Saint-Chinian to Notre dame de Nazaret walk – 9km, 2 to 3 hours.
By Pam Smith
A really beautiful walk. starting by parking in the main car park (market area) in St-Chinian.
Follow the yellow markers down through the lanes at the end of town towards the north west. You will soon come to a left turn and a lovely river area with nice picnic benches.
Keep going along the track through vineyards until you reach a left turn that brings you to a small bridge over the river.
Continue along this track until you reach the mill buildings.
At the road turn left and then quickly right onto a track, and head up through the vineyards. The track rises fairly steeply here to reach the top of the plateau.
The views are superb here, over to the mountains and up and down the valley. There are lots of wonderful flowers on this walk too. We enjoyed meadows of bright pyramid orchids most of the way around the walk and large areas of wonderfully scented broom. Little white wild roses enjoy this area too, along with pink cistus and other spring flowers.
Soon you turn towards the church high up on the hill in its commanding position. You can take the little blue marked path up to the cross if you wish, but the views are wonderful here anyway. There is a lovely opportunity to sit and enjoy the views at the church before heading down the little path to the left of the church – don’t miss it!
The path descends quite steeply with crosses marking the way down at regular intervals. Once at the road, turn right and then left down a small track. The track now ascends the hill but doesn’t reach the plateau above. It’s a lovely wide track through vineyards with even more wonderful views all the way up to the Caroux.
At a small stone building you can choose to either continue following the yellow markers (right) up towards the plateau where you will find the capitelles at the top and the windmill at the far end before descending into town. Or take the left turn down through more vineyards into town (this route is quicker, reducing the walk to 8.4km). At the road turn right to return to the parking.