It is very much possible that you have seen the characteristic mountain Pic Saint-Loup from afar. From the Promenade du Peyrou in Montpellier for example. Even from the Mediterranean coast, you can see the remarkable peak of the mountain. The Pic Saint-Loup has two faces. The southern side is the gentle one, located in the middle of a landscape of garrigue and oak forests. The other side is rough with a steep slope, giving the summit its recognisable triangular form. I was very curious to see what the view from the summit would be like.
From the village of Cazevieille, you will find a hiking trail all the way up to the summit. The hike is 6 kilometres long and takes about 2.5 hours in total. As the weather was great, I wore my sandals. Not a very smart thing to do, as large rocky gravel pretty much completely covers the trail. So I highly recommend wearing suitable footwear! Apart from the rocky, stony trail, the hike is not too difficult. I even saw people running up the mountain. A bit too enthusiastic I have to say, walking the path was perfectly fine for me.
The hiking trail from Cazevieille is signposted with yellow markers, although I also saw white/red markers the whole way up. The extraordinary natural surroundings are not only a joy for your eyes. The scent of aromatic plants like thyme, rosemary and laurel are a feast for your nose. With a difference in altitude of only 364 metres, the trail is not very steep. You only have to climb quite steeply for the last bit before reaching the summit at 658 metres above sea level.
The Pic Saint-Loup got its name from a medieval legend, when three valiant knights from Saint-Martin-de-Londres, Loup, Guiral and Clair, were in love with the same woman. Bertrade, the lady in question, promised to marry the most glorious and devoted man. To prove they were worth Bertrade’s love, the three knights went on a crusade. Unfortunately, Bertrade died while the men were away. Mad with grief, they decided to live their lives as hermits. The village of Saint-Martin-de-Londres is surrounded by three mountains, and each knight picked one. Each year for Christmas, the men lit a fire on top of the mountain to show they were still there. In the end, one by one, all three lights extinguished. To honour their courage and endless love, the mountains were named after them: Mont Saint-Guiral near Aigoual, Mont Saint-Clair near Sète and of course Pic Saint-Loup.
When you finally reach the top of Pic Saint-Loup, the amazing view of the Languedoc region will reward you handsomely. To the south, you will see the Mediterranean Sea, the salines of Aigues-Mortes and La Grande Motte and to the north the valley of Fambétou, the cliffs of the Hortus mountain and even the Cévennes. The panorama is overwhelming and really worth the climb!