Walks near Vernet-les-Bains and to Canigou


Villefranche - St-Etienne (description) map


4 hours;  climb: 650m

A circular walk which climbs high above Villefranche and “Fort Libéria”. From a restored chapel at the highest point there is a stupendous view towards Canigou.

1 - THE START (railway station, Villefranche-de-Conflent). We cross the large car park, in the direction of the fortified town (Villefranche). On the left, the River Têt; on the right, railway lines.

2 - Small bridge (on the right). We cross a railway line, by the small bridge. We go straight ahead and we climb the footpath opposite... Opening in a wall. We go straight ahead and we follow a wide track.

3 - Path on a stone staircase, on the left. We climb the stairca... We continue on the footpath, which climbs in zig-zags.

4 - 'Fort Libéria'. We follow the path which passes to the right of the fort.

5 - Path turning. We stay on the main path, which turns to the left.

6 - Path junction. We go to the right.

7 - Path junction. We go to the left, on the higher path.

8 - Path junction. We go to the left, on the higher path.

9 - Junction of paths and a track. (On the right, a chapel and the abandoned village of 'Belloc'.) We go to the left for a few metres, then we go to the right and we follow a path which climbs in a forest.

10 - Junction of paths and a track. We cross the track (which turns to the right) and we follow the path opposite... The path climbs a steep slope.

11 - Terrace. (On the left: the restored chapel of St Etienne, with a superb view towards Canigou.) We go straight ahead, on a path which climbs a little.

12 - Path junction. We follow the main path, which descends to the left... The path descends in zig-zags... Below on the right, a view towards 'Fort Libéria' and the fortified town of Villefranche.

13 (6) - Path junction. We go straight ahead... We descend by the outward route, to the small bridge (2), and then to Villefranche station (1).