chance to enjoy the different plants of the scrubland taking you to the picnic area located on the banks of the stream (5).
At the end, turn right on the pebble path which leads to the RD135. (Take care)
(6) Take a right and continue for a hundred metres, then turn left and take the path that winds through vineyards to arrive at a small paved road to the right (7), then take this for 200 m.
(8) Take the red dirt road that leads to the peak of the hike at a crossroads, turn left onto the paved road that descends to the village.
Once arrived at (9) head to the pine forest and cross through to arrive in Rue des Sables, and at the end turn right to reach the car park and start of the walk.
D/A : km 0 - alt. 44m
1 : km 0.47 - alt. 47m
2 : km 1.47 - alt. 34m
3 : km 2.55 - alt. 44m - Path through the woods
4 : km 3.75 - alt. 32m
5 : km 4.68 - alt. 45m
6 : km 5.2 - alt. 41m
7 : km 6.8 - alt. 39m - Spring
8 : km 7.94 - alt. 64m
9 : km 9.56 - alt. 46m
10 : km 10.02 - alt. 43m
11 : km 10.65 - alt. 45m
12 : km 11.19 - alt. 46m
13 : km 12.24 - alt. 49m
D/A : km 13.18 - alt. 44m
Mountain bikes are prohibited, high-ankle walking boots recommended.
Source aux Tourilles (even in August) picnic area with tables.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
(1) A capitelle (Occitan: capitèla) is a hut built of dry stone, that is to say without mortar, in the scrubland of old towns in the department of Le Gard. This term, originally used strictly only in Nîmes, tends to take the generic meaning of "dry stone hut" and has spread through the neighbouring departments (Ardèche, Hérault, Aude). (Wikipedia)
Opportunity to visit the church (by appointment, call +33 (0) 4 67 86 63 53.
On the way back from the hike there is also an opportunity to taste local wines (see the information board at the beginning of the hike).
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Note: To help with orientation, "tricky" sections have been highlighted with blue dotted markers.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.