Best Short Walks: Gorges Sant Jaume

This walk is perfect for hot summer days – it all runs in the shade along a refreshing river that gave the name to a fascinating small canyon: Saint-Jaume, or, in local Occitan, Sant Jaume. Park your car or bike at the small pilgrim church of Notre-Dame de Laval, located 2 km au sud-east of Caudiès-de-Fenouillèdes, on the D9.

Follow the department road to the entrance of the walk, located a couple of yards up the road left to the bridge crossing the river. Lush foliage will embrace you, providing shade in summer. The path is quite small, but mainly even and very easy to walk and follow. It will take about 45 minutes to cross the picturesque canyon with its litte stream jumping across quite impressive granite rocks.

The path will then take you to the village of Fenouillet, dominated by the château de Castel-Saborda and the château vicomtal de Fenouillet. Together with Castel-Fizel, the castle was built as watch towers and defence points of the Agly valley. In total, count about 1.5 to 2 hours to reach Fenouillet.

From there you can join another walk taking you back to Caudiès past Castel Fizel, turning the short walk into a wonderful one-day tour. To shorten the excursion, simply walk into the canyon to the pont crossing a little affluent, before turning and returning to your parking lot.

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