This hike, at the start of La Caunette, will take you above Minerva and will let you discover the megaliths scattered along the route. You'll criss-cross vines, scrubland composed of gorse, thyme, brush, evergreen oak trees and the odd wood.
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.
Park in the cemetery car park and the Rue de l'Ormeau.
(D/A) Go northwest and take the tarmac Chemin des Crozes in the direction of the Causses de Coupiat.
::1: At the cairn, leave the tarmac road and take the small path on the left in the direction of the Coupiat stream. Descend down to the concrete bridge that passes over the stream and climbs back up the path (admiring a "troglodyte" house on your left-hand side) until you reach a forest track.
::2: Turn right and continue to climb. At the fork, take the track on the left and get to a vineyard. Go around it on the left.
::3: At the ruined building, turn left, bypass the ruin to the left and reach the Dolmen de Coupiat (collapsed) through the scrubland. No Path. Make a U-turn and resume the path that you previously left on your left in a northwest direction. Circumnavigate Mont Redon located on your right. You need to follow the vine on its left in a straight line.
::4: At the last trunk in the row closest to you, turn left straight through the scrub, in the direction of the Pierres de Coupiat 1, 2 and 3. Some are on the ground! Trail non-existent in places.
::5: At the Pierre de Coupiat 3, branch off left in a northerly direction climbing up the forest track.
::6: Just before a hunter's hide, walk 50m to the right to enjoy the viewing point over the cliffs. Then take the track to continue on the route. At the next intersection, turn left in a westerly direction, then northwest and join the firefighter's track. Turn left and continue on the track, ignoring all paths to the left and right.
::7: Leave the track on the right-hand side to enjoy the viewing point over the gorges (climbing spot). Return to the track and continue to the right.
::8: Take the trail on the right for a hundred meters and reach the tarmac road. Turn right.
Pass the Courounelle farm and at the end of the paved road go straight over. At this point you'll find new GR markers GR (white and red).
At the fork, follow the path straight ahead to go down to Minerve. Join the Gorges de Brian and go around Minerve via the northeast.
::9: At the junction, take the trail opposite. Climb up and go under the trees (viewing point over Minerve).
When leaving the trail, take the vintner's path on the left (northeasterly direction). Follow this path ignoring those to the left and right.
(10: At the end of the path, take the road on the left (northeast) in the direction of the Domaine du Mayranne. Cross it and upon leaving the hamlet, turn right going around a green barn. Follow the trail in the direction of the Goury stream then after 150m, on a left-hand bend, reach the intersection)2::.
(2: Take the outward-leg path on your right, cross the bridge over the Goupiat stream and join the tarmac road (Chemain des Crozes) at point)1(. Continue right on the asphalt road up to the car park)D/A::.
D/A : km 0 - alt. km 0
1 : km 0.57 - alt. km 0.57 - Cairn, left-hand path towards the Dolmen de Coupia
2 : km 1.55 - alt. km 1.55 - Forest track intersection
3 : km 2.36 - alt. km 2.36 - Ruin, left towards the Dolmen de Coupiat
4 : km 3.12 - alt. km 3.12 - Pierres de Coupiat (1-2)
5 : km 3.45 - alt. km 3.45 - Left after Pierre de Coupiat
6 : km 4.75 - alt. km 4.75 - Viewing point of the Gorges de Coupiat
7 : km 7.28 - alt. km 7.28 - Viewing point of the Gorges du Brian
8 : km 7.88 - alt. km 7.88 - Right towards La Courounelle
9 : km 9.69 - alt. km 9.69 - Fork, take the trail opposite.
10 : km 10.71 - alt. km 10.71 - Domaine de Mayranne
D/A : km 12.66 - alt. km 12.66
To get to the start point, exit the departemental road 907 (from Saint-Pons de Thomières to Narbonne) in the direction of Minerve (D10E5). Take the 3rd road on the right (1.5km), cross the metal bridge and park near the waste containers at the junction of the Rue de l'Ormeau and of the Chemin des Crozes: starting point for the hike.
::1: Careful, there is initially a blue marker on a wooden sign, .
A walk with very little shade. It can get very hot in this region. At the hottest point of the day temperatures can exceed 30°C in the shade for several weeks.
Take lots of water: minimum 3l per person. Cover yourself and apply high-factor sunscreen.
The path disappears at several points. Beware the risk of scratches! Favour long trousers over shorts.
at point(8), you have the option of visiting the viewing point over the Vallée du Gourry.
Continue straight ahead (tarmac road) for 400m, turn left (eastward) down through the scrub, cross a tributary of the Goury, climb the stone staircase and continue straight on. An additional trip of 1.3km.
We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 2445E.
Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Several dolmens and small menhirs on the route and several viewing points of the gorges.
A trip to the village of Minerve after the hike.
At point (9), you have the option of going down into the Gorges de la Cesse and taking a bath at the foot of Minerva.
On the route:
The Domaine de Tailhades Mayranne
The Domaine de Vordy
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.