Officially, the GR®78-7, Chemin de Fontcaude, starts in the centre of Capestang, at the foot of the Collegiate Church, not far from the archbishops' castle and its painted ceilings.
After a short diversion along the towpaths on the banks of the Canal du Midi, you gently rise through the vineyards towards the Château des Carasses. Former wine estate, it has recently been converted into a luxury holiday residence.
After crossing the old Béziers-Quarante railway line, you arrive in Puisserguier and pass through its winding streets. Take a walk around the impressive castle.
Leave the village by crossing a flood spillway. The path winds again between plots of vines and scrubland.
The Milhau estate is in sight. Perhaps, make a short stop to taste the estate's wines... in any case, take the time to admire its recently renovated south-facing façade.
In the direction of the hamlet of Montmajou (commune of Cazouls les Béziers), the path becomes more hilly.
At the steep climb, when you are within sight of the abbey of Fontcaude, you can, with a diversion of 200metres towards the top of the hill to the right, admire the orientation table of the different AOCs of the Languedoc. The viewpoint is almost 360° over the Languedoc: on a clear day, you can see the Pyrenees and the summit of the Canigou, the Vermilion Coast, the Languedoc plain from Narbonne to Béziers, the Pic Saint Loup, and, hidden behind the treetops, the Caroux and the Espinouse!
After this small diversion and a quick descent you arrive at the Abbey of Fontcaude, an unmissable stage of this itinerary "chemin de Fontcaude".
Visit the Abbey of Fontcaude. http://www.abbaye-de-fontcaude.com
After Fontcaude, take a path, open for the occasion and pass into the neighbouring valley through a remarkable rocky notch.
Cazedarnes is in sight.
With a less prestigious past than Capestang or Puisserguier, Cazedarnes is nonetheless a typical winegrowing village.
At the exit of the village, follow a new path in the direction of Cessenon. At the first pass, discover a well restored capitelle on your right. The long descent towards the village is exposed to the sun... but the view as you arrive on the heights of Cessenon is breathtaking. The tower, the cliff, the Orb create a magnificent setting.
When you cross the village, you will pass by the church square. Swimming is possible on the banks of the river Orb (below the bridge, on the campsite side).
Find information on the routes to Santiago de Compostela: https://www.chemins-compostelle.com/en/itin
GPS trace carried out in the field in May 2014 by suunto Ambit2