We decided we'd have our go at it in the winter. Why? Number one: We ain't fin a see crowds of people when we go on nature walks. Number Two: Due to human induced climate fuckery, summers are pretty unbearable these days, we aren't lizards so 40 degrees doesn't agree well with us.
Nevertheless it is a must do walk in the region, you just need to time it correctly so you don't run into loads of other people.
The mountain is situated only 35km from Montpellier and 45 km from summer tourist hotspots like La Grande Motte, Palavas les Flots and Grau du Roi. Thus creating the increased amount of hiking trafic.
The first part of the walk is nice n' easy, taking you through some pristine local bush along the way. The route is clearly marked along the way and there are a few cool smaller routes that branch off the main one.
What's great about this region is that the foliage found in the area does not loose it's leaves in the winter time. The area stays green pretty much year round making it an awesome spot to still have some colour in your photos during winter.
There are two main point of interest. The chateau and the summit. The Chateau de Montferrand is the first. A pretty smashed up ancient castle, yet still enough of it intact to give an interesting perspective into what life was like back when it was in its Prime. A sweet spot to get some photos and take a little pause to enjoy the epic views. From here you can see the enormity of the cliff to the north east of the Pic Saint Loup. The handsdown best view you'll have of the mountain the entire walk.
After finishing there its up, up, up! First couple km are nice n' easy, and then the fun begins. Last km to the peak is steep. In total the Pic Saint Loup is 658 meters tall, and half of those meters your gonna do during the last km. It's not an uncommon occurrence to find yourself among people, yourself included, huffing and puffing like Eric Cartman on a treadmill.
At the end of the short yet steep ordeal, you will have arrived, and if you timed it perfectly, without too many other people. The view from the top is pretty epic. Since there are no other obstructing mountains in close proximity, you have an unparalleled view of the region.
Panoramic of Pic Sait Loup and Cornish de l'Hortus | Shot with DJI Mavic Air 2
On a good day you can see all the way from the French Alps to the Pyrenees Mountains. The summit has a church and a large cross, if your into that kind of thing, but most impressively an almost sheer cliff of 250 meters. (820 feet). The cliff can be climbed when conditions are correct but we didn't see anyone the day we went. The top is an epic place to have lunch and soak in the view. If you are lucky enough, you will get to witness something truly special that we were oblivious to until one passed right under our nose. Gliders passing by at eye level as close as 20 meters away.
After speaking with a few of the locals they told us that it's a super popular spot for gilders and they love bringing there tourist passengers as close as possible to the cliff. They say on a busy day you can see up to a dozen at a time circling the summit like vultures. This makes for an epic photoshoot, waiting and timing the gliders as they pass by.
Would you give this a go?
Making your way back down the mountain is pretty easy, especially when you get to pass people huffin' and puffin'. The walk is easy enough, but not for everyone. All in all its a pretty manageable 11km, we took our sweet ass time taking photo's and having lunch and still managed to only take 4 hours. An awesome choice for a hike during non peak hours or non high season. We are gonna head back and try it for sunrise, we'll follow up and let you know how it goes :)