Family outing visiting the beautiful site of Collias Hermitage.
Technical sheet No. 4098694
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.
Distance : 6.49 km
Vertical gain : 157 m
Vertical drop : 165 m
Highest point : 178 m
Lowest point : 30 m
Back to starting point : Yes
Location : Collias (30210)
Starting point : N 43.953649° / E 4.479751°
In Collias, park your car in the paid parking between the bakery and the André Clément hall.
(D) Exit the car park, turn right and follow 'l'avenue du pont', cross the bridge, then take the first street to the left (Chemin de Saint Privat), heading towards the Hermitage and 'Ron de Fabre'.
The paved road will follow the Gardon River for a while, leading you to a sign indicating 'Ron de Fabre'. When arriving at this crossing, take the dirt track to the left of the tavern heading towards the hermitage and Cantadu. This track will later turn into an paved road leading to a crossing. Turn right on the Hermitage path (chemin de l'Ermitage), 20 m further, a stoned cross marks the Cantadu crossing.
(1) Continue straight ahead to the Hermitage, don't follow the track to the right (this will be the way back). The track will steadily wind through holm oaks and boxwoods, in the hermitage's valley and crosses the dry streambed several times.
Once you get to the foot of the hermitage, forget the path that goes left (not marked on the map), keep going right, heading to the hermitage (2) after climbing a few stone steps.
At the top of the site, the track will turn left through the rocks towards Cabrières and Le Grand Serre. Go passed another stone cross, then, 300 meters higher the trail leads to a track marked 'Le Grand Serre' .
(3) Take the track to the right leading to Collias and Contadu, continue on the main path with yellow waymarks paying no attention to all the little trails forming on either side. The path will wind uphill, then slowly downhill reaching a T crossing. Turn right to get back to the Cantadu stone cross.
(1) Turn left, then left again 50 m further on the Saint-Privat path. Take the same route as when you started to gain the car park.
D/A : km 0 - alt. 46 m - Le Gardon
1 : km 1.32 - alt. 43 m - Cantadu's crossing
2 : km 2.91 - alt. 127 m - Collias Hermitage - Ermitage de Collias
3 : km 3.25 - alt. 178 m - Le Grand Serre, turn right
D/A : km 6.49 - alt. 46 m
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
During the walk or to do/see around
At the hermitage's site, the cave immediately attracts the eye. This cave was inhabited by Neanderthals at least 40 000 years ago. A monastery was built during the 8th and 19th centuries. The last hermit died in 1839...
The Notre-Dame-de-Laval chapel was built during the 12th century on a former pagan temple site. If by chance, the chapel's door is open, you'll find some remains of ceiling frescoes and a board giving some details and explanations.
It is possible to climb on the cross at the top of the site, giving you the possibility to enjoy a stunning view of the valley.
Opinions and comments
Global average : 4.67/5
Number of opinions : 1
Clarity of route description : 5/5
Clarity of route map : 4/5
Walk interest : 5/5
Global average : 4.67 / 5
Date of walk
Clarity of route description : Very good
Clarity of route map : Good
Walk interest : Very good
An exceptional walk. Arriving at the Hermitage and getting a real sense of an ancient way of life is/was deeply moving. Good footwear is recommended since the second half of the walk (after the hermitage) is on large and loose gravel making it quite easy to turn an ankle. Ensure you take lots of water.
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