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Cazedarnes - Abbaye de Fontcaude - Fontcaude - Du Canal du Midi au Saint Chinian

© office de tourisme du Canal du Midi au Saint Chinian

There are a number of interesting things to see dotted among the narrow alleyways of Cazedernes, such as its water fountains, or the red buildings, the colour of which originates from the surrounding earth.

            Outside of the village, garrigue scrubland, low walls (called “murets” in French – be sure to pronounce the “t” to sound like a native) and Saint-Chinian appellation vineyards shape the breathtaking Mediterranean scenery. Get even closer to nature by taking a walking or mountain biking trail along the signposted routes. From the roundabout opposite the école des Sources school, follow the No. 30 footpath – “le Puech de la Vigne Nègre” – for 5 km of wide open space. You will be rewarded by magnificent views of the Caroux and Espinouse mountains. (Walking maps are available at the reception desk of the tourist office for the Canal du Midi to Saint Chinian area)

If you love mountain biking, there are two routes for exploring Cazedarnes from La Piboulade at Cessenon-sur-Orb (route no.5 “Cessenon-Cazedarnes”, 240 km, 530D+ (elevation)) or from Pierrerue town hall (route no.8, “Pierrerue-Cazedarnes”, 23 km, 530D+ (elevation)). On the way back, stop off in the upper part of the town and cool off at the majestic fountain. For taste of the very best regional produce, why not book a wine-tasting session or a tour of an estate with a local wine producer.

To the south-east of the village, the hamlet of Fontcaude bears the traces of the Way of St James and precious relics from the past. Uncover the beautiful site of the Abbey of Fontcaude in an unspoilt landscape sculpted by limestone rocks and filled with olive trees. Guided tours are organised all year round by the Amis de Fontcaude association. Let the 17.5 km signposted footpath envelop you in the scent of the garrigue scrubland while you marvel at the extraordinary variety of landscape. (Walking maps are available at the reception desk of the tourist office for the Canal du Midi to Saint Chinian area)

Its history:

In the 10th century, Cazedarnes was composed of two different hamlets that were entirely dependent on Cessenon-sur-Orb, and it only became a town in 1850. The beautiful Saint Amans church, which is closed to the public, was first mentioned in the year 972. It is decorated with frescoes by the Estonian artist Nicolas Greshny that date from 1950. The artist followed the Byzantine technique of applying natural ochre pigments onto still-fresh plaster. The frescoes recount scenes from the Old Testament and the life of Saint Roch.

Don’t miss:

  • The rocky outcrops of Cazedarne
  • The characteristic fountains and house
  • A visit to the Abbey of Fontcaude
  • A 17.5km walk along the no.30 “le Puech de la Vigne Nègre” footpath


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