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spirituality and hike On the Santiago de Compostela trail

On the Santiago de Compostela trail

In Montpellier, rather than being guided by Tom Thumb’s pebbles, there are 300 bronze markers set the ground by the municipality to mark the Santiago de Compostela route.

A step on Santiago de Compostela route

In Montpellier, rather than being guided by Tom Thumb’s pebbles, there are 300 bronze markers set the ground by the municipality to mark the Santiago de Compostela route. The city is a stop on the Santiago di Compostela trail. Since the beginning of the 11th century, Compostela, a village in Galicia, has been the supposed resting place of Santiago’s tomb.

There are four pilgrim trails to Galicia, the most southern, the Voie d’Arles, passes through Saint-Gilles and its abbey, the Abbey of Gellone and the Pont du Diable (the Devil’s Bridge).

The Santiago route is now travelled by believers and numerous hikers.


Less well known than the Voie d’Arles, the 748km long GR®78 route through the Pyrenean Piedmont is one of the most secret of the “chemins jacquaires”.

It links Montpellier to Saint-Jean-Pied de-Port in the Basque Country.

An itinerary of water, mountains, vineyards and old stones. It’s an intimate, discreet route through sumptuous landscapes, hidden from view and the noise of the world.

Accessible by public transport: The Pyrenean Piedmont trail is easily accessible by train/bus.
– You can reach it or leave it from the 12 stations in : Montpellier, Béziers, Carcassonne, Mirepoix, Pamiers, Saint-Girons, Buzy, Oloron-Sainte-Marie and Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.

How to organize Your day-trip to Montpellier ?

Focus on... Saint Roch, a pilgrim among pilgrims

Saint Roch has been invoked throughout Europe since the 15th century against plague epidemics.

This saint, born in Montpellier (at n°19 of the current rue de la Loge), is often represented in his pilgrim’s outfit, with a bumblebee in his hand, and is often confused with St James.

However, he is distinguished by the presence of a plague bubo on his thigh and a dog at his side, holding a piece of bread in its mouth. Legend has it that on his pilgrimage to Rome, he crossed Italy, which was then in the grip of a plague epidemic. He is said to have treated and cured many plague victims and then contracted the disease himself on the way back. Isolated in a wood, a dog fed him during his illness.

A pilgrimage is dedicated to him every year on 16 August in Montpellier.